Nov 04, 2023

Champions Crowned on the Final Day of the USEF Eventing Young Rider Championships Presented by USEA

By Lindsay Berreth - USEA Staff
USEA/Lindsay Berreth photos

Temecula, Calif.—Nov. 4—It was a full day of show jumping at The Eventing Championships at Galway Downs, and by the end, three individual champions and two teams were crowned in the The U.S. Equestrian Federation Eventing Young Rider Championships presented by USEA.

Scarlett Peinado and Shadow Inspector.

Scarlett Peinado had one of the longest trips to the Championships, traveling from Pennsylvania, where she’s training with Dom Schramm. Riding as an individual for her home Area V, Peinado was the highest-placed young rider in the CCI1*-L in second place, so she took home individual gold.

She and her 13-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding Shadow Inspector (Tinarana’s Inspector x Caragh Roller) jumped a double-clear show jumping round today to finish on their dressage score of 27.4.

“It feels amazing. I still can’t believe it’s real. I haven’t processed what’s happened. I’m definitely on Cloud 9,” she said. “My horse definitely knew what was going on. He was like, ‘Alright, let’s go.’ I was very nervous in the warmup. I walked in the arena trying to remember my course—everything was happening all at once. But it went well, I managed stress, and we got around clear, and I’m very happy with that.”

Peinado admitted to some show day nerves, but said she likes to pretend she’s at a schooling show to keep the pressure off. “Like, it doesn’t matter, just go ride and see what happens. I’m not afraid of the jumps—I can do all this, but it’s the stress and the pressure that makes me freak out, so I have to think of it as a schooling show.”

Area VII's Harper Padgett and Cooley Starship, an 8-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding (Simona x Leuthen I) owned by Leonie Padgett, earned individual silver. Her teammate Lizzie Hoff rode HSH Best Kept Secret, a 6-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding (Adieu Z x Ringwood Sunny Clover) to individual bronze.

The team from Area VII, which also included Caterina Ritson (This Lad Is Gold) and Olivia Keye (Chromatic Flyer) finished on a score of 103.0 ahead of the team from Area VI (109.6) and Team 1 Alberta/Ontario (2055.6).

“It was really fun this year to ride with girls I’ve known for a long time,” said Hoff.

“This was my first time at Young Riders, and I really liked it. I liked the team environment instead of just riding for yourself—the pressure of riding for other people,” said Padgett.

Hanni Sreenan and Ebenholtz.

Hanni Sreenan was pleasantly surprised to learn she’d moved up from second after dressage to take the win in the CCI2*-L. Leader Sarah Ross and Fernhill Heart Throb dropped two rails to finish sixth, but were a part of the Area VI gold medal winning team.

With her win, Sreenan not only earned the young rider championship, but also took home the USEF CCI2*-L Eventing National Championship on her dressage score of 28.8.

“To be honest, I came into the competition just wanting to get around because it was my first CCI2*-L. I was super nervous, but I did way better than expected! I’m very happy,” she said.

The Area VII team rider described her horse, Ebenholtz, as super funny. The 16-year-old Hanoverian gelding (Ehrentusch x Levantine) is owned by Amy Haugen, who competed him to the CCI2*-L level.

“He’s super funny, very mouthy, very gelding-like, but I love him,” said Sreenan. “I personally am not a huge fan of geldings, but after having him, I would go for any gelding now. He’s the best. He’s taught me so much and is a big confidence-booster. And this wouldn’t have been able to be done without Amy Haugen being alongside me and letting me have the ride.

“Anything can change going into show jumping,” she said of her round today. “I could move up or I could move down. I was nervous, but I wanted to be on top and went in there wanting to get a double-clear round, and I wanted ride my best, and I think I did.”

The team from Area VI finished on a score of 109.6 for gold. Ross was disappointed to lose out on individual gold, but said she achieved what she came to do.

“Obviously it would have been nice to come home with the gold, but I came for Young Riders, and ultimately drove out from Florida,” she said. “I feel like I came and achieved the big goal of Young Riders, so in all reality it’s hard to be too upset when the goal came together. It’s been a goal of mine since I was a kid. Being on a team was incredible.”

Teammate Lauren Crabtree, who rode Excellence, agreed. “It was such an incredible experience to ride on this team,” she said. “It was just so different the way we worked together. All of us needed help. If we didn’t have eachother I don’t know if we would have all gotten through the weekend. We all needed each other a lot.”

They were joined by Gabriella Ringer (Get Wild) and Julia Beauchamp Crandon (MGH Capa Vilou), who earned individual bronze.

Area VII finished in silver medal position on a score of 143.8.

Molly Duda and Disco Traveler.

Two riders vied for the CCI3*-L championship after Kayla Dumler and Faramir were eliminated in the final horse inspection this morning.

Molly Duda and Disco Traveler earned individual gold on their dressage score of 33.5, while Elsa Warble and FE Unlimited earned silver.

Duda also finished second overall in the CCI3*-L on her own 13-year-old Oldenburg gelding (Donatelli x Cadence).

“Disco was feeling so fresh and so good this morning,” she said. “I was really surprised because at our last three-long we could definitely feel the fitness lacking a little bit on the final day, and I think we really made those improvements, and it showed because he was jumping out of his skin today. I was super proud of him.”

Duda said she felt some pressure jumping in reverse order of standing, but feels she thrives under pressure.

“I think it makes me locked in, and I ride better when I feel like it really matters, and I think my horses also feel that too, especially Disco. He loves to win, and he loves to do well. I think he gave it all he had today, and it was a great ride,” she said.

She’s looking forward to an Advanced move up next year. “It’s been an incredible experience,” she said. “I’m definitely grateful to the organizers and everyone who put in so much work to make this happen on the West Coast. I definitely feel like I’ve gotten close to the other young riders here, and just feeling like being on a team is really empowering. It’s a great experience, and one that I’d love to have again in the future.

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