Lexington, Ky.—July 15
The annual golf cart parade to kick off the FEI/Adequan North American Junior and Young Rider Championships rolled through the Kentucky Horse Park Tuesday evening, and for the first time this year, the final destination was Spy Coast Farm, which hosted the opening ceremony and celebration. If you weren't present to witness the collection of colorful carts firsthand, don't sweat it. We caught some of the best scenes from the parade and the party that followed on camera, along with a short question and quote to bring you to the moment with us. These are the humans of NAJYRC, and they have some pretty entertaining snippets to share from the opening ceremony!
“How did it go riding on the roof on the way down here?”
“No problem. They were trying to scrape me off. We watered the grass earlier today because it was dying, so it was a little wet. But it gave me a good vantage point to shoot from.”
Junior rider Woods Baughman rode on top of the Area VIII golf cart, which featured a sod cut-out on the roof to fit their ‘home turf’ theme (four of their five riders hail from Kentucky). Also representing Area VIII are Juniors Samantha Laurel, Morgan Pence, and Kelly Taylor, and Young Rider Rachel Wilks.
“Are you representing all the riders going to WEG; what’s the deal?”
“Yes! USA! USA! USA!”
“We brought the real Sinead too. We caught one! One down, five to go!”
The Area II eventing team sported some comical cut-outs and horse masks during the golf cart parade, representing the U.S. horse and rider eventing pairs competing at the 2014 World Equestrian Games.
Juniors representing Area II in eventing are Grace Fulton, Madeline Mosing, Alexis Nelson, Margaret Schaeffer, Sydney Solomon and Michaela Yowaiski, and Young Rider Madeline Parisan. (Bonus points: find the real Sinead Halpin in the picture!)
“How many people did we just fit on the golf cart?”
“Did we have any concerns about that?”
“No, we’re eventers!”
This golf cart was packed with competitors from Area VI, including Juniors Kiera Carter, Elle De Recat, Kate Lathrop, Lulu Shamberg and Kaylawna Smith, and Young Rider Alexandra Willoughby.
“What happened to the golf cart?”
“It ran out of gas.”
“How’d you make the decision who has to push and who gets to ride?”
“We all did; it’s a team effort!”
Riders and pushers of the gasless region 8 golf cart are Juniors Bobbie Kerr, Nicole Nowak, Callie O’Connell and Regan Salm, and Young Riders Giulia Cohen, Hope Cooper, Elizabeth Fell and Hannah McCabe.
“Did you guys train him to do that?”
“No, we just gave him one; we were waiting and we gave him one and it was so funny!”
Max the dog carried the colors of Quebec and Canada for the dressage teams hailing from Quebec, with Junior riders Beatrice Boucher and Camille Carier Bergeron, and Young Riders Laurence Blais-Tetreault, Julie Channell, Naima Moreira Laliberte and Tanya Strasser-Shostak.
“How did you come up with this theme?”
“Well we just came up with the idea because we’re pretty intense, and we’re here to save the day!”
The Region 3 golf cart gave Spiderman a ride to Spy Coast on the roof. Dressage riders competing for the region are Juniors Mallory Kent, Natalie Pai and Rachel Robinson.
“Who were you planning on sabotaging in the water gun fight?”
“Anyone, but mostly Canada and Mexico.”
“And Area V.”
“And how many people did you fit on the golf cart?”
“One, two, three….14!”
Competing for Area IV are Juniors Kristine Burgess, Rebecca Gall, Elena Hengel, Melanie Rousseau and Hannah Stohr, and Young Riders Autumn Schweiss and Patrick Zinck.
“Is this your first time at NAJYRC?”
“I actually just got here Friday, so it’s my first show in the States,” said show jumper Maria Jose de la Torre (left), the only NAJYRC competitor representing the Dominican Republic. “I’m here until August. I live in Mexico. I like it here. It’s very different from everything I’ve seen; it has a lot more people and a lot more horses.” To her right is Sabrina Rivera, the only competitor from El Salvador.
“Your golf cart theme is making me hungry.”
“We love Tim Hortons, and we go a lot of horse show mornings to the drive-through. We stop at 4 a.m."
Ontario eventers, including Chloe Graham, Emma Green, Sophie Ochocinski, Annick Niemuller, Moira de St. Croix, Autumn Wells, Lauren Clark, April Simmonds, Hanna Bundy and Jamie Kellock, kicked off their week by showcasing their early morning ritual on two golf carts they brought to the opening ceremony.
“What inspired your patriotic golf cart?”
“It’s the first time at Young Riders for all of us; it’s really exciting,” said Young Rider Sarah Cohen (left). “We went for red, white and blue to represent USA—figured we’d just go all patriotic.” Emily Parker (middle) and Heather Decent (right) are juniors competing in dressage.
"How'd you come up with the idea for an ice cream truck?
"We found it on Pinterest."
The USA Southeast endurance team consisting of Young Riders Michael Bishop, Mallory Capps, Cassandra Roberts, Morgan Watson and Josie Whelan, won the golf cart decorating contest with their golf cart turned ice cream truck.