Saugerties, NY. – July 20, 2017 – On the first day of the Junior division at the Adequan/FEI North American Junior & Young Rider Dressage Championships in Saugerties, New York, it was the team from Region 7, comprised of Aleyna Dunn, Christian Simonson, Benjamin Ebeling and Ava Dingley, who claimed the spot on the top podium with gold medals. The Region 3 Junior Team earned silver medals and the Region 4 Team took home the bronze.
The gold-winning Region 7 team came out on top with a total score of 273.865 after the full day of competition. Dunn and Bivera, an 11-year-old mare, earned a score of 68.973 percent that positioned them in first place out of thirty-five Junior riders. Simonson and Herzkonig, a 13-year-old Hanoverian gelding, scored 68.892 percent, Ebeling riding Behlinger, a 9-year-old Hanoverian gelding, scored 68.973 percent and Dingley with Furst von der Heidi, an 8-year-old Hanoverian gelding earned a score of 67.027 percent.
“We’ve all known each other for a really long time,” Ebeling explained. “The four of us are best friends actually — This is a goal we’ve been working towards together and I think it’s really awesome that we’ve been able to get this goal and win.”
The silver medalists from Region 1 following close behind included Allison Nemeth, Kayla Kadlubek, Amanda McAuliffe and Claire Hodges. Nemeth and Dafoe, a 14-year-old Hanoverian gelding earned a score of 67.541 percent. Kadlubek riding Freewill, a 13-year-old gelding, scored 67.135 percent. McAuliffe with Leuns Velds Duco, a 10-year-old German Riding Pony gelding, earned 66.405 percent and Hodges and Good Lookin, a Belgium Warmblood Cross scored 61.081 percent.
“This is my first time being at NAJYRC,” said McAuliffe. “My favorite has been being a part of a team—it’s been pretty cool.”
The three-person team from Region 4 claimed bronze medals on the first day of the Junior division. Tillie Jones riding Apachi, a Dutch Warmblood gelding, scored 68.189 percent and was the third ranked rider in the entire Junior division.
“I am really glad that my horse is healthy because he colicked two weeks ago,” said Jones. “I’m just grateful that we got in and out of the arena safely, and I’m really lucky to be here this year because my horse, Boegelys Mauricio, unexpectedly died last year, so I couldn’t compete.”
“Being here this year is really special,” she continued. “I also think that it’s really cool that we only have three people on our team. In the midwest, there are only three recognized shows to be able to qualify. I’m really ecstatic about today and we’re going to celebrate with lots of ice cream and dancing.”
Peer and Macu, a Sport Pony, scored 65.216 percent in her Junior test.
“It means so much to be here,” Peer stated. “I got my horse six years ago and we were showing Intro, so to be able to compete here is crazy. It’s really great to be on a team. In horse competitions, it’s often focused on the individual, especially with dressage, so to be able to compete with other kids your age and work together is really fun.”
Schmidt with Cenna, a Danish Warmblood, scored 64.216 percent to contribute to the team’s score.
“I had a lot of fun today with my horse Cenna,” Schmidt said. “It was the best experience I’ve had so far at Juniors. I really enjoy hanging out with these people. Being on a team means working together and having fun. At the end of the day, it’s not always about winning. You get to have fun.”
Results: Junior Team Test
1. Aleyna Dunn/Region 7/Bivera/68.973
2. Christian Simonson/Region 7/Herzkonig/68.892
3. Tillie Jones/Region 4/Apachi/68.189
4. Benjamin Ebeling/Region 7/Behlinger/68.973
5. Allison Nemeth/Region 1/Dafoe/67.541
6. Kayla Kadlubek/Region 1/Freewill/67.135
6. Gemma Starn/Region 8/Laudibilis Osvaldo/67.135
8. Ava Dingley/Region 7/Furst von der Heidi/67.027
8. Isabel Linder/Region 2/Elvis/67.027
10. Ava MacCoubrey/ONT/Pablo/66.459
11. Amanda McAuliffe/Region 1/Leuns Velds Duco/66.405
12. Juliet Hess/Region 3/Diano/65.676
13. Meredith Talley/Region 2/Romeo/65.622
14. Mackenzie Peer/Region 4/Macu/65.216
14. Caroline Garren/Region 3/Bell Angelo/65.216