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Champions Crowned at the North American Young Riders’ Championships Presented by State Line Tack

Old Mill Creek, IL—August 19, 2002—The North American Young Riders' Championships (NAYRC) presented by State Line Tack, returned to Tempel Farms, in Old Mill Creek, IL August 6 – 11, 2002.

Jacqueline Paxton 21, of Cincinnati, OH, Cayce Harrison, 18, of Burridge, IL and Brittany Kart, 18, of Atlanta, GA, won the individual Gold Medals in dressage, show jumping and eventing respectively.

In the team competitions, Gold Medals went to USA Region 2 in dressage, USA Zone 2 in show jumping and USA Area 2 in eventing.

In Dressage, Paxton, riding for USA Region 2, led throughout the competition and received a 71.200%, her best score ever, to win the culminating Freestyle Championship and clinch the Gold Medal with a three-round score of 212.040.

“I can’t believe I did it,” said Paxton of her high score. “I am really happy with the way things went, I am so excited.”

Leahe Webb, 19, of Region 7, moved up from fourth on the final day to win the Silver Medal on Hugo with an overall score of 197.800. The Bronze Medal went to Lindsey Anderson of Region 6 riding Intrepid with an overall score of 197.560.

In a close fight to the finish, Cayce Harrison of USA Zone 5 won the individual Gold Medal in Show Jumping with the only double clear rounds of the final day for an overall score of 10.81 faults. Going last and with not even a time fault in hand, Harrison entered the ring knowing she needed to go clean.

“I was so nervous,” said Harrison. “I had never been in that position before, knowing that I had to go clean to win. I knew my horse could do it though because he is amazing.”

The Silver Medal went to Andrew Ramsay and Lisa of USA Zone 10. Ramsay went clear in the second round, but his faults in the first had put him in second with an overall score of 11.26 faults. The Bronze Medal was won by Catherine Boettcher and Cordelia B, also of Zone 10, with a final score of 17.25 faults.

In the eventing championship, Brittany Kart of the combined USA Area 3/4/7 team remained on top although she knocked down a rail in stadium jumping, still capturing the Gold Medal riding Semper Fidelis with a score of 60.00 penalties.

“It was great,” said Kart. “I knew I had a couple of rails in hand going into stadium jumping, but I was still extremely nervous. Last year was a good experience, but this year was even better.”

Sara Hansel of USA Area 1/5 won the Silver with 63.80 penalties and Katie Evans of Canada - Ontario received the Bronze with the score of 66.40 penalties aboard Forest Glen.

USA Region 2 won the Dressage team Gold Medal, the first time Region 2 won top honors at the NAYRC since 1990.

The Gold Medal team consisted of: Lindsey Holcomb of Batavia, IL, riding Chevriot; Lindsey Koffler of Lexington, KY on Alfredo; Martin Kuhn of New Berlin, IL aboard Romulos and Jacqueline Paxton of Batavia, OH and Sangmelima. The Region 2 team won convincingly with a total score of 3809. Paxton helped the team accomplish their goal with an outstanding score of 1367 and 70.103% and was thrilled with her personal best.

“This was the most fun I ever had in a test,” said Paxton. “I worked so hard to get here and have a good test. The fact that it happened at Young Riders makes it ten times better.”

The Silver Medal went to Region 7 with a combined total score of 3773. Christina Beal of Fullbrook, CA on Artiste, Josslyn Chandler of San Juan, CA riding Domani, Natalie Hamilton of Murrieta, CA and Donnerworth and Leahe Webb of Temecula, CA aboard Hugo made up the second place team.

Region 3 received the Bronze with Brittain Knight of Greensboro, NC and Diodor, Nicole Levy of Ft. Meyers, FL riding Korrado Krista Peek of Rosewell, GA and Legatto and Courtney Raiser of Liburn, GA on Pegasus receiving a team score of 3672.

The show jumping riders from USA Zone 2 won the team Gold Medal with a faultless performance in a tie breaking jump-off in one of the most exciting competitions in the history of the North American Young Riders’ Championships.

An unprecedented jump-off for the Gold Medal came as the riders of Ontario and Zone 2 were tied following the two round Nations’ Cup format. The jump-off became necessary when each team totaled 25 faults. The four riders of the Gold Medal team in order of appearance were Kristy McCormack and Marga; Vanessa Stevenson and Galiana; Michelle Pia and Mable and Georgina Bloomberg and Riviera. Bloomberg was the anchor in the pressure cooker situation, but seemed to take it all in stride.

“There was a lot of pressure,” said Bloomberg. “It’s also a compliment because it means someone believes in you enough to come through. It makes you determined to do well. We all worked very hard to win.”

The Silver Medal team from Ontario was impressive with only eight jump-off faults and consisted of Carly Campbell Cooper and Rex Get Busy; Elliott Stone and Freestyle; Rebecca Irvine and Quincy; and Keean White and Libidou.

“This is just a great experience for the kids,” said Zone 2 chef d’equipe Ralph Caristo. “I came here when my daughter Heather was riding and it was just so great for her that I was happy to come back this year when they asked me.”

In the CCI** team championship, the medal race was extremely close with the Team from USA Area 2 snagging the Gold by less than one penalty to win with an overall score of 237.82 penalties. The four riders on the team champions were Stephanie Butts aboard Bungee, Kathleen Dingus on Springcroft tia Maria, Erin Freedman on Captain Hook and Maisy Grassie riding Heyday.

The Silver Medal team of USA Area 1/5 had 238.80 penalties. That team included Sara Hansel on G & R, Prudence Ruzicka and Giselle, Julian Stiller riding Market Mover and Meredith Robins aboard Kid Gloves.

The spirited team from Brazil won the Bronze with a score of 264.02 penalties. The four from South America were Ricky Candi and Justiceiro, Rafael Mauridio Gouveia, Jr. riding Ava, Paulo Eduardo Limongi Pacheco on Planetarius J. Men and Jesper Sigfrid Martendal aboard Nijord.

In the CCI*, the team Gold Medal went to USA Area 1 with a score of 159.97. Courtenay Brines on Which One’s That, Alexandra Small and Azlan, Hillary Moses on Madox and Charlotte Merle-Smith riding Sportsfield Twist made up the winning team.

The Silver Medal went to USA Area 3 with Rebecca Huy riding Fancy Solo Flight, Megan McGregor on Sunday Surprise, Andrea Leatherman on Yoshi and Elizabeth B. Barron aboard Corna’s Courageous with a score of 173.55. The USA Area 2 team took the Bronze with Lucia Strini and Stella, Valerie Vizcarrando on Bumbershoot, Jennifer Morse and Mt. Colebrook and Daniel Clasing and Yardley with a score of 176.93.

Individually, in the CCI* Young Rider division, Charlotte Merle-Smith of USA Area 1 stayed on top to win the Gold Medal after going clean in cross-country and in stadium jumping with a score of 42.18 penalties. Ashely Dalton took the Silver with 50.97 penalties and Alexandra Small received the Bronze with a score of 53.79 penalties.

In the CCI* Junior division, Jessica Pye clinched the Gold Medal riding Carte Blanche with a clean stadium jumping round to finish with a score of 54.14 penalties. Rachel Zoller on Ben Starr took the Silver with a score of 54.87. Megan McGregor with Sunday Surprise took the Bronze with a score of 58.14 penalties.

The Mills Team Challenge was won by the Triangle Gold team featuring NDSA rider Rebecca Hart with dressage rider Lindsey Anderson, CCI** event rider Maisy Grassie, CCI* event rider Kurt Martin, junior show jumper Ashleigh Robin and young rider show jumper Raymond Butterfield of Bermuda. The Mills Team Challenge is a competition for riders with physical disabilities who range from 16-25 years of age. They are teamed with able-bodied riders who are also competing at the NAYRC. The competition is run under the auspices of the National Disability Sports Alliance (NDSA), the national governing body for equestrian sports for riders with disabilities.

Medals and gifts were presented to all the winners at the NAYRC in a moving ceremony that included all riders competing in the Championship. The Olympic-style closing ceremony was a fitting way to end the USA Junior Olympic – Equestrian event.

The NAYRC is the premier competition for young riders in the three Olympic disciplines of show jumping, dressage, and three-day eventing. Riders, ages 16 through 21 are eligible to compete.

The 2002 North American Young Riders’ Championships, Presented by State Line Tack, gave young riders a real feel of what it’s like to compete in an FEI event. The Championships opened with the veterinary examination of all horses and also featured a welcome party with Olympic veteran rider and chef d’equipe Jessica Ransehousen as the featured speaker. Ransehousen addressed a full house during the party that included competitors, coaches, chefs d’equipe and officials. The veteran of six Olympic Games spoke of the NAYRC as the experience of a lifetime for the young riders.

“For those of you who see this as the ultimate experience, savor the memories,” said Ransehousen. “But most of all have fun!”

Ransehousen also thanked the generous hosts of the NAYRC, event director Howard Simpson, and Honorary Presidents Martha Smith Simpson and Linda Smith Buonanno, as well as the entire Tempel family for their unlimited support of the Young Rider program.

The North American Young Riders’ Championships began in 1974 as an eventing challenge between the United States and Canada in Jokers Hill, Ontario. Canada swept all three team medals in the competition that was then known as the North American Junior Team Championships. A dressage championship was added in 1981, and since that year the Championships have been recognized by the FEI and are conducted in accordance with FEI General Regulations. Show jumping made its debut in 1982 in British Columbia, when the first complete Championships were held. In 1985, the competition was first held at Tempel Farms, setting the stage for their outstanding and continuing support of the Championships.

Complete results are available at


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