With the second day of competition at The Dutta Corp Tryon International Three-Day Event in the bag, Area II is dominating the leaderboards in the inaugural Adequan®/USEF Eventing Youth Team Challenge (YTC) – East Coast Final.
The Youth Team Challenge invited athletes ages 14-25 to compete as team members and individuals in the CCI1*-L, CCI2*-L, and CCI3*-L divisions. Teams consist of three or four members and may be composed of members from different USEA Areas to accommodate entries. Each team’s three best scores will be combined to determine the team score.
In the CCI3*-L, the combined team from Area II, Area III, and Area VIII holds the lead after dressage with a total combined score of 96.1. The team includes Alexandra Baugh and MHS Fernhill Finale (Area VIII), Elizabeth Bortuzzo and Belongs to Teufer (Area II), Benjamin Noonan and Keep Kitty (Area II), and Sarah Bowman and Altus Louvo (Area III).
In the CCI2*-L and CCI1*-L, Area II has hold of top position heading into cross-country. The leading CCI2*-L team roster is Jackson Dillard and Layla Q, Mia Braundel and Junkanoo, Maddie Hale and Cinzano 87, and Kiera Kenny and FE Black Ice.
In the CCI1*-L, the Area II team is composed of Ella Braundel and Categorically Cooley, Caroline Brown and Sydney, Grace Mykityshyn and MTF Cooley Classic, and Juliana Cassar and Cheranimo.
Area II Youth Coordinator Chris Donovan says that a lot of the preparation for the YTC Finals from an Area standpoint is on the logistics side.
“Area II is a little larger than most areas,” said Area II Youth Coordinator Chris Donovan. “There are 300 kids in the program and 70 of them that were part of Youth Team Challenge. Their preparation is individual, with their own trainers. It’s not done as an area program, but we supervise and provide support. So the prep that went into this is a lot of follow-up and making sure the kids had the right qualifications, telling them not to do their first three-star here but to stay at the two-star level.”
Donovan says that several of the Area II competitors had previously competed in the North American Youth Championships, the predecessor to the YTC program. She says the feel of the program is different, but that the participants are enjoying the team experience. Several of the riders are also working students with different trainers, but the YTC gives them a chance to spend time outside of their own barns.
“They’re having a lot of fun, they’re bonding. They’re having a good time together. They’re sitting at the tables together, they’re hanging out in the barns together, even though they’re not all stabled together. Most of them are working students, so they’re working as well as having time in their own tack room. There are four moms that are making sure they’re well-fed. The new kids on the block have all been introduced. It’s a fun camaraderie.”
The Dutta Corp Tryon International Three-Day Event continues on Saturday, Nov. 13 with the cross-country phase for all Youth Team Challenge competitors as well as The Dutta Corp USEF CCI4*-L Eventing National Championship.
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