July 21—Lexington, Ky.
For three first-timers and one veteran on the Ontario junior team, this year’s trip to the Kentucky Horse Park meant one thing: teamwork. The group has shopped together, eaten together, helped one another and cheered for one another.
By the end of a highly influential day of cross-country the teamwork paid off, leaving Kylie Figueria and Danzig, Dasha Ivandaeva and Autorytet, Charlotte Evans and Mail Order Bride, and Haley Armstrong-Laframboise and Roksolana sitting in gold medal position at the Adequan/FEI North American Junior and Young Rider Championships, just 1.1 penalties ahead of the team from Area V.
“We’ve got a big Canadian clan here,” said Armstrong-Laframboise, 17, who is the only member of the Ontario team who has been to the NAJYRC before. “We’ve had so much fun. It’s been phenomenal.” That clan mentality helped the four riders come home with only 1.6 added penalties among them to edge ahead of the team from Area V, with whom they had been tied after dressage.
Armstrong-Laframboise, Orangeville, Ontario, is also in individual bronze medal position with Roksolana, a 12-year-old Trakehner mare (Enrico Caruso—Traube) owned by Steve Chepa. Her teammate Figueria, 17, Fenlon Falls, Ontario, sits one place better on her own Danzig, a 15-year-old Trakehner mare (Topas 2—Danuta).
“I haven’t experienced many team competitions before,” said Figueria. “It’s really fun to have so much support.”
Individually, Victoria New, 17, and Fleeceworks Mystere du Val, a 12-year-old Selle Français gelding (Veloce de Favi—Inedite du Val), ruled the day by turning in a crucial double-clear performance that moved them up from second place after dressage to the gold medal position. "Even from warm-up, everything went in our favor," said New, San Angelo, Texas. "Since it was slippery, my coach [Area V Chef d'Equipe Mike Huber] said to slow down to the jumps and make up time in between. That was great advice for me." New also rides with Huber during the year, making the four and a half hour trip from her home to Huber's Gold Chip Stables in Bartonville, Texas, before every major competition to train.
For Young Riders, Scramble Teams Stay On Top
The top three teams in the young rider eventing competition are all combinations from multiple areas, with the scramble team of Areas VI, VII and IX maintaining a healthy lead over the scramble team from Areas II, III and IV and the scramble Canadian team from Ontario and Quebec.
Indeed, the parts of the young rider scramble team from Areas VI, VII and IX had never even met before this year’s Adequan/FEI North American Junior and Young Rider Championships.
“I actually think the scramble is an advantage,” said Teresa Harcourt, 21, Auburn, Calif. “It’s cool to meet new people.” Harcourt sat in second place after dressage with Bonza Twist Of Fate, a 13-year-old Irish Thoroughbred gelding, but time penalties dropped her to seventh going into show jumping.
Her teammate Lizzie Snow, 20, Portland, Ore., also gave up a top position due to time penalties, falling from first to third with Coal Creek, a 12-year-old Thoroughbred gelding by Devil On Ice. The other team members of the Area VI, VII and IX team, Sarah Braun with Perfect Intentions and Kendyl Tracy with Ever So Lucky, finished double clean.
Tracy’s foot-perfect round with Ever So Lucky, a 13-year-old Thoroughbred mare (Be Ever So Bold—Lila Washtay) owned by A Bit Of Tack, vaulted her from third to first going into the final day of competition. “Every time I go out with her I learn something different,” said Tracy, 20, Parker, Colo. “I kept her in front of my leg, and this was one of our best rides.”
- Twelve young riders finished David O’Connor’s CCI** cross-country course without jumping penalties. Of those, only six made the time.
- There was only one fall in the young rider division. Take The Mick slipped and fell to one knee while turning away from Fence 11, the Root Cellar Leap, unseating Mary Frances Cargile. Both horse and rider walked away.
- In the junior division, there were two falls: Andi Lawrence and Armani IV parted ways at the fifth fence, the Infield Splash, and Caroline Quanbeck popped off Sambuca at Fence 9, the Turtle Crossing. Neither of these falls resulted in serious injury.
- The junior cross-country course proved influential when many of the top pairs picking up jumping or time penalties. This movement allowed fast and clean combinations like Margeaux Lander and Lily Langtry to make significant moves up the leaderboard. Lander shot from tied for 19th after dressage to ninth going into the final phase.
- Connor Husain was the pathfinder with Piece Of Hope, the mount he rode to a second-placed finish at the Jersey Fresh CIC** (New Jersey) in May. “I like riding first,” said Husain, 18, The Plains, Va. “I don’t think about what other people are doing. I ride my plan.” Husain currently sits in silver medal position.
For full results, visit the Young Riders website.