Kalispell, Mont.—July 25
William Kidwell made the 40-hour drive from Georgia to Rebecca Farm for the Adequan North American Youth Championships worth it this morning when he and Michelle Donlick’s colorful Tremolo slotted into the lead in the CCIY3*-S.
This is Kidwell’s first trip to the NAYC, and he’s forged a strong partnership with the 14-year-old Oldenburg-Thoroughbred (Sempatico—Avalo’s Rhapsody) gelding. Donlick started him in eventing and competed him through preliminary, while David O’Connor competed the horse briefly at preliminary, and Mia Farley took him to his first intermediate before Kidwell, 17, began leasing him last year. Kidwell works for O’Connor and Julie Richards when he’s in his home state of Georgia.
“I got the ride on him thankfully from other people’s support. He’s been really great helping me learn,” he said. “He’s a very self-aware horse. He always knows what he’s going to get into before he gets into it. He’s kind of shy, but he’s pretty bold at the same time.”
The pair scored a 28.0 to help their scramble team from Area III and VII to second place (95.1).
“It felt kind of consistent, and he held his own in there,” said Kidwell, Roswell, Georgia. “It felt pretty good. I had one little bobble in the counter canter, but besides that, it was a fantastic ride for me. It’s a great atmosphere. It’s the biggest show I’ve ever competed at, and it’s really a pleasure to be here. Montana itself and the farm is just absolutely beautiful.”
Meghan Loughnane, Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, and her own Linford, a 10-year-old Holsteiner gelding (Landos—Napoline, Corleograf) were second individually (29.4) and helped the scramble team from Areas I and II to the lead (91.2).
She’s joined by twin sisters Maddie Lichten (Yarrow) and Katie Lichten (Sapphire Blue B) and Sami Crandell (Fernhill Chaos).
“He was super,” she said. “He had a lot more energy than he usually does in the ring, which is great for him. We had little bobbles in the counter canter serpentines, but other than that, he felt really amazing, so I’m really happy.”
Katie was the most experienced of her team, with this NAYC marking her fourth appearance.
“ ‘Steve’ was awesome,” she said. “He doesn’t have the fanciest movement, but he tries really hard, and he was very consistent in there, so I was very happy with him.”
As for riding on a team with her sister, she said, “We always want each other to do well. Eventing’s a hard sport, so one weekend one of us will do really well, and then the next the other.”
“Young Riders is always the best weekend of the year,” Maddie added. “It’s so much fun, and we’re so lucky to be here at Rebecca. It’s so beautiful.”
For full results, click here.