US Junior Team Test to Jamie Pestana & Winzalot

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Jamie Pestana and Winzalot in US Junior Championships. © 2010 SusanJStickle.com
Jamie Pestana and Winzalot in US Junior Championships. © 2010 SusanJStickle.com

By JOANIE MORRIS

GLADSTONE, New Jersey, Aug. 13–Three “California Girls” led by Jamie Pestana on Winzalot took the top three places in the FEI Junior Team Test at the Collecting Gaits Farm/USEF Dressage Festival of Champions National Junior Dressage Championship.

Twelve juniors started the competition. Jamie of Livermore, one of the three “California Girls,” as they dubbed themselves, rode Winzalot for a score of 68.50 per cent.

All three have been on quite an adventure.

They left the West Coast for the 2010 Adequan FEI North American Junior/Young Rider Championships presented by Gotham North three weeks ago in Lexington, Kentucky, and traveled directly from that event to Gladstone to prepare for the Festival.

Jamie coaxed a winning performance out of Winzalot despite the six-year-old Hanoverian gelding not feeling his most agreeable. “He was actually not on his best behavior,” Pestana said. “There were a couple of mistakes but the parts he did do he did well.”

She said that the trip from Kentucky to Gladstone seemed to have resulted in some body soreness for Winzalot, and he has spent the week in getting massage and chiropractor treatment.

“He wasn’t off but he didn’t feel 100 per cent. He does usually have a great work ethic,” she said.

“We’ve been giving him lots of pampering.”

The second half of the National Junior Dressage Championship will be held Saturday.

Jamie and Winzalot picked up two individual gold medals at NAJYRC.

Catherine Chamberlain and Verdicci were just off the pace with a score of 68.486 per cent – and although Catherine lives in Chandler, Arizona, she feels adopted by California because she spends so much time competing there.

“I think we have some really good riders out there,” Catherine said. “Riders like Steffen Peters – we’re being inspired. We get to have clinicians with some of the top riders which is really motivating.

She and her eight-year-old Dutch gelding won the individual silver at NAJYRC behind Jamie so the competition between these riders has spanned the country, especially considering that Catherine and third place finisher Genay Vaughn, individual bronze at NAJYRC, were tied following the Team Test.

The tie was broken on the basis of the collective marks where Catherine prevailed.

Genay of Elk Grove, California, and Waranja, a 14-year-old Hanoverian mare, put in a steady and accurate effort to continue their top placings throughout the summer tour. She was third in this championship in 2009 and would like to improve on that position in 2010.