Four disciplines (a total of seven championships for juniors and young riders) took part in the only FEI Championship to be held annually in North America. The NAJYRC is the premier equestrian competition in North America for junior and young riders, ages 14-21.
USHJA North American Junior and Young Riders’ Show Jumping Championship
Wilton Porter (20, Bartonville, Texas) was the second Porter brother of the day to earn Individual Gold after producing four and one fault trips over Steve Stephens’ intricate tracks to finish on a score of 10.52. This is Porter’s second time at the NAJYRC and he was able to utilize experience gained from 2013 to earn a top spot on the podium with Sleepy P Ranch LLc’s Diamonte Darco.
“This is my second time here and last year I think on the team day I definitely let the nerves get to me,” said Porter. “But I was able to control my nerves better this year.”
The Zone 7 rider felt it would be a dream come true for one Porter to win an Individual Gold medal but for both to win was unimaginable.
“It’s unbelievable for one us to win a Gold medal and for us both to win is amazing and a credit to our parents and supporters,” Porter shared.
Michael Hughes (18, Allendale, N.J.) and Luxina enter Sunday’s final as the leaders but eight faults in round one and a further four in the second round meant they would finish on a score of 12.23 and earn Individual Silver.
“She’s been so great all week so I’m still really happy,” said Hughes who earlier in the week helped Zone 2 to Team Bronze.
Victoria Colvin (16, Loxahatchee, Fla.) and Chanel B 2 continued their climb up the leader producing a four fault and clear round on Sunday to finish on a score of 18.01. On Sunday, the pair added Individual Bronze to the Team Silver they earned earlier on the week.
In the Junior division, Lucas Porter (16, Bartonville, Texas) clinched the Junior Individual Gold medal on the strength of two immaculate rounds with Sleepy Pt Ranch LLc’s Phineas. In round one, the pair produced a faultless effort and the Zone 7 rider returned in round two keeping his poise to collect a single time fault to finish on a winning championship score of 1.65.
“The first round was really technical. In the second round there weren’t as many lines but I knew I couldn’t make any mistakes,” said Porter. “I tried to take a few breathes and not get too nervous.”
Zone 2’s Lucy Deslauriers (15, New York, N.Y.) and Hester held the lead going into Sunday but a single rail in round one moved them from the pole position. The pair returned for their second round and jumped a clear round to earn the Silver medal after finishing on an overall total of four faults.
“I think that staying calm and relaxed really helped,” said Deslauriers of her strategy for the second round.
Sophie Simpson (16, Royal Palm Beach, Calif.) and Simpson Show Jumping’s Why Not were one of only two Junior combinations to jump double clear on Sunday, helping the Zone 4 representatives earn Individual Bronze with a championship score of 5.71.
Area III and Ziegler Top CCI2* Field
“My favorite part about this sport is that you can start at the bottom and move to the top,” said Calvin Ramsay, the team’s top finisher.
The Area III CCI2* team consisted of:
Nicole Doolittle (16, Charlotte, N.C.) and Tops (8/0) – 100.7
Adrian Jones (16, Shamong, N.J.) and Irish Odyssey (0/0) – 127.1
Calvin Ramsay (17, Lafayette, La.) and Flintstar (0/0) – 63.2
Emily Rusinyak (19, Franklin, Ga.) and Reatta HW (12/0) – 75.0
The teammates had ups and downs throughout the weekend but rose to the occasion and didn’t let the pressure get to them.
“My favorite part about being on a team is that even my rides didn’t go to plan I was able to cheer on my teammates and end up finishing with a medal,” Jones explained.
The combined team of Areas V and VI joined together as the only three-person team in the CCI2*. For their efforts, they were rewarded with the Team Silver medal with a score of 258.3.
The Area V &VI CCI2* team consisted of:
Bailey Moran (18, San Antonio, Texas) and Loughnatousa Caislean (0/0) – 83.4
Katie Resnick (18, Dallas, Texas) and The King’s Spirit (4/0) – 116.2
Alexandra Willoughby (21, Davis, Calif.) and Tiki Car (4/0) – 66.7
“We all talked about it and were like alright, let’s put our big girl pants on here because we’re a three-person team, we don’t have a drop score so we all have to ride our best to get on that podium,” Resnick said.
The Canada/Ontario team endured some rough moments but held on to earn a spot on the podium. Their final score of 1138.5 was enough to get them the Bronze medal.
The Canada/Ontario CCI2* team consisted of:
Lauren Clark (18, Uxbridge, Ontario) and Coolumn XV (8/0) – 74.3
Hanna Bundy (20, Toronto, Ontario) and D’Jion – 1000.0 (eliminated on cross country)
Jamie Kellock (19, New Market, Ontario) and Don’t Blink – 1000.0 (rider fall on cross country)
April Simmonds (17, Uxbridge, Ontario) and Impressively Done (4/0) – 64.2
“I did feel a little pressure because I was in second and our team was in third and if the other team had some rails there was a possibility that we would move up so I was definitely really trying,” said the team’s top finisher, Simmonds.
The name at the top of the CCI2* leaderboard didn’t change with David Ziegler (21, Beiseker, Alberta) of Canada claiming the Individual Gold medal. Riding Critical Decision, Ziegler knocked three rails but had a substantial enough lead that he held on for the win with a score of 58.3.
“The first three fences felt fantastic to me but then going down the line to the triple I miscounted two strides in my head…rider error completely,” Ziegler explained.
Ziegler also found success in the dressage portion of NAJYRC, winning Individual Silver in the Young Rider Dressage Individual Championship. He plans to continue with both disciplines as long as he has the horses. Ziegler will see where his dressage mount, Peninsula Top Man, can go and while Critical Decision will likely be retired soon, he has some young prospects who could also be stars.
Ziegler made history at the 2014 NAJYRC by being the first competitor to earn medals in two different disciplines. On Friday he won Silver in the dressage Young Rider Individual Test and then added eventing Young Rider Individual Gold on Sunday.
Calvin Ramsay of Area III rose from sixth to second to earn an Individual Silver medal. Being one of only three pairs to go double clear and the sole Young Rider competitor to finish on his dressage score, he and Flintstar rose to the occasion to win the Silver with a score of 63.2.
“It is what I appreciate most about the sport. It’s not just a one day deal. You can come back the next day and the day after that,” Ramsay stated. “With a good jump through cross country and a good jump in stadium you can end up at the top which is what I guess what happened today.”
Ramsay plans to give “Flint” a much deserved break before starting back up with him over the winter.
April Simmonds of Canada/Ontario also added an Individual Bronze medal to her spoils over the weekend. She and Impressively Done knocked just one rail at fence 10 but finished strongly on a score of 64.2.
“It was definitely an awesome course. It was very forward which I tend to enjoy at some points. My horse was really, really good. He was jumping out of his shoes,” Simmonds said, praising her horse.
Simmonds’ horse gave her a great feeling and seems to thrive in championship competition. The pair won the Individual Bronze medal in the CCI1* in 2013. Simmonds is now qualified for the 2015 Pan American Games and hopes that she could make the team. If that is not the case, she looks forward to returning to NAJYRC next year.
Area II and Nelson Are Golden in CCI1*
Area II held onto their lead from Saturday to claim top honors in the CCI1*. An overall team score of 165.9 was more than good enough for the Team Gold medal.
The Area II CCI1* team consisted of:
Grace Fulton (15, Finksburg, Md.) and Wild Orange (0/0) – 57.9
Margret Schaeffer (17, Quakertown, Pa.) and Grey Area (4/0) – 54.6
Madeline Mosing (16, Hoffman, Texas) and Tako (4/0) – 65.8
Alexis Nelson (18, Purcellville, Va.) and Total Eclipse (0/0) – 49.4
“I think that all of us are just the happiest people in the world right now,” Nelson shared.
The girls had a strong bond and worked together to make a successful ending a reality.
The Team Silver medal went to Area V after they finished with a total score of 190.5. The team produced solid rides in the three phases, allowing them to garner a place on the podium.
The Area V CCI1* team consisted of:
Nicole Hatley (16, Tulsa, Okla.) and Ace (0/0) – 64.6
Margaret Stoker (16, Dallas, Texas) and Second Hand Rose (rider fall on cross country)
Clara Cargile (17, San Angelo, Texas) and White Indian (0/0) – 55.2
Alyssa Phillips (17, Fort Worth, Texas) and Bliss III (0/0) – 70.7
All the members had high praise for Richard Jeffery’s course and knew they had to ride smart to be successful.
“I thought it was a good course. I knew she would be a little feisty so I had to control that so we could have a solid round for everyone to go off of,” Phillips said.
All of the three team members impressively had double clear rounds, not allowing themselves to be phased on the final day of competition.
Area VIII received the Bronze medal on their home turf with a final score of 196.9. All the team members were competing in the NAJYRC for the first time and handled the pressure of a major championship.
The Area VIII CCI1* team consisted of:
Woods Baughman (18, Lexington, Ky.) and Truckee Bash (4/0) – 66.1
Samantha Laurel (17, Louisville, Ky.) and Baba Creek (12/0) – 69.7
M. Paige Pence (15, Louisville, Ky.) and Class Action (0/0) – 61.1
Kelly Taylor (17, Prospect, Ky.) and Kynynmont Indelibly Irish (0/0) – 82.5
Two of the team members, Pence and Taylor, who rarely have double clear rounds rose to the occasion to help their team earn a medal.
“My round was probably the best that I’ve ever had because I have never had a double clear round, only than one other double clear round, so I was really happy with my horse,” Taylor said.
For full results or to learn more about the Adequan/FEI North American Junior & Young Rider Championships presented by Gotham North, please visit www.youngriders.org.
Alexis Nelson of Area II won a second Gold medal for her individual efforts. She and Total Eclipse, a reject from an Appaloosa breeding farm that she bought for $800 and broke herself with the help of trainers, won top honors with a score of 49.4. The pair added nothing to their dressage score to rise to the top.
“We went up the levels together with a lot of struggles but also a lot of awesome moments,” Nelson fondly said of “Casper.” “He is just the coolest guy in the world and he takes such good care of me.”
Patience O’Neal (14, Deer Park, Wash.) of the Area VII and IX combined team and her mount Markus rose from fifth place after a double clear round on Sunday to receive Individual Silver. With one of 10 double clear rounds, the pair ended up with a score of 55.0.
“I thought my horse jumped really well. He was really excited, I think because of the big ring, because in the Northwest we really don’t have big arenas,” O’Neal said.
Despite the atmosphere, she and Markus found their rhythm just fine, earning an Individual medal.
Clara Cargile of Area V received another medal, Individual Bronze, when she and White Indian had a strong finish. Also adding nothing to her dressage score, Cargile finished in second with a score of 55.2.
“I thought the course looked really good. I was pretty nervous but not as nervous as I thought I’d be,” Cargile explained. “I just knew I had to stay forward and keep thinking positively.”
Video On-demand of the top performers is now available on the USEF Network. Visit