Move over Burghley, it’s time for Jr. Beginner Novice 14 & Under cross country at the American Eventing Championships! This is the division to watch, as the country’s most adorably cutthroat junior riders face off over the toughest yellow numbered jumps in the land.
Our dressage leaders, Ashley Stout and Deo Volente, brought the heat in the sandbox yesterday, posting a 19.8 — the lowest dressage score of the entire event. Second-placed Avery Cascarino and Dudley Do Right are nipping at their heels on a score of 20.0. These kids aren’t even old enough to drive a car and they’re already riding every adult at the AECs under the table.
Clearly, they’re packing ice in those veins. Can they keep it up through cross country? We’re about to find out!
2:08 p.m.: Our first pair is on course. Let’s do this thing, y’all!
2:10: Hannah Fischer and Monster trailblaze a double-clear round, followed by second-placed Avery Cascarino and Dudley Do Right. What time is it, Avery?
That’s right, girl. It’s your time to shine. Double-clear, boom. Keep that red ribbon on lock.
2:31: Drama at fence #5! Cassie Sanger hits the deck when Ultra Violet slams on the brakes, the first of several casualties at fences #5, #6 and #7.
2:18: Emma Drury and Mr. Tuxedo finish clear with 3.2 time faults. Those heels, tho. #GeorgeMorrisApproves
2:24: Awwwwwwwwwwww squee.
2:26: Maggie Proffitt and Wallstreet Melody put the pedal to the metal.
Reporter: “Your horse is fast!”
Horse: “Allow me to run over you.”
2:27: Samantha Schultz’s You Stole My Heart has an actual heart on its butt, omg.
2:28: Mackenzie Vaneffen and her horse have basically the same facial expression over the last fence.
Don’t worry, Mackenzie, you made the time!
2:30: Samantha Schultz fell from You Stole My Heart early on the course, but she landed on her feet and mounted back up. Go heart-butt, go!
2:32: Samantha is passed by Abigail Brawley and Work of Art, but she’s still in the hunt.
2:34: Despite picking up 105.2 time penalties, Samantha and You Stole My Heart steal our hearts when they cross the finish line.
2:34: Julianna Pohoski and Keiki O Ka Aina are #stoked about their double clear round.
What’s the story behind that hashtag?
2:48: Meanwhile Vienna Allport is winning the warmup with her pompom helmet and on-point color scheme.
2:46: Vienna and her brother Luke have back to back start times. Double clears for them both!
Who are you wearing, Vienna? Are pom poms making a comeback?
2:50: Ella Robinson and Champagne have their game faces ON.
2:54: Darcy Dean and Skybound Skittles are goin’ for ittttt.
3:04: Another example of matching facial expressions.
3:06: So. Much. Fierce.
3:08: Fence #6, the double brush, was eating horses alive out there. Despite some ferocious riding on her part, Crockett Miller’s horse didn’t like the look of it their first go round …
… but they cleared it on second attempt in style.
3:10: We became Hannah Sullivan fans forever after hearing her whisper to her horse en route to jump #3, “I know this is a little weird, but it will be fine.”
And, true to her word, it was fine.
3:12: Um how adorable is this pony?
3:14: And also this one?
3:16: Massive congrats to Madeline Mogridge! Unscripted, a Wellington jumper pony turned eventer, is as fancy-pants as they come but apparently can be a little bit of a stinker. Madeline seems have gotten him figured out, though: “I’m not putting up with your garbage, pretty boy!” A well-earned double clear.
3:22: Dressage leaders Ashley Stout and Deo Volente posted a double-clear to keep hold of their place atop the scoreboard. If anyone spots a lost helmet cover out there …
Job well done to all! Here are your Jr. Beginner Novice 14 & Under top 10 after cross country: