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20 Years of Realizing Young Riders’ Dreams at North American Young Riders' Championships

Wadsworth, IL—April 24, 2002—The North American Young Riders' Championships (NAYRC) presented by State Line Tack is returning to Tempel Farms, in Wadsworth, IL on August 6 – 11, 2002. With the return of the competition comes the 20 year anniversary of young riders pursuing and achieving their dreams.

The North American Young Riders' Championships, presented by State Line Tack, is the premier equestrian competition in North America for young riders, age 16-21. Young equestrians come from the United States, Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and the Caribbean Islands to vie for team and individual Championships in the three Olympic equestrian disciplines of Show Jumping, Dressage, and Eventing.

The young riders all bring with them dreams of someday riding for their countries at the senior level. If history is any indication of the future, then the viability of those dreams is strong. Many top international and Olympic riders got their start at the NAYRC, including Olympic Silver Medalists Greg Best and Karen O'Connor, as well as Megan Johnstone, Lauren Hough, Elise Haas, Buck Davidson, Abigail Lufkin, Alison Firestone, Chris Kappler, Nicole Shahinian Simpson, Ray Texel, Chris Pratt, Lisa Carlsen Lubitz, Kathleen Raine, Heather Mason, David Wilson, Tiffani Loudon, Mara DePuy, and Julie Gomena.

Last year, Amanda Baird of Greenwich, CT took home the Gold Medal in the individual competition for Show Jumping, and also rode on the winning Zone 1 team. Lesley Eden of Lake Mary, FL captured the Individual Gold in Dressage and was part of the Region III Gold Medal team. William Coleman of Charlottesville, VA won the individual Gold in Eventing, while Area V won the team Gold.

For many riders, the competition is their first experience riding on a team, as well as competing under the rules of the Fédération Equestre Internationale, the international governing body for equestrian sport. The NAYRC also carries with it the prestige of being designated as an official USA Junior Olympic-Equestrian event. Qualifying to compete in the NAYRC is an achievement in itself and any success there is an added bonus. “I came here not expecting a medal at all and I’m in shock that I won the Gold,” said Lesley Eden after her win in the individual Dressage Competition in 2001. “This is the biggest event I’ve ever done. I just can’t believe it.”

Besides the advanced divisions for Young Riders, the NAYRC offers a CSI* - JY Combined Competition for show jumping and a one-star competition for eventing. Both competitions allow younger competitors to gain valuable first-hand experience of what it’s like to compete in international competition in an atmosphere that is conducive to learning. The result is an experience that is educational, competitive and at the same time fun. “This whole experience was so much fun and there was such a supportive and friendly atmosphere,” said Jenna Jacobson of Houston, TX, who won the Junior Gold Medal in the one-star eventing competition in 2001.

The NAYRC 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. Tempel Farms has hosted the Championship 12 times since 1985.

The North American Young Riders' Championships, presented by State Line Tack, is pleased to welcome the fourth annual Mills Team Challenge, a dressage competition for young riders with disabilities who range from 16-25 years of age. The competition will be coordinated by the National Disability Sports Alliance (NDSA), the national governing body for equestrian sports for riders with disabilities, during the 2002 NAYRC, August 6-11, 2002.

The Mills Corporation is the fastest growing retail and entertainment developer in the United States, with new projects on the horizon in Madrid, Spain and along the waterfront in San Francisco, California. The Mills combines interactive shopping, dining and entertainment with environments that engage the entire family. Visitors come from across the nation and from 50 countries worldwide, making The Mills leading tourist destinations across the United States. Gurnee Mills, located near Tempel Farms in Gurnee, IL, is the Midwest's largest value retail and entertainment mall with over 200 manufacturer and retail outlet stores, and a long history of supporting the North American Young Riders’ Championships. For more information on Gurnee Mills, please visit or on The Mills’ exciting brand of retail and entertainment, please visit

State Line Tack, the presenting sponsor of NAYRC, is the leading equestrian retailer providing hundreds of brand name products at great prices, with the mission of making riding more affordable for everyone. State Line Tack continues to show their commitment to the sport by sponsoring over 3,000 horse clubs and shows nationwide each year. For more information or to order product from State Line Tack, please visit

For more information on NAYRC activities, please visit At the NAYRC website you will find zone, region, area contact information, a competition schedule, Tempel Farms information, and many other details pertaining to the event.


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