Friday, Jun. 7, 2024

Kassandra Barteau Captures Her Second National Title

Kassandra Barteau came into the Collecting Gaits Farm/USEF National Championship as the reigning Young Rider Champion with Gabriella, but that didn’t make her second win any less emotional.

“I’m very proud of [Gabriella]. She tried very hard. It was the most clean and forward test she’s ever done,” said Barteau, 19, through tears. The pair won the young rider team test yesterday and the Prix St. Georges (69.35%) today to take home the overall championship with an average of 67.29 percent over Laura Noyes on Syncro (66.11%) and Chelsea Seburn on Rolex (64.09%).

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Kassandra Barteau came into the Collecting Gaits Farm/USEF National Championship as the reigning Young Rider Champion with Gabriella, but that didn’t make her second win any less emotional.

“I’m very proud of [Gabriella]. She tried very hard. It was the most clean and forward test she’s ever done,” said Barteau, 19, through tears. The pair won the young rider team test yesterday and the Prix St. Georges (69.35%) today to take home the overall championship with an average of 67.29 percent over Laura Noyes on Syncro (66.11%) and Chelsea Seburn on Rolex (64.09%).

“I’m feeling very good, very lucky and very happy, especially for it to be on my big mare that I’ve had for so long and have such a good partnership with,” said Barteau. “It was a long drive [from Illinois], but I really wanted her to have the chance again. I love riding her every day.”

Barteau initially considered trying to qualify Gabriella for the open Intermediaire I Championship, but decided to stay in her age category for this year. She qualified three horses for the young rider championship and ended up in fifth with Raymeister and eighth with Sheffield. She’ll compete Liberty next weekend in the Brentina Cup.

Noyes, 21, hails from Falmouth, Me., originally, but she traveled from Ohio, where she works for her trainer, George Williams.

“It’s a long way to come and a lot of work to put in. All of us are so lucky to be here,” said Noyes.

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She said her Prix St. Georges test today was better than her team test, but that she still had mistakes with Syncro.

“He was much more relaxed in the ring today,” said Noyes. “I felt like I had him much more consistently through.”

Noyes bought the Trakehner gelding five years ago, and the pair started in at first level and moved up together from there.

Although neither Ashley Schempp nor Alyssa Eidbo has their best day of competition, both young riders comported themselves with dignity during adversity. Schempp’s mount Mowgli got his tongue over the bit during his shoulder-in right and refused to go any further until the matter was remedied. Schempp calmly leaned over, fixed the issue for him and continued with her test.

Eidbo’s mount, Johnny Cash, came into the ring as if his tail was on fire, and did a fair amount of rearing and spooking in various corners, but Eidbo kept her composure and rode through his antics for a respectable test.

In the Junior Championship, Brandi Roenick swapped places with yesterday’s leader, Mackinzie Pooley, and captured both the junior individual test win (68.15%) and the overall championship (68.07%) with Pretty Lady.

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Pooley ended up reserve champion with Jonkara (67.35%) ahead of Ashlyn DeGroot and Jasper (64.45%).

“The mare put a lot of effort in today. I’m proud of her,” said Roenick. “She worked hard. She’s not the easiest to ride. You need to know her well.”

Roenick, 13, came into the competition ranked first, but she was totally surprised to win the championship. “Coming out with a national title, I feel like I could do anything with that mare. It’s a blessing,” she said.

Pooley admitted that her individual test today wasn’t as good as her team test yesterday. “I lost a lot of impulsion. It was a different day and things went differently,” she said.

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