Tuesday, Jul. 23, 2024

NAYC Championships Get Underway In Traverse City

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In Wednesday’s first day of competition at the FEI North American Youth Championships, the Region 3 dressage team proved dominant, earning a team total of 212.353 to take the gold medal. The combined team from Regions 4 and 7 won the silver medal with a team total of 203.118. The Regions 1/2/9 combined team finished in a close third-place position to take home bronze with a total score of 197.824. In the Young Rider division, a total of 22 combinations representing six teams entered the arena for their first tests of this year’s NAYC. 

Mary Claire Piller and Caterina, Emily Brollier’s 12-year-old Hanoverian mare, had the highest individual score of the day, posting a 71.70% for the Region 3 team. Piller was the last to go for her team and handled the pressure to turn in a clean test.

“I try not to think too much about the pressure or the medal, just going and putting down a clean test and doing as well with my horse as I can,” she said. “If you think too much about the pressure and the medal, it’ll all fall apart. But if you think about the overall and just being good to your horse, it all comes together.”

Marie Claire Piller and Caterina. KTB Creative Group Photo

Piller was on the gold-medal-winning team at NAYC in 2022 and said the second consecutive victory felt vindicating.

“This is a very difficult sport, and you never know,” she said. “Some days you come out and it’s amazing, and some days you come out and you think, ‘Maybe I should not ride again.’ It’s nice to come in and see the work that you put in paying off. It feels very good.”

Piller’s Region 3 teammate, Kat Fuqua, had the day’s second-best score of 70.88% with her own 15-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare, Dreamgirl. Fuqua and Dreamgirl earned junior bronze medals at their last NAYC outing in 2021, and their debut at the Young Rider level was a huge success.

“Today I was really focusing on everything being accurate,” Fuqua said. “I wasn’t going for too much power; I just really wanted everything to be clean and organized and to be really, really focused. My goal was to get a 70% today, and it all worked out. My horse was really on my side, working with me really well today, so I was very happy.”

Inaugural U25 Dressage Competition

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This year marks the first NAYC that includes a U25 division for dressage, and a total of eight athletes from Canada, Mexico and the U.S. came to compete, performing the FEI Intermediaire II test for the team competition on Wednesday. Team Canada took home the inaugural team gold medal for the U25 division, while the U.S. Star-Spangled team won silver and the U.S. Stars & Stripes team took the bronze.

Canada’s Brooke Mancusi had the top individual score of the day on her way to winning team gold. She rode Arthur, a 18-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding owned by Windhaven, to a 67.85%.

“My horse was very, very good today. I’m really happy with him,” said Mancusi. “I really wanted to nail my piaffe and passage… He was really on my aids and really listening to me, so I think it was pretty good.”

Fellow Canadian Claire Robinson posted the second-best score of the day with Carol Robinson’s Glamour Boy, a 12-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding. The pair earned a 67.79% to help secure Canada’s win.

“I’ve had my horse for about four years now, and we’ve stepped up to this level together for the first time,” Robinson said. “He’s a big character. He’s hilarious in the stable and such a fighter in the ring and is just a wonderful partner.”

Dennesy Rogers was the top-scoring U.S. athlete and ranked third overall with Chanel, Dorriah Rogers’s 18-year-old Danish Warmblood mare. The pair had previously competed at NAYC in the Junior division and had a successful debut in the U25.

“My horse was very amped up, which was really fun because the passage and the piaffe work felt great,” Rogers said. “I felt like I could really get her forward into those movements. We had a couple of mistakes, but overall, the highlight was able to create the trot and the passage.”

See the full team results here.

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Children, Pre-Junior Jumping Qualifiers

The Gotham North/FEI North American Youth Jumping Championships Children and Pre-Juniors got underway Wednesday with the first team and individual qualifiers at Traverse City Horse Shows.

The children’s division was first, with Lauren Padilla of Zone 10 topping a field of 17 athletes with Diadem de Revel VG, a 13-year-old Danish Warmblood stallion owned by Highland Farm LLC. Padilla finished with no jumping faults and a winning time of 66.72 seconds, well within the time allowed and nearly 2 seconds faster than the next fastest finishers. Second place came down to a tie, with Zone 9’s Isabella Smith and Quinka, her own 14-year-old Holsteiner mare, and Zone 4’s Taylor Finkle and Sheldon, her own 13-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding, both finishing on a time of 68.49 seconds.

For the team standings, two teams are tied for the top spot with no penalties carrying over into the next phase. The combined team from Zones 1 and 2 along with the Zone 4 team stand in first place. The combined Zones 7/8/9 team is close behind in third place with just two penalties to carry over.

Lauren Padilla and Diadem de Revel VG. Leslie Potter/USEF Photo

In the pre-junior division, Canada’s Mathilde Candele rode her own Disco de Pleville, a 10-year-old Selle Français gelding, to the top spot individually. The pair came late in the order, putting down a 62.30-second round that proved unbeatable. Zone 10’s Lauren Frandson rode her own Golda, a 9-year-old Holsteiner mare, to finish in 62.85 seconds for second place, and her Zone 10 teammate Scarlett Wallis, riding her own 11-year-old Oldenburg gelding, Samurai, finished in 63.47 seconds to finish in third.

Zone 10 currently holds the top spot after the first individual qualifier with a team total of 1.83 penalties. They’ll have two rails in hand for the next round as the second-position Canadian team is just over eight penalties behind with 9.85 penalties. Zone 4 sits in a very close third-place position with 9.97.

Full Schedule and Results

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