Silver Medals & New Friends: Callia Englund’s NAYC Debut

We have enjoyed following Callia Englund’s journey to the 2018 North American Youth Championships (NAYC) for Eventing, took place during The Event at Rebecca Farm, July 18-22, in Kalispell, Montana — read her original blog entry here. The 15-year-old from Enumclaw, Washington, put in a lot of hard work to represent Area VII in the CCIJ1*, and it paid off in a team silver medal — congrats, Area VII! She reports back with this memoir of her NAYC experience. 

Isabella Gunningham & Calicool, Harper Click & Rubia, Coach John Camlin, and Callia Englund & Xyder. Photo courtesy of Callia Englund.

This season I have experienced everything that I could ever imagine and more. My name is Callia Englund and I recently returned from NAYC at Rebecca Farm!

I’m going to be honest when I say NAYC was not something I had on my mind since I was a little girl. It only became a goal when it was even remotely attainable. Throughout my eventing career, my horse Xyder and I have been very successful at putting our minds to something and getting it done. After our move up to Preliminary, the obvious next step was a one-star, but I was still not thinking about championship until talking with some of the other girls who wanted to qualify as well. Even though some people might not agree on “rushing” to get there, I’m unbelievably happy I did.

Callia Englund & Xyder. Photo by Skipperdoodlefritz.

This year I represented Area VII on the CCIJ* event team alongside Harper Click and Isabella Gunningham. I had always known these girls but was never really friends with them until this experience. Young Riders opened up a door to these friendships that might have never occurred but I am forever grateful for. Besides my teammates we had three amazing grooms, who I also had a pretty equivalent exposure with. Lanie Martin, Cadence Michel, and Xyder’s personal groom Lilly Linder! I am extremely thankful for getting to spend the most important week of my life to date with our awesome team!

At NAYC, our team won the silver medal! I felt so honored to stand beside these girls watching our hard work pay off. Personally, Xyder and I had our best dressage test to date and our personal record in the FEI ring. He jumped around a tough championship cross country course more honestly and willingly than he’s ever been on course, and then pulled off an outstanding show jump round in such a big atmosphere.

704J1 Callia Englund on Xyder CCIJ1* FEI Jog 1 The Event at Rebecca Farm July 2018

704D Callia Englund on Xyder CCIJ1* Dressage Rebecca Farm July 2018

704J2 Callia Englund on Xyder CCIJ1* FEI Jog 2 Rebecca Farm July 2018

704S Callia Englund on Xyder CCIJ1* Show Jumping Rebecca Farm July 2018

I will always remember this week. My team has had the luxury of coming to Rebecca Farms ever since it been in our area, so to some they may think it wasn’t as special as a different facility or solely being an NAYC event. And I don’t think that they’re wrong but competing in Young Riders made Rebecca Farms an even more amazing experience than I’ve had any other year I’ve gone. It was so great to meet many other people all across the country that have the same dreams and passions as you do. I will forever recommend competing at NAYC if you ever have the opportunity to.

The week could never have happened without the help of many people. First off, my trainer Anni Grandia who has always been supporting and coaching us leading up to this time and for sending me off to learn under Tamie Smith. She took on the crazy task of getting me and my short, stocky pony qualified in two months! Next: all of the people in the Area VII Young Rider program. Specifically Karla Nichwander, our Coordinater, and Chef d’Equipe John Camlin, the man who coached our team to the silver medal, and Katy Nichwander, our last minute Head Groom! Also our Young Rider program had lots of sponsors to help us look our best through the week. And finally I would like to thank my parents, for the time, money and support they have shared to help me achieve my dreams.

This was an unbelievable experience. I’m forever grateful for this memorable week, developing new friendships and learning new things! Cheers to NAYC 2018!

Click here to read EN’s coverage of NAYC 2018 and The Event at Rebecca Farm.