This years North American Junior Young Rider Championship was held at the fabulous Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington Kentucky. It appears that the KHP will be the home of NAJYRC for the foreseeable future and how blessed all who are apart of this fantastic experience are with such an inspiring location!! The weather was sunny and hot, but all the staff and volunteers, officials and organizers put all their best efforts too horse and rider comfort. The courses, arenas and stabling areas were beyond criticism!
Area II CCI * team roster was: Chase Beach, Jordan Litter, Clare Green, and Jenna Begbie. Our two CCI* individuals were Jackie McGuiness and Savannah Fulton. Area II/I CCI ** mixed team roster included: Arden Wildasin, Caroline Martin, Benita Strini and from Area I, Imogen de Lavis. The Junior team was 5th after dressage, moved up to 4th after cross country, and unfortunately had a few too many rails to move up into medal position and finished 4th as a team. Jackie McGuiness was our top placing individual rider in 7th place, followed by team member Jenna Begbie in 8th. The Young Rider team was 4th after dressage and remained in 4th to finish the team competition. Arden Wildasin was out top placing Young Rider in 7th place and Caroline Martin finished in 12th.
Many of our team and individual riders had some uncharacteristic 'glitches' through out the competition. Eventing is a tough sport and it humbles us all every day. We are very proud to say that all of Area II riders handled the highs and lows, the disappointments and the excitement, with grace and the utmost sportsmanship. And while we all love to win medals for performance, sometimes outstanding sportsmanship and horsemanship tops performance. If there was a medal for that, Area II would have the Gold! As coordinators you really can't ask for more than that!!
This year was the first year that we sent Mentors from Area II to shadow officials/vets throughout the competition. Cara Goode and Mikeala Kantorowski joined us from the YRAP ranks and spent the week with us and their mentors. They pitched in like champs in the barn and had an exceptional learning experience with XC Course Designer, David O'Connor and the Technical Deligate, Gillian Kyle. Check out Cara Goode's write up about her week shadowing David O'Connor! This program offers such a unique experience for all eventers, we hope that more of you apply next year!
All in all, good times were had. There was alot of laughing and support throughout and this was truly a great bunch of kids and parents!! We will have everyone back next year and looking forward to our next opportunity in 2012!