Young equestrians from all across North America will get a taste of what it’s like to compete in the Olympic Games when they compete in the North American Young Riders’ Championships (NAYRC) at the Virginia Horse Center in Lexington, VA, July 26-31, 2005.
This will mark the first appearance in the mid-Atlantic region for the NAYRC, the premier equestrian competition in North America for Young Riders, age 16-21. Young equestrians come from the United States, Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and the Caribbean Islands to vie for team and individual Championships in the three Olympic equestrian disciplines of show jumping, dressage, and eventing. The NAYRC is an official USA Junior Olympic-Equestrian event.
“We are excited and proud to host this year’s Young Riders’ Championships in Lexington at the Virginia Horse Center,” said Event Director, Penny Ross. “The Young Riders’ Championships has become such a special event over the years and we look forward to continuing the tradition built up by Howard Simpson and Tempel Farms as well as the Championships’ other previous hosts. We intend to do our best to further the success of this already wonderful event.”
For many competitors, the NAYRC is their first experience riding on a team, as well as their first time competing under the rules of the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI), the international governing body for equestrian sport. At the North American Young Riders’ Championships, approximately 200 riders will compete in one of three distinct equestrian disciplines.
Tuesday, July 26 is the official start of this year’s Young Riders Championships with veterinary inspections of all horses and opening day briefings. For all three disciplines, the actual mounted competitions begin on Wednesday, July 27. Show jumpers will compete in warm-up rounds, eventers will begin their dressage phase and dressage riders will begin their team championship.
Competition in the Show Jumping Division continues on Thursday with qualifying rounds that lead up to Friday’s Nations’ Cup-style competition that determines the team medals. Saturday, July 30 hosts individual qualifying rounds and Sunday brings the completion of Show Jumping Division with competitors riding for individual medals in the championship rounds.
Dressage finishes the team championship rides on Thursday and then moves on to the individual aspects of competition. On Friday, individual tests will be ridden followed by the consolation ride on Saturday. Those qualifying to advance to the musical freestyle will do these rides on Sunday. These are rides choreographed to music within the general guidelines of required movements and a 5-minute time limit. The results of the freestyle determine the individual medals.
The eventing competition includes dressage tests on Thursday and Friday, followed by endurance and cross country on Saturday. All eventing competitors then ride in the final show jumping phase on Sunday when both team and individual medals are awarded.
The Championships’ eventing competition will be a CCI**, open to riders age 16-21, that will be run under the Olympic format. A CH-J* Championship for junior riders, age 14-18, will also be run under the Olympic format. In addition, there will be a CCI* J/Y for riders age 14-21, run under the traditional format with all four phases on endurance day.
The NAYRC began in 1974 as an eventing challenge between the United States and Canada. A Dressage Championship was added in 1981, and Show Jumping debuted in 1982. The first complete NAYRC was held in British Columbia, Canada in 1982.
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