July 1, 2012 -- Youth reiners in three age groups competed in the USEF National Youth Reining Championships at the NRHA Derby in Oklahoma City Saturday evening. Layla Choate, Elizabeth Cosper, and Karl Johnson left the Adequan Arena with titles.
In the 19-21 age division there was no lack of drama. When competition ended with Layla Choate (Hazel, Ky.) and Plus One Chex and Michael Pope (Theodore, Ala.) and Whizota locked in a tie at the top with scores of 146, the two decided to run off for the National Championship. In the end it was Choate with a run off score of 144 that squeaked out the win. Pope and Whizota gave it there all but finished with 143. Laura Sumrall (Summit, Miss.) finished third on Einsteins Fancy Pine.
Elizabeth Cosper (Wilmington, N.C.) and Magnums Pretty Lady bested a field of ten to take the 14-18 age division National Championship. It was a close competition in which the top three riders were separated by only half a point. Cosper's 139.5 was good enough for a win over Hailey Munger (Atlanta, Ga.) and Surely A Smartpepto who took second via tiebreaker over Javier Melo (Pinecrest , Fla.) and Wimpy Little Girl. Munger and Melo both finished half a point off the championship score with 139s. Scores of two judges, one representing NRHA and one representing USEF, were combined to determine final scores. The score given by USEF judge Greg Darnall was used as a tiebreaker. Darnall scored Melo at 69 and Munger just a bit higher at 69.5.
In the 13 & Under age division Karl Johnson (Northborough, Mass.) and Roses for Wrangler were impressive scoring a 142 on their way to the National Championship. Stephen Timberlake (Oakland, Tenn.) scored 139.5 on Whiz Bang Boom and took second. Caroline Gute (Dublin, Ohio) and Travel Whiz Me were third.
The USEF National Youth Reining Championship also served as a selection trial for the Adequan/FEI North American Junior & Young Rider Championships presented by Gotham North. Karl Johnson was the top Junior qualifier while Laura Sumrall was the top Young Rider to qualify.
See full results from the NRHA Derby at www.nrhaderby.com.
To learn more about the Adequan/FEI North American Junior & Young Rider Championships presented by Gotham North visit www.youngriders.org.