Ayden Uhlir & Sjapoer Win NAJYRC Young Rider Individual Gold, Lindsey Holleger & Friedensfurst Capture Junior Individual
8 years ago StraightArrow Comments Off on Ayden Uhlir & Sjapoer Win NAJYRC Young Rider Individual Gold, Lindsey Holleger & Friedensfurst Capture Junior Individual
LEXINGTON, Kentucky, July 19–Ayden Uhlir on Sjapoer captured the Young Rider individual gold a year after winning the Junior title and Lindsey Holleger and Friedensfurst won the Junior division in the North American Junior/Young Rider Championships Friday.
Ayden Uhlir, 18, of Kirkland, Washington and Sjapoer scored 71.605 per cent for the gold in the Young Rider Individual competition after winning gold in the 2012 Junior Individual competition.
Silver went to Jamie Pestana, 20, of Livermore, California and Winzalot, who finished with a score of 68.605 per cent while Devon Wycoff, 19, Boulder, Colorado and Power Play scored 68.579 per cent for bronze.
Moving up to the Young Rider division this year, Ayden said she had to focus a lot more than in the juniors. “There was a lot more depth and dedication,” she said. “I had to cut out some stressors in my life and distractions. I really buckled down.”
Part of that buckling down included a cross-country move from Texas to Washington to train with Jeremy Steinberg, USEF Dressage National Youth Coach, and Shauntel Bryant. “That definitely helped me a lot more to get adjusted to the new level for Prix St. Georges,” she said. “It was quite a journey coming from juniors. It’s a lot harder to do these tests, (but) a lot more fun with all the tempi changes everywhere! But I enjoy it and it was well worth it.”
Ayden calls Sjapoer, a 14-year-old KWPN gelding by Contango, her “other half,” and said they share personality characteristics. “He’s just like me. We’re very open and ‘How are you?’ We’re kind of like kites; we’re always up in the air. You have to focus us sometimes. We’re very social and overall happy.”
From Wednesday’s Team test to the individual test, she said, “I had to be more aware of where I was and more accurate. I wasn’t focused that much in the last test on my accuracy. Today I had to be super on. I wasn’t riding for a medal, I was riding for us. It was just a great ride.”
Jamie Pestana’s history at the NAJYRC has been up and down with Winzalot, a nine-year-old Hanoverian gelding by Wolkenstein II. They competed in the Junior division for the first time in 2010 when Winzalot was six years old. Pestana said, “I got him as a baby, and we moved up the levels together.”
In 2011, Winzalot had colic surgery 10 days before NAJYRC, and last year’s competition “didn’t go as well as we hoped,” she said. “This year we were coming to redeem our performance from last year. I’d say I had more expectations and he was more ready to come this year. It’s always exciting to do well. When you’re working with an animal, you can never expect them to be perfect, so I was so happy with him today.”
Devon Wycoff has been riding Power Play, a 16-year-old Oldenburg gelding by Pik Noir, for more than two years.
“This year after having another year of Prix St. Georges under my belt, it really upped the ante. (I wanted to) have a really great-moving, accurate ride. Coming in, I was hoping to just be thrilled with my ride each time,” she said.
In the junior division, it was a close contest for the top two medals.
Lindsey Holleger, 17, Whigham, Georgia and Friedensfurst won the gold with a 70.974 per cent, Naima Moreira Laliberte, 16, of Outremont, Quebec and Windbreaker 3 received 70.105 per cent for silver and Rison Naness, 16, of Burbank, California and Venezia won bronze with a 68.921 per cent.
Although Lindsey Holleger and Freidensfurst were part of the final group to compete, she said, “You always want to do your best when you go in the ring.”
She has been riding the 11-year-old Trakehner gelding by Donaufurst, for almost four years and they came up the levels together.
“I’m really proud of that because we’ve come a really long way,” she said. “I love him to death. He’s so special and he tries his heart out for me every time I go in the ring.”
Naima Moreira Laliberte has only been riding Windbreaker 3, a 12-year-old Westfalen gelding by Windspiel As, for three months and this was their third show together. She is leasing him, and he will return to his owners in Germany now. “I wish I could have him for a little longer,” she said.
Rison Naness and her 15-year-old Hanoverian mare by White Star had “solid rides” both in the team event Wednesday and the individual competition.
“She’s taken me through the entire thing.,” she said. “She is the sweetest mare and she tries her heart out. I couldn’t be happier.”
Young Rider Individual