The 2017 North American Junior and Young Rider Championships are underway! We all know how hard these young athletes worked to get here, in the saddle and beyond — see Abby’s roundup of how NAJYRC teams funded the trip to Rebecca Farm. And everybody, from riders and grooms to coaches and managers, deserves a great big high five for making it to Montana. Like so:
Area V came out swinging, sweeping the CCI1* dressage lead today. The squad:
Ryan Hall with Graceland’s Liebchen and Jane Cook with Monatrea Xavier are representing Area V as individuals.
Here they explain what it means to be at NAJYRC and what it took to get here:
This is Will Faudree‘s first year coaching the team, and it’s a back-to-his-roots step for the Lone Star State native. In 2001 Will helped his Area V teammates Heidi Hewlett, Clark Montgomery and Amy Smith to NAJYRC two-star Team Gold riding the OTTB The Big Easy. He was named USEA Young Rider of the Year in 2002 and was also presented with the Lionel Guerrand-Hermes Trophy, awarded to the Young Rider who exemplifies the USET’s ideals of sportsmanship and horsemanship.
Now he’s passing those ideals on down to a new generation of young riders, working alongside Area V Young Rider Coordinator Tayler Owen to help build a strong program for all levels.
Some of Will’s policies — like taking his riders’ phones away in the morning to keep them focused on the job at hand — weren’t originally well received, but the riders now see the value in it. And their diligence is paying off thus far, with two Area V riders in the top three.
Area V’s McKensey Wickman and her own Dassett Profile, a 9-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding, lead the division on a 43.1. This is the pair’s second CCI1* together — they placed second in their FEI debut at Texas Rose Horse Park Summer H.T. in May of this year.
Representing Area II, Megan Loughnane and her own Linford, an 8-year-old Holsteiner gelding, sit second on a 45.0. They have a good chunk of experience at the one-star level, most recently finishing inside the top 20 in the Bromont CCI1* in June.
Rounding out the top three is another Area V combination, Arden Stephens with Ultra T, a 9-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding. They’re close behind with a score of 45.1.
A few snapshots from the NAJYRC ring:
NAJYRC continues tomorrow with CCI2* dressage, followed by cross country Saturday and show jumping Sunday.
NAJYRC Team Standings:
- Area V: 140.0
- Area I: 146.4
- Area III: 150.1
- Canada: 153.2
- Area VI: 157.6
- Area II: 159.3
- Area VIII: 170.9
NAJYRC CCI1* Top 15 Dressage:
Day 2 Highlights from Ride On Video: