Parker, CO - The Adequan®/FEI North American Junior & Young Rider Championships presented by Gotham North (NAJYRC) concluded today, Sunday, July 31, at The Colorado Horse Park (CHP), bringing a close to competition, which featured three disciplines throughout the week including show jumping, eventing, and dressage.
Jenna Upchurch (18, Chesterfield, MO) and Greystoke, representing Region 4, continued to build on their success of the week, finishing the final day of dressage competition with another gold medal podium appearance for their ride in the USDF North American Junior & Young Rider Dressage Championships Junior Rider Freestyle.
The duo received a score of 71.350% for the win. Vanessa Creech-Terauds (16, Caistor Centre, ON) piloted Fleur de Lis L to a silver medal, earning a score of 70.500%, while Jackson Gillespie (17, Denver, CO) and Westpoint CB, riding for Region 5, secured the bronze medal with a score of 69.500%.
Upchurch and Greystoke have impressed in each of their classes, attesting to the talent of both the horse and rider combination, as well as the growing potential for the duo moving forward in their career together. Upchurch and Greystoke have only been partnered since December 2015 and have already made great strides in their communication in the ring.
"I feel like we've improved on our connection a lot with the flow of the test and going from movement to movement, as well as how relaxed and collected he could be throughout the test," detailed Upchurch. "For our music, it's a compilation of Coldplay music including Viva La Vida and an assortment of scores from the Fast and Furious movies, which I love. I edited and cut the music myself with my trainer."
While Upchurch competed at NAJYRC in 2015, she did not qualify to move forward to the freestyle, so the experience and thrill of the atmosphere this year is something she will always remember.
"Last year when I came I didn't make the freestyle. Being able to ride it this year was just fantastic. I have music that I made, and the choreography that we created between myself and my trainer and getting this result is just fantastic," she said. "He's a fabulous horse and to be able to say that he's mine is incredible. He's an amazing animal. I have to thank so many people for the opportunity to work with him and have him. I'm really happy to be able to make my trainer Martin Kuhn proud."
Silver medalists Vanessa Creech-Terauds and Fleur de Lis L have also stood side by side with Upchurch and Greystoke in nearly every class this week. Creech-Terauds noted that NAJYRC is her favorite week of the year and also commented on the continued improvements of the young Hanoverian mare throughout the duration of the competition.
"Fleur was very good in all three classes and all three tests. She stayed very focused today, and was energetic with the music going. She kept with me very well and I was proud of her for that," said Creech-Terauds. "She was great all three days. This is a gorgeous facility and I have to thank the sponsors for making this show possible."
Creech-Terauds touched on the fun and lively music selection for her freestyle aboard Fleur du Lis L. She noted, "The trot music is from Madagascar 2 and the canter is Kung Fu Panda. We had a lot of fun making the music and in the juniors it's all about having fun and getting experience in the ring. I find that's exactly what our music reflects."
Gillespie returns to NAJYRC this year as a rider, as the Denver native narrowly missed selection to last year's team and traveled to Lexington, KY, as a groom for Region 5. He explained, "This year getting to make the team was such an amazing experience, especially because there is nothing else like this competition for the youth community in our sport."
When describing his test and the inspiration behind his music and choreography, he spoke of other freestyles that had incorporated the scores of another famous movie franchise, James Bond. Triple gold medalist at NAYJRC, Nicholas Hansen, also rode to a popular movie franchise score in Star Wars.
"My trot work music is my favorite part of the choreography because it's to James Bond music. He has an incredible extended trot so when it slips into the larger band section it really goes well with his movement," explained Gillespie when discussing his musical choice. "I've seen freestyles put together with the James Bond music and wanted to include it in my music."
Competition at the 2016 Adequan®/FEI North American Junior & Young Rider Championships presented by Gotham North concluded at The Colorado Horse Park. For more information on NAJYRC and The Colorado Horse Park please visit www.youngriders.org or visit www.coloradohorsepark.com.