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Competition Begins At 2008 CN North American Junior and Young Rider Championships
Parker, CO, USA
Photo: Anthony Trollope/
Hannah Michaels and Savoir Faire
Countless hours of lessons, horse shows and practice rides have all led up to this day for many young equestrians from across North America with the opening of competition in the 2008 CN North American Junior and Young Rider Championships at the Colorado Horse Park Presented By Gotham North. The Championships continue through Sunday, August 3.

The Championships, run in similar format to the Olympic Games, are the premier equestrian competition in North America for Juniors and Young Riders, age 14-21, and are run under the rules of the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI), the international governing body for equestrian sport.

Riders have come from the United States, Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and the Caribbean Islands to the Colorado Horse Park to vie for team and individual medals in the three Olympic equestrian disciplines of show jumping, dressage and eventing. This year also marks the first time that the western discipline of reining has been added to the schedule.

"For many riders the Championships represent their first time competing on a team as well as under the rules of the FEI," said Larry Langer, who serves as NAJYRC event director. "We are excited to offer these riders a chance to experience what Olympic competition is like, and help prepare them for their careers as professional riders."

Tuesday marked the official start of the 2008 Championships with veterinary inspections for all horses and declaration of starters for the dressage phase and a draw for the team competition.

Competition in the USDF/Platinum Performance Dressage Division begins Wednesday, July 30 with team competition for the Juniors. Young Riders will compete in their team championship on Thursday, July 31. Individual championships for Juniors will be held on Friday, August 1 and Young Riders will compete in the Prix. St. Georges Individual Championships on Saturday, August 2. Freestyle Championships for Juniors and Young Riders will be on Sunday, August 3.

Competition in the USHJA Show Jumping Division begins on Thursday, July 31, and features Junior and Young Riders competing in their first individual qualifier. Team Championships for Junior and Young Riders take place on Friday, August 1. Those riders who do not qualify for Sunday's individual final competition will compete in Saturday's farewell competition.

The USEA Eventing Division includes a course walk on Wednesday, July 30 and dressage tests on both Thursday, July 31 and Friday, August 1 followed by cross country on Saturday, August 2. Following the third horse inspection on Sunday, eventing riders will compete in the final phase, show jumping.

The USEF Reining Division includes a welcome competition on Thursday, July 31 and team championships the following day. There is no reining competition on Saturday, and individual championships will be held on Sunday, August 3.

In addition to the championship competition in dressage, show jumping, eventing and reining, this year's North American Junior and Young Rider Championships also feature demonstrations of the FEI discipline of vaulting.

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