Sadie Lahey from Eagle, Idaho (Region 6) held the lead she established in the Junior Young Rider Team Test which determined the order of go for the Junior Individual test where 47 competitors competed in reverse order of standings. With only a 3 point difference from 10th to first place, there was a dramatic difference in the final results as even the smallest of mistakes made a difference in the standings. Riding her 10-year-old KWPN gelding Up To Date (by Niijinski) Lahey kept her cool in the heat of the day, admitting that her horse actually did better in the heat."I'm from Idaho, so we are used to 100 degree days, and my horse is from Holland so used to the humidity!"
The last to go but the first to pocket the Gold Lahey topped her team test result of 67.595 with a score of 67.868. "Up to Date just went into the arena and was there for me, even when I was nervous." The 10-year-old Dutch Warmblood, added Lahey, is endearingly referred to as Dennis the Menace around the barn. "He has loads of personality, and he loves to show it to everyone." Lahey trains with Ernst Herrmann of Once Upon a Horse in Eagle, Idaho. They found "Uppa" in Holland in November of 2009, through Chris Taylor and Jan Brouwer. "I would like to thank my trainer, my familiy, my friends, and the amazing women (and men) I've grown up riding with who have been my role models and have supported me through everything! Basically, I would like to thank everyone who has supported me and has helped me to get where I am today. It would not be possible without them!
Canada's Sarah Loewen (Canada-Manitoba) from Winnipeg, MB aboard her 13-year-old KWPN gelding Ricardo (by Gracio) had a dicey day in the Team Test where there was a large point difference from one judge dropping her to 5th place, although three of the 5 judges had her in first. Redemption was at hand in the Individual test where she earned a 67.079 score. "This is my second year at North American," she said, "We did even better than last year, so I am really pleased with his performance." Loewen spent most of the winter months in Florida with the Junior Young Riders as her goal training with Chris Von Martels who coached Region 8 Julia Burt to Team Gold Medal victory. "I would like to thank Ogilvy, Equestrian Factory Outlet and other generous sponsors of the Canadian dressage team. I would also like to thank Equine Canada and Dressage Canada for giving me this opportunity as well as Adequan Platinum Performance. Lastly, I would like to thank my coach Chris Von Martels, my friends and family (especially my parents) for all the support they have given me on my quest to the 2011 NAJYRC."
The Bronze went to fellow Canadian Monica Houweling and Stentano a 12-year-old Dutch Warmblood by Houston. Houweling was on the west coast in California for the winter with her trainer and high performance competitor Karen Pavecic. "Here in Kentucky I have been coached by Leslie Reid as she is our team coach for BC!" Houweling to DressageDaily. "I owe huge thanks first to my family for giving this opportunity to make it to NAJYRC and endlessly supporting me and then to my coach Karen Pavicic for her outstanding training and support and to Leslie Reid for her commitment to the BC young riders and amazing support, training, and encouragement in preparation to and during NAJYRC." Houweling added more thanks to all who made this trip possible for her and her fellow teammates. "I would like to thank everyone back at home including the vets, farriers, and support crew who have given me the inspiration and encouragement and for all believing in me and of course to all our amazing Canadian sponsors this year - Bates Tack Shop, Ogilvy, Equestrian Factory Outlet, SSG gloves, IRH, the Dodd/Palmer family, North trek, and Equi-products! And thanks to all the sponsors for making NAJYRC possible!"
Head of the ground Jury Andrew Gardner who just recently received his 5* status as an O judge commented on the higher standard of dressage in North America. "But what I am most impressed with is the love of their horses, the respect for their horses and the management of their well being which is a lot to be admired."