AEC Not-Quite-Live Updates: Jr. Beginner Novice XC Faceoff Showdown

What’s this Burghley live stream garbage? I’m ready for AEC Jr. Beginner Novice cross country!

Move over Burghley, it’s time for Jr. Beginner Novice cross country at the American Eventing Championships! This is the division to watch, as the country’s most formidable junior riders face off over the toughest yellow numbered jumps in the land.

Yesterday was intense, with lightning storms thrice interrupting Jr. Beginner Novice dressage with lengthy holds and ultimately postponing the remainder of the division until this morning. Riders were forced them to reevaluate their warmup gameplans on the fly and roll with the punches. Clearly, these kids are packing ice in their veins. Can they keep it up through cross country? We’re about to find out!

1:58 p.m.: Our first pair, Erin Roane and Beau Tie, is on course. Let’s do this thing, y’all!

2:01 p.m.: Drama! We have falls from two of the first four riders out, Erin Roane and Gracie Friend. Gracie’s mount, Feature Presentation, has left her for dead at fence #9 and is now on a mission to return to his nice, cozy stall ASAP, galloping lanes be darned.

Loose horse! Photo by Leslie Wylie.

Rope in the air, don’t care. Photo by Leslie Wylie.

Challenging poor Mackenzie Lowe and Addie Okie, who have just crossed the finish line, to a foot race. Don’t take the bait, Addie Okie! Photo by Leslie Wylie.

And on into the spectator section … Photo by Leslie Wylie.

… with 60 feet of line and stakes in tow. Photo by Leslie Wylie.

2:08 p.m.: Phew! We’re just glad nobody got hurt and the horse checked out OK. Onward and upward. Meanwhile, Maggie Morris and Trump Lion have posted the first double-clear round of the division, followed by McKenzie and Addie Okie. Hayley Hayden and Lady Black Hawk pick up a couple stops at fence #7, the ditch, but finish strong. Hayden Brown and California Girl pick up 20 at #9, the water.

The game-faced duo of Emma Franklin and Teddybear spring forth out of the box …

Photo by Leslie Wylie.

… and come home triumphant!

Photo by Leslie Wylie.

Tell us about your super round on your superstar pony, Emma:

2:10 p.m.: Another clear round from Shaeleigh O’Brien and A Beautiful Promise.

Big pats! Photo by Leslie Wylie.

2:12 p.m.: Ingrid Hofmeister and Berklee pick up 20 at fence #8, the Wiggly Rails, which several horses are giving the side-eye. They look great at the finish, big smiles and braids a-flying

Is that a dark storm cloud in the distance?

Photo by Leslie Wylie.

2:14 p.m.: Jr. Beginner Novice cross country is a great place to pick up turnout tips that are fashionable yet functional, like this electrical tape wrapped neck strap sported by Sophia Hardesty and San Marco. This pair goes on to come home double-clear.

Photo by Leslie Wylie.

2:16 p.m.: Ava Cunningham and Johnny’s Private Collection look solid from start to finish.

Photo by Leslie Wylie.

2:18 p.m.: The Wiggly Rails claim another victim in Riley Croft and Gallod Welsh Fashion, who have a stop there.

2:20 p.m.: Avery Daigle and FR’s Check It Out Now are pretty in pink …

Photo by Leslie Wylie.

… and you can deduce how their run went from this photo of their cheer squad:

Photo by Leslie Wylie.

2:22 p.m.: Haley Miller and Mr. Melvin look confident and steady around the course. (Don’t tell them we told you this, but in the future they’re going to move into the lead.)

Photo by Leslie Wylie.

2:26 p.m.: Both Ashley Smith with Oaxaca and Anna Santy with Balligomingo find the finish line with no jump faults.

2:28 p.m.: Maya Pessin and This Bird come home clear!

Photo by Leslie Wylie.

Love her flash black and gold cross country colors. Yes, duct tape comes in gold apparently!

Photo by Leslie Wylie.

2:30 p.m.: P.S. American Girl, a 25-year-old Pinto ridden by Emma Sletten, is making a huge comeback after earning the Jr. Training AEC reserve championship in 2008 with owner Madeline Backus — who was 12 at the time! When Madeline outgrew P.S. American Girl she began riding P.S. Ariana, her future four-star horse. Happy 10-year AEC homecoming, P.S. American Girl! You look 25 years young out there.

Photo by Leslie Wylie.

Photo by Leslie Wylie.

2:32 p.m.: Kendall Miller and King’s Ransom set out on course, but they’ll be the last to head out before officials spot lightning and send everybody back to the barn. Deja vu! Not again!!!

Photo by Leslie Wylie.

Photo by Leslie Wylie.

2:45 p.m.: In the downtime, we flag down Maya Pessin and make her recap her great ride. (She doesn’t know this yet, but her double-clear will move her from a tie for 3rd after dressage into a tie for 2nd!)

2:55 p.m. We then spot dressage leader Emily Hedberg and Mr. Mile High, who are waiting out the lighting hold.

4 p.m.: Finally, we have the greenlight to continue on! Game on. Adriana Cuellar and Ipso Facto leave the box …

Photo by Leslie Wylie.

4:02 p.m.: … followed by Ruth Mock and Wodie. Both come home clear.

Photo by Leslie Wylie.

4:04 p.m.: Anita Hawkes’ Silver Charm, the only Arabian in the division, caught my eye in the warm-up. Those pointy little ears! I just want to put them in my mouth and eat them. (I wouldn’t actually do that, Anita. Probably.)

Photo by Leslie Wylie.

Tail flagged the whole way around, they made short work of the course.

Photo by Leslie Wylie.

4:06 p.m.: Dressage leaders Emily Hedberg and Mr. Mile High are next up. They pick up a couple stops along the way — bummer!

Photo by Leslie Wylie.

4:08 p.m.: There are couple of paints in the division, including Paige Borylo’s Talisker. What a cute face!

Photo by Leslie Wylie.

4:10 p.m.: A lovely round for Kathryn Macomber and Gabe’s Gold!

4:12 p.m.: Tatum Gray had best smile of the division, and she wore it all the way around her course with Reds Loyal Flame, who had the best ear bonnet!

Photo by Leslie Wylie.

Photo by Leslie Wylie.

Photo by Leslie Wylie.

 4:14 p.m.: Lauren Garcia is looking good on Park Avenue III.

Photo by Leslie Wylie.

4:16 p.m.: Just three more to go! Ella Robinson gets it done on Fernhill Fearless des Terdrix, which will move her into a tie for 2nd place.

Photo by Leslie Wylie.

4:20 p.m.: And our last two Jr. Beginner Novice competitors, Natalie Nabor with Lonely Soldier and Alexis Ehrlich with Poncho, come home clear!

Natalie Nabor and Lonely Soldier. Photo by Leslie Wylie.

Job well done to all!

Here are your Jr. Beginner Novice top 10 after cross country:

Photo by Leslie Wylie.

Go Eventing.

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