It was down to the wire, up to the last rider to go, competing for the individual medals at the 2000 North American Young Riders' Championships, held August 2-6, 2000. As the last scores were posted, there was a squeal of delight and tears of joy as Joanne Chmiel from Northbrook, Ill, learned she had won the Individual Bronze Medal, for Dressage.
As a USDF Region Two Team veteran, Chmiel was a silver medal team member in both 1998 and 1999, in spite of a tough break both times. In 1998 Chmiel's then new horse Dominion, a Hanoverian gelding by Domingo, was lame and she ended up riding Rushonne, former Young Rider, Alicia Salazar's mount. She managed to contribute to her team's victory in spite of the fact that she had barely ridden the horse before the actual competition. Then in 1999, riding Dominion, she withdrew after her team test, once again due to Dominion suffering a minor but untimely injury.
The third time was a charm, on Sunday, August 6, as Chmiel rode a creative and expressive Freestyle to Polish Folk music, from the land of her family's heritage. Placing second in the class with a 68.328, Chmiel ended up third over all, to collect her Individual Bronze Medal, on the podium during the closing ceremonies at High Prairie Farm, in Parker, Colorado.
Horsesdaily¨ Coverage of the 2000 NAYRC
Euro-Dressage - 2000 NAYRC Reports
High Prairie Farm Website
Results at the Official Young Riders Website