USA Region 5 Win North American Young Rider Team Gold

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USA Region 5 team gold medal winners at the North American Young Rider Championships. © 2012

LEXINGTON, Kentucky, July 19–Brandi Roenick and Weltino’s Magic led her USA Region 5 to their third straight Young Rider team gold medal at the North American Junior & Young Rider Championships Wednesday, five weeks after she captured the U.S. championship with her mare, Pretty Lady.

“I still am on cloud nine from Gladstone, but this just tops it,” said Brandi who has been on all three gold medal teams. “I’m so thrilled to be here with this great group of girls.”

That group comprised Madeline Birch, Victoria Fernalld and Devon Wycoff as well as Brandi.

U.S. Region 7 won the silver medal, while the Canada/Quebec team were bronze.

In the junior team competition, Nicole Babich Moran, Laurence Blais Tetreault, Frederique Bourgault and Naima Moreira Laliberte for Canada/Quebec won gold with U.S. Region 7 winning silver medal and U.S. Region 9 the bronze.

Five disciplines–a total of nine championships for juniors and young riders–are taking part in the only FEI Championship to be held annually in North America and is presented by Georgina Bloomberg’s Gotham North for riders aged 14 to 21.

In the Young Rider team competition, 17-year-old Brandi of Scottsdale, Arizona, on Weltino’s Magic, a 10-year-old Westfalen gelding, with 70.500 per cent was also the highest scoring rider.

Weltino’s Magic and Brandi’s trainer, three-time Olympian Steffen Peters, won team and individual gold medals at the Pan American Games where the dressage competition is at small tour.

When asked about riding an accomplished horse, Brandi said, “There are the ups and downs, but I try to keep it all behind me. Like any horse with any rider, I have to keep what he and Steffen did in the past. I have to think about what I’m going to achieve with him and not let it intimidate me. I have to stay humble and keep my head in the game.”

As for Magic whom she has been riding only since April, Brandi said: “He’s a really good boy. For as big as he is, he really pushes himself into the corners and really does things that I could never imagine just looking at him. He tries very, very hard for me for the short amount of time I’ve had him.”

For team mate Victoria Fernalld, this was the first NAJYRC championship for the 17-year-old from Greenwood Village, Colorado, who rode Amazing, a 12-year-old Danish Warmblood gelding to a score of 61.921 per cent.

“My teammates have been so helpful,” she said. “They’ve all been here before and they were so supportive of me. I couldn’t ask for a better team. It’s a lot of intensity, but it was so much fun.”

Devon Wycoff, 18, of Boulder, Colorado and Power Play, her 15-year-old Oldenburg gelding, scored of 67.763 per cent, while Madeline Birch, 21, of Salt Lake City, Utah, and Uoeri, an 11-year-old KWPN gelding, were awarded 67.842 per cent.

In the junior team competition, Canada/Quebec captured the gold medal with a total score of 200.462. For three of the four riders, it was their first time at NAJYRC. Frederique Bourgault, 17, of St Bernard De Lacolle, said afterward, “I think we are speechless! Winning the gold is like a privilege for all the hard work we did. I was kind of expecting (we would do well), but not the gold. Our hard work paid off.”

Frederique and HG San Classic, an 11-year-old Oldenburg gelding, scored 65.514 per cent.

Laurence Blais Tetreault, 15, Montreal, had bolder predictions for her team’s chances. “Yes. I know my team and I thought we had a really good chance. I was really confident. It feels good to win the gold the first time around.”

Laurence and Pissarro, a 15-year-old Westfalen gelding, scored 66.514 per cent while Naima Moreira Laliberte, 15, of Outremont, and Tolando, a 12-year-old KWPN stallion, scored 68.434 per cent.