Area V Defends Their Gold Medal In CH-J*
The CH-J* division of the 2012 Adequan/FEI North American Junior and Young Rider Championships ended today with 33 nerve wracking rounds of show jumping. Rails flew left and right as riders navigated the tricky course, designed by Richard Jeffery. Final placings for teams and individuals were determined by the multitude of jump and time penalties.
Holding on to first place individually was 17-year-old Victoria New and her 12-year-old Selle Francais gelding, Fleeceworks Mystere du Val. The pair was in second place after dressage with a 48.5, and had a double clean cross-country run that boosted them to the overnight lead. Victoria and “Bean” had an unfortunate rail at jump four, but managed to stay in first place due to fallen rails of the second, third, and fourth place riders. Bean and Victoria ended the event on a score of 52.5. Though Victoria and Bean turned in a great round, the course was by no means simple.
“It was a really impressive course,” Victoria said. “When you first walked in the ring, there were a lot of big square oxers and upright verticals off the turns. I, personally, was pretty intimidated, but it rode really, really nicely.”
CH-J* Slideshow. Leslie Mintz/USEA Photos.
Returning to Young Riders for the second year, Victoria felt that she had something to prove especially in the final phase. At last year’s Young Rider Championships, Victoria was eliminated due to an unlucky fall at the last fence on the show jumping course. This year with a different ride, she was ready to attack the show jumping course.
“Walking in the ring, [I saw] the exact line set up that I fell at last year,” Victoria said. “…the pain and me being terrified turned into me thinking, ‘okay, you get a second shot at this. You can redeem yourself.’ I have a different horse this year, one that I have a better relationship with. He took pretty good care of me the first bit of the course, and coming around to that last line, I was determined to put in correct strides and get a good ride there.”
Overall, Victoria could not be happier with Bean’s performance and the final results of the event.
“It feels fantastic just to finish this year, let alone be the gold medalist,” Victoria said. “I never anticipated that.”
Moving up eleven places from dressage to finish as the individual silver medalist was 17-year-old Hanna Kruegar from Charlotte, North Carolina. She and her 12-year-old Thoroughbred gelding, Pinney North, were tied for thirteenth place after dressage with a score of 52.9, and Hanna and “Jones” were one of the few pairs to finish on their dressage score.
“Yesterday [in cross-country] Jones was a machine and saved me,” Hanna said. “It was the most fun I’d ever had. Today [in show jumping] he was amazing once again . . . seeing all of the rails drop [for other riders] was surreal.”
Hanna bough Jones a little over a year ago, and so far he has been a perfect gentleman. According to Hanna, Jones was always a star in cross-country. The two have worked hard to improve their dressage and show jumping as well.
“He is amazing for me and hasn’t put a step wrong,” Hanna said.
Finishing the weekend with a bronze medal was 16-year-old Matilda Segal from Monticello, Georgia and her mom’s 12-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding Guinness X. The pair was tied for thirteenth after dressage with Hanna and Jones, and climbed their way up the ranks with a clean cross-country round. Though the pair had one rail today in show jumping, they still moved up to the top three. Matilda and Guinness finished the weekend on a score of 56.9. Matilda was pleased with the entire weekend. She was proud of show jumping today despite her one rail.
“My show jumping was great today. My horse was fantastic,” Matilda said. “He really came through, especially since it tends to be a little spooky in there, such a big arena, but he was fantastic. I really got him in front of my leg and he jumped well.”
Matilda is ecstatic to have such a high placing in the Young Rider Championships. According to her, everything went as planned except for the one rail. Nevertheless, she is a happy camper.
“This feels absolutely fantastic,” Matilda said. “I never really expected to be up here.”
Team medals in the CH-J* were finalized and awarded as well. Though Ontario held the gold medal position after cross-country, the show jumping phase put Area V in first place. Victoria New and ‘Bean’ lead the way with their individual win. Seventeen- year-old Brindley House and her Appendix Quarter Horse gelding, Might Be Regal boosted the team with their fourth place finish, ending on a score of 57.7, while 17-year-old Taylor Wood and her 11-year-old Thoroughbred gelding , On Eagle’s Wings, contributed with a tenth place finish on a score of 59.7. Last but not least 15-year-old Alyssa Phillips finished the event on her 15-year-old Thoroughbred gelding, Exploring. The pair had one of the only double clean show jumping rounds all day. All of these talented riders were pleased to represent Area V and finish the weekend with gold medals around their necks.
“This is the greatest experience I’ve ever had,” Taylor said.
Area V came into the Young Rider Championships with a mission. Just a few months ago, Alyssa’s father succumbed to cancer, and the team made it their goal to bring home the gold in his honor. The team feels that they rode the championship this weekend for him. “Silver Fox Phillips,” as the team called him, was a passionate supporter of Alyssa’s riding career and the sport of eventing. Area V wanted to “bring home the Gold for the Silver.”
Finishing second in the CH-J* Team competition was Ontario. Haley Armstrong-Laframboise, Kylie Figueira, Daria Ivandeava, and Charlotte Evans were the four juniors who contributed to this achievement. Daria and Autorytet led the way with a score of 60.0, and completed the event in twelfth place. Ontario finished the weekend with the silver medal, ending on a total score of 185.8.
The bronze medal went to Area III, who finished on a score of 191.5. Team members Matilda Segal, Alden Leavitt, Mary Atkins Hunt, and Nicole Doolittle contributed to the area’s accomplishment at the championships.
CH-Y** Slideshow. Leslie Mintz/USEA Photos.
Area VI/VII/IX Scramble Team Brings Home Gold For West Coast In CH-Y**
The 2012 Adequan/FEI North American Junior and Young Rider Championships officially came to a close today with the conclusion of the CH-Y**. Like the CH-J*, the two- star show jumping was challenging, and rails mixed up the overnight leaderboard. Though he was in second place yesterday after cross-country, 18-year-old Connor Husain and his 13-year-old Swedish Warmblood gelding, Piece of Hope, moved into first place after a clean show jumping round today. The pair finished on their dressage score of 53.9.
On the final day of competition Connor had a strategy set for his ride on “Bruno” that ended up producing the win.
“I tend to get a little nervous going into show jumping, and I’m not that experienced at three-days,” Connor said. “I’ve really been working on having a positive attitude and having a nice forward ride around the course.”
Though Connor had a fabulous cross-country run yesterday with no penalties, the long course did take a toll on Bruno. Time was not easy to make, and the pair had to put it into high gear the last half of the course to make the time. Though Bruno jumped nicely and cleanly today, Connor thought that he was a bit tired.
“He was actually touching the fences a bit more than he usually does,” Connor said. “ I think that [the cross-country] was probably a big factor. He’s really fit, but I definitely think that the cross-country yesterday took it out of him a little bit. Not too much, but he was not jumping fences as well as he usually does.”
Nevertheless, Connor and Bruno were at their best all three phases, and will return home with a very impressive win under their belt.
“It was really an honor to have such a great show jumping round and such a great competition at the Kentucky Horse Park,” Connor said.
Taking the silver medal home is 20-year-old Lizzie Snow and Kathryn Sullivan’s 12-year-old Thoroughbred gelding, Coal Creek. Lizzie and Coal Creek were in first place after dressage, but were bumped down to third after 4.4 cross-country time penalties. The pair had a double clean show jumping round today to move back up and finish the weekend with a score of 55.1. Lizzie and Coal Creek had a nice show jumping round today and added no penalties to their score after cross-country.
“I thought the course was fantastic,” Lizzie said. “I walked it a couple times. [Richard Jeffery’s] courses are always very well built and if you ride forward and kicking; you are going to have a good round. I liked the flow of the track.”
The pair improved their performance immensely since last year when Coal Creek ran away on the cross-country and forced her to retire on course. The pair redeemed themselves by finishing not only in the individual medals, but also in the team medals. Lizzie hopes to keep working with Coal Creek to improve their skill set as a pair, and aims to go Advanced in the near future.
“This experience this whole weekend has been incredible,” Lizzie said. “I didn’t have the best experience last year, but to be able to come back and be on a gold medal team is pretty cool.”
Lizzie wore a green ribbon on her jacket throughout the competition to honor Coal Creek’s previous rider, Amy Tryon who passed away unexpectedly earlier this year.
New to the top three and taking home the bronze medal is 20-year-old Lexi Scovil from Mequon, Wisconsin and her 11-year-old Thoroughbred gelding, Sky Show. Lexi and Sky Show were in seventh place after dressage with a 55.9, but climbed up the ranks over the next two phases with double clear jumping rounds. Lexi planned to give Sky Show a soft but forward ride in show jumping, and it paid off.
“There were a couple of places that I wasn’t quite forward enough, but he’s a great jumper,” Lexi said. “We had a few taps here and there. He gave me a little bit of a heart attack over the first fence, but he really took care of me. He was a really good boy, and he tries hard.”
The Two- Star team competition ended with an unsurprising win for the Scramble team of Areas VI, VII, and IX. Lizzie Snow and Coal Creek’s Silver medal finish gave the team a good boost in the running, while Kendyl Tracy and A Bit of Tack’s 13-year-old Thoroughbred mare, Ever So Lucky, finished fourth overall with a score of 57.3. Sarah Braun and the Thoroughbred mare, Perfect Intentions, contributed to the pack with a fifth place finish and a final score of 57.8. Despite their great dressage and cross-country rounds, Teresa Harcourt and Bonza Twist of Fate ran into some trouble today at the Liverpool oxer and they were eliminated. Areas VI, VII, and IX ended the event with a total score of 180.2.
“It’s pretty emotional, winning a gold medal here at Young Riders on this team,” Sarah said.
Taking the Team Silver medal was the Scramble Team of Areas II, III, and IV. Connor Husain’s win gave the team a running start, and Lexi Scovil’s third place finish kept the team’s score very competitive. Jamie Doolittle and A Dream Come True put in a good effort with their eighth place finish on a score of 75.6, while Molly Curtiss and her mare, Savannah IX, rounded out the team of four and finished on a 91.3. The final tally for the team was 185.4.
The Ontario/Quebec Team was awarded the Bronze medal. Erin MacDonald, Katherine Martineau, Rachel McDonough, and Sable Giesler all contributed to the success of this four person team. Ontario and Quebec ended on a score of 258.2.
Final results from the weekend are available here: http://youngriders.org/Results.aspx