Day four of competition at the 2017 Adequan/FEI North American Junior & Young Rider Championships (NAJYRC) on July 22, 2017 saw the Canadian eventing athletes shine.

Canadian Young Rider Eventing Team Maintains Lead After Cross-Country

After taking an early lead following the dressage phase on July 21, the Canadian Young Rider Eventing Team put in impressive cross-country performances to stay at the top of the pack on July 22 at Rebecca Farm in Kalispell, MT.

Together, Anne-Sophie Levesque of Cochrane, AB, Annick Niemuller of Goodwood, ON, April Simmonds of Uxbridge, ON, and Emily Thompson of East Gwillimbury, ON, finished day two of the CICOY 2* division on a total team score of 180.8. US Area I/IV took over second with 182.0 and US Area VII is holding third place on 182.8.

For the second day in a row, Thompson, 19, was the top-placed Canadian, having maintained her fourth place position from dressage after adding no jumping and just 6.4 time penalties cross-country. Partnered with Paddington, a 12-year-old Thoroughbred / Connemara – cross gelding sired by Yavari and owned by Lisa Thompson, she is heading into the final show jumping phase on July 23 on a score of 55.8 penalties. Cornelia Dorr of Area I/IV kept her lead in the individual standings with a score of 37.0 aboard Louis M.

“This was my first time at Rebecca Farm and the cross-country was very different to other courses I have ridden,” explained Thompson. “It was a huge learning experience on a big, bold course.”

Speaking to her partnership with Paddington, she continued, “I have ridden Paddington for three years. He is a bit laid back, and he knows his job and is so fun to compete with.”

Levesque, 19, was the team member who made the biggest move up the leaderboard after cross-country. She came into day two in 11th place, but after being the only Canadian to achieve a double-clear cross-country round, she shot up to seventh place and kept her dressage score of 59.5. Levesque was partnered with her 11-year-old Canadian Sport Horse gelding, Eskapade (Portland L x Golden Art).

Simmonds, 19, moved into 12th place on a score of 65.5 penalties after adding no jumping, but 11.2 time penalties during cross-country aboard Impressively Done, a 12-year-old Thoroughbred gelding she co-owns with Faydon Enterprises Ltd. Niemuller, 18, will head into show jumping in 16th place on a score of 87.9 aboard FE Black Jack (Blackstone x Severus), a nine-year-old Dutch Sport Horse owned by Karl Niemuller.

Junior Eventing Team Takes Over Second Place

Canada’s Junior Team moved up from fourth place after dressage to hold second on a score of 153.2 after three team members put in foot-perfect performances on cross-country on July 22. US Area I is in the lead with 148.4, and US Area VI is in third (157.6). American, Megan Loughane is holding first place individually aboard Linford with a score of 45.0 penalties.

Currently leading the Canadian team is Tosca Holmes-Smith, 17, of Chase, BC, paired with Fiat (Cats at Home x With Approval), Ali Holmes-Smith’s 13-year-old Thoroughbred gelding. After scoring 47.2 in dressage she was in eighth place, but shot up to third following her double-clear cross-country effort.

“I have been riding Fiat for one year, and we competed in Training here at Rebecca Farm last year,” explained Holmes-Smith, who comes by her talent for eventing honestly as the daughter of high performance eventing athletes, Ali and Nick Holmes-Smith. “He is a bold horse and was a bit strong at the beginning of the course today, but was super throughout the course.”

Next on the leaderboard for Canada is Chloe Duffy, 16, of Sombra, ON and Oro Veradero, her 10-year-old Thoroughbred gelding. The duo moved up an impressive eight spots by keeping to their dressage score of 52.7.

Caledon, ON native, Ella Marquis, 14, also enjoyed an eight-spot leap up the standings, from 21st to 13th, due to her clear cross-country run, paired with Meadowbrook’s Pollyanna (Pikasso x Jacobean), a 14-year-old Dutch Warmblood/Rhinelander-cross mare owned by Mark Marquis. Together they will enter the show jumping phase on their dressage score of 53.3.

Unfortunately, team member, Eva Marquis retired on cross-country with Hollywood, also owned by Mark Marquis. Prior to cross-country, Eva and Hollywood contributed a dressage score of 54.3 to the team.

“I am very proud of all of the riders today; they worked together and supported each other all day,” said Penny Rowland of Mono, ON, who is one of three Chefs d’Équipe for the eventing athletes at NAJYRC, along with Julie Simard of Cochrane, AB and Maeve Drew of Duncan, BC. “Tomorrow we will prepare to finish the last phase the best we can. I’d like to give a huge thank you to the family members and support team, and to the Brossard family for hosting this fantastic event.”

Yanina Woywitka Closes Out Young Rider Dressage in Top 10

Yanina Woywitka, 17, of Merrickville, ON wrapped up the Young Rider Dressage division on July 22 with a ninth place finish in the Freestyle at HITS Saugerties in New York.

Partnered with R’Myattack (Rheirattack x Wanderbursh II), a 10-year-old Oldenburg gelding owned by Susanne Dutt-Roth, she earned a score of 67.050% from the judges.

Teammate, Alexandra Meghji of Toronto, ON wasn’t far behind. The 19-year-old scored 66.975% for 10th place riding Rigo (Rotspon x Weltmeyer), a 16-year-old Hanoverian gelding owned by Diana Belevsky.

The Freestyle was won by Chase Shipka of USA Region 1 aboard Zigal on a score of 74.650%.

Cassie Gorsline Bids Farewell with Second-Place Finish

Jumping competition at NAJYRC continued on July 22, with the Junior/Young Rider and Children’s Farewell Competition, which saw two Canadian Junior athletes participate.

Following the first two Jumping Individual Qualifiers, the top 25 athletes were invited to move on to the Individual Final on July 23, with all remaining athletes invited to participate in the Farewell Competition, consisting of an initial round followed by a jump-off for clear entries.

Cassie Gorsline, 15, of Okotoks, AB had an initial clear round aboard Siempre Salsa (Stolzenberg x Sacramento Son), a 13-year-old Hanoverian mare owned by Lisa Carlsen, then returned to the jump-off to leave all the rails in the cups and cross the timers in 38.85 seconds – just over a second off the winning time of 37.68 set by American, Tali Dejong and Amadeus.

Taking fourth place was Jenna Lee Gottschlich, 14, of Edmonton, AB. Riding Casper (Wizzerd WV x Karlstad), her 10-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding, she lowered one rail for four faults in the initial round.
Full NAJYRC results can be found as follows:

Dressage Results

Eventing Results

Jumping Results

More information on NAJYRC 2017 can be found at

Top 30 Canadian Results – NAJYRC 2017 – July 22

Dressage Young Rider Freestyle
Placing / Rider / Horse / Owner / Score
9th / Yanina Woywitka / R’Myattack / Susanne Dutt-Roth / 67.050%
10th / Alexandra Meghji / Rigo / Diana Belevsky / 66.975%
17th / Sophie Dean-Potter / Wendy Dice / Helena Dean / 65.050%

Eventing – CICOY 2* Young Rider Team Standings after Cross-Country
Placing / Team / Score
1st / Team Canada / 180.8

Eventing – CICOY 2* Young Rider – Individual Standings after Cross-Country
Placing / Rider / Horse / Owner / Score
4th / Emily Thompson / Paddington / Emily Thompson / 55.8
7th / Anne-Sophie Levesque / Eskapade / Anne-Sophie Levesque / 59.5
12th / April Simmonds / Impressively Done / Faydon Enterprises Ltd. & April Simmonds / 65.5
16th / Annick Niemuller / FE Black Jack / Karl Niemuller / 87.5

Eventing – CHJ 1* Junior Team Standings after Cross-Country
Placing / Team / Score
2nd / Team Canada / 153.2

Eventing – CHJ 1* Junior – Individual Standings after Cross-Country
Placing / Rider / Horse / Owner / Score
3rd / Tosca Holmes-Smith / Fiat / Ali Holmes-Smith / 47.2
9th / Chloe Duffy / Oro Veradero / Chloe Duffy / 52.7
13th / Ella Marquis / Meadowbrook’s Pollyanna / Mark Marquis / 53.3

Jumping Junior/Young Rider Farewell Competition
Placing / Rider / Horse / Owner
2nd / Cassie Gorsline / Okotoks, AB / Siempre Salsa / Lisa Carlsen
4th / Jenna Lee Gottschlich / Edmonton, AB / Casper / Jenna Lee Gottschlich