Lexington, Ky. - On Saturday, dressage riders competed for their Freestyle Individual medals in the Rolex Stadium at the 2014 Adequan/FEI North American Junior & Young Rider Championships presented by Gotham North (NAJYRC).
In the USDF/Platinum Performance North American Junior and Young Riders' Dressage Championship Catherine Chamberlain (Region 7) and Verdicci won their second Individual Gold medal of the week in the Young Rider division.
The top 15 Young Rider Individuals advanced to the Freestyle Championship today and were judged by Cesar Lepardo Grana (ARG) at E, Adriaan Hamoen (NED) at H, Christof Umbach (LUX) at C, Gabriel Armando (ARG) at M, and Sandy Hotz (USA) at B. The highest score of the day in the Young Rider division went to Catherine Chamberlain of Region 7 (19, Murietta, Calif.) and Verdicci with 72.525%.
A self-proclaimed nerd, Chamberlain was thrilled to ride to music from the Harry Potter soundtrack. She and Verdicci performed some difficult sequences of movements, including the extended trot on two diagonals and flying changes on a serpentine to the counter lead.
"It was the first time performing this freestyle and it was really fun," Chamberlain said. "I tried to make it difficult. In the past I have had more simple freestyles and I wanted to show off a more difficult freestyle." Even though they had a challenging freestyle routine, Chamberlain and Verdicci had a stellar performance.
"It was a thrilling solid ride for me," she said with a smile. "My horse was able to stick there with me and perform the best he could."
Devon Wycoff of Region 5 (20, Boulder, Colo.) and Power Play earned the Silver medal with a score of 70.975%. She got her freestyle off to a strong start with lovely canter work and never looked back. She used music by Lindsey Stirling, a hip-hop violinist, that she enjoyed riding to and worked with her horse. After not having the best ride for her Individual Test, Wycoff was hoping to ride better in her Freestyle, and she did just that.
"My main goal was to keep my brain between my ears. I don't know where I was when I was riding the Individual Test but it wasn't on my horse," Wycoff explained. "I needed to stay there and ride every movement. Thank God I stayed there, I stayed there. I didn't care what the result was. This was just icing on the cake. I accomplished my goal when I walked out of the arena."
The Bronze medal went to Laurence Blais Tetreault of Canada/Quebec (17, Montreal, Quebec, Canada) and Michealango after they scored 70.625%. She rode to catchy music that she inherited from her sister, Mathilde. Like Wycoff, Blais Tetreault wasn't thrilled with her rides earlier in the week but that was not the case with her Freestyle ride.
"I am extremely happy with how today went," Blais Tetreault stated. "We had a rough start. My horse was nervous in Team Test and Individual. To finish with this nice ride, I'm very happy. He did everything I asked.
For full results or to learn more about the Adequan/FEI North American Junior & Young Rider Championships presented by Gotham North, please visit http://www.youngriders.org/.
USEF Network presented by SmartPak will live stream the entirety of Friday, Saturday, and Sunday's events from the Rolex Stadium during NAJYRC. Visit
https://www.usef.org/network to find out more and watch!