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Junior and Young Riders Set to Compete for Team and Individual Medals at the 2006 CN North American Junior and Young Riders' Championships
Lexington, VA, USA
Photo: Anthony Trollope/
Waiting to jog today at NAJYRC
Top Junior and Young Riders from all across North America are set to compete for team and individual medals as the 2006 CN North American Junior and Young Riders' Championships (NAJYRC) get underway.

The NAJYRC is being held the Virginia Horse Center in Lexington, VA, for the second straight year, bringing together more than 200 young equestrians from across North America to compete in the three Olympic equestrian disciplines of dressage, eventing, and show jumping.  This year marks the first time that a full schedule of recognized Championships for Junior riders (age 14-18) is being held alongside that for Young Riders (age 16-21).

For many competitors, the NAJYRC is their first experience riding on a team, as well as their first time competing under the rules of the Federation Equestre Internationale (FEI), the international governing body for equestrian sport.

Tuesday, August 1 marks the official start of this year's NAJYRC with veterinary inspections of all horses and opening day briefings.  For both the Junior and Young Riders' Championships, the actual mounted competitions begin on Wednesday, August 2.  Show jumpers will compete in warm-up rounds, eventers will begin their dressage phase and dressage riders will hold their Young Riders team championship.

Competition in the Show Jumping Division continues on Thursday with individual classes that lead up to Friday's Nations' Cup-style competition that determines the team medals.  Saturday features individual consolation rounds and Sunday brings the completion of the Show Jumping Division with competitors riding for individual medals in both the Junior and Young Riders' Championships.

Dressage holds its Junior team championship on Thursday and then moves on to the individual aspects of competition.  On Friday, individual tests will determine those qualified to ride in Sunday's individual finals.  Consolation rides are on Saturday.

The Championships' eventing division includes a CCI** Championship for young riders and a CCI* Championship for junior riders as well as a CCI* non-championship competition.  Both of the Championships will be run under the Olympic, or modified, format.

The eventing championships include dressage tests on Thursday and Friday, followed by cross country on Saturday.  All competitors then ride in the final show jumping phase on Sunday when both team and individual medals are awarded.  In the Non-Championship division, cross-country will be on Friday followed by show jumping on Saturday.

 "We're thrilled to be able to host full championships in all three disciplines for junior riders along with the Young Riders' Championships this year," said Event Director Penny Ross.  "This will serve to further enhance the unparalleled experience that these young equestrians receive at the NAJYRC and set the benchmark to which all future events are held."

The Championships began in 1974 as an eventing challenge between the United States and Canada.  A Dressage Championship was added in 1981, and Show Jumping debuted in 1982.  The first complete NAYRC was held in British Columbia, Canada in 1982.  This year's addition of Junior Championships in all three disciplines marks the first NAJYRC.

The 2006 NAJYRC is supported by its Title Sponsor, CN, and is also supported by this year's Platinum Sponsors - Howard and Martha Simpson.  Gold Medal Sponsors are the United States Equestrian Federation, Equine Canada and Zone 4

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