Catherine Chamberlain & Avesto Van Weltevreden Win USA Young Rider Championship in Last Chance
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By KENNETH J. BRADDICK
WAYNE, Illinois, Aug. 22, 2015–Catherine Chamberlain rode Avesto Van Weltevreden to the United States Young Rider Championship Saturday in the 20-year-old rider’s last chance at the national title that became her first.
Catherine and the 10-year-old KWPN gelding (Gribaldi x Krack C) who was second in the preliminary test scored 69.605 per cent for the victory in the final that gave the pair the championship in part one of the Festival of Champions presented by the Dutta Corp.
Kerrigan Gluch on Vaquero HGF who had won the preliminary test slipped to third in the final with a score of 68.289 but it was enough for the reserve championship. Hannah Baur on Trustful placed third overall.
Catherine got the ride on Avesto Van Weltevreden when she moved from Arizona to Murietta, California and stabled at the same facility..Since being paired up in February, they have worked with David Wightman to prepare for Young Rider competition.
“Earlier this winter we thought maybe he can do Young Riders,” she said. “We decided to go for it as we had nothing to lose.”
Catherine described him as a “kind of show man” who does better in the show ring than at home.
She almost didn’t make it to this championship as it came about a month after the North American Junior & Young Rider Championships in Lexington, Kentucky but the horse was handling the competition and travel schedule well.
“I’m thrilled with my first national title. What better way to go out. This whole Young Rider experience has been an amazing opportunity and journey. To finish out with a highlight like this is special.”
Her goal now is to move her own horse Verdicci up to the Under-25 division. She also gets to keep the ride on Avesto Van Weltevreden. And she has a six-year-old that she wants to develop in pursuit of a career in the horse business.
Catherine has taken some online college courses and would like to get a business degree as a tool for running her own business.
Kerrigan Gluch who is in the fourth year of working at Hampton Green Farms in Fruitport, Michigan and Wellington Florida that owns Vaquero, an eight-year-old PRE stallion, said that some elements such as the tempi changes were the best ever in this championship.
“It surprised me to be doing this level this year,” said the 18-year-old rider.
The Festival of Champions is the annual American championships that this year the Pony, Junior, Young Rider, Developing Prix St. Georges and Under-25 were combined with the U.S. Young Horse Championships. The Grand Prix and Intermediate Championships will be staged in Wellington, Florida in December.
Many of the younger riders said they appreciated competing at the same time as the Young Horse event but most classes conflicted and there were separate VIP alongside the two different competition arenas for the two championships.