NAJYRC Show Jumping Awards Katherine Dinan & Samantha Schaefer with Gold

August 1, 2011



Lexington, KY- The 2011 USHJA North American Junior & Young Rider Show Jumping Championships as part of the Adequan/FEI North American Junior & Young Riders Championships presented by Gotham North held its closing ceremony yesterday afternoon after a week of fierce competition among elite athletes from across the US, Canada, and Mexico.

Friday spotlighted the team competition and it was USHJA Zone 4 dominating both the Junior and Young Rider sections. Under the guidance of Chef Kim Land the Junior team of Frances Land (GA), Hayley Barnhill (FL), Hasbrouck Donovan (FL), Elizabeth Patz (FL), and Michael Hughes (FL) swept the Gold Medal position with a mere 4 fault total. The Silver medal was awarded to the Zone 2 team lead by Chef Ralph Cristo with Callie Smith (NJ), Gabrielle Bausano (NY), Charlotte Jacobs (NY), and Maria Van Buskirk (NJ) finishing with a total of 16 faults. A combined team of Zone 1 and 6 coached by Molly Flaherty and Karen Cudmore captured the Bronze medal position- the team consisted of Sydney Shulman (CT ), Brooke Cudmore (NE), Dana Scott (CT ), and Avery Waite (CT).

Following their cue the Zone 4 Young Rider team of Chase Boggio (GA), Samantha Senft (FL), Taylor Land (GA), Jordan Coyne (FL), and Liza Finsness (FL) claimed the Gold with a total of 12 team faults over the 2 rounds of competition. Zone 10 riders Cayla Richards (CA), Danielle Korsh (CA), Sage Flynn (CA), and Kendall Skreden (CA) claimed the Silver medal with the assistance of Chef Kelly Van Vleck. Long time winning Chef Ralph Cristo brought Bronze to his Zone 2 team of Katherine Dinan (NY), Francesca Bolfo (NJ), Danielle Cooper (NY), and Karen Polle (NJ).

The crescendo for show jumpers were the final two rounds in the individual medal competition on Sunday morning. Junior riders brought their A game to the ring in an exciting jump off which ended with a second jump off to determine all three medal positions. The day would eventually belong to Zone 3 rider Samantha Schaefer aboard Trezebees, a 15 year-old Belgian bred mare, who came into this final day of competition with no faults, the pair dropped one rail in the second round, "Of all jumps to have down, it was the first one," she began, "Then you're riding the rest of your round thinking, 'I can't have any more.' I knew I had a little bit of a cushion in that if I had one down I'd have to jump off, but it wasn't what we planned." Schaefer’s concern was short lived as she cleared the final jump off fault free in a quick 33.95 to clinch the victory. In regards to the second jump off Silver Medalist Frances Land of Alpharetta, GA commented, “It was definitely a surprise. I don’t think any of us were thinking about the jump off much today, just because we had two rounds and so much can happen in two rounds. Hayley and I had to jump off for the team the other day, so I think we were a little worried that maybe our horses were a little tired, but everyone seemed comfortable and rode well.” Land and her 10 year-old Warmblood partner of 2 years Merlin, finished the final jump off clear in 35.81 seconds and a combined 5 round total of 4 Faults. Barnhill rode Toucan Tango, her 9 year-old Warmblood to a Bronze medal with a 4 fault 35.80 finish in the jump off. “I’m so proud of him. He was just wonderful.” Barnhill said. All three medalists are good friends outside the ring, but do confess to being very competitive. “I ride to win no matter who’s in there” a smiling Schaefer said and added, “You just try your best and then after you’re still friends.” A point made well as the three friends hugged and smiled for cameras.

To close the show jumping on a high, Young Rider Katherine Dinan and the 13-year-old New Zealand Thoroughbred-cross gelding, Vancouver, made quick and decisive choices around the 11 fence layout in the Rolex Stadium on Sunday to finish with an overall score of 10.14 - and the Gold medal. "I was a little nervous going into the first round," said Dinan, from Zone 2. "Coming in on top, there was definitely some pressure. I thought my horse jumped really well today. I had two verticals down in the first round...but he jumped really well in the second round. I was proud that he pulled it together.”

Right behind Dinan in the Silver-medal position were Zone 4's Samantha Senft and Early Morning, her 9-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare, who finished with an overall score of 10.24. "My horse is not an easy horse," Senft explained. "Each jump is a huge accomplishment if we get over it clean. I know the first round my horse jumped really, really well, but got a little flat over the vertical I had down. Then she finished up phenomenal. I couldn't have asked for a better round." And completing the top three with the Bronze medal was Danielle Korsh and San Diego, a 12-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding, from Zone 10. The pair finished the competition with a score of 16.57. "My horse was pretty confident today," Korsh said. "He was jumping really high over the jumps, so we were wasting time in the air, but I thought he was really confident and strong over the jumps."

Shelby French, CEO of the United States Hunter Jumper Association summed up the reach of the NAJYRC, “In the Young Riders the three medalists were from Zones 2, 4, and 10, while riders from Zones 3 and 4 topped the podium in the Junior individual standings. This demonstrates the growth in depth of our young show jumping riders.”

For complete results on the 2011 FEI/Adequan North American Junior & Young Riders Championships please visit www.youngriders.org.

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