The Adequan®/FEI North American Junior & Young Rider Championships presented by Gotham North (NAJYRC) concluded the fourth day of competition at The Colorado Horse Park (CHP) showcasing show jumping, eventing, and dressage and featuring the USHJA North American Junior & Young Rider Show Jumping Championships Young Rider Individual Final, USDF North American Junior & Young Rider Junior Rider Individual Final and Young Rider Freestyle, while eventing took to the cross-country course in the USEA North American Junior & Young Rider Eventing Championships CH-J* and CICY2*.
DRESSAGE – Young Riders
Nicholas Hansen (21, Catawissa, PA) and Ritter Benno captured their third gold medal, this time topping the Young Rider Freestyle Test with a score of 72.125%. Jenna Upchurch (17, Chesterfield, MO) and Greystoke rode to victory in the Junior Individual Test, receiving a score of 70.632%.
Hansen and Ritter Benno swept the gold medal podium this week in the USDF North American Junior & Young Rider Dressage Championships in each of the three classes offered to Young Riders. First, Hansen earned a team gold alongside his fellow Region 1 riders, before continuing his brilliant consistency in the Young Rider Individual Test and the Young Rider Freestyle. The duo earned a 72.125% to secure the victory ahead of Rebekah Mingari (20, Crestwood, KY) of Region 2 aboard Elzarma TF, who collected the silver medal. Emily Ferguson (20, Winnipeg, MB) representing the combined team of Ontario/Manitoba/Alberta and Wrazzmatazz received the bronze medal for their score of 68.295%.
Ferguson and Wrazzmatazz have only been partnered together since this past February and the pair have made tremendous improvements in just a few short months before arriving at NAJYRC.
“I thought our half passes were great. He’s a very dynamic horse and we’re able to increase the level of difficulty by making the angle a bit steeper and he really showed those well today in the ring,” she said. “We’ve accomplished so much in such a short time. It’s been a very fun journey for us.”
The pair rode to a compilation of One Republic music, which Ferguson says fits the tempo and style of Wrazzmatazz perfectly. She commented, “I love the canter music especially because it really suits my horse.”
DRESSAGE – Junior Young Riders
Jenna Upchurch (17, Chesterfield, MO) and Greystoke, a flashy dapple grey gelding, rode to a class high 70.632% in the Junior Individual Test at the USDF North American Junior & Young Rider Dressage Championships. Upchurch, who stood atop the gold medal podium for the first time this week, accepted the gold medal with poise and grace, having bested a competitive class.
Vanessa Creech-Terauds (16, Caistor Centre, ON) and Fleur de Lis L were awarded with the silver medal for their score of 70.184%, while Carlos Maldonado Lara (17, Guadalajara, MEX) and Massimo, the only representatives in the dressage discipline from their home nation of Mexico, received the bronze medal with a final score of 69.974%.The Junior Rider Individual Test is the only class of all disciplines hosted so far this week that has seen each participating country represented on the podium.
Creech-Terauds aboard Fleur de Lis L narrowly missed the gold medal as the final rider the class for the afternoon, scoring just four-tenths off the winning ride.
“I was so pleased with her today and I felt like she gave me her all in the ring. It was a great feeling to earn that score and I’m so happy to be here,” said Creech-Terauds. “This competition means so much to everyone and it’s an incredible experience for each of us.”
The USEA North American Junior & Young Rider Eventing Championships saw the leaderboard shake up after horse and rider combinations took to the cross-country course today in both the CH-J* and CICY2* divisions. The Area I Team, composed of four riders from the state of Massachusetts, overtook the lead after strong performances by three of the team’s members finishing with a total team score of 146.7 to push them into the first place position heading into show jumping tomorrow in the CH-J*.
In the CICY2*, the Area V/IX Team rose to the occasion to take over the top spot in the division with the final phase of stadium to be completed tomorrow, which medals will be presented to both the top teams and individuals.
Annick Niemuller (17, Goodwood, ON) and FE Akari currently lead the CH-J* division after producing a double clear cross-country round to sit on their dressage score of 43.50. Lee Camiolo (16, Louisville, KY) and Cahaaron V.E. are in second place with a score of 45.00, while Carmen Holmes-Smith (18, Chase, BC) and Spartacus round out the top three individuals with a score of 45.90 heading into tomorrow’s competition.
Cargile and White Indian will hold the lead in the CICY2* division with an overall score of 49.59, while Shelby Brost (18, Red Deer, AB) and Crimson follow just behind the leaders on a score of 50.20. Elena Hengel (20, Woodland, MN) and Zipp round out the current top three standings with a score of 52.30 seconds.
Sophie Simpson of (18, Wellington, FL) and Why Not accomplished a rare feat in the longstanding history of NAJYRC, as the pair secured the individual gold medal in the Young Rider Individual portion of competition, without adding a single fault to their score the entire week.
Sophie Simpson (18, Wellington, FL) and Why Not, owned by Simpson Show Jumping, forged their way through competition this week, riding five clear rounds to finish a flawless effort at The Colorado Horse Park. Simpson rode to victory in the Young Rider First Round Qualifier on Wednesday, and then piloted Why Not to two clear rounds in the Nations’ Cup formatted Young Rider Team competition to secure a team gold medal. The duo then returned to the International Ring to produce two clear rounds against the Manuel Esparza (MEX) designed track in the Young Rider Individual Final placing her atop the podium for the final time this week.
“Walking it, I thought that they were skinny fences and wide oxers. There were careful jumps in the first round, especially with the plank. I think my mount did a great job this week,” said Simpson. “This is my fourth time here and every year you try to chip away at more clear rounds and always want to come back and ride better.”
Two Canadians competed as individuals in the Young Rider division. Alexandra Millar of Flesherton, ON, rode Martha Younger’s Egor, a grey 12-year-old gelding who has spent the summer being campaigned by Hyde Moffatt. Millar and Egor placed 16th in the first Individual qualifier and 19th in the Team competition – not enough to make it into the Final. Veronica Bot of Burlington, ON, rode her own Calato’s Charles, a 10-year-old grey Holsteiner gelding aboard which she placed 12th overall at last year’s NAJYRC. Unfortunately, this year they were eliminated in the first qualifier and scratched from the balance of the competition.