North American Junior & Young Rider Team Medals Decided
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Story by CYNTHIA GRISOLIA
Photos by SUSANJSTICKLE.COM
LEXINGTON, Kentucky, July 28–British Columbia, Canada won the Junior team gold medal while the Young Rider gold went to a team combing riders from U.S. regions 5 and 6, western states excluding California and Nevada, on the first day of the Adequan FEI North American Junior & Young Rider Championships presented by Gotham North Wednesday.
The Canada/BC team of Esmee Ingham, 17, aboard Norseman; Sylvie Fraser, 17, and World Star LHF, and Monica Houweling, 17, on Stentano earned a combined score of 201.297 to capture the junior gold Gold medal in the Platinum Performance/USDF Dressage Championship Team Test in the Main Stadium at the Kentucky Horse Park.
The silver medal went to the U.S. Region 7 (California/Nevada) of Meg Adams on N.A.S.H.; Stephanie Early on Panash and Jaimie Pestana on Winzalot while bronze went to combined U.S. Regions 3/4 (Southeast and Midwest) of Clare Krska on Romincka; Alexandra Kitchen on Ronaldo; Rebecca Cohen and Downtown and Stephanie Bedford and Wahlen. Jamie Pestana on Winzalot posted one of the day’s highest individual scores, 69.459 per cent.
As temperatures soared by mid-afternoon, “We got really hot and tired during the warm-up,” said Ingham of the winning team, “and my coach asked me if I had just 10 more minutes in me.”
“I was thrilled with him and his performance, and I’m feeling really confident about tomorrow,” Ingham said of her 14-year-old Swedish Warmblood. “He was a little lazy in the warm-up, but as soon as we walked down into the stadium, he perked up for me. He was on the edge, and I was able to contain it.”
“I was absolutely amazed with my horse in the test today,” said Houweling of Stentano, an 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood. “This is the highest score I’ve gotten all season. I was just amazed at how well it went.”
Fraser, a second-time competitor at NAJYRC, said she, too, was “very pleased with my horse’s test overall. Worldstar is only seven. There were a few challenges, but we managed to maintain it throughout.”
On the bronze medal team, Claire Krska on Romincka who won the Dressage Seat Medal Championship at Wayne, Illinois last Sunday, said of the back to back competitions: “I thought it would be a rough transition but we got here and had a day to relax so it was pretty good.”
Claire was the sole rider from Region 4 as no one else qualified and so joined with Region 3 to make a team. “I was lucky enough to get with these great kids and they are all really nice and I love them all.”
Stephanie was the high score champion for the region. “It was pretty good,” she said. “He finally settled down into the work today and it was pretty good, so we will see how the Individual goes”.
Rebecca, at 14 years old, said of her first junior championship, “Excellent, it was a great accomplishment, at such a young age, I got my horse from Cecile Von Martels in Canada his name is Downtown and I think he is awesome.”
Alex said that Ronaldo went great for her. “I have had him for a little over a year and we are still getting to know each other but he has a lot of potential and I am really excited to go a long way with him.”
In the Young Riders competition, the combined team of U.S. Regions 5/6 made up of Jhesika Wells on Intrepid; Brandi Roenick and Nobel; Madeleine Birch on Starlight and Laura DeCesari on Cheenook II, earned a total of 199.842 to capture gold.
The silver medal went to the Canada/Ontario team of Megan Lane and Caravella; Jaimie Holland and Fleurina; Amy Jager on Key West and Maura O’Sullivan riding Pik Czar with an overall score was 198.421 while bronze medal went to a combined U.S. Region4/8 team (Midwest and Northeast) consisting of Hans Baertsch aboard Rubinstar GB; Tessa Dick with Lord Chalk Hill; Mary Bahniuk Lauritsen with Rossignol-ISF and Meagan Davis on Bentley.
“This was my first time showing FEI and coming to Young Riders in the Horse Capital of the World,” said Wells, who piloted the 20-year Dutch Warmblood Intrepid to a score of 69.263 per cent. “It was pretty amazing to be here.”