Articles: Press Release
Medals Awarded at Maui Jim
North American Young Riders' Championships,
Presented By CN
Beth Gold, (508) 698-6810,
Old Mill Creek, IL-August 20, 2004- More than 150 of the nation's finest
horses and young riders, age 16-21, vied for Championships in the
Olympic disciplines of show jumping, dressage, and eventing at the 2004
Maui Jim North American Young Riders' Championships (NAYRC), presented
by CN, at Tempel Farms in Old Mill Creek, IL, August 10-15.
Christina Beal of Fallbrook, CA; Jennifer Libby of Branchville, NJ; and
Caitlyn Shiels of Sheffield, MA, won Individual Gold Medals in dressage,
eventing and show jumping, respectively.
In the dressage division, Beal, riding for U.S. Region 7, earned a score
of 73.350% in the Freestyle Championship, clinching the Individual Gold
Medal with a combined total score of 210.961% on Ray Ace. This was
Beal's third year at the NAYRC.
"Every year you learn something valuable," said Beal. "You grow a lot!
It's a great experience."
Elisabeth Austin, of Region 8, rode Hierarch to the Silver Medal with a
three-round total of 203.053%. The Bronze went to Jody Kelly of Region
3, who piloted Weltkaar to a total score of 201.144%.
In the exciting Eventing Championship, Libby, of U.S. Area 2, rode Draco
to victory with a three-phase score of 60.6 penalty points. Libby
credited her trainer, Debbie Adams, and her horse with much of her
success at the NAYRC.
"He's the best horse I've ever ridden," Libby said of Draco. "He's the
most careful and forgiving horse, and he always gives 110%!"
Only two penalty points separated the top three places in the Eventing
Championship. Jessica Pye of Area 5, riding Carte Blanche, earned a
three-day score of 61.8 penalties, earning the Silver Medal. In third
place for the Bronze Medal, Cayla Kitayama, of Area 6, posted a total
score of 62.6 penalties aboard Docksider.
In the State Line Tack show jumping division, Shiels, of U.S. Zone 2,
emerged victorious aboard Memphis with a five-round final score of only
12.14 faults. Shiels' Zone 2 teammate Leigh Healey piloted Laurin to a
score of 16.77, giving her the Individual Silver Medal. Abigail
Carpenter of Zone 1 took the Individual Bronze, riding Rosanne Van de
Witheove to a final score of 17.12 faults.
The riders of U.S. Region 7 won the Dressage Team Gold Medal at this
year's Maui Jim North American Young Riders' Championships, presented by
CN. Individual Gold Medalist Christina Beal joined Stephanie Hamar of
Visalia, CA; Dani Judy of El Cajon, CA; and Caitlin Masiel of Danville,
CA, on the Gold Medal Dressage Team.
The Region 7 team won convincingly with a total score of 199.244%,
nearly 4% higher than Silver Medal team, Canada-East, who earned a score
of 195.289%. The Bronze Medal went to U.S. Region 6 with a total team
score of 191.344%.
Cayla Kitayama's Eventing Individual Bronze Medal score helped her team
to victory in the Eventing Team Championship at this year's NAYRC. The
riders from Area 6, Kitayama and Athena Arnot-Copenhaver of Carmel, CA;
Adrienne Hillas of Bell Canyon, CA; and Loreen Kay of West Hills, CA,
posted a team total of 209.4 penalties, clinching the Gold Medal.
Individual Gold Medalist Jennifer Libby led her Area 2 team to a Silver
Medal finish with a score of 220.0 penalties. The Team Bronze Medal
went to Area 3 with a score of 234.8 penalty points.
In the State Line Tack show jumping division team competition, the lead
rotated among three competitive teams and the final placings came down
to the last rider over the last fence. For the sixth time, U.S. Zone 2
captured the Team Gold with a team of rookies.
Individual Gold and Silver Medalists Shiels and Healey, along with
Brianne Goutal of New York, NY, and Katrina Woods of Bronxville, NY,
earned the Team Gold Medal with a final score of 33 faults. Although
the Zone 2 riders have never been to the NAYRC, they are all veteran
competitors. They credit much of their success to the support they
receive back home.
"We get an incredible amount of support from our Zone 2 Committee," said
Zone 2 Chef d'Equipe Ralph Caristo. "We love Zone 2," chorused the
The Mexico - North team clinched the show jumping Team Silver with 36
faults, less than one rail behind Zone 2. The Bronze Medal went to Zone
10 with a total team score of 38 faults.
"We knew we were really close," said Shiels, "but things kept changing."
When the team heard they were the Gold Medalists, a huge cheer erupted.
"It's all so exciting," said Woods. "I don't think it has hit yet,"
added anchor rider Goutal. "I was so nervous, but my horse was great."
The 2004 Maui Jim North American Young Riders' Championships, presented
by CN, also awarded Medals to the top three teams in The Mills Team
Challenge, a competition for riders with physical disabilities who range
from 16-25 years of age in which the riders are teamed with able-bodied
riders who are also competing at the NAYRC. The competition is run
under the auspices of the National Disability Sports Alliance (NDSA),
the national governing body for equestrian sports for riders with
This year's Mills Team Challenge was won by the Cobalt Crew, featuring
Rebecca Hart of Erie, PA, with Veronique Lavalle (Canada-East,
Dressage); Kristine Lyons (Zone 1, Jumping *); Brianne Goutal (Zone 2,
Jumping **); John Michael Durr (Area 6, Eventing *); and Athena
Arnot-Copenhaver (Area 6, Eventing **).
The Silver Medal went to the Charismatic Centaurs, featuring Dax Adam of
Scarborough, Ontario, and the Bronze Medal was awarded to the Keith's
Caravan team, featuring NDSA Champion Keith Newerla of Seaford, NY.
New for this year at the NAYRC was the inauguration of the Howard B.
Simpson High Five Trophy. The trophy, named for NAYRC Director Howard
Simpson and presented by the U.S. Equestrian Federation, will be awarded
annually at the NAYRC to the volunteer who best exemplifies Simpson's
spirit of giving back to a sport that he loves.
Simpson is more than just a beloved Director. His encouragement of the
athletes who work diligently to qualify for the NAYRC and his dedication
to the Championships and to the many volunteers that have helped him
over the years has been an inspiration to all the people around him.
In that spirit, the first Howard B. Simpson High Five Trophy was awarded
to Simpson, himself, in a surprise presentation during Sunday's closing
Also presented during closing ceremonies was the Captain Andrew de
Szinay Memorial Sportsmanship Trophy. The trophy is awarded each year
to the young rider who best personifies the high standards of integrity,
sportsmanship, team spirit, good temper and unselfishness.
This year's winner, determined from essays submitted by the
participating teams, was Megan Greg of Grand Junction, CO. Greg
traveled to Illinois by herself from her coach's facility in Utah. She
has displayed a positive attitude and friendly disposition amid varying
circumstances, embodying the essence of the Captain Andrew de Szinay
NAYRC title sponsor Maui Jim Sunglasses, in association with the U.S.
Eventing Association (USEA), sponsored a raffle featuring a grand prize
of a trip to Maui, including two round-trip plane tickets, five
nights/six days hotel accommodations, plus a one-day trip on the Maui
Jim, a 51-foot yacht where the winners will be able to sightsee,
snorkel, whale watch, sunbathe, or simply relax.
Proceeds from the raffle benefit individual USEA Area Young Rider
programs and the creation of the Maui Jim Young Rider Scholarship. The
grand prize winner, drawn during the NAYRC Competitor Party, was Susan
Bernard of Sherborn, MA. Second prize, featuring a trip to Palm
Springs, CA, including airfare and hotel accommodations, was awarded to
Elizabeth Petersen of Monroe, NY. Third prize, a set of Taylor Made
golf clubs with matching bag or $750 in cash, went to Dick Shannon of
As part of its sponsorship of the 2004 NAYRC, Maui Jim also provided
each participant in the event with a pair of Maui Jim Sunglasses in an
NAYRC custom hard case.
The North American Young Riders' Championships is the premier equestrian
competition in North America for young riders, age 16-21. Young
equestrians come from the United States, Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico,
and the Caribbean Islands to vie for team and individual Championships
in the three Olympic equestrian disciplines of show jumping, dressage,
and eventing. The NAYRC is an official USA Junior Olympic-Equestrian
For many competitors, the NAYRC is their first experience riding on a
team, as well as competing under the rules of the Federation Equestre
Internationale (FEI), the international governing body for equestrian
Many top international and Olympic riders got their start at the NAYRC
including Olympic Silver Medalists Greg Best and Karen O'Connor, as well
as Megan Johnstone, Elise Haas, Buck Davidson, Chris Kappler, Lauren
Hough, Nicole Shahinian Simpson, Ray Texel, Lisa Carlsen Lubitz, Mara
DePuy, Alison Firestone, Missy Ransehousen, and Julie Gomena.
The NAYRC began in 1974 as an eventing challenge between the United
States and Canada. A Dressage Championship was added in 1981, and Show
Jumping debuted in 1982. The first complete NAYRC was held in British
Columbia, Canada in 1982. Tempel Farms has hosted the Championship more
than any other location, 13 times since 1985.
Tempel Farms is home to the world's largest private herd of Lipizzan
Horses. It is widely considered to be one of the finest equestrian
locations in North America with extraordinary facilities, excellent
footing, and a challenging CCI** cross-country course.
For more information on the Maui Jim North American Young Riders'
Championships, presented by CN, including complete competition results,
please visit the event's website at