Articles: Press Release
Lehari Leads Long-Format Event at NAJYRC... Amber Heintzberger reports
Kenneth Kraus of Phelps Media Group, Inc.
at (561) 753-3389 or at email@example.com
Lexington, VA-August 2, 2006- Eventing got under way today at the 2006
CN North American Junior and Young Riders Championships (NAJYRC) at the
Virginia Horse Center in Lexington, VA. First on the roster was the
dressage phase of the CCI J/Y*, a non-championship division for Juniors
and Young Riders to be conducted as a traditional long format three-day
Kendal Lehari of Uxbridge, Ontario, Canada, holds the lead with a score
of 40.0 penalties on her off the track thoroughbred gelding Understudy
who was previously ridden by her mother Gwen Lehari. Ashley Scott of
Rocheport, Missouri, who scored 45.7 penalties on Riverman is second,
and Jamie Marlewski of Oxford, Wisconsin, who scored 48.6 penalties on
Sprint Tech is third. In the team standings, Area VIII is in first
place with a score of 153.2, Team Ontario is second with a score of
155.0 and Area II is third with 156.8.
Lehari said that her horse felt good in the dressage, and still got
strong in the canter despite the heat. "We had a short warm-up because
it was so hot. In the ring he tried to take off with me in the canter!"
she said. "I haven't seen my test sheet yet, but his trot work felt very
For many competitors, the NAJYRC is their first experience riding on a
team, as well as their first time competing under the rules of the
F=E9d=E9ration Equestre Internationale (FEI), the international
governing body for equestrian sport.
For Lehari, it is her first time competing in the long format, which
includes steeplechase. She and Understudy have been partners for about a
year and together complete a training level three-day training camp at
Belvoir in Ontario. But Saturday will be her first time tackling the
steeplechase in competition, and at preliminary height. She is confident
that her horse is fit, but is still concerned about the extreme heat.
She noted that they will have plenty of cold water and ice on hand after
"The cross-country course looks big - it looks good," she said. Lehari
and the other Ontario riders are coached by Ian Roberts, who will
represent Canada at the World Equestrian Games in Aachen, Germany at the
end of the month. He took his riders to Middleburg, VA for a week before
the championships, where he also worked with his coach David O'Connor, a
past Olympic gold medalist and current president of the US Equestrian
"Ian said not to back off when we're on course, and to just sit up and
ride every fence like it's the last one," said Lehari. "Ride like you
stole it!" she laughed.
Lehari said that it is fun for her to have the opportunity to compete at
the NAJYRC even though she is in a non-championship division. Someday,
she said, she would like to compete in the championships too.
"It's been very cool that all three disciplines (dressage, eventing and
show jumping) are here," she said. "I didn't get to see much today
because I was focused on my ride and my team, but hopefully I'll get to
watch some dressage and jumping too."
The two championship divisions in eventing, the CCI** for Young Riders
and the CCI* for Juniors, will complete the dressage phase of their
events on Thursday and Friday respectively.
"These championships are so significant for many of these Young Riders
who benefit from the experience on their way to someday riding for their
countries in international competition," said NAJYRC event director
Penny Ross. "For those whose careers culminate with this experience, it
is meaningful in a very different way. We feel it is important that
everyone goes home having had a wonderful time and having gained a
valuable experience whether they win medals or not."
The 2006 NAJYRC is supported by its Title Sponsor, CN, and is also
supported by this year's Platinum Sponsors - Howard and Martha Simpson.
Gold Medal Sponsors are the United States Equestrian Federation, Equine
Canada and Zone 4.
For full results and complete information on the 2006 CN North American
Junior and Young Riders Championships, please visit www.youngriders.org