Saturday, May. 25, 2024

NAJYRC Cancels This Year’s Two-Star Championship

The Adequan FEI North American Junior and Young Rider Championships will not offer a CH-Y** this year, but the competition will give young riders the opportunity to contest a non-championship CCI** instead. No medals will be awarded from the Fédération Equestre Internationale for that division. The competition, scheduled for July 14-19 in Lexington, Ky., will still host the CCI* championship as planned.

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The Adequan FEI North American Junior and Young Rider Championships will not offer a CH-Y** this year, but the competition will give young riders the opportunity to contest a non-championship CCI** instead. No medals will be awarded from the Fédération Equestre Internationale for that division. The competition, scheduled for July 14-19 in Lexington, Ky., will still host the CCI* championship as planned.

“The organizing committee of the Adequan FEI North American Junior and Young Rider Championships has announced that due to insufficient international entries, both the CH-Y** USEA North American Young Rider Individual and Team Eventing Championship and the SmartPak North American Junior and Young Rider Team and Individual Reining Championships are unable to be held,” stated the U.S. Equestrian Federation in a press release. 

In order to host a true intercontinental championship, the FEI mandates representation from at least two national federations. This year, neither Mexico nor Canada are fielding two-star teams. Though the two-star division won’t offer championship points or medals from the FEI, it will give young riders the opportunity to compete, and their scores will count for qualification purposes.

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“Trying to put myself in their shoes, personally if I’ve spent all year aiming for a CCI at the end of July, I would be more upset if it didn’t happen at all than I would if it just wasn’t a championship,” said four-star eventer and Area IV young rider coach Jonathan Holling. “Obviously I think they’re going to be disappointed that it’s not a championship, and they aren’t going to get team FEI medals if they win, but as far as being able to produce good horses at a top-notch facility—arguably one of the nicest facilities in the world in the Kentucky Horse Park—and getting to go run around a two-star and get that experience with their horses, hopefully they can use it as a stepping stone to what they want to do in the future.”

Decreased U.S. entries at the two-star level haven’t helped the event’s success in recent years.

“At this point, I honestly think it’s very likely that it’s going to change somehow. I don’t know what it’s going to be; that’s really going to be up to the USEF, and at the end of the day up to the riders and the teams from different areas,” said Holling. “The competition’s numbers have not been great over the last several years, and we’ve got to figure out some way to reboot and get some excitement behind the competition again and get the kids in that.”

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