USA’s Mary Cameron Rollins & Rose Noir 2 Take NAJYR Gold in Young Rider Dressage

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Mary Cameron Rollins and Rose Noir 2. Courtesy USEF
Mary Cameron Rollins and Rose Noir 2. Courtesy USEF

By ERICA LARSON/USEF News

LEXINGTON, Kentucky, July 25—USA’s Region 3 Mary Cameron Rollins and Rose Noir produced a stunning performance that earned them 70.263 per cent and the Young Rider individual gold medal at the USDF/Platinum Performance NAJYRC Dressage Championships.

After battling the rain in the team competition, competitors had to deal with the heat at the 2009 Adequan FEI North American Junior & Young Riders Championships (NAJYRC) presented by Gotham North.

Rollins and Rose Noir 2 of Region 2 (U.S. Southeast), who had received 66.474 per cent in the team contest but improved their score by nearly four points in the individual ride, finishing with 70.263 per cent. Even though the dressage riders had to share the main arena with the CCI* eventers who where completing their own dressage tests, Rose Noir 2 turned in a smooth and energetic performance.

“My horse, not unlike many others, is quite complicated,” Rollins said. “She’s a little spooky, she’s a little hot. She was really on today. I was really proud of her. Even when the crowd was clapping for the eventing side, she kept her head on and did a good job. I was really happy with my pirouettes and some of the half-pass work. I thought the extended walk was exceptional. I just had so much fun. It was a fun, easy ride.”

Rollins added that she really enjoyed the new footing in the main arena that was brought in for the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in 2010. Although this will be Rollins only trip to Young Riders, she has enjoyed the experience so far, and will complete her experience by riding her freestyle test in the final dressage competition later in the weekend.

“This experience has been incredible for me. It’s my first and last year to be here at Young Riders, and I couldn’t have imagined it any better.  I’ve had so much fun with my team, they’ve been so supportive.  We’ve decorated our golf cart, we’ve gone to dinner every night…we’ve done all kinds of things. I can’t imagine a better way to go out of Young Riders.

Taking home silver was Kristen N. Becker and the Dutch Warmblood, Ramses from USA Region 2. The pair improved their score from Wednesday to receive a 68.684 per cent. Becker was also on the team silver medal squad.

“This whole experience has been great,” she said. “This is my second year as a Young Rider, and I was a Junior three years ago. My horse has been really good the whole time. He’s been really calm, he’s super relaxed.  Nothing has phased him. He went in like a champ…it was just like we were riding at home.”

Brian Hafner of San Diego, California, could not hold on the individual lead from Wednesday and dropped to the bronze medal position with a score of 67.842 per cent. Lombardo LHF, Hafner’s mount, was bothered by the applause for an eventing rider and lost concentration, resulting in small errors throughout the test.

“This is also my first and last year doing Young Riders, and coming up with a young horse and finally being able to do Prix St. Georges this year…it’s just amazing to be at this level and be sitting here right now,” he said. “My weekend is already made here, no matter what we do with the freestyle.”