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FEI Jr/YR North American Championships


Team gold medalists Cassandra Roberts and Golden Lightning (left) and Morgan Watson and My Lords Elisha (right) also took Individual silver and gold for the Southeast Region at the FEI North American Championships for Juniors and Young Riders. (Photo courtesy of

Catherine Chamberlain (Reg. 7) and Verdicci the Young Rider Individual Gold Medalist in Dressage at the 2014 North American Junior and Young Rider Championships in Lexington, Kentucky. (Photo courtesy of

David Ziegler (AB) and Critical Decision at the 2014 North American Junior and Young Rider Championships in Lexington, Kentucky. (Photo courtesy of
By Louise Parkes

The FEI North American Championships for Juniors and Young Riders celebrated its 40th anniversary this year with a total of 216 young athletes from five countries lining out in four disciplines at Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky, July 15-20. 

The 2014 fixture, open to competitors from 14 to 21 years, offered medal opportunities in the Olympic disciplines of Jumping, Dressage and Eventing along with Endurance. A total of 74 horse-and-rider combinations lined out in Dressage, 61 in Eventing and 67 in Jumping; there was a field of 14 in the FEI North American Young Riders Endurance Championship which took place over a 120 kilometer course.  The countries represented were Canada, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Mexico and the United States.

The Dressage riders were first to go. Region 7 claimed  the Young Rider Team gold for the second year in succession.  For 19-year-old Catherine Chamberlain, partnering with Verdicci, it was the first step in her week-long successes when she produced the leading score of 72.132.  Backed up by 68.921 from 20-year-old Anna Buffini and Sundayboy, 65.684 from 19-year-old Cassidy Gallman and Grand Makana and 65.526 from the youngest team member, 16-year Lindsey Brewin with Vaillant, the all-Californian girls team finished on a total of 206.737.

Silver went to Canada/Quebec’s Laurence Blais Tetreault (Michaelango), Juie Channell (Furstin Anastasia), Naima Moreira Laliberte (Nao Guimeraie) and Tanya Strasser-Shostak (Action Tyme), while Region 8 took the bronze when Hannah McCabe (Valparaiso), Giulia Cohen (Lasserre), Hope Cooper (64.684 and Elizabeth Fell (Superstarr) posted 197.026. 

The Junior team gold medals were claimed by Region 1 with a score of 199.784.  At 19 years of age Molly Paris was the team’s oldest member and with Diamant Sky provided a top mark of 69.946.  The remaining scores were 65.649 from 16-year-old Bebe Davis and Feivel Mousekewitz, 65.189 from 15-year-old Hannah Bauer and Trustful and 61.622 from 18-year-old Katie Lang and FA Patriot.  

Junior team silver went to Canada/Ontario.  Vanessa Creech-Terauds (Finja), Alexandra Meghji (Iliado ll), Sophie Potter (Frisbee) and Liza Wilson (Fleurina) posted 197.785 which left them just ahead of Region 6/7 in bronze medal spot.  Danielle Bonabito (Wyoming) posted a strong score of 68.216 for the bronze medal winning side that also included Heather Decent (Norra), Lauren Mack (Lada?at) and Olivia Zeilinger (Stentano).

In the Individual Dressage Championship, Region 7’s Catherine Chamberlain shone again in the Young Riders Division with Verdicci, posting 71.789, well ahead of the rest of the field. David Ziegler and Peninsula Top Man claimed the silver on a mark of 68.289, and Hope Cooper and Don Diamond took the bronze with 67.263.  

The fine points were clearly in evidence when Catherine again produced the top score in the Young Riders Freestyle, achieving 72.525 for her ride to a Harry Potter musical score. She didn’t hold back, asking Verdicci for some challenging movements, including flying changes on a serpentine. 

Young Rider Freestyle silver went to Devon Wycoff from Region 5 riding Power Play who scored 70.975; the bronze was awarded to Canada/Quebec’s Laurence Blais Tetreault who racked up 70.625 with Michaelango.  

The Junior Individual Dressage title went to 14-year-old Camille Bergeron riding Lowelas, and they also won their Freestyle.  Molly Paris (Diamont Sky) took the silver Individual medal, and Alexandra Meghji (Iliado ll) took the bronze. In the Freestyle, Paris had to settle for bronze when Cassie Schmidt and Velasquer posted 70.725.
Course designer Steve Stephen set a challenging track in the Young Riders Team Jumping event, resulting in only six clears over two rounds. It was Zone 3 on top with a total of 14 faults.  This result was even more incredible since Alison Cooney and Touluca were eliminated in both rounds; so the second-round scores for team-mates Christina Firestone (Arwen), Chloe Reid (Athena) and KC van Aarem (Mastermind) were crucial.   Firestone and Reid followed first-round four-fault efforts with clears at their second attempt, while van Aarem added only a single time penalty to the five in her first time out.  

Silver went to Zone 4 on a hefty 35 faults. Victoria Colvin (Chanel B2), Brittni Raflowitz (Punchy Dorcel), Virginia Ingram (Urban) and Haley Gassel (Quite Dark 2) experienced their fair share of pressure when Gassel was eliminated first time out, returning for a much-improved 12-fault score in the second round.  

The bronze-medal-winning Zone 2 had only three team-members, but their chances were seriously boosted when Michael Hughes and Luxina produced the only double-clear of the competition.  The team finished just two faults behind the silver medalists when Victoria Press (Cayenne) recovered from a 17-fault result in round one to just one fault the second time out. Riley Newsome (Sunny Face G) followed her 17-fault first attempt with a double-error in round two.

The Junior team title went to Zones 1 and 9 (combined team) who completed the event with scores of 12 faults each. Sara Nordstrom and Conington led the team to victory with a double-clear, as Jennifer Gates and Lord Levisto collected just four faults in the second round.  McKayla Langmeier and HS Classic Care had a single fence down each time out, and Victoria Arute picked up 17 faults, hampered by a broken hackamore, and then 12 in round two.
Talking about her double-clear, Nordstrom said, “It didn’t quite sink in until after I had jumped the last jump each time and it was so exciting!”

Zone 5 was just one fault behind in silver medal position.  Alec Bozorgi (Navy Blue Tarroy), Kady Abrahamson (Quick Blue Z), Meredith Darst (Zenith Dance) and Vivian Yowan (Vornano van den Hoendrik) finished three faults ahead of the all-male Mexican team who slotted into bronze medal position.  Juan Pablo Gaspar Albanez (Puertas So What) was foot-perfect in both rounds, while twin brothers Andres and Adrian Berganza faulted just once each time out with Catello 3 and Conovalenco and Santiago Attias Bulhosen and Deluxe Dancer completed the line-up. 

It was a big day for the Porter family when brothers Wilson and Lucas Porter claimed Young Rider and Junior Individual Jumping gold.

Michael Hughes was in the lead as the Young Riders Jumping Final began, but two mistakes in the first round and another four in round two left him settling for silver. Victoria Colvin and Chanel B2 added individual bronze to her team silver from earlier in the week.
Area III claimed Young Riders team gold in Eventing on a final score of 238.9.  Lying third of the four competing teams after Dressage, they took the lead on cross-country day and held on for the win in the final Jumping phase.  David O’Connor’s cross-country track proved highly influential, and the team gold medalists produced two clear rounds to move them into pole position.

The three-member Areas V and VI took silver. Bailey Moran (Loughnatousa Caislean), Katie Resnick (The King’s Spirit) and Alexandra Willoughby (Tiki Car) posted a team score of 258.3.  

Ramsay and Flintstar, who were lying sixth going into the final afternoon, had a double-clear to earn individual silver.
21-year-old David Ziegler claimed Individual Young Rider Eventing gold.  Leading from the outset with a superb Dressage mark of 46.3 he added no penalty points in the second phase, but had three fences down in the jumping round. His advantage was such that he still finished almost five marks ahead of Ramsay in silver medal spot. It was a history-making performance from the young Canadian who had also earned Individual silver in Dressage earlier in the week. He is the first competitor ever to earn medals in two different disciplines at these Championships.  

The Junior Eventing Team gold medals went to Area II who completed with a score of 165.9 for the win. Grace Fulton (Wild Orange), Margret Schaeffer (Grey Area), Madeline Mosing (Tako) and Alexis Nelson (Total Eclipse) finished more than 24 marks ahead of the Team silver medalists from Area V, while Area VIII claimed the bronze.
The silver medal team from Area V included Nicole Hatley (Ace), Margaret Stoker (Second Hand Rose), Clara Cargile (White Indian) and Alyssa Phillips (Bliss III). The bronze medal team from Area VIII consisted of Sam Laurel (Baba Creek), Woods Baughman (Trukee Bash), M Paige Pence (Class Action) and Kelly Taylor (Indelibly Irish).

It was something of a fairytale for team gold medalist Nelson when she also claimed the Individual title with Total Eclipse, an Appaloosa that she bought for $800 and broke herself with the help of trainers.  Adding nothing to their dressage score of 49.4 they finished more than five points ahead of 14-year-old Patience O’Neal and Markus from Area VII and IX who completed one of 10 double-clear performances in the jumping phase to rise from fifth to silver medal spot.  
There were 14 entries in the FEI North American Young Rider Endurance Championship, on a course that traversed across the Kentucky Horse Park and surrounding farmland. After little more than six hours and 14 minutes, only a single second separated the first and second-place finishers.

Morgan Watson and Cassandra Roberts from the Southeast team cantered the home stretch side by side. Watson, riding My Lords Elisha, crossed the finish line first in a time of 6:14:23 for the gold, while Roberts and Golden Lightning finished in 6:14/24 for Individual silver.  Christina Kimery and Selket Da Yankee took Individual bronze, stopping the clock on 6:44:32.  Watson and Roberts joined Michael Bishop (Thundering Overtime), Mallory Capps (SA Belshazzar) and Josie Whelan (FFC First Csea Lord) to take Team gold for the Southeast, while the Central team claimed Team silver.

Individual bronze medallist, Kimery, joined Mary Kathryn Clark (Chasing the Wind), Emilynn DiBassie (MK Spyder) and Jessica DiCamillio (SHA Strike Two) for that Team silver, and the Best Condition Award was presented to Laconic, ridden by the USA Northeast Combined Team’s Maria Muzzio.
Full Results:

FEI North American Championships for Juniors and Young Riders 2014:

Young Rider Dressage Team Championship: GOLD - Region 7, 206.737: Sunday Boy (Anna Buffini) 68.920, Vaillant (Lindsey Brewin) 65.526, Verdicci (Catherine Chamberlain) 72.132, Grand Makana (Cassidy Gallman) 65.684; SILVER - Canada/Quebec, 201.395: Michaelango (Laurence Blais Tetreault) 65.342, Furstin Anastasia (Julie Channell) 67.053, Nao Guimerale (Naima Moreira Laliberte) 65.763, Action Tyme (Tanya Strasser-Shostak) 68.579; BRONZE - Region 8, 197.026: Lasserre (Giulia Cohen) 65.868, Don Diamond (Hope Cooper) 64.684, Superstarr (Elizabeth Fell) 61.921, Valparaiso (Hannah McCabe) 66.474.

Young Rider Individual Dressage Championship: GOLD - Verdicci (Catherine Chamberlain) 71.789; SILVER - Peninsula Top Man (David Ziegler) 68.289; BRONZE - Don Diamond (Hope Cooper) 67.263.

Young Rider Freestyle Dressage Championship: GOLD - Verdicci (Catherine Chamberlain) 72.525; SILVER - Power Play (Devon Wycoff) 70.975; BRONZE - Michaelango (Laurence Blais Tetreault) 70.625.

Junior Dressage Team Championship: GOLD - Region 1, 199.784: Trustful (Hannah Bauer) 65.189, Feivel Mousekewitz (Barbara Davis) 65.649, FA Patriot (Katie Lang) 61.622, Diamont Sky (Molly Paris) 68.946; SILVER - Canada/Ontario, 197.785: Finja (Vanessa Creech-Terauds) 58.676, Iliado (Alexandra Maghji) 65.649, Frisbee (Sophie Potter) 63.568, Fleurina (Liza Wilson) 68.568; BRONZE - Region 6/7, 196.584: Wyoming (Danielle Bonavito) 68.216, Norra (Heather Decent) 60.108, Lada?at (Lauren Mack) 64.486, Stentano (Olivia Zeilinger) 63.892.

Junior Individual Dressage Championship: GOLD - Lowelas (Camille Bergeron) 70.342; SILVER - Diamant Sky (Molly Paris) 68.868; BRONZE - Iliado ll (Alexandra Meghji) 67.711.

Junior Freestyle Dressage Championship: GOLD - Lowelas (Camille Bergeron) 71.275; SILVER - Velasquer (Cassie Schmidt) 70.725; BRONZE - Diamante Sky (Molly Paris) 69.825.

Young Rider Team Jumping Championship: GOLD - Zone 3, 14 faults: Arwen (Christina Firestone) 4/0, Athena (Chloe Reid) 4/0, Mastermind (KC van Aarem) 5/1, Touluca LS (Alison Cooney) Elim/Elim; SILVER - Zone 4, 35 faults: Chanel B2 (Victoria Colvin) 5/0, Punchy Dorcel (Brittni Raflowitz) 8/1, Urban (Virginia Ingram) 9/14, Quite Dark 2 (Haley Gassel) Elim/12: BRONZE - Zone 2, 37 faults: Luxina (Michael Hughes) 0/0, Cayenne 140 (Victoria Press) 17/4, Sunny Face G (Riley Newsome) 8/8.

Young Rider Individual Jumping Championship: GOLD - Diamonte Darco (Wilton Porter) 10.52: SILVER - Luxina (Michael Hughes) 12.23: BRONZE - Chanel B (Victoria Colvin) 18.01.

Junior Team Jumping Championship: GOLD - Zones 1 and 9, 12 faults: Conington (Sara Nordstrom) 0/0, Lord Levisto (Jennifer Gates) 0/4, HS Classic Care (McKayla Langmeier) 4/4, Aletta (Victoria Arute) 17/12; SILVER - Zone 5, 13 faults: Navy Blue Tarroy (Alec Bozorgi) 0/4, Quick Blue Z (Kady Abrahamson) 6/0, Zenith Dance (Meredith Darst) 0/8, Vornano van den Hoendrik (Vivian Yowan) 5/4; BRONZE - Mexico, 16 faults: Puertas So What (Juan Pablo Gaspar Albanez) 0/0, Catello 3 (Andres Berganza) 4/4, Conovalenco (Adrian Berganza) 4/4,  Deluxe Dancer (Santiago Attias Bulhosen) 9/16.

Junior Individual Jumping Championship: GOLD - Phineas (Lucas Porter) 1.65; SILVER - Hester (Lucy Deslauriers) 4.0; BRONZE - Why Not (Sophie Simpson) 5.71.

Young Rider Team Eventing Championship: GOLD - Area lll, 238.9: Realta HW (Emily Rusinyak) 75.00, Irish Odyssey (Adrian Jones) 127.1, Fintstar (Calvin Ramsay) 63.2, Tops (Nicole Doolittle) 100.7; SILVER - Area V & VI, 266.3: Tiki Car (Alexandra Willoughby) 66.7, The King’s Spirit (Katie Resnick) 116.2, Loughnatousa Caislean (Bailey Moran) 83.4; BRONZE - Ontario, 1138.5: Coolumn XV (Lauren Clark) 74.3, Don’t Blink (Jamie Kellock) 1,000, D’Jon (Hanna Bundy) 1,000, Impressively Done (April Simmonds) 64.2.

Young Rider Eventing Championship: GOLD - Critical Decision (David Ziegler) 58.3; SILVER - Flintstar (Calvin Ramsay) 63.2; BRONZE - Impressively Done (April Simmonds) 64.2.

Junior Team Eventing ChampionshipGOLD - Area ll, 165.9: Wild Change (Grace Fulton) 57.9, Grey Area (Margret Schaeffer) 58.6, Tako (Madeleine Mosing) 69.8, Total Eclipse (Alexis Nelson) 49.4; SILVER - Area V, 190.5; Ace (Nicole Hatley) 64.6, Second Hand Rose (Margaret Stocker) 1,000, White Indian (Clara Cargile) 55.2, Bliss lll (Alyssa Phillips) 70.7; BRONZE - Area Vlll, 196.9: Baba Creek (Samantha Laurel) 69.7, Truckee Bash (Woods Baughman) 66.1, Class Action (M Paige Pence) 61.1, Indelibly irish (Kelly Taylor) 82.5.

Junior Individual Eventing ChampionshipGOLD - Total Eclipse (Alexis Nelson) 49.4; SILVER - Markus (Patience O’Neal) 55.0; BRONZE - White Indian (Clara Cargile) 55.2.

Young Rider Endurance Team Championship: GOLD - Southeast, 19:16:37: Thundering Overtime (Michael Bishop), SA Belshazzar (Mallory Capps), My Lords Elisha (Morgan Watson), FFC First Csea Lord (Josie Whelan), Golden Lightning (Cassandra Roberts); SILVER - Central, 23:01:12: Chasing the Wind (Mary Kathryn Clark), MK Spyder (Emilynn DiBassie), SHA Strike Two (Jessica DiCamillo), Selket Da Yankee (Christine Kimery).

Young Rider Endurance Individual Championship: GOLD - My Lords Elisha (Morgan Watson) 6:14:23; SILVER - Golden Lightning (Cassandra Roberts) 6:14:24; BRONZE - Selket DaYankee (Christina Kimery) 6:44:32.
Best Condition Award: Laconic (Maria Muzzio) USA Northeast Combined Team.

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