Lexintgon, Ky. – July 20
It was déjà vu for Quebec team members Laurence Blais Tetreault and Naima Moreira Laliberte as they accepted their medals in the Adequan/FEI North American Junior and Young Rider Championships junior freestyle.
It came down to just a fraction of a point for Tetreault and Laliberte as the juniors scored a 71.52% and a 71.20 percent respectively.
“I’m really happy [the win is] in the family!” said Laliberte. The young Canadian also earned team gold and individual silver this week with Windbreaker 3 (Windspiel As—Flora), a 12-year-old bay Westphalian on loan from German horse dealer Arnold Winter.
Tetreault competed Lowelas (Hockey 41—Lugowen), a 13-year-old chestnut Trakehner gelding. The gold medalist from the 2012 NAJYRC junior team and individual freestyle, Tetreault knew what to expect coming into the competition. “Being on a team is really great you get to work together and always support the others as well,” she said. “I think it’s as much fun as being here individually or in the freestyle. When you ride for yourself, I think it’s the same, it’s just more gratifying when you win.”
The winning freestyles demonstrated a variety of music including African music, Arabic songs, as well as techno beats. Tetreault worked with her sister, Matilde, to plan her freestyle for this week’s championship, while Laliberte relied on a friend to help create her freestyle for NAJYRC. Bronze medalist and Region 1 team member, Barbara Davis, sought the advice from a DJ who rides at her Bedminster, N.J. barn.
Davis rode her 12-year-old Hanoverian gelding Rotano to finish with a 69.87 percent.
All three juniors were quick to commend NAJYRC as great preparation for future competition.
“I would definitely recommend it to other riders,” said Tetreault. “It’s an amazing experience. It prepares you if you want to go further and it’s so stressful you get used to it so that really helps. In my future I think I’m going to look back and be so happy that I got the chance to do this.”
A Repeat Win
Ayden Uhlir continued her domination of the individual medals, claiming gold with Sjapoer (72.17 percent).
The 18-year-old wanted to change up her music this year after a Blues-themed freestyle last year. “I decided on this 30s kind of flapper music [mixed] with my Lone Ranger trot music,” she said with a laugh. “I really think it fits Sjapoer well because he just has that special quality about him that makes him so fancy and we needed to find music that fits his personality and not the kind of music that I just wanted to get.”
Jamie Pestana and Winzalot picked up their second individual silver medal (70.97 percent) with a pop rock-themed freestyle featuring songs from Nickelback, Pink and the soundtrack to Slumdog Millionaire. “I was pretty happy with [my test]. There were definitely a few things that could have gone better, but overall, I was happy with his attitude and how he handled the heat,” she said.
Tanya Strasser Shostak, Quebec, Canada, rode Action Tyme to individual bronze (70.50 percent) with music from Peter Pan and Tangled. “I think it suited his personality,” she said. “It’s great. I definitely had high expectations, maybe not with the horse, but with myself since I medaled last year. As the days went on, I really wanted it more. I tried to ride my tests as well as I could, and I couldn’t be happier with the results I got.”
For full results, visit the NAYRC website.
For more coverage, visit the Chronicle’s NAYRC page.