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The tables turned today after the cross-country phase at the Young Rider Championships. Placings in both the CH-J* and the CH-Y** were rearranged, as refusals and time penalties knocked the dressage leaders down the ranks and hoisted new riders to the leaderboard.
Now sitting at the top of the pack in the CH-Y** is 20-year-old Kendyl Tracy from Parker, Colorado. She and A Bit of Tack’s 13-year-old Thoroughbred mare, Ever So Lucky, finished dressage Thursday in third place with a score of 53.3. The pair breezed through one of David O’Connor’s tricky cross-country courses today, adding no jump or time penalties to their initial score and taking over first place.
“I was thrilled with how my mare went today,” Kendyl said. “I definitely kept in mind moving her from my leg so I get her through the combinations. I think every time out of the box I learn something different about her, and today it was a bit of a different ride for me because she is not huge and in the mud with big studs, she wasn’t as aggressive to the jumps as usual. It was a huge learning experience for both of us, but think it was one of the best rides we have had at Young Riders.”
CH-Y** Cross-Country Slideshow. Full Photo Gallery.
Kendyl doesn’t have a rail in hand heading into show jumping tomorrow – the phase that has caused her and her mare the most trouble in the past including preventing them from a medal at last year’s Young Rider Championships.
“I plan on having a little jump school with my mare in the morning,” Kendyl continued. “And then just having a nice positive ride over the show jumps. We have been practicing a lot.”
New to the leaderboard is 18-year- old Connor Husain from The Plains, Virginia. He and his 13-year-old gelding Piece of Hope are right behind Kendyl with a double clean cross-country run and a 53.9 dressage score. This is Connor’s debut at the Young Rider Championships. Though he and Piece of Hope were the first to run the course this morning, Connor did not see this as a disadvantage.
“I was a little nervous, but I like to go first so I don’t have to hear what else is happening on course because I like to stick to the plan I have when I walk the course,” Connor said. “It helps me mentally.”
Bumped down to third place from her overnight top placing is 20-year-old Lizzie Snow from Portland, Oregon. Lizzie and Kathryn Sullivan’s 12-year-old Thoroughbred gelding, Coal Creek, were in first place after dressage on Thursday with a 50.7. The pair had no jump faults on course but galloped through the finish with 4.4 time penalties, which unfortunately knocked them out of first place. Lizzie was satisfied with her ride but agreed that the course was challenging.
“I had a good ride today,” Lizzie said. “I thought the course rode a little bit tougher than some of the things walked, but everything worked itself out and it was good.”
Still hanging on to the lead in the team competition is the Scramble Team of Areas of VI, VII, and IX. With team members Kendyl Tracy, Lizzie Snow, Sarah Braun, and Teresa Harcourt all performing well, the team now has a total score of 155.9. With Kendyl in first place and Lizzie in third place individually, their team has a nearly 10 point lead over the second placed team, Area II,III, and IV. Rough days for Ontario & Quebec as well as Area V have left them far down the standing in third and fourth.
Area VI,VII, and IX Team member Sarah Braun from Pleasant Hill, California turned in a flawless cross-country round today with her 12-year-old Thoroughbred mare, Perfect Intentions. The pair completed the course double clean, launching them up from 12th to fifth place with a score of 59.8.
“I thought the course was pretty great,” Sarah said. “At first it was a little sticky, but once I got my rhythm it smoothed out. It did ride tougher than it walked.”
Twenty one-year-old Teresa Harcourt from Auburn, California and her 13-year-old Thoroughbred gelding, Bonza Twist of Fate, dropped from second to seventh place after their round due to 10.4 time penalties. However, a great dressage score and jump fault free cross-country round leaves the pair in the running with a score of 62.3.
“I was really happy with today, but it was definitely a course you had to go out and attack, so we did drop down.” Teresa said. “But overall it was really fun.”
CH-J* Slideshow. Full Photo Gallery.
Area V Rider Takes the Lead Among the Canadians in CH-J*
Cross-country day at Young Riders was concluded with the CH-J* division. With a cross-country course that proved as tricky as the two-star, the one star leaderboard has been switched up and mixed around.
Now in first place is 17-year-old Victoria New from San Angelo, Texas and her 12-year-old Selle Francais gelding, Fleeceworks Mystere du Val . She and “Bean” turned in a double clean cross-country run today, moving the pair out of second place into first with an unblemished score of 48.5. Victoria was impressed by the challenging nature of the course, but was pleased with her round.
“Walking it, all of the combinations are impressive, they are very well built, they look really safe, and I was really excited to get out there today,” Victoria said. “I was lucky enough that, even in the warm up, everything was in our favor. Bean was jumping so well today, and all of the jumps came right to us.”
Though Victoria has only been with Bean for about nine months, she feels that he is a perfect match. She feels grateful to have such a horse.
“When you think about your dream event horse, it’s Bean,” Victoria said. “He is just fantastic. I watched Leslie [Law] ride him years ago, and watched Leslie ride him in the AEC at Lamplight in 2009, and I’ve been a fan of him ever since. I never thought that I’d be able to ride such a nice horse, and I feel really lucky that I get to.”
Moving into second place on the CH-J* leaderboard is 17-year-old Kylie Figueira from Fenelon Falls, Canada and her 15-year-old Trakehner mare, Danzig. The pair was tied for fourth place after dressage with a 49.6, but latched onto second place after a double clean cross-country round. According to Kylie, “Zig” is “a bit of a handful” in the barn, but always tries her best out on course.
“[Zig] is phenomenal,” Kylie said. “…as soon as I get on her she really knows her job and does anything I ask her. She’s a sweetheart.”
Rounding out the top three is 17-year-old Haley Armstrong-Laframboise from Orangeville, Canada. She and the 12-year-old Trakhner mare, Roksolana, were in seventh place after dressage with a 51.2, and moved up to second with a double clean cross-country round. Haley was happy with her cross-country round today, despite the mix of sticky and forward riding areas on course, and she was pleased with her mare’s performance.
“[Roksolana] was great,” Hailey said. “We call her ‘the Rock’ because she is a steady-eddy, awesome, fantastic mare. ”
Since dressage on Thursday, Ontario has overtaken Area V in the CH-J* team competition with a total score of 156.8. With Kylie Figueira is second and Hailey Armstrong-Laframboise in third, the future for Ontario looks promising. Sixteen-year-old Daria Ivandeava from Tottenham, Canada and her 10-year-old Polish Warmblood gelding, Autorytet, also turned in a good round for the team. The pair had no jump faults and only 1.6 time penalties, finishing the day in tenth place. Charlotte Evans, a 16-year-old from Ontario, completed the cross-country course today with no jump or time penalties. She and her 15-year-old New Zealand Thoroughbred mare, Mail Order Bride, are currently in fifteenth place.
The final individual placings and team winner have yet to be determined with show jumping still to come. Check out final results for these talented young riders after the stadium phase tomorrow morning.
Full results available here: http://youngriders.org/Results.aspx