Kalispell, Mont.—July 28
This year’s Adequan North American Youth Championships marked William Kidwell’s first time competing at an NAYC and his first trip to Rebecca Farm, and he came home with far more than he expected.
Kidwell led the CCIY3*-S from start to finish on Michelle Donlick’s Tremolo and helped the combined team from Area III and VII to gold on a score of 107.3 ahead of Area IV/VII (129.2) and Area I/II (135.3).
“I was just trying to come here since it was my first time and try to be as competitive as possible,” he said. “My horse was great for me, and I tried to be great for him, and we just showed each other off.”
Double-clear show jumping rounds were important today, and Kidwell had one of six.
“He didn’t want to go in the ring—it’s a big atmosphere, so when he got in he really brightened up to everything and noticed a lot,” he said. “When we started jumping he quieted down a little bit, and jumped around fantastically. He’s a phenomenal jumper, and he really knows how to push off the ground and get over them. It was nice to have another clear one.”
When Megan Loughane withdrew Linford overnight, her team from Area I/II dropped to bronze position and made room for Kidwell’s team to fight for gold.
Kidwell and his teammates, Ivie Cullen-Dean (Fernhill Full Throttle) and Grace Smith (Sir Saulsford Nazar), knew each other through training with Julie Richards in Georgia, but Sophie Click (Quiproquo) became a new friend throughout the week.
“It’s a special opportunity,” said Click of NAYC. “Being on a team is not like competing individually; it’s a bunch of girls and guys working towards the same goal. I’ll try to remember every moment.”
“I think we knew we had a chance [for gold.] We didn’t want to put all of our hopes on it, but I think it came as a little bit of a surprise to us,” said Smith. “But I think with the four clear show jump rounds, we knew that we definitely had a shot after that. Coming into it, we didn’t know what to expect, but it paid off.”
Katie Lichten earned individual silver on Sapphire Blue B with a clear round.
“He tries extremely hard, so I knew going in I just had to get him to the jumps and show him where he was going, and he’d try his heart out for me, and he really did,” she said.
Cosby Green moved into bronze position with a clear round on Takine de la Barbais.
“Ignorance is bliss sometimes,” she said of not knowing she was in contention for a medal. “I went in there and I was freaking out how calm I was. I knew I had my plan, and my mare will jump for me; if I tell her what to do she’ll do it. As long as I was there, she’d be there, and it worked out.”
For more of the Chronicle’s coverage, click here.
For full results, click here.