Lexington, KY - The 2011 Adequan/FEI North American Junior & Young Rider Championships presented by Gotham North continued today at the Kentucky Horse Park with Junior competitors completing the dressage phase of the USEA North America Junior Eventing Championship. Topping the leader board of the CCI* event is Florence Miller of Area VII who ended her dressage test with only 47.3 penalty points aboard her horse, Tuscan Sun.
Area V representative Alyssa Philips and Sundance Bay are a little more than four points behind Miller while Sable Giesler and Evil Munchkin of Team Ontario are sitting comfortably in third. "My horse is doing pretty nicely in dressage right now," said the Montana-based Miller of her 8-year-old Thoroughbred. "It's one of his stronger phases, and he had a really nice test today." For Philips, the score may have represented a personal best. "Sundance had a really nice test today, Generally he's good all around, in each phase, but today he was very good. I think this is one of the best tests that we've had at the one-star level."
The cross-country phase kicks off at 8:00 a.m. on Saturday, and the top Juniors have already walked course. "I think it's really fair," said Giesler. "It has a few tricky questions, like the corners, but it should ride well."
If only it would rain. "That would help us out a lot," said Miller. "It would cool things down. And we've competed a lot in the Northwest so we're really used to the rain." Giesler agreed. "The course is really nice, but it's a bit hard," she said. "The rain would soften up the footing, and the horses would come out sounder the next day."
Also today, the first-ever group of NAJYRC endurance riders took to their 75-mile race of stamina at the crack of dawn. This year, there is not only a CEI4*, but a non-championships CEI2* that will run concurrently. Competitors will take part in the "Best Conditioned Horse" judging tomorrow and results will be announced at that time.
The 2011 Adequan/FEI North American Junior & Young Rider Championships presented by Gotham North will continue Saturday with eventers going cross-country, the Freestyle Dressage competitions in the Rolex Stadium, and Individual Reining finals in the Alltech Arena.
For more information, visit http://www.youngriders.org.
For photos, videos and more, visit USEFNetwork.com's NAJYRC page at: http://www.usefnetwork.com/featured/NAJYRC2011
Photo: Area VII's Florence Miller sits atop the CCI*. Photo: Diana De Rosa.