America's top youth Dressage riders had a wonderful opportunity a few weeks ago at the Florida International Dressage Youth Championships (FIDYC) to not only compete against other top Americans, but also to compete against the top riders from other nations. This year's FIDYC welcomed a record 37 talented youth from 6 countries, including the USA, Belgium, Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, and Spain. The winners included a star-studded cast: Chase Hickok (USA), who previously won individual silver and bronze medals at the 2011 North American Young Rider Championships, Amanda McAuliffe won the Under 25 Division. Winner of the Young Rider Division, Dana van Lierop (NED), is a previous 9-time Dutch Champion and 5-time European Champion.
International competitor Juan Matute, Jr. (ESP) took the Gold Medal in the Junior Division, and Amanda McAuliffe (USA) won the Pony Division. Amanda McAuliffe is an EDAP member (Dressage4Kids Emerging Dressage Athlete Program) and was a participant in WIT (Dressage4Kids Winter Intensive Training Program) this past year.
Juan Matute, Jr., who at the age of 17 competes at Junior, Young Rider, Under-25 and senior Grand Prix and competes in Europe every summer, said having the European riders here was a "great experience. Being in the same ring, we've got to step it up a notch to make sure we are at the same level."
To qualify for this year's championships, youth under the age of 25 had to apply in writing by submitting a letter of intent. Of those who submitted a letter of intent, the top 15 ranked pairs in each division were invited.
Dressage4Kids was well represented, with 6 competitors in the Championships, including Ashleigh Conroy-Zugel, Kerrigan Guch, Amanda McAuliffe, Asia Ondaatje Rupert, Sophia Schults, and Ayden Uhlir.
To view the Final Results, click here.