NAJYRC 2015 Recap
By Jodi McMaster
This year, Region 6 had one young rider and three juniors start the season working towards attending the NAJYRC Championships. Throughout the qualifying season, all of the juniors decided not to complete the qualifying process for a variety of reasons. That left the Region one Young Rider, Stevie Gaudreau, who qualified and attended the 2015 North American Junior and Young Rider Championships in Kentucky in July.
The event ran from July 13-19 at the Kentucky horse Park in Lexington Ky. Stevie and her mom started much earlier than that to make the trek across the country, hauling her horse RI Maverick to Kentucky. They arrived at the horse park July 11, which gave them a few days to acclimate and get some rest before competition began.
The activities started the first day with the in-barn vet checks and the jog followed by ring orientations, golf cart parade and the opening ceremonies, making for a long, but exciting first day. The opening ceremonies started with the traditional teams walking in by discipline, holding their Region banners, followed by a nice celebration. The weather unfortunately decided to provide rain and thunder storms, so the event ended a bit earlier than usual.
Competition began next with the Team test, where Region 6 combined with Region 5 for the competition. The combined team was a three-person team so there was no drop score. All of the team had good rides, but unfortunately did not end up in the medals. The next day was a rest day, which allowed for a nice breather and time to prepare for the individual rides.
Stevie rode her individual test mid morning, which allowed for a cooler ride, with the weather reaching hot levels in the afternoon and evening. She had a solid test and was happy to have gotten to the event and ridden well. The week ended with the top individual scorers riding their freestyles the last night, combined with the competitors closing party.
USEF Youth Dressage Coach, George Williams and Assistant Youth Coach, Charlotte Bredahl were available to coach riders coached and Stevie was fortunate to work with George numerous times through out the week This year was also the first time the Para-Dressage competition was held with the NAJYR’s other disciplines and, during the down time, it was great to be able to watch them compete as well as the other disciplines of eventing, jumping and endurance.
In 2016, the Championships will be held in Colorado, which is the closest to Region 6 it has been in a long while. Additionally, Region 6 will have several more qualifying shows in our Region, which we hope will provide more opportunity for youth to participate in NAJYRC.