Area V Tops NAJYRC CCI* Dressage & First Leg of Rebecca Farm Chinch Challenge

Rebecca Farm Chinch Challenge: Whichever team holds the NAJYRC CCI* lead is the Keeper of the Chinch. May the Chinch be with you, Area V! Photo by Leslie Wylie.

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:

  1. Area V: 140.0
  2. Area I: 146.4
  3. Area III: 150.1
  4. Canada: 153.2
  5. Area VI: 157.6
  6. Area II: 159.3
  7. Area VIII: 170.9

NAJYRC CCI1* Top 15 Dressage:

Day 2 Highlights from Ride On Video:

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