The Horse Circus: 7.18.14

The Horse Circus

We pretend to go to the horse show but everyone really knows it’s a circus!

Bring on the clowns! And the horses too!

Every Friday Counter-Canter Culture features the important US and International Horse Shows currently under way.

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The Adequan/FEI North American Junior & Young Rider Championships

From July 15th through the 20th, up and coming equestrian superstars are taking the Kentucky Horse Park by storm and showing the grownups how it’s done! Since its inception in 1974, the North American Junior and Young Rider Championships (NAJYRC) has served as a showcase for young equestrian talent and as the only FEI Championship held in North America. Not too shabby for riders aged just 14 to 21.

In fact, many of North America’s best equestrians who have represented their country on Olympic, World Championship and Nations Cup teams got their first taste of International experience at NAJYRC. These include Olympic medalists Greg Best, Karen O’Connor, Chris Kappler and McLain Ward.

I imagine many of the current young and junior riders are already picturing themselves here:

2008 Olympic Team

The United States Show Jumping Team – l-r: Will Simpson, Laura Kraut, Beezie Madden and McLain Ward who won the Gold Medal at the 2008 Olympic Games. Photo: © 2008 Susan J. Stickle

This year, NAJYRC will welcome 216 young riders from Canada, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Mexico, and the United States to vie for team and individual FEI medals in the three Olympic equestrian disciplines of show jumping, dressage, eventing and the FEI World Equestrian Games discipline of endurance.

On Tuesday, the NAJYRC festivities kicked off with the Golf Cart Parade to neighboring Spy Coast Farm, followed by the Opening Ceremonies and Exhibitor Party. Did I say a Golf Cart Parade? Why, yes I did! Here’s a peek at what ensued at this event.

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A well-decorated golf cart in the Golf Cart Parade to Spy Coast Farm (

And on Wednesday, a lucky few riders got to take the podium in a fashion similar to their idols. Young Riders Anna Buffini, Cassidy Gallman, Catherine Chamberlain, and Lindsey Brewin, from Region 7, clinched the Gold Medal with a dressage team total of 206.737 points, including an impressive 72.132% for Catherine Chamberlain and her mount Verdicci. Here they are living the dream!

NAJYR Dressage Podium

There is still so much more to come from every discipline at the NAJYRC, and you don’t have to miss a moment. The USEFNetwork will be live streaming everything from the Rolex Stadium Friday July 18th, Saturday July 19th, and Sunday July 20th, 2014. They are also featuring videos on demand of daily performances, so definitely check it out here: 2014 Adequan FEI North American Junior and Young Rider Championships on USEFNetwork.

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