July 18—Lexington, Ky.
The first day of competition at the 2013 Adequan/FEI North American Junior & Young Rider Championships presented by Gotham North saw team medals presented in the junior and young rider divisions in the USDF/Platinum Performance North American Junior and Young Riders' Dressage Championship. Region 7 triumphed in the young rider division for the gold medal, while Region 6 won the silver and Region 5 received bronze medals. (see full results)
The Region 7 gold medal-winning young rider team consisted of: Ariel Thomas (18, of Briones, Calif.) on Montfleury (67.18%), Jaclyn Pepper (20, of Santa Rosa, Calif.) and Taboo (68.13%), Jamie Pestana (20, of Livermore, Calif.) and Winzalot (71.10%) and Teresa Adams (16, of Woodland, Calif.) on WeeJee (64.23%). Their total score of 206.421 earned them the gold.
Region 7 earned the silver medal last year, so the team was happy to improve on that performance in 2013. The riders attributed part of their victory to great teamwork and the advantages of their region. Pepper noted, "We're all here to support each other and we have a really great team this year. We're all rooting for each other to do our best, even in the individual competitions. Our Chef [d'Equipe], Jan Ebeling, has been awesome this year. He's been so supportive and let us go down to his barn before we came here and get some training in. There are a lot of great opportunities in our region in general. We have some really great shows and getting the CDI experience before we get here is a really big advantage. Some regions don't necessarily have that advantage."
Pestana, who was the 2010 junior individual and freestyle gold medalist and a two-time team silver medalist at NAJYRC, added, "It's great when you're out there and your team is cheering for you and you know that you're not just there for yourself, but for your teammates and your region."
Adams, who is at her second NAJYRC, said that she was excited to see her other teammates do so well. "It's so different than any other show," she said. "It makes us all just ride that much better to help our team members because this represents everyone here. We want to give each other a good name, make our horses look good, and have fun together."
The team from Canada/Quebec took home the junior gold medal for the second consecutive year. Region 7 claimed the silver medal, while the bronze medal went to Region 3. The Canada/Quebec team of Naima Moreira Laliberte (16, of Outremont, Quebec) on Windbreaker 3 (67.05%), Laurence Blais Tetreault (16, of Montreal, Quebec) and Lowelas (68.37%), Felixe Cote Villeneuve (17, of St. Lambert, Quebec) and Pissaro (62.86%) and Betrice Boucher (15, of St-Dominique, Quebec) and Dante (66.43%), finished with a final score of 201.864.
Laliberte and Tetreault both served on last year's winning team, but Tetreault rode a different horse this year in Lowelas. "I was really happy with my horse. He was really tired because of the heat, but he was a really good boy," she said.
Tetreault spoke for the team when she expressed, "We're really, really lucky to be able to win two years in a row. We're really blessed. I think we just trained really hard. Naima and I are from the same stable, so we train and work together. Working together I think really helped us."
For Villeneuve and Boucher, it was their first time at NAJYRC. Villeneuve mentioned, "I've never done a CDI, so it was kind of a big step for me. But to win with the girls is very, very, very nice." Region 7 came home with the silver medal today in a very close junior team competition with a score of 201.460.
For full results or to learn more about the Adequan/FEI North American Junior & Young Rider Championships, please visit www.youngriders.org. USEF Network will live stream the entirety of Saturday's NAJYRC events from the Rolex Stadium as well as the Individual Reining from the Alltech Arena. Visit www.usefnetwork.com to find out more and watch!