Williamsburg, Mich.—Aug. 12
This year’s FEI North American Youth Championships got off to a late start at the Flintfield’s Horse Park when strong storms came through Tuesday night.
As a result, the schedule was pushed back on Wednesday, and today the first champions were crowned.
In the Children’s Jumping division of the Gotham North FEI North American Youth Jumping Championships, the combined team from Zones 8, 9 and 10 earned the gold medal ahead of Mexico South and Mexico North. Lilah Nakatani (Dianett), Leila Diab (Unang de Kergane), Jordan Gibbs (Douwe) and Reagan Tomb (Elba), finished on a final team total of 4 faults.
Tomb jumped last for her team. “It was kind of a lot of pressure because I didn’t know how I was going to win,” she said. “After the last jump, I sat up super tall and everyone started clapping and were all really happy.”
“It’s incredible!” Gibbs said of the team experience. “I just met these girls, and they all ride amazing, and I’ve never actually been able to meet them in person but I’ve been able to connect with them online. The whole day, we’ve just kind of been thinking ‘little steps forward.’ I’ve been trying not to think of results but more of just solid rounds.”
Gibbs is leading heading into the Children’s individual final.
“It feels amazing,” she said. “It was way beyond my expectations. I knew that my horse, Douwe, he’s incredible, and I wouldn’t be where I am today without him. The last two rounds, I was just hoping for nice solid rides, and it feels amazing to be able to go into the final with a strong position.”
Watch Reagan Tomb and Elba’s round via USEF Network.
Zone 4 Victorious in Pre-Juniors
In the Pre-Junior team final, Zone 4 took top honors. The team of Mia Albelo (Cocominka EST), Caia Watridge (Iselle van Orshof), Trinity Beitler (Coconut) and Lawson Whitaker (Brownie And Cream) finished on a team total of 10.79 faults, ahead of Mexico North and Zone 10.
Abelo is currently leading the individual rankings in the inaugural Pre-Junior division.
“I am just so grateful to be here today and this week, to be able to represent Zone 4 at the first Pre-Junior section at [FEI NAYC] this year,” she said. “My horse, Cocominka EST, or Coco for short, she jumped incredibly today, and I could not be happier with her performance and especially our results. Everyone, all four of us, gave it our all. Our horses gave it their all, and we truly came together and I’m so, so happy right now to be wearing this gold medal around my neck.”
Region 4 Earns Junior Dressage Gold
Junior dressage riders also took center stage today. The team from Region 4 brought home gold on a team total of 202.66, ahead of the teams from Region 7 and Region 3. Kylee Kment and Honor are leading the individual rankings. They were joined by Kment’s sister Lexi Kment (Montagy van der Heide) and Ella Fruchterman (Holts Le’Mans).
“Today, I thought Honor was so good,” Kylee said. “He worked really hard, and the one thing I was so proud of was that he stayed collected and supple, which is obviously always good. This is my very first time at NAYC. I didn’t really know what to expect, but this is amazing; the facilities, the people, everything. It hasn’t sunk in yet that I’m on a gold medal-winning team. I’m just so proud of all of us. I’ve ridden Honor for a year and a half, and he’s my mother and grandmother’s horse. We kind of grew up with him, and he’s just kind of part of the family.”