Region 7 Strikes Gold and More at the 2017 North American Junior and Young Rider Championships
The United States Dressage Federation Region 7 Junior and Young Rider Teams win Junior Team Gold, Junior Individual Gold and Silver, Junior Freestyle Silver, and Young Rider Freestyle Silver at the 2017 North American Junior and Young Rider Championships in Saugerties, New York.
Saugerties, New York. - July 2017 - The North American Junior and Young Rider Championships is the most prestigious competition for youth equestrians on the North American continent. A team as well as an individual event, the NAJYRC creates a unique high performance atmosphere that fosters collaboration, organization, and a mental toughness that young people will rarely find elsewhere. The NAJYRC helps riders improve their skills on horseback but it more importantly creates stronger individuals for lives within the equine community and beyond.
After a rigorous qualifying process, teams come from all over North America to compete in Junior or Young Rider Divisions. The United States Dressage Federation Region 7 North American Junior and Young Rider Championship Teams are comprised of riders from California, Nevada, and Hawaii. This year, the Junior Team was represented by Christian Simonson (Ventura, CA) with Herzkonig, Ben Ebeling (Moorpark, CA) with Behlinger, Aleyna Dunn (Rancho Santa Fe, CA) with Bivera, and Ava Dingley (Simi Valley, CA) with Fürst von der Heide. The Young Rider team was represented by Lauren Asher (San Diego, CA) with Hønnerups Event and Nila Venkat (Hayward, CA) with Skyler Ace.
Although being one of the youngest teams in the competition, the Region 7 Junior Team had tremendous success. The Junior Team placed 1st in the Team Competition, Aleyna Dunn with Bivera placed first in the Individual competition and second in the Freestyle competition, Christian Simonson with Herzkonig placed second in the Individual competition, and all of the Junior riders placed in the top ten in the Individual competition. The Young Rider team also had strong showing and Lauren Asher placed second in the Freestyle competition.
However, the real story is not in the medal count but the poise and sportsmanship the riders demonstrated in and out of the show ring.
A fellow rider and gold medalist even commented about Region 7, “That if there was an award for sportsmanship then that region should get it”.
Congratulations to Region 7 for their success and for the legacy they are leaving for future generations of youth riders.