The exciting conclusion of eventing's Individual and Team Championships marked the close of competition at the Adequan FEI North American Junior Young Rider Championships, presented by Gotham North, in Lexington Kentucky. This year's event, ran from July 17 - 21, and welcomed 222 young athletes from across Canada, the United States and Mexico who competed for FEI team and individual medals in the disciplines of dressage, eventing, endurance, jumping and reining.
Canada qualified 50 talented riders, representing Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec and Saskatchewan, who, over the course of the past five days, have proven themselves to be the next generation of world-class athletes.
"Our Junior and Young Riders have delivered outstanding performances while facing a level of competition they can only experience at NAJYRC," shared Equine Canada CEO, Jean-Christophe Gandubert. This would not be possible without the support they receive from their parents, the training and guidance from their coaches and the many volunteers that spare no effort to make this a once in a lifetime experience. We acknowledge their relentless work and thank them for their dedication."
It was the talent and teamwork of these athletes that will see 13 medals make their way to Canada; four gold, six silver and three bronze. The following is a brief summary:
* Silver - Team - Team Canada (Emma Webb (ON)/ Jessica Yavis (AB)/Jaylene Janzen(AB)
* Silver - Individual - Emma Webb (ON) & Vagas
* Bronze - Junior Individual - April Simmonds (ON) & Impressively Done
* Gold - Junior Freestyle - Laurence Blais Tetreault (QC) & Lowelas
* Gold - Junior Team - Team Quebec (Blais Tetreault/Moreira Laliberte/Boucher/Cote Villeneuve)
* Silver - Junior Freestyle - Naima Moreira Laliberte (QC) & Windbreaker 3
* Silver - Junior Individual - Naima Moreira Laliberte (QC) & Windbreaker 3
* Bronze - Young Rider Freestyle - Tanya Strasser Shostak (QC) & Action Tyme
* Gold - Young Rider Team - Team Canada (Aebly(AB)/M. Steed(AB)/Thomson(AB))
* Gold - Young Riders Individual - Madison Steed (AB) & Jumpin Jac Trash
* Silver - Junior Team - Team Canada (H. Steed(AB)/Wilson(ON)/Whiteside(AB)/Franc(SK))
* Silver - Junior Individual - Emily Wilson (ON) & Miss Cielo Chex
* Bronze - Junior Individual - Maxine Whiteside (AB) & Sailors Good Sackett
Full NAJYRC results can be found at: www.youngriders.org
In the coming weeks, Equine Canada will be producing a fulsome wrap-up of NAJYRC events for its next issue of Equine Canada magazine, which will be available in print and online at www.equinecanada.ca and www.facebook.com/equinecanada.
EVENTING - Canadian Eventer's Impressive Rise to the Podium
Canadian Junior eventer April Simmonds of Uxbridge, ON and Impressively Done, her 8-year-old Thoroughbred gelding sired by Eulogize, came from behind to win the bronze medal in an exciting finish in the CH-J* division Championships.
Simmonds started her rise to the podium by finishing on 53.7 for 13th during Thursday's dressage phase. Taking on only 1.2 penalties over cross country, she and Impressively Done climbed to eighth with 54.9 heading into today's show jumping finale. With a faultless ride over today's course, she and Impressively Done awaited their fate with the frontrunners still to take the ring. With all rides completed and many of the top placed riders taking rails, Simmonds leapt up the leaderboard to finish in third for the bronze, only .5 penalties short of the silver medal.
"I was so excited to receive the bronze medal," said Simmonds. It was a privilege for me to represent Ontario and Canada at the North American Junior Young Rider Championships. Team Ontario coach Jessica Phoenix was a huge help to Impressively Done and me, and was instrumental in our success. I would like to thank Jessica, Team Chef d'Equipe, Jennifer Kellock, Jacqueline Brooks, all of our sponsors and Equine Canada for helping our Canadian teams get to young riders."
"April was amazing," said Team Ontario coach, Phoenix. "She was so good on her lines in her warm up and was confident going down into that ring. She had a lot of her team-mates ringside cheering her on, and I think that meant a lot to her.
I couldn't be prouder of how every single rider handled themselves today. Some of horses were entering that big Rolex ring for the first time, and it definitely impressed them. I think we came away from this experience growing as a team and ready to come back next year and win even more medals."
Equally as impressive was Rae Becke of Luskville, QC and Tyne Be Merry, her 12-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding by Maltstriker. The pair jumped their way up the scoreboard from 21st to eighth after foot perfect cross country and show jumping phases, finishing on their dressage score of 57.5. Moira de Ste Croix Laframboise of Kars, ON, and Blue Ben, her 11-year-old Westphalian gelding by Gambit Z, took on eight faults in the final phase finishing in 13th on 60.2.
Canada's Team Ontario finished in fifth place overall with a final total score of 224.4. Area III USA took gold finishing in first place on 165.7, silver went to Area VII & VIII USA, on 175.7, with Area II USA, taking bronze with 195.2.
In the CH-Y** show jumping finale Young Rider, Dasha Ivandaeva of Tottenham, ON and Autorytet, her 11-year-old Thoroughbred cross gelding sired by Banita, finished eighth overall taking down three rails for 12 faults for a final score of 108.5. Unfortunately, a refusal for Haley Armstrong of Mono, ON and Dejavu, Jan Bigelow's 11-year-old Canadian-bred American Warmblood mare sired by Dreitakt, eliminated them from the event.
"It went awesome today and I am very happy," said Dasha Ivandaeva. "It was a nice course and my horse jumped fantastic. Even with the rails I feel that this was our best ride, and today has been the best day of the championships. I love the team approach that NAJYRC offers."
"I was really proud of the entire team. They embraced the team atmosphere, and really cheered each other on," said Phoenix. "Each one of them was at every single dressage test, helped in the vet box all day when their rides were done, and ringside today cheering each other on.
That just speaks volumes about the kind of team atmosphere we had going on down here, and at the end of the day, that's really what the focus of the NAJYRC should be. Everyone was just so excited to work collectively as a team."
Top CH-J* Standings
Gold- Nicole Doolittle/Tops/Area III USA/48.1
Silver- Ann O'Neal Pevahouse/Don Bosco/Area V USA/54.4
Bronze- April Simmonds/ Impressively Done/Team Ontario/54.9
Top Three Canadian CH-J* Standings
3rd - April Simmonds/Impressively Done/54.
8th - Rae Becke/Tyne Be Merry/57.5
13th - Moira de Ste Croix Laframboise/Blue Ben/60.2
Top Three CH-J* Team Standings
1st - Area III USA/165.7
2nd - Area VII & VIII USA/ 175.7
3rd - Area II USA/195.2
5th - Team Ontario/224.4
April Simmonds/Impressively Done/54.9
Lauren Clark/Yoscha Bosche/71.7
Jamie Kellock/Don't Blink/97.8
For complete CH-J* results visit: http://bit.ly/1bsCjrg
For complete CH-J* Team results visit: http://bit.ly/13tRiMU
Top Three CH-Y** Standings
Gold - Caroline Martin/Quantum Solace/(Area III) USA/52.2
Silver - Rowdie Adams/No Money Down/(Area V) USA/ 58.9
Bronze - Jennifer Caras/Fernhill Stowaway/(Area III) USA/67.6
Top Canadian CH-Y** Standing
8th - Dasha Ivandaeva/Autorytet/108.5