Lexington, VA—August 2, 2006—Pia Fortmuller held up a Canadian flag as she rode out of the Awards Presentation. "This was absolutely spectacular and amazing! I got shivers when they announced the gold medal. Our team was confident coming here, but you never really know what can happen."
Canada Team West won the Gold Medal in the Young Riders dressage team championship that highlighted the first day of competition at the 2006 CN North American Junior and Young Riders’ Championships (NAJYRC) at the Virginia Horse Center in Lexington, VA.
Canada Team West earned its Gold Medal with a combined score of 202.4. The team consists of Pia Fortmuller of Burnaby, British Columbia, who scored 68.1% on Donagna, Alexandra Duncan of West Vancouver, British Columbia, who scored 68.5% on Elektra, Gabrielle Anderson of Bentley, Alberta, who scored 59.1% on Talisman, and Tara Dougans of Toronto, Ontario, who scored 65.7% on Nashua.
Canada Team West's coach Albrecht Heidemann said, " The girls really kept it together today in the ring. I am pleased with how they concentrated in the ring."
Winning the team Silver Medal was the Region 2 team of Kassandra Barteau of St. Gilberts, Illinois, who scored the day's highest score of 70.3% on Bentley, Kaitlyn Hamilton of Oxford, Michigan, who scored 66.4% on Noviembre, Brittany McCarthy of Cincinnati, Ohio, who scored 63.8% on Cinbad, and Allie Nichols of Cincinnati, Ohio, who scored 65.1% on Lexington. Their team score was 201.8.
The Bronze Medal went to the Region 3 team of Erin Moran of Wellington, Florida, who scored 65.9% on Widerhall, Kayce Redmond of Loxahatchee, Florida, who scored 66.0% on Lipton, Caroline Roffman of Wellington, Florida, who scored 69.6% on Bulgari 5, and Jocelyn Wiese of Keene, New Hampshire, who scored 65.6% on Lamborghini. Their team score was 201.6. The top three teams were separated by less than one point.
While Barteau's score of 70.3% on Bentley leads the way individually in the opening day’s Young Riders dressage competition, Caroline Roffman of Wellington, Florida, sits in second with 69.6% on Bulgari 5. Third, individually, is Alexandra Duncan of West Vancouver, British Columbia, who scored 68.5% on Electra.
Each team’s score is based on the team’s best three (of four) rides. Teams with three riders must count all three scores. The team competition for the Junior division will be on Thursday and all individual medals will be awarded on Sunday.
The NAJYRC is the premier equestrian competition in North America for junior and young riders. Young equestrians come from the United States, Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and the Caribbean Islands to vie for team and individual medals in the three Olympic equestrian disciplines of show jumping, dressage, and eventing. This year marks the first time that fully-recognized Championships for Junior riders (age 14-18) are being held along with those for Young Riders (age 16-21).
In eventing, the first division to get under way was the CCI J/Y*, a non-championship division for juniors and young riders which had its dressage test. Kendal Lehari of UxBridge, Ontario, Canada, holds the lead with a score of 40.0 penalties on Understudy. Ashley Scott of Rocheport, Missouri, who scored 45.7 penalties on Riverman is second, and Jamie Marlewski of Oxford, Wisconsin, who scored 48.6 penalties on Sprint Tech is third. In the team competition, Area VIII is in first place with a score of 153.2, Team Ontario is second with a score of 155.0 and Area II is third with 156.8.
The two championship divisions in eventing, the CCI** for young riders and the CCI* for juniors, have their dressage tests on Thursday and Friday respectively.
While formal show jumping competition starts on Thursday, the show jumpers also got in the ring on Wednesday with two training classes. The training sessions were not scored but afforded horses and riders the chance to get a feel for the footing and other conditions in the beautiful Anderson Coliseum at the Virginia Horse Center. Show jumping will feature individual classes on Thursday before the Team Championships on Friday.
For many competitors, the NAJYRC is their first experience riding on a team, as well as their first time competing under the rules of the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI), the international governing body for equestrian sport.
The Championships began in 1974 as an eventing challenge between the United States and Canada. A Dressage Championship was added in 1981, and Show Jumping debuted in 1982. The first complete NAYRC was held in British Columbia, Canada in 1982. This year’s addition of Junior Championships in all three disciplines marks the first NAJYRC.
“These championships are so significant for many of these Young Riders who benefit from the experience on their way to someday riding for their countries in international competition,” said NAJYRC event director Penny Ross. “For those whose careers culminate with this experience, it is meaningful in a very different way. We feel it is important that everyone goes home having had a wonderful time and having gained a valuable experience whether they win medals or not.”
The 2006 NAJYRC is supported by its Title Sponsor, CN, and is also supported by this year’s Platinum Sponsors - Howard and Martha Simpson. Gold Medal Sponsors are the United States Equestrian Federation, Equine Canada and Zone 4.
Other sponsors for the 2006 NAJYRC include Silver Medal Sponsors Devoucoux, Rebecca Broussard, Blue Ridge Farm Center, Practical Horseman, Horsecity.com, The United States Dressage Federation, Antares, Waterjumps.us, Southeast Equine, Dressage Today, Ariat and The Mosaic Foundation; and Bronze Medal Sponsors Becker College, Dover Saddlery, Virginia Dressage Association, Stewart Title, The Jefferson Florist, Larry and Marnye Langer, Thornhill, U.S. Hunter-Jumper Association, and Der-Dau.
Blue Ribbon Sponsors include Rambo Blankets, VTO Saddlery, Mary Phelps—a Markel Equine Insurance specialist, Kelly’s Ford Equestrian Center, Beval, and Cynron Saddlery & Footwear. Other sponsors are American Horse Trials Foundation, Starr Vaughn Equestrian, Inc., Harmony Sporthorses, EMO Insurance, Flame Treating Systems, Inc., Foxden Equine, Mead Associates, North Carolina Dressage and Combined Training Association, Virginia Golf Cars and Tennessee Valley Dressage & Combined Training Association.
Additional donors include Cowboy Magic, Dermafas, Mrs. Pastures Cookies for Horses, Southern States/Triple Crown, Absorbine, Red Ridge Tack, Green Mountain Coffee, Janet Crawford, Charles Owen, Brandy, Straight Arrow, Royal Riders, Sunbelt, Intervet, Hamilton Products, Davis Boots, Cavalia, Best Shot Equine, Horse Tech, Inc., Flair Nasal Strips, Summit Dynamics, Ladysmith Chaps, Equus Entries, Shenandoah Connection, The Clothes Horse, Exhibitor Labs, Nutramax Labs, Hadfields, Fortiflex and Omega Fields.
For full results and further information on the 2006 CN North American Junior and Young Riders’ Championships, please visit www.youngriders.org.
Horsesdaily On the Scene at the 2006 CN North American Junior and Young Riders’ Championships