Area II NAYC Dream Team Is Backed by Serious Horsepower

Area II has announced its Young Rider squad for the FEI North American Youth Championship (NAYC) Three-Day Event and boy, is it star-studded. Like, you could create a small galaxy from all the stars on these horses’ FEI records!

The two-star team includes two Olympic veterans (Mr. Medicott and Flintstar) plus 2017 USEA Horse of the Year Cambalda and three-star horse Ideal Contini. Another experienced three-star horse, Center Stage, has been named to the one-star team.

We’re glad to see these equine veterans, some of them getting on a bit in age (Mr. Medicott is 19 and Flintstar is 18), out doing what they love and lending their experience to the development of our country’s brightest young stars. It’s important work.

The official Area II team of four horses and riders per division (2* and 1*) and any individuals will be named following the first horse inspection at The Event at Rebecca Farms on July 18, 2018.

The long listed Area II squad is as follows, in alphabetical order:

Area II CICOY2* Team

Olivia Dutton and Mr. Medicott. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Olivia Dutton, 16, from West Grove, PA., attends Foxcroft School in Middleburg, VA., riding Mr. Medicott, a 1999 chestnut ISH gelding owned by the Mr. Medicott Syndicate.

Mr. Medicott is an Olympic and World Equestrian Games veteran, helping procure team gold for Germany at the 2008 Hong Kong Olympics and, with Karen O’Connor in the irons, turning in a top 10 finish for Team USA at the 2012 London Olympics. He achieved five top-10 CCI4* finishes during his career at the level, with Frank Ostholt, Karen O’Connor and Phillip Dutton.

In 2018 Olivia and Mr. Medicott finished 3rd in the CIC1* at Fair Hill and completed their first CIC2* together at Jersey Fresh with a jump fault-free cross country round and no show jumping faults. Olivia trains at True Prospect Farm in West Grove, PA. In addition to riding, Olivia plays varsity lacrosse and was recently elected co-head of her schools’ athletic association. This is her first experience on an Area II Young Rider team.

Ryan Keefe and Flintstar. Photo by Mike McNally.

Ryan Keefe, 18, Sandy Spring, MD, a graduate of Our Lady of Good Counsel High School, Olney, MD and enrolled in the University of Kentucky, riding Flintstar, a 2000 New Zealand bred Thoroughbred bay gelding owned by Rumsey Keefe.

Flintstar was competed through the four-star level by New Zealand’s Jonelle Price, with a resume that includes the 2012 Olympic Games in London (team bronze), Burghley in 2011 (27th place), Luhmühlen (8th place) and Burghley (20th place) in 2013. After Burghley he was imported to the U.S. by young rider Calvin Ramsey, with whom he won individual silver in the 2014 NAYC CCI2*. In 2016 he was purchased by the Keefe family, and Ryan and Flintstar have finished in the top four at each of the FEI 1*/2* events the pair has contested together.

Ryan trains with Rumsey Keefe, Sandy Spring, MD, and Sharon White of Last Frontier Eventing, W. VA .This is Ryan’s first experience on an Area II Young Rider team.

Alexa Lapp and Cambalda. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Alexa Lapp, 19, Gap, PA, a graduate of Pequea Valley High School, Kinzers, PA, riding Cambalda, a 2002 bay ISH gelding owned by Tim and Nina Gardner.

Cambalda is Jennie Brannigan’s very experienced partner, who was named 2017 USEA Horse of the Year and has a long-string of three-star wins to his name: Plantation Field CIC3* (2010, 2015), Galway Downs CCI3* (2010), The Fork CIC3* (2011 and 2015), Fair Hill CCI3* (2014) and Great Meadow CIC3* (2017), and too many top finishes to list. He completed the Kentucky CCI4* in 2014 and was a member of the winning FEI Great Meadows U.S. Nations Cup team in 2017.

He has been partnered with Alexa Lapp this year, with whom he finished 6th in the Red Hills CIC1* and 3rd in the Jersey Fresh CIC2*. Alexa trains with Brannigan Eventing in Coatesville, PA., and this is her second time on an Area II Young Riders Championship team, having attended in 2016 as a CCI1* youth athlete on her horse Paprika.

Tayler Stewart and Ideal Contini. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

Tayler Stewart, 18, Damascus, MD., a graduate of Damascus High School, Damascus, MD., riding Ideal Contini, a 2003 grey Westphalian gelding owned by herself, Emily and Tyler Stewart.

Ideal Contini was competed through the three-star level by Sally Cousins, including an 11th place finish in the Plantation Field CIC3* in 2013.

The Stewart family purchased him for Tayler in 2015, and the pair has since progressed from the one- to three-star level. In 2018 they completed the Jersey Fresh CIC3* and placed 6th in The Fork CIC2*; in 2017 they completed the Fair Hill International CCI2*. Tayler and Ideal Contini competed at the NAYC in 2016, placing 7th in the CCI1*, and this is Tayler’s second time representing Area II Young Riders. Tayler was named as an Emerging Athlete on the 2018 USEF E25 List and trains with Packy McGaughan in Clarksburg, MD, and Marilyn Little in Frederick, MD.

Area II NAYC (CCI1*) Team

Macy Beach, 17, from Millsboro, DE., a senior at Cape Henlopen High School, Lewes, DE, riding Chasing Moonlight, a 2008 bay Thoroughbred gelding.

In 2018 they placed 5th in the  Virginia Horse Trials CCIY1*, 13th at Fair Hill International CIC1*, and completed the Carolina International CIC1*. Chasing Moonlight is a Kentucky-bred off-track Thoroughbred with 33 racing starts, earning $165,000 prior to his eventing career. Macy has attended United States Pony Club Championships in 2015, 2016 and 2017; this is her first time as a youth athlete on Area II Young Riders. She trains with Dawn Beach at Winswept Stables, Millsboro, DE.

Haley Carspecken, 18, Purcellville, VA., a graduate of Tuscarora High School, Leesburg, VA., riding Center Stage, a 2006 grey Holsteiner gelding owned by the rider.

In 2018 they placed 20th in the Fair Hill International Spring CIC2*; in 2017 they placed 5th in the Virginia Horse Trials CCI1* and were 8th in the Plantation Field International CIC1*. Center Stage has competed through the the CCI3* level with Caroline Martin. Haley attended the 2016 NAYC as a groom, and she trains with Mara DePuy, Round Hill, VA.

Katherine Christopher, 18, Bahama, NC, a graduate of Northern High School, Durham, NC, and enrolled at the University of North Carolina Wilmington, riding Frodo of the Shire, a 2003 bay Thoroughbred gelding.

In 2018, they placed 4th in the Carolina International CIC1Y*, 1st in a Junior Preliminary Rider horse trial division at Carolina Horse Park, and 2nd junior in a Preliminary Rider horse trials division at Sporting Days; in 2017 they placed 18th in the Ocala Jockey Club CCI1*. Frodo of the Shire is an off-track Thoroughbred with one lifetime start prior to his eventing career; with a former rider, he completed a CCI2* in 2014. Katherine has qualified for and competed in the American Eventing Championships. She trains with Holly Hudspeth of Rougemont, NC, and Lynn Leath out of Chapel Hill, NC. Katherine was a groom for the 2015 Area II team.

Maia Kantorowski, 17, Pinehurst, NC, attends The O’Neal School in Southern Pines, NC., riding Kiltubrid Rebel, a 2009 chestnut ISH gelding.

In 2018 they completed the Ocala Jockey Club CCI1*, placed 4th in a Jr/YR Open Preliminary horse trial division at Carolina Horse Park, and placed 5th in a Jr/YR Open Preliminary horse trial division at Pine Top. This is Maia’s first experience as a youth athlete for Area II Young Riders. She trains with Bobby Costello, John Zopatti and Lizzie Snow in Southern Pines, NC. Maia participated as a groom at the 2017 NAYC.

Olivia Wall, 18, Apex, NC, a graduate of Apex Friendship School, Apex, NC and enrolled in the University of Kentucky, riding Mandolin R, a 2008 SWB bay gelding owned by the rider.

In 2018 they finished 4th in the Virginia Horse Trials CCI1* and completed the Ocala International CCI1*. Olivia trains with Doug and Jess Payne of Hillsboro, NC. This is her first experience as a youth athlete representing Area II Young Riders.

Area II’s all-important groom roster is comprised of Caitlin O’Roark, Dylan Phillips, Zoe Bruno, Colette Leber, Cori Jarman, Anna Fitzhugh and Ella Braundel.

The Area II Young Riders team is coached by Holly Payne-Caravella with chef d’equipe as Meg Kepferle. The Area II YR coordinator is Chris Donovan.

The Adequan®/FEI North American Youth Championship Three-Day Event, presented by Gotham North, takes place again this year in Kalispell, Montana, in conjunction with The Event At Rebecca Farms from July 18-22. Prior to NAYC the Area II team will attend a mandatory Young Rider Training Camp to be held at the USET Headquarters at Gladstone, NJ, from June 30-July 7.

Many thanks to Holly Covey of the Area II Young Riders Committee for her assistance with this report. Learn more about the Area II Young Rider program and NAYC fundraising efforts here. Best of luck to all and keep an eye on EN for all the latest in the homestretch to NAYC 2018!