Zone 2 Captures Double Gold in Jumping

Zone 2 Captures Double Gold in Jumping at 2013 Adequan/FEI North American Junior & Young Rider Championships presented by Gotham North

RELEASE: July 18, 2013
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: Jennifer Wood and Brad Ettleman for USEF

Read entire article online here.

There were four Team medal competitions today at the 2013 Adequan/FEI North American Junior & Young Rider Championships presented by Gotham North (NAJYRC). In the Jumping, Zone 2 won both the the Young Rider and Junior Golds. USA took Gold in the Junior division of Reining, while the Young Riders from Canada were best. The NAJYRC continues through Sunday, July 21, with team and individual competitions for the FEI sports of dressage, jumping, eventing, reining, and endurance.

A challenging course by Steve Stephens set the tone for today’s Young Rider jumping Team competition. With only two clear rides in the two rounds of jumping, the faults added up for teams. However, it was still a strong performance from Zone 2 that took home Gold medals for the four Young Riders. They finished on a total of 36 faults.

Drumnacross-Farm-M-HughesLillie Keenan (16, New York City, NY) led the way on Londinium, an 11-year-old Oldenburg gelding by Lord Pezi, with two four-fault rounds. Mattias Tromp and Casey added four and eight faults, while Michael Hughes on Luxina had eight faults in both rounds. Gabrielle Bausano and Ubico H had some trouble as they were eliminated in the second round and had 20 faults in the first round.

Keenan related, “The course no doubt was challenging. For my horse, he could have jumped clear and I didn’t give him the best ride. He rose to the occasion though.”

Keenan said she didn’t know and wasn’t thinking about the difference between team faults as the last rider on course, although she had three rails in hand. “The team day is) extra special compared to the individual round. I was thinking about not having any rails, but we still pulled out the Gold. Once I had the one (rail down), I thought, “Oh God, I better not have any more!” she recalled.

Hughes (17, Allendale, NJ) agreed on the difficulty of the course, “It rode harder than it walked. Everything was bigger and wider and a lot more technical.”

Bausano (18, New York City, NY) said it was a “little bit of a struggle” for her horse today. She continued, “We tried our best and maybe next time we’ll do better. It was nice that we had a great team. As a team, we’re close and we’re friends, and it’s special to win a championship and better when you’re close with your team.”

Mattias Tromp (18, North Salem, NY) agreed that the course was challenging, but that everybody gave their best ride. Tromp was the only returning team member of last year’s Zone 2 Gold medal group. “It’s a great feeling to come back with a new team and do it again,” he said.

Between the Young Rider and Junior teams, there were many echoes of the same sentiment on their leader and Chef d’Equipe, Ralph Caristo, and his wife Holly. Keenan remarked, “The two of them make us feel like we could do anything.”

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