FEI North American Junior and Young Rider Champioinships 2010

US Riders Haul In The Gold

The 2010 FEI North American Junior & Young Rider Championships came to a close on Sunday August 1st at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, USA - home of the forthcoming Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games

Top American, Canadian and Mexican riders between the ages of 14 and 21 showcased their talents in Jumping, Dressage, Eventing and Reining but it was the host nation that dominated affairs when taking nine gold medals.

US riders swept the boards in both the Individual and Team Young Rider Jumping Championships.  Ali Wolff and H & M Necoll made an amazing comeback after pulling two rails during the First Individual Qualifier to claim Young Rider Gold. They began their rise to the top by completing two clear efforts in the Team Competition. The pair then moved into the first place position during the last round of the Finals and held their lead with another clear to finish on a total of 9.93 faults. Catherine Pasmore and My Boy took the Silver Medal with 10.65 faults and Jessica Springsteen and Vornado Van Den Hoendrik took home the Bronze after accruing 13.44 faults.

The US teams were divided into zones, and Zone 10 took home Young Riders Team Gold with a 16-fault total after two rounds. The squad included Richard Neal with Cavalier Tommi Tank, Taylor Siebel aboard Thunder-Ball, Saer Coulter riding Chalan, and Lucy Davis showing Nemo 119. The silver and bronze medal winners were determined by a jump-off between Zone 5 and Zone 2 when both accumulated 32-faults.

Silver went to Zone 5, with just 10 faults in the jump-off.  The team included Ali Wolff with H & M Necoll, Kirstie Dobbs aboard Kolette, Theo Genn riding Paradox, and Taylor McMurty showing Just An Illusion.  Zone 2's Jessica Springsteen with Vornado Van Den Hoendrik, Karen Polle aboard Cachette Z, Katie Dinan riding Couletto K James, and Reed Kessler showing Mika took bronze with 12 faults in the final round.

The Canadians dominated the Junior Jumping Championships however when taking Team and Individual Gold here.  Ben Asselin from Calgary produced a stunning victory to take the Individual title.  With his talented mount Lolita he led the competition from start to finish and completed five fault-free rounds throughout the week-long event. The Silver Medal was presented to the USA's Meg O’Mara and Sinatra IV who collected only four faults, while Bronze went to fellow-American Jocelyn Neff and Gaja 20 who finished on a total score of eight.

Asselin's great result helped the Alberta squad that also included Alexandria Smith (Calira), Bretton Chad (Calle 11) and Jasmine Wiggins (Little Milton) into team gold medal position while the USA took silver and bronze.  Zone 10's Audrey Coulter (Roden Burghs California), Lindsay Douglas (Pernot), Jocelyn Neff (Gadja 20) and Kendall Skreden (Esperanto) made up the Silver side while Hayley Barnhill (Toucan Tango), Michael Hughes (Pracht), Frances Land (Merlin) and Paige Coles (Pacific Touch) from Zone 4 took bronze.

Dressage began with the team events for both Young Riders and Juniors.  Young Riders Team Gold went to the Region 5/6 line-up that included Jhesika Wells on Intrepid, Laura DeCesari on Cheenook II, Brandi Roenick on Nobel, and Madeline Birch on Starlight and who finished with a score of 199.842. The Ontario Team followed close behind with a score of 198.421 and included Morgan Lane and Caravella, Jaimie Holland and Fleurina, Laura O’Sullivan and Pik Czar, and Amy Jager with Key West. The Bronze Medal went to Region 4/8 when Hans Baertsch and Rubinstar GB, Tessa Dick and Lord Chalk Hill, Mary Bahniuck Lauristen and Rossignol-ISF, and Meagan Davis and Bentley registered a total score of 196.421.

The British Columbian Team were Junior Team champions with a joint score of 201.297 from Esmee Ingham on Norseman, Monica Houweling on Stentado, and Sylvie Fraser on World Star LHF.  Silver went to Megan Adams and N.A.S.H, Stephanie Early and Panash, Jamie Pestana and Winzalot, and Genay Vaughn and Warnja from Region 7 while Stephanie Bedford and Wahlen, Rebecca Cohen and Downtown, Alexandra Kitchen and Ronaldo, and Clare Krska and Romincka from Region 3/4 were awarded bronze.

The Young Rider Individual tests were held during the second day of competition. The harmonious bond between Jhesika Wells and Intrepid led them to Gold with a score of 70.000%.  Megan Lane proved to be a strong opponent for Wells when, riding Caravella, she earned a mark of 68.947% to claim Silver while Bronze went to Jaimie Holland on Fleurina with 68.211%.

During the Junior Riders Individual test, Winzalot lived up to his name when earning 71.105% to scoop Gold for Jamie Prestana.  Catherine Chamberlain and Verdicci were close behind with 70.368% in Silver Medal position while Stephanie Bedford and Wahlen earned 67.632% and Bronze.

The final competition for Dressage was the Individual Freestyle, and Winzalot earned a second Gold for Jamie Prestana in the Junior Rider section ahead of Catherine Chamberlain and Verdicci in Silver and Esmee Ingham and Norseman in bronze.

The Individual Young Rider Freestyle Gold Medal went to Jaimie Holland and Fleurina who scored 72.700%. Jhesika Wells and Intrepid finished with a 70.550% for Silver while Megan Lane and Caravella took home Bronze with a mark of 70.350%.

The CH-Y** and CH-J* Eventing Championships came to a close on Sunday with almost a clean sweep for US riders.  Kelly Pugh and Copycat Chloe captured the CH-Y** individual Gold Medal when adding just four cross-country time penalties to her dressage mark of 51.9 and then jumping clear in the final phase to finish with just 55.9 penalties. Missy Miller and TSF Amazing Grace were close behind in Silver medal position on a final score of 58.7 while Danielle Dichting's 62-fault total with Tops snatched Bronze.

Kelly Loria and Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds were highly impressive when leading the CH-J* competition from start to finish, earning just 40 penalties in the dressage ring and adding nothing more to clinch the Gold Medal. Silver went to Claire Kelley and Clifton Peekachu with 50.5 penalties and Lizzie Snow took Bronze with 54.6 from Pop Star.

In the CH-Y** Team Eventing, Area 3 took home the Gold.  Individual Silver Medalist Missy Miller (TSF Amazing Grace),  Emily Renfoe (Walk the Line), Danielle Dichting (Tops), and Devon Brown (Dynamic Image) completed on a total of 217.8 to take the win.   Area 6 and 7 finished in Silver medal position guided by Individual Gold Medalist Kelly Pugh (Copycat Chloe), Tessa Beckett (Sound Prospect), and Natalia Gurmankin (Tequesteris).  Area 5 and 9 rounded out the placing for the Bronze Medal with Jacob Fletcher (Falcon Splash), Brittany Lunney (Cool Dancer), Anisa Tracy (Tigger VIII), and Karen Shull (Fernhill Figaro).

For the CH-J* the Gold Medal went to Area 6,7,8, led by individual champion Kelly Loria and Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds.  Her team mates included Individual Bronze Medalist Lizzie Snow with Pop Star, Noelle Varga riding BC Great Scot, and Madison Reeb aboard Raquel and they completed with a total score of 190.9.  Area 4 took Silver with 194.4 points accumulated by Individual Silver Medal winner Claire Kelley and Clifton Peekachu, J. Taylor Humphrey and Super Nova, Autumn Schweiss and The Real Deal, and Michelle Mercier and Sir Malcolm.  Pulling one back for the Canadians however was the combined side from British Columbia and Quebec which secured a total of 199.3.  This medal-winning team consisted of Nayla Charbonneau (Princeton Pride), Sophie Laframboise (Way Cool), and Kaherine Martineau (H.M. As Spirits Go).

Canada made a clean sweep of the Young Rider Individual Medals in Reining.  Nancy Pratch rode Rooster Kicker to a score 215 for Gold, while 2000 Gold Medallist Darcy Wilson rode Miss Cielo Chex into the Silver medal position with 213.5 and Vanessa Strotman followed very close behind aboard Listos May Day Hobby for Bronze with 212.5.

In the Team competition, the side from Alberta, led by Nancy Pratch and Rooster Kicker and including Kaylynn Malmberg and Pickin Around, Sage Sapergia and Shiners Q Chex, and Chloe Beveridge and Tucker Genuine Jewel took Gold.  Silver went to the USA-East team of Amanda Holtz and Summer Aristocrat, Caroline Blackshear and Kidsgotitall, and Erin Duddy and Too Busy Cashin Chex. The USA-West team of Thea Arnold and PKM Imjusttwosmart, Alexandra Woolery and Little Devil Whiz, and Breanne Bertrand and Stoned Chick slotted into Bronze medal position.  The final scores here were Alberta 629.5 (Gold), USA-East 626.5 (Silver) and USA-West 622.0 (Bronze).

Ben Asselin – Junior Show Jumping Individual and Team Gold: “Lola is quite a hot mare, she’s got a lot of blood, which is a really big help jumping that many rounds. It’s really tough on the horses having to jump two rounds in the Nations Cup, two rounds again today. I think all the blood that mare has really helped, she just has the biggest heart.”

Kelly Pugh – CH-Y** Individual Gold Medalist and Team Silver Medalist - “This is the next step for us, towards our goals, both mine and my horse. The whole weekend was amazing, dressage finally came together, cross country couldn’t have been better.”

Jaimie Holland – Dressage Young Riders Freestyle Gold Medalist - “You can never take winning for granted, you always aim for improvement. I have never ridden under the lights before and it was a wonderful experience. It pumped my horse and I up and I was amazed by her response; it was unbelievable.”

Nancy Pratch – Individual Reining Gold Medalist – “The running pattern helped me win today. My horse thrives on a running pattern because he can stop on a dime and really gets his bum into the ground.”

For complete results or more information about the 2010 FEI American Junior & Young Rider Championships visit www.youngriders.org/Results.aspx.

Photo Caption:  The Area 3 Young Rider Eventing team of Missy Miller, Emily Renfoe, Danielle Dichting and Devon Brown celebrate their gold medal winning performance at the 2010 FEI North American Junior and Young Rider Championship in Lexington last weekend.  Photo: Anthony Trollope.