Brandi Roenick, Ayden Uhlir Capture Young Rider & Junior Dressage Individual Gold Medals

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North American Junior Individual dressage medalists (L to R) Ariel Thomas, silver; Ayden Uhlir, gold, and Laurence Blais Tetreault, bronze. © 2012 SusanJStickle.com

LEXINGTON, Kentucky, July 21–Brandi Roenick captured her fifth North American Junior/Young Rider Championship gold medal when she rode Weltino’s Magic to the individual Young Rider title Friday, and has a chance of picking up a sixth gold in her favorite event, the freestyle.

The 17-year-old Brandi now based in San Diego, California, won team gold medal for the past three years for Region 5 and the individual gold in the junior division in 2008.

On the 10-year-old Westfalen gelding, Brandi scored 74.947 per cent with all five judges placing her first with scores ranging from a high of 77.368 per cent from Linda Zang of the United States to a low of 73.026 per cent from Paramjeet Chopra of India.

“It hasn’t hit me yet, but I’m still on cloud nine from Wednesday so this is all really amazing,” Brandi said.

She and Magic have been partnered for less than three months. The horse was the double gold medalist at the 2011 Pan American Games with Brandi’s trainer, Steffen Peters who is heading to his third Olympics next week.

“We have a really special bond for the short amount of time we’ve been together,” she said. “The way we’ve adapted to each other has been absolutely amazing.”

This is her third year at Young Riders with three different horses.

“The first year, I had my mom’s horse,” she said. “Last year with Pretty Lady it felt really good coming in on my own horse. This year coming in on Magic, I was nervous when I got here but he gave me the, ‘It’s okay, I’ll take care of you.’ That’s exactly what he did today. I sat there and he floated around and let me guide him. I was very happy.”

Brandi said that the freestyle–to be held Saturday–is her favorite test and Magic loves loves it more than any other test. “It’s always good when you and your horse are on the same page,” she said, “so I’m really confident going into tomorrow.”

In the Junior Individual Championship, the gold medal went to Ayden Uhlir of Arlington, Texas on Sjapoer, a 13-year-old KWPN gelding, with a score of 69.684 per cent. Silver went to Ariel Thomas 17, of Briones, California, and Montfleury, a 19-year-old Westphalian gelding, on 67.895 per cent and bronze to 15-year-old Laurence Blais Tetreault of Montreal, Quebec, and Pissaro, a 15-year-old Westfalen gelding, on 67.684 per cent

Ayden has ridden Sjapoer for 15 months, and while they went through “ups and downs,” their “bond has definitely strengthened.”

“We’re like the same person now,” she said.