July 18, 2013 -- The first day of competition at the 2013 Adequan/FEI North American Junior & Young Rider Championships presented by Gotham North (NAJYRC) featured the top up-and-coming talent in the sport of dressage. Team medals were presented in the Junior and Young Rider divisions in the USDF/Platinum Performance North American Junior and Young Riders' Dressage Championship. Region 7 triumphed in the Young Rider division for the Gold medal, while Region 6 won the Silver and Region 5 received Bronze medals. The team from Canada/Quebec took home the Junior Gold Medal for the second year in a row. Region 7 won the Silver medal, while the Bronze medal went to Region 3.
The Region 7 Gold medal winning Young Rider team consisted of:
Ariel Thomas (18, Briones, Calif.) and Montfleury - 67.184%
Jaclyn Pepper (20, Santa Rosa, Calif.) and Taboo - 68.132%
Jamie Pestana (20, Livermore, Calif.) and Winzalot - 71.105%
Teresa Adams (16, Woodland, Calif.) and WeeJee - 64.237%
They had a team total of 206.421 for victory. Region 7 won the Silver medal last year, so the team was happy to improve on that performance in 2013. The riders attributed part of their victory to great teamwork and the advantages of their region.
Pepper noted, "We're all here to support each other and we have a really great team this year. We're all rooting for each other to do our best, even in the individual competitions. Our Chef, Jan Ebeling, has been awesome this year. He's been so supportive and let us go down to his barn before we came here and get some training in. There are a lot of great opportunities in our region in general. We have some really great shows and getting the CDI experience before we get here is a really big advantage. Some regions don't necessarily have that advantage."
Pestana, who was the 2010 Junior Individual and Freestyle Gold medalist and a two-time Team Silver medalist, added, "it's great when you're out there and your team is cheering for you and you know that you're not just there for yourself, but for your teammates and your region."
Adams, who is at her second NAJYRC, said that she was excited to see her other teammates do so well. "It's so different than any other show," she said. "It makes us all just ride that much better to help our team members because this represents everyone here. We want to give each other a good name, make our horses look good, and have fun together."
Thomas noted that California has helped produce great riders that consistently do well at NAJYRC. "California is really nice because we have so many shows and CDIs, so it really helps us get the feel of what it's going to be like before we come here," she said.
The Silver medal went to Region 6 with a total of 198.841:
Ayden Uhlir (18, Kirkland, Wa.) and Sjapoer - 69.184%
Molly Eastridge (20, Longview, Wa.) and Donnerspiel - 66.368%
Sadie Lahey (19, Eagle, Idaho) and Up to Date P - 63.289%
Region 5 won the Bronze medal with a total of 198.158:
Amelia Child (21, Provo, Utah) and Veto - 65.553%
Devon Wycoff (20, Boulder, Colo.) and Power Play - 68.605%
Talia Hershaft (20, Boulder, Colo.) and Westfalica - 64.000%
Canada/Quebec Takes another Gold in Dressage
The Canada/Quebec team won on a total of 201.864, taking home the Gold medal for the second year in a row.
The Junior team from Canada/Quebec consisted of:
Naima Moreira Laliberte (16, Outremont, QC, CAN) and Windbreaker 3 - 67.054%
Laurence Blais Tetreault (16, Montreal, QC) and Lowelas - 68.378%
Felixe Cote Villeneuve (17, St. Lambert, QC, CAN) and Pissaro - 62.865%
Betrice Boucher (15, St-Dominique, QC, CAN) and Dante - 66.432%
Along with Laliberte, Tetreault was on last year's winning team, but she is on a different horse this year in Lowelas. "I was really happy with my horse. He was really tired because of the heat, but he was a really good boy," she said.
Tetreault spoke for the team when she expressed, "We're really, really lucky to be able to win two years in a row. We're really blessed. I think we just trained really hard. Naima and I are from the same stable, so we train and work together. Working together I think really helped us."
For Villeneuve and Boucher, it was their first time at NAJYRC. Villeneuve mentioned, "I've never done a CDI, so it was kind of a big step for me. But to win with the girls is very, very, very nice."
Region 7 came home with the Silver medal today in a very close Junior Team competition with a score of 201.460:
Olivia Zeilinger (15, Danville, Calif.) and Stentano - 68.811%
Gabriela Glumac (17, San Ramon, Calif.) and Zodessa - 63.838%
Rison Naness (16, Burbank, Calif.) and Venezia - 66.730%
Lindsey Brewin (16, San Ramon, Callif.) and Vaillant - 65.919%
The Bronze medal went to Region 3 with a total score of 196.865. The team members were:
Lindsey Holleger (17, Whigham, Ga.) and Friedensfurst - 67.757%
Mallory Kent (16, Birmingham, Ala.) and Okidokie - 66.027%
Rachel Robinson (17, Orlando, Fla.) and Ucarius - 63.081%
Jamie Doolittle (18, Reddick, Fla.) and Wild Tiger - 57.703%
All of the riders thanked Adequan, Gotham North, Platinum Performance, and the USDF, the horse show organizers and volunteers, as well as their owners, sponsors, parents, trainers, and regional sponsors.
Dressage will continue their competition on Friday, July 19, at 11:30 am with tests for Individual medals, which will be awarded following the class.
Jumping Goes for Speed in Opening Round
The USHJA North American Junior and Young Riders' Show Jumping Championship began today with the opening round of competition, a speed class, for Juniors and Young Riders. The course was designed by Steve Stephens of Palmetto, Fla.. Today's class counts toward the individual standings.
In the Junior competition, there was an interesting twist of results, with a tie for first place when Eugenio Garza (MEX) on Bariano and Dana Scott (Zone 1) with Whatever RV both finished on the exact time of 76.21 seconds. Third place went to Kaley Tomeu (Zone 4) and Belle Blue 2 in 76.24 seconds. Juan Pablo Gaspar Albanez (MEX) and Puertas Catena finished fourth in 78.41 seconds.
In the Young Rider class, Lillie Keenan (Zone 2) and Londinium put in a blazing fast round in 68.54 seconds for victory. Second place went to Shawn Casady (Zone 4) on Twister, who finished in 75.29 seconds. Charlotte Jacobs, also of Zone 2, rode to third place in 75.70 seconds.
Reining Hosts Welcome Class
After the official horse inspection cleared all but one horse for competition, the 'Welcome Competition' offered a glimpse into the Junior and Young Rider future of the sport of Reining in North America.
Taking the lead in the Welcome Competition was Team Canada with victories in both the Young Rider and Junior competitions. Flexing north-of-the-border muscle in the truly North American sport of Reining, Canadians Emily Wilson and Madison Steed made their nation proud with a strong showing in the kick-off of the 2013 SmartPak North American Junior and Young Riders' Reining Championship.
Scoring a 205.5 aboard Miss Cielo Chex (2002 AQHA Mare), Emily Wilson dominated the Junior division competition by more than two and a half points. Far outscoring her competitors, Wilson now sets her sights on tomorrow's SmartPak Team Championship and a legacy of Wilson family success in this very competition.
Emily Wilson is the third in a successful trio of Wilsons to compete for Canada at these North American Championships, including Gold medalist Darcy Wilson, a cousin of Emily, as well as Lane Wilson, who was equally successful. All riding the talented American Quarter Horse mare Miss Cielo Chex, the Wilsons and the mare have competed in every single North American Junior & Young Rider Championships since the sport's inclusion to notable success.
Turning to the Young Rider division, the Great White North continues its success in Madison Steed and Jumpin Jac Trash (2007 AQHA Gelding), with an astonishing five-point lead over the competition with her 214 score. By far the highest score of the day, Steed gives us a glimpse of what is possible when horse and rider give their full effort in the championship rounds, starting tomorrow in the Alltech Arena at the renowned Kentucky Horse Park.
Tomorrow's competition will include the dressage phase for the CCI1* in Eventing at 7:30 am in the Stonelea Ring, while the Jumping continues with their Team finals, where medals will be awarded. The Team championship in Reining will start at 10:30 am in the Alltech Arena.
For full results or to learn more about the Adequan/FEI North American Junior & Young Rider Championships presented by Gotham North, please visit www.youngriders.org.
USEF Network presented by SmartPak will live stream the entirety of Saturday's events from the Rolex Stadium during NAJYRC as well as the Individual Reining from the Alltech Arena. Visit www.usefnetwork.com to find out more and watch!
NAJYRC showcases the best young rider and junior horse/rider combinations in dressage, eventing, jumping, reining, and endurance. Young equestrians from across the continent will descend on the Kentucky Horse Park to vie for FEI medals at these Championships.
For sponsorship information visit www.youngriders.org/Sponsors.aspx.