The 2017 Adequan/FEI North American Junior & Young Rider Championships (NAJYRC) will go down in history as one of the most successful for Canadian athletes to date. During the final day of competition on July 23, 2017, Canada’s up-and-coming stars earned an incredible total of six individual and two team medals.

Canadians Dominate Podium in Young Rider Jumping Individual Final

Julia Madigan of Vancouver, BC, Alexanne Thibault of Boucherville, QC and Veronica Bot of Burlington, ON swept the podium in the Young Rider Jumping Individual Final on July 23 at HITS Saugerties in New York.

In her inaugural NAJYRC appearance, Madigan, 21, brought home the Individual Gold Medal aboard Farfelu du Printemps (Action Breaker x Darco), a 12-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding owned by John Madigan. After completing the first three rounds of individual qualifiers, she carried a cumulative score of 8.66 into the Final, which featured an additional two rounds to determine the medalists. Madigan and Farfelu du Printemps put in a fault-free performance in round one, and then returned to lower just one rail for four faults in the second round, bringing their final score to 12.66 for the Gold Medal.

“It feels really great (to get a gold medal in my first and last appearance at NAJYRC),” said Madigan, who at 21, has now aged out of the Young Rider program. “Competing for a championship title was a different pressure than I’ve ever felt. Having a team dynamic here really helped us out on course. I have amazing teammates; I couldn’t have come here with a better team. All in all, it was an amazing day.”

Madigan continued, “Farfelu was amazing. Usually he gets a little strong at the end, but he came back and was really paying attention to me, so it was a great trip and I really enjoyed it.”

Taking the Individual Silver Medal was Thibault, 19, who started strong – winning the First Individual Qualifier on July 20 with Chacco Prime (Chacco Blue x Le Primeur), her nine-year-old Hanoverian gelding. She carried 12 faults forward from the second qualifier, but lowered just one rail over the final two rounds to finish on a score of 16.00.

“As my first year, I didn’t really have any expectations,” explained Thibault. “I have never done a team event or any big classes with that amount of pressure, but I think I was certainly able to pull that off. It felt awesome to hear the national anthem on the podium and be able to represent our country and have such a great week with all the girls.”

The Individual Bronze Medal went to Bot and Cool Down 3 (Chacco Blue x Lysander), a 10-year-old Hanoverian gelding owned by AEI Corp. Bot, 21, came into the Final on a score of 12.10, and like her teammates, incurred just four faults to take the podium on a final total of 16.10.

“It was really exciting to be united as a team on the podium when the anthem was playing,” said Bot, who was competing at NAJYRC for the third time. “It was all a team effort that really came together, so it was an exciting moment. Back home, there has been a lot of work done to help young riders in our Under 25 program – a lot due to our Chef d’Équipe, Beth Underhill. So that’s really been a big help and I think it’s no coincidence that we swept the podium today.”

Canada was also well represented in the top 10 by Jennifer Mattell, 19, from Milton, ON. Riding Cherokee (Cardento x Creool), a 10-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding owned by Joe Mattell, she had two rails in round one of the Final, but returned to close out NAJYRC on a foot-perfect round for ninth place overall.

“I think today’s sweep of the podium exceeded our wildest dreams,” said Canadian Olympian, Beth Underhill, who took on the role of Chef d’Équipe for the jumping athletes at NAJYRC. “What a tremendous effort by all our riders today. This is a landmark result and I couldn’t be more proud.”

Silver and Bronze for Children’s Jumping Athletes

The majority of the podium was also filled with Canadians in the Children’s Jumping Individual Final, with Anya Bereznicki of Calgary, AB taking Silver and Kyara Semrau of Foothills, AB earning Bronze. Gold was won by Dylan Laiken of USA Zone 10, who finished on zero faults with Callao.

Bereznicki, 13, had a remarkable week at NAJYRC. Paired with her nine-year-old Holsteiner mare, Diazella (Diamant de Semilly x Candillo), her sole rail across five rounds of competition came down during the first portion of the two-round Final. After returning to round two to finish on another clear, Bereznicki earned her Individual Silver Medal on a total score of 4.00 faults.

Semrau, 14, headed into the Individual Final on a score of five faults from the first three rounds of competition aboard Wings Sublieme (Oklund x Voltaire), a 14-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare owned by Stone Ridge Farms LLC. This proved to be her final score after she became one of only three horse-rider combinations to lay down back-to-back clear rounds in the Individual Final.

Two additional Canadian athletes appeared within the top 10 on the Children’s Jumping Individual Final leaderboard. Interestingly, Megan Schlosser of Okotoks, AB and Carly Stevens of Foothills, AB both finished the week on identical scores of 20.00 to tie for ninth place. Schlosser, 14, was partnered with Cassina St. Kriru Z (Cassini II x Poor Boy), her 10-year-old Zangersheide mare, while Stevens, also 14, rode LCC Hello Kate (Luidam x Courage), her nine-year-old Irish Sport Horse mare.

“I think Children’s was a fabulous addition to the roster of NAJYRC,” said Underhill. “For sure in our country, it’s created a lot of excitement and raised the bar for children to start thinking that there’s something close that they can attain and they can work for.”

Lexi Ray, 18, of Campbellville, ON was Canada’s representative in the Junior Jumping Individual Final. She came into the Final on a score of 14.73 aboard Acita 4 (Acolord x Calando I), a 10-year-old Holsteiner mare she co-owns with Tracy and Robert Ray, and added just four faults over the two rounds for a total score of 18.73 and 10th place.

The Junior Jumping Individual Final was won by Nicole Meyer Robredo of Mexico, who earned the Gold Medal on a total of 3.19 faults with Hercule VH End House.

Speaking to the overall experience at NAJYRC, Underhill stated, “I couldn’t have had a better week with all of the athletes. They are team players through and through. Having been on as many nations’ cups teams as I have been on; I know how important that camaraderie and that support is. When you have it, there’s nothing like it. It’s proven this week that it’s raised not only our expectations but our performance and given us a boost going forward. Thank you to our team behind the scenes and the support of all the families who helped make this occasion possible.”

Gold for Tosca Holmes-Smith, Bronze for Canada in Junior Eventing

Tosca Holmes-Smith, 17, of Chase, BC led Team Canada to a Bronze Medal and claimed the Individual Gold Medal in the CHJ 1* Junior Eventing division at Rebecca Farm in Kalispell, MT on July 23.

Riding Fiat (Cats at Home x With Approval), a 13-year-old Thoroughbred gelding owned by her mother, Ali Holmes-Smith, she completed the cross-country and show jumping phases faultlessly, enabling her to finish on her dressage score of 47.2 penalties and land at the top of the podium. Silver went to Alexandra Baugh of US Area VIII and Ballingowan Pizazz (47.7), while US Area VI rider, Mallory Hogan took bronze with a score of 51.0 aboard Clarissa Purisima.

“Going into the ring today, I was pretty nervous,” said Holmes-Smith, who has been partnered with Fiat for the past year, and progressed to the preliminary level in the fall of 2016 before moving up to intermediate in 2017. “Fiat is a good jumper, but can take a rail, and I knew we had to jump clear to secure Canada’s medal – but he tried his heart out today.”

Along with teammates, Chloe Duffy, 16, of Sombra, ON, and twin sisters, Ella and Eva Marquis, 14, of Caledon, ON, Holmes-Smith returned to the podium to accept the Team Bronze Medal on a total score of 165.2. US Area VI won Gold with 161.6, and US Area II earned Silver on 164.1.

Individually, Duffy incurred no penalties in the jumping phases to finish in fifth place on her dressage score of 52.7 with her 10-year-old Thoroughbred gelding, Oro Veradero.

Ella Marquis’ NAJYRC performance was highlighted by a foot-perfect round on cross-country aboard Meadowbrook’s Pollyanna (Pikasso x Jacobean), a 14-year-old Dutch Warmblood/Rhinelander-cross mare owned by Mark Marquis, and she finished in 21st individually.

Unfortunately, Eva Marquis did not move forward to show jumping after retiring on cross-country with Hollywood (Theatromania x Jeblar), a 12-year-old Thoroughbred gelding owned by Mark Marquis. On July 20, the duo put a dressage score of 54.3 on the board for their team.

Team Canada Takes Bronze in Young Rider Eventing

The Canadian Young Rider Eventing Team, made up of Anne-Sophie Levesque of Cochrane, AB, Annick Niemuller of Goodwood, ON, April Simmonds of Uxbridge, ON, and Emily Thompson of East Gwillimbury, ON, rode to the Team Bronze Medal in the CICOY 2* Young Rider division on a score of 245.5. US Area I/IV earned Gold with 198.0, with US Area VII bringing home Silver (215.8).

The top-placed Canadian was Levesque, 19, aboard her 11-year-old Canadian Sport Horse gelding, Eskapade (Portland L x Golden Art). After a clear cross-country performance, she came into show jumping on her dressage score of 59.5 and added just four penalties for one rail to close out NAJYRC 2017 on a score of 63.5.

“Competing as a team this week has been a fantastic experience on all fronts,” said Levesque, who was competing at NAJYRC for the first time. “Being part of a team is definitely beneficial when it comes to sharing knowledge both about rides and lines, and about horse care and mental space. Thanks to the amazing support of friends and the equestrian community in Alberta, I was able to fundraise the money to get Paddy and I to this amazing goal.”

Simmonds, 19, finished in 12th place overall riding Impressively Done, a 12-year-old Thoroughbred gelding she co-owns with Faydon Enterprises Ltd. Together, they completed show jumping with four jumping and eight time penalties for a total score of 77.5. Niemuller, 18, wasn’t far behind, finishing in 15th place individually aboard FE Black Jack (Blackstone x Severus), a nine-year-old Dutch Sport Horse owned by Karl Niemuller.

Unfortunately, Thompson withdrew prior to the show jumping phase. Riding Paddington, a 12-year-old Thoroughbred/Connemara-cross gelding sired by Yavari and owned by Lisa Thompson, she put in strong dressage and cross-country performances for the team, having ranked fourth overall following the first two phases, after scoring 49.4 in dressage, and adding no jumping and just 6.4 time penalties cross-country.

The Individual Gold Medalist in the Young Rider division was William Zuschlag of US Area III, who scored 46.2 with RF Southern Command. Incredibly, US Area I/IV rider, Cornelia Dorr took home both the Silver and Bronze medals, riding Louis M and Sir Patico MH on scores of 49.0 and 50.7, respectively.

“Overall, NAJYRC was a great experience, and very emotional, which was not expected,” said Penny Rowland of Mono, ON, who was one of three Chefs d’Équipe for the eventing athletes, along with Maeve Drew of Duncan, BC, and Julie Simard of Cochrane, AB. “I am very proud of all the teams, and experiencing the camaraderie of the team members was fantastic.”

Top 10 Freestyle Finishes for Junior Dressage Riders

Dressage wrapped up at NAJYRC 2017 at HITS Saugerties with the Junior Rider Freestyle on July 23.

Canada’s top-placed athlete was Ava MacCoubrey, 15, of Cobourg, ON. Riding her long-time partner, Pablo (Cordial Medoc x Voltaire), a 20-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding owned by Lori Bell, she earned a score of 69.050% for seventh place.

Allison Youngdale, 17, of Osgoode, ON scored 68.625% for ninth place aboard her 10-year-old Danish Warmblood gelding, Ramiro (Blue Hors Don Romantic x Rambo).

The Junior Freestyle was won by Tillie Jones of US Region 4 and Apachi, who scored 73.950%. Silver went to US Region 7 rider, Aleyna Dunn and Bivera (73.450%), and Christian Simonson (US Region 7) took bronze on a score of 70.850%.

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 23

Dressage Junior Freestyle
Placing / Rider / Horse / Owner / Score
7th / Ava MacCoubrey / Pablo / Lori Bell / 69.050%
9th / Allison Youngdale / Ramiro / Allison Youngdale / 68.625%

Eventing – CICOY 2* Young Rider – Team Results
Placing / Team / Score
Bronze / Team Canada / 245.5

Rider / Horse / Owner
Anne-Sophie Levesque / Eskapade / Anne-Sophie Levesque
Annick Niemuller / FE Black Jack / Karl Niemuller
April Simmonds / Impressively Done / Faydon Enterprises Ltd. & April Simmonds
Emily Thompson / Paddington / Emily Thompson

Eventing – CICOY 2* Young Rider – Individual Results
Placing / Rider / Horse / Owner / Score
5th / Anne-Sophie Levesque / Eskapade / Anne-Sophie Levesque / 63.5
12th / April Simmonds / Impressively Done / Faydon Enterprises Ltd. & April Simmonds / 77.5
15th / Annick Niemuller / FE Black Jack / Karl Niemuller / 104.5

Eventing – CHJ 1* Junior – Team Results
Placing / Team / Score
Bronze / Team Canada / 165.2

Rider / Horse / Owner
Chloe Duffy / Oro Veradero / Chloe Duffy
Tosca Holmes-Smith / Fiat / Ali Holmes-Smith
Ella Marquis / Meadowbrook’s Pollyanna / Mark Marquis
Eva Marquis / Hollywood / Mark Marquis

Eventing – CHJ 1* Junior – Individual Results
Placing / Rider / Horse / Owner / Score
Bronze / Tosca Holmes-Smith / Fiat / Ali Holmes-Smith / 47.2
5th / Chloe Duffy / Oro Veradero / Chloe Duffy / 52.7
21st / Ella Marquis / Meadowbrook’s Pollyanna / Mark Marquis / 65.3

Jumping Young Rider Individual Final
Placing / Rider / Horse / Owner / Score
Gold / Julia Madigan / Farfelu du Printemps / John Madigan / 12.66
Silver / Alexanne Thibault / Chacco Prime / Alexanne Thibault / 16.00
Bronze / Veronica Bot / Cool Down 3 / AEI Corp. / 16.10
8th / Jennifer Mattell / Cherokee / Joe Mattell / 44.39

Jumping Junior Individual Final
Placing / Rider / Horse / Owner / Score
10th / Lexi Ray / Acita 4 / Lexi Ray / 18.73

Jumping Children’s Individual Final
Placing / Rider / Horse / Owner / Score
Silver / Anya Bereznicki / Diazella / Anya Bereznicki / 4.00
Bronze / Kyara Semrau / Wings Sublieme / Stone Ridge Farms LLC / 5.00
9th (T) / Carly Stevens / LCC Hello Kate / Carly Stevens / 20.00
9th (T) / Megan Schlosser / Cassina St. Kriru Z / Megan Schlosser / 20.00

Additional daily wrap ups, can be found here:

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Day 4