The 41st FEI North American Championships for juniors and young riders came to a close yesterday after six hectic days of competition at Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, USA.
This is the only FEI Championship held annually in North America, and the 2015 fixture, open to competitors from 14 to 21 years, offered medal opportunities in the Olympic disciplines of jumping, dressage and eventing along with endurance and para-dressage. A total of 222 riders were entered, and para-dressage joined the programme of events for the very first time.
Zone 4’s Brett Burlington, Louise Graves, Mackenzie McGehee and Sophie Simpson led from the outset to clinch the Junior Team Jumping title boosted by a total of five zero scores including double-clears from both Burlington and Simpson. They were already in command when carrying just the single time fault collected by Graves and Zavira at the end of round one, and when Graves’ double-error second time out was the discard they added nothing further to finish well ahead of Zones 5/9 who took silver with a final tally of 12 faults.
The silver medal team consisted of Annika Faught, Emma Wujek, Daisy Farish and Vivian Yowan and the bronze medal winning side of Mexico North included Alfonso Diaz, Carlos Hank Guerreiro, Fernanda Rodriguez de Haene and Juan Pablo Gaspar Albanez whose finishing total was 20 faults. This was a back-to-back double of bronze for Mexico.
Gold medallist, Simpson, said, “I think I can speak for all of us when I say that this has been a huge dream for us. Everything was aligned for us today, and we had a great day.”
Team silver medallist, Yowan, was out in front going into the individual medal decider on a score of 3.08 and she never faltered, completing all five tracks set by Irish course designer, Alan Wade, without a single rail down with Vornado vn den Hoendrik. On Saturday she added just a single time fault to take the title ahead of Mexico’s Juan Pablo Gaspar Albanez who showed great consistency all week. The 17-year-old rider joked “this is good, but I think next year I’m going to do Juniors again. I want to have that gold medal around my neck. The first year I was 10th, and last year I was seventh, so I’m moving up!”, he said. Bronze went to 17-year-old Sophie Simpson.
The Young Rider Team title went to Zones 3/5’s Kalvin Dobbs, Meredith Darst, Noel Fauntleroy and Jacob Pope. Carrying nine faults at the end of the first round they were trailing Zone 2, Zones 4/8 and Zone 10 who each registered an eight-fault scoreline at the halfway stage. But when Darst’s four faults with Quester de Virton was all that had to be added to their tally at the end of round two, Zones 3/5 came out on top on a final total of 13, while with eight to add Zone 2 had to settle for silver and with 12 more on their scoresheet Zones 4/8 took the bronze.
The Zone 2 silver medallists were Katherine Strauss, Sima Morgello , Kira Kerkorian and Lucy Deslauriers, while the Zones 4/8 bronze medallists were Kaely Tomeu, Brittni Raflowitz, Kelli Cruciotti and Victoria Colvin.
In the race for the young rider individual medals, 16-year-old Lucy Deslaurier threw down the gauntlet when collecting just a single time penalty on the final afternoon with her horse Hester, and that was good enough to pin Raflowitz into silver and Fauntleroy into bronze. It was desperately close between the two young ladies, only one-tenth of a point separating the pair at the end of the day but Raflowitz paying the price fro two fences down in the final round.
Deslauriers, whose famous father Mario was only three years older than his daughter is today when claiming the FEI World Cup Jumping title with Aramis way back in 1984, was adding young rider gold to the silver medal she took last year. “I really didn’t think going into this that this would be the end result” she said. “My horse jumped incredibly, he’s really a dream!”
Source: Press release from the FEI written by Louise Parkes
Young Rider Team Jumping Championship: GOLD - Zones 3/5 13 faults: Bukato (Kalvin Dobbs) 12/16, Zilvana (Jocob Pope) 8/0, Cabras (Noel Fauntleroy) 0/0, Quester de Virton (Meredith Darst) 1/4; SILVER - Zone 2, 16 faults: All in (Katherine Strauss) 13/4, Orientales (Sima Morgello) 8/0, Nightfire (Kira Kerkorian) 0/4, Hester (Lucy Deslauriers) 0/8: BRONZE - Zones 4/8, 20 faults: Fidalgo van het Leliehof (Kaely Tomau) 8/4, Baloumina du Ry (Brittni Raflowitz) 0/0, Wallenberg (Kalli Cruciotti) 12/8, Lumiere (Victoria Colvin) 0/8.
Young Rider Individual Jumping Championship: GOLD - Hester (Lucy Deslauriers) 9.04; SILVER - Baloumina du Ry (Brittni Raflowitz) 9.15; BRONZE - Cabras (Noel Fauntleroy) 11.49.
Junior Team Jumping Championship: GOLD - Zone 4, 1 fault: Zavira (Louse Graves) 1/8, Unique (Mackenzie McGehee) 12/0, Anders Wictor (Brett Burlington) 0/0, Why Not (Sophie Simpson) 0.0; SILVER - Zones 5/9, 12 faults: Vornado van ded Hoendrik (Vivian yowan) 0/0, Quintara (Annika Faught) 0/16, ugaf (Emma Wujek) 13/4, Triviant Daisy Farish) 4/4; BRONZE - Mexico North, 20 faults: Virginia (Alfonso Diaz) 0/8, Cedino K (Carlos Hank Guerreiro) 16/4, Teuz dun Liban (Fernanda Rodeiguez de Haene) 8/4, Puertas So What ( Juan Pablo Gaspar Albanez) 0/4.
Junior Individual Jumping Championship: GOLD - Vornado van den Hoendrik (Vivian Yowan) 4.08: SILVER - Puertas So What (Juan Pablo Gaspar Albanez) 8.0: BRONZE - Why Not (Sophie Simpson) 11.5.
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