The United States Eventing Association turns 60 this year! In honor of the occasion, we'll be throwing it back with articles from previous USTCA News and Eventing USA magazines to celebrate 60 years of eventing in the United States.
This article originally appeared in Volume 18, Issue 5 of USCTA News magazine.
The North American Young Riders Championships was a fun and exciting competition, extremely well organized and well attended. The competition has grown considerably since its inception in 1981, and this year's Event seemed to run quite smoothly.
After last year's sweltering heatwave, everyone hoped that the weather would behave, and luckily it did. Practically all week the sun shone and a steady breeze blew through the farm. The ground was quite hard but didn't seem to cause too many problems.
All three disciplines of the Young Riders Championships - Dressage, Three-Day Event and Show Jumping Championships were held concurrently at Tempel Farms, as they had been '85 and '86. The facility, which also houses the Tempel Lipizzans, is outstanding. From near the dressage areas, one can see for miles, the gently rolling fields, all dotted with pastured Lippizzans of all shapes and sizes. It's very convenient, with all competition areas very close to the stabling.
The dressage phase of the Three-Day Event, ridden before judges Jack Le Goff, Jack Fritz, and Maj. Gen. Jonathan Burton, stretched over two days to accommodate the thirty-six riders, who made up nine Teams, representing three provinces from Canada, and six U.S. Teams, plus three Individuals. Missy Ransehousen., last year's Individual Gold medal winner, carried her Thursday's score of 45.6 to win the dressage phase of the Event. Close behind was Eastern Canada's Robert Stevenson, aboard Carcroft Tiger with a score of 49.8. Third was Area l's Joseph Pizzini and Audacious with 51.6. The scores ran quite closely from thereon, and although Area I led after the dressage with a 160.6, over Area IV, with a 164.6, and Area II with a 169.6, everyone knew that the Event would not be won by the Dressage.
Overall, the course was big and technical with lots of combinations. Fence 6ABCD, the Bank Complex, was the same as last year which seemed to worry the riders more than the horses. It jumped well both the straight route and the long route. Fence 7, the Sunken Rails caused five falls and one refusal. Possibly due to the problem of light into dark, or a back vertical fence against a dark drop and background. The Duck Blind and Water, fences 16ABCD, was changed from last year, and seemed to cause fewer problems. Horses looked generally very fit after the long 10 minute 15 second course and had few problems in the Vet Box. The general consensus was that the course was beautifully built and “fun” to ride.
After cross-country the home Team (Area IV) coached by Ralph Hill was in the lead over Area I. Area IV's Team of Lara Dellaripa, Kelly Joesten, Lee Ann Sydland, and Lisa Tatham held scores that were consistently even throughout the competition. It was as if someone had photocopied their scores, seeing that they were all within five points of each other. Individually Robert Stevenson and Carcroft Tiger moved to first, due to Missy Ransehousen's Der Kaper's refusal at the water. Joseph Pizzini and Audacious of Area I moved to second place after cross-country.
Although the show jumping course was not quite as big as last year, the new sand jumping arena was deep and the footing made the course quite demanding. Combinations and technical single fences with roll back turns led to many fallen rails; yet Area IV still held their lead.
Robert Stevenson, the leader going into stadium, had one rail, dropping him from first to third. Area IV's Lara Dellaripa and Saxon moved to first to clinch the Gold. Area I's Abigail Lufkin and Flexible Flyer jumped a clear round to win a Silver medal, as Joseph Pizzini had one rail to drop to fourth. Although it was within a rail, Area IV won the Team Gold with 196.1, while Area I, coached by Mike Plumb, won the Silver medal with a final score of 201.3. The Team Bronze medal went to Ontario, the only Canadian Team to finish.
This year's North American Young Riders Championships was a definite success, a terrific learning experience and a fun time was had by all. Tempel Farms has generously offered the use of their farm for the Championships next year and hopefully, it will be as fun and successful as it was this summer.
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