On November, 12, 2016 a team of talented young Canadians travelled to Ehrhardt, SC for the 2016 Young Riders Endurance Team challenge.

The event was the brainchild of a committed group of Endurance officials, including Canada’s Deanna Spiker DVM, following the cancellation of endurance at the 2016 North American Junior and Young Rider Championships (NAJYRC). It was hosted by Broxton Bridge Plantation and USA Southeast Endurance.

A total of 22 endurance riders, aged 14 to 21, from six teams representing Canada, Guatamala, Ecuador, and the United States, descended on the Broxton Bridge Plantation to contest a FEI 2* (120 km) event.

The event was an important development opportunity for Canada’s up-and-coming endurance riders who aspire to compete in upcoming championship events in Kentucky and Italy in 2017.

Representing Canada was Katya and Anya Levermann from One Hundred Mile House, BC, Lexi Vollman from Regina, SK, Savannah Wilson from Kemptville, ON and Emma Knapper from Cobourg, ON, along with a large support team including officials, horse owners and crew members. This included Valerie Kanavy of Gold Medal Farms and Lori Nelson, who generously provided horses to the Canadian team for the event.

The top Canadian finisher was Vollman, who took sixth place individually on a ride time of 8:05:14 aboard Just Gold, Kanavy’s 11-year-old Arabian gelding sired by AF Sir Vivor. Wilson finished close behind in eighth place. Paired with Theatric (Statistic x Tamerlan), an 18-year-old Arabian gelding also owned by Kanavy, she completed the race in a time of 9:05:23. Also completing for Canada was Anya Levermann, who crossed the finish line in a time of 8:29:57 for 14th place with DCL Mooi Penny (AK FA Jaheen x Prince FA Moniet), an 18-year-old Arabian mare owned by Lori Nelson.

Knapper, who was riding in her first 120 km event, put in a strong showing with B Impulsive Spice It Up (LW’s Impulsive Bee x Whitakers Sensation), her 12-year-old Morab mare, but was unfortunately retired during the fifth and final horse inspection. Katya Levermann also retired with Roccoby Baby, Nelson’s 14-year-old National Show Horse mare.

Canadian Chef d’Équipe, Sandra Coombe from Jasper, AB was thrilled with the way the team came together.

“We have a tremendous amount of talent here,” Coombe explained. “This was a great opportunity for riders and officials to come together as a team to work toward developing our young riders for Championship events in the future. With the help of committed parents, our team vet, Art King, DVM and Assistant Chef d’Équipe, Sylvia Gilles, our young riders had a great foundational experience.”

For more information and full results from the 2016 Young Riders Endurance Team Challenge, visit http://usaseendurance.rocks.