McManamy and Roberts Score Eventing Gold at NAJYRC
Lexington, KY, USA
The Individual Gold medal in the CCI** division went to Maxance McManamy and Beacon Hill. The pair took the lead after the dressage, but added time faults to their score on cross-country and was bumped down to second. But 'Taylor' jumped the test of his life for McManamy and went double-clear to regain the lead and take home the Gold medal. They finished on a score of 59.2.
"There was a little bit of pressure," McManamy laughed. "It was kind of nice not being first going in. I probably would have lost it if I went in first! I just tried to put in a clean round, not expecting to win. He knew that it was the time to behave and put in a good, double-clean show jumping round."
This is the third trip to Young Riders for McManamy and Taylor, but this will likely remain the most memorable.
"I've been here a few times for Rolex, and I always dreamed of riding on the cross-country course or riding down the centerline of the big arena. Now I've done it. I'm speechless."
Finishing with the Individual Silver medal was Katlyn McMorris and Clifton Peekachu. The pair was in third after dressage, but moved up to first after the cross-country. They were the last to jump in show jumping, but pulled two rails to bring her final score to 64.4.
"He felt so amazing in warm-up that I wasn't really particularly worried," McMorris said. "Going to the first jump, I didn't quite see it. That was definitely my fault. After that I held it together and he jumped well."
"I wasn't expecting it to ride easy at all. I rode it thinking that you were going to have to make decisions on course. I thought it was a good course for the Young Rider Championships."
Taking home the Individual Bronze medal was Katherine Samuels and Nyls du Terrior with a score of 66.4. The pair was in 13th place after dressage, but made a huge jump to seventh after turning in a double-clear cross-country score. They also jumped double-clear in show jumping to leap to third place.
"He's a genius at what he does," Samuels said of her horse. "He tries very, very hard and takes his job very seriously."
This was Samuel's first trip to the Kentucky Horse Park and her first time riding in this large of a venue.
The Team Gold medal went to the girls from Area VI: McManamy and Beacon Hill, Rachel Dwyer and Catch A Star, Elsie Patterson and Normandy Soldier and Suzy Hettich and Given Half A Chance. After dressage, the team found themselves sitting in second, but moved up to the lead after cross-country and never relinquished their lead. Their final team total was 209.9.
The show jumping course saw Both Hettich and Patterson take two rails down for a total of 8 faults each. Dwyer and Catch A Star took down four rails for a total of 16 faults. McManamy had one of three double-clear rounds of the day.
"The course rode tougher than it walked," Hettich said. "I went out first, so that was kind of hard."
"He felt tired today," Patterson said. "The course rode pretty well, all the distances were right...he just felt tired. I think the cross-country took a lot of out of him."
"It was a great course...I think I demolished it," Dwyer joked. "She's a great horse on cross-country, she holds it together in dressage, but we both don't like show jumping. I definitely want to figure a few things out before we move up."
Finishing with the Team Silver medal with 218.3 points was the team from Area II. With only three riders, the team was not able to drop their lowest score, so everyone had to have the tests of their lives. Alexandra Martone and Copperfield, Alyssa Peterson and Stormin's Barbie and Samuels and Nyls du Terrior made up the team.
Rounding out the top three and receiving the Bronze medal was combined team from Areas III, VII and VIII: Sirrahsta and Tyler Frey, Woodstock and Elinor MacPhail, Paddy Winkler Lad and Natascha Danielle Eickert and Bounce and Erin Hoverson. MacPhail withdrew Woodstock before the show jumping, so only the remaining three scores were counted to give the team a total of 222.8.
The final results in the CCI* came down to the show jumping, as well. Laura Roberts and Galway Blazer took home the Individual Gold medal at the end of the competition with a score of 49.7. Roberts began the competition tied for the lead and refused to budge throughout the competition. The pair, hailing from Area II, went double-clear on cross-country and took just one rail down in show jumping.
"I liked the course," she said after her ride. "It was good for my horse. There was a good amount of turns were a lot of bending lines, which really helped his balance throughout the course. I tried to ride it once fence at a time. I had a rail, but I just left it behind and rode my course."
Roberts said that 'Blazer' is experienced at what he does, and that they've finally reached a point of mutual trust.
"We've been together for about two years," she said. "We're at a point where if I miss something, he picks me up and if he misses something, I pick him up. Together we get it all done."
Taking home the Individual Silver medal was Arden Wildasin and Totally Awesome Bosco with a score of 54.6. Wildasin and 'Bosco' began the competition in fourth place, but had double-clear rounds on both cross-country and in show jumping to move up the ranks to second.
"I had so much fun this weekend," Wildasin said. "We rode our best this weekend. I didn't even care where we were [on the leader board]. We really bonded with each other and that was really cool."
Wildasin came all the way from Area I to compete this year. Her team finished just outside the medals in fourth place.
The Individual Bronze medal was awarded to Allegra Aiuto from Area VI and her mount, Spot Me One. Aiuto and 'Billy' have been in third place from the beginning of the competition. They went double-clear on cross-country and pulled just one rail in show jumping.
"Show jumping was our hardest phase this weekend, which is really uncharacteristic," Aiuto said. "He was really excited today which made it a little harder. He just felt great after cross-country, which I can't really complain about. Our best phase was dressage, which is also really uncharacteristic! He was super relaxed."
In the Team competition, the team from Area II, composed of Roberts and 'Blazer', Molly Curtis and Savannah IX, Huxley Greer and Octavian and Colleen McKitrick and Connor II, had the oldest total score in their division: 185.0. Greer and McKitrick each took four rails down in show jumping, Roberts took one, and Curtis posted one of the few double-clear rounds on the day.
"My horse was a bit distracted at first," Greer said. "But I liked the course. It rode well, it was fun, and it was really nice looking. I think I had four rails, but they were mostly my fault. I really enjoyed it."
"The design was really nice," Curtis added. "It was pretty intimidating, but we had a double clear round so I was really proud."
The Team Silver medal was awarded to the group from Ontario and British Columbia: Bethany Healey and Wonderee Strike, Madeiline Morra and Mail Order Bride, Rachel Vear and Chocco do Pomme and Katelyn Lafranier and Charleston. The team started the competition in fifth place, but moved all the way up to second thanks to some stellar cross-country and show jumping rounds. Their final score was 214.3.
Finally, rounding out the top three with a score of 216.8, was the ladies from Area VI. The team was made up of Aiuto and 'Billy', Madison Reeb and Raquel and Moraya Cleary and Double Take. Because there were only three riders on the team, all of their scores had to count towards the team total.
Reflecting on her Young Riders' experience, Gold medalist Roberts said that she was happy with how her week went.
"My horse did everything I asked of him. I can't think of any phase that was harder or easier. I wouldn't change anything."
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