USEF Release: July 30 2009
By Leah Oliveto
The North American Young Riders Endurance ride took place on Friday, July 24. It was run concurrently with the FEI North American Junior and Young Rider Championships (NAJYRC) and for the first time all three North American countries were represented.
Held in the rolling hills of Henryville, IN, riders competed against the clock for team and individual medals. Heavy rains left the ride’s 75-mile course a bit more treacherous, requiring riders to be extra cautious.
The Individual Gold and Silver medals were determined by a mere second. Kelsey Kimbler and Junior CAHR finished with a winning time of 8:19:11, Jennifer Stevens and Sha Strike Two took Silver with a time of 8:19:12. Finishing 12 minutes later to capture the Bronze was Alexandria Kirkland and Latteefah.
Team medals are determined by combining the times of the fastest three completers from each team. Team Gold went to USA Mountain/Pacific with a combined time of 28:10:46, Team Silver went to International, comprised of two Mexican and three Canadian riders, which were one of the only teams to have all five riders complete the course. USA Central, led by Kimbler and Kirkland, took home Team Bronze.
The coveted Best Condition Award was given to Junior CAHR, ridden by Kimbler and owned by Kirsten Kimbler. This award is given to the horse judged to be in the best condition, using a scoring system that takes into account veterinary score, time to complete the course and weight carried.
The winning teams traveled back to the Kentucky Horse Park and were recognized during the NAJYRC closing ceremonies held on Sunday.