Oklahoma City, OK — A very strong turnout for the 2009 Adequan/USEF National Youth Reining Championships presented by Equine Motorcoach made for a competitive field in all three age divisions and an excellent display of reining among the nation’s best young riders.
Earlier in the day, Lyndsey Jordan of Georgetown, KY, slid and spun her way to the 2009 NRHA Collegiate Reining Championship, and her strong effort at the Adequan/USEF National Youth Reining Championship was equally impressive, earning the Gold medal in the 19-21 age division. Riding Sailin CD owned by her mother, Rebecca Jordan, Jordan scored an impressive 216 to claim the top of the medals podium.
“I’m absolutely thrilled at the opportunity to go up against such a great group of competitors that I get to show with all season long, I have a lot of respect for them all,” said Jordan. “Winning the national championship was a nice surprise, especially since this is my first time showing this horse.” Only a four-year-old, Sailin CD was shown in his futurity season by Casey Hinton and is now embarking on the second phase of his career with Jordan. “He was very honest and good in the pen,” said Jordan. “I want to especially thank Brent Wright for taking the time to coach me.” Wright, who typically does not coach non-professionals, was generous with his time to help Jordan.
In the 19-21 age division, NRHyA past-president Ian Barnard of Kendallville, IN, aboard Got It Dun, scored 211 to claim the Silver, and Chloe Gray from Tampa, FL, took the Bronze with a 208.5 riding Lil Peppys Wave.
The 14-18 age division proved to be just as competitive with the Gold medal secured by Jordan Brown of Dandridge,TN, with a 217 on Kickit In The Bud. Laura Sumrall of Summit, MS, on Einsteins Fancy Pine took home the Silver medal with a 214, and Devin Spencer of Evergreen, CO, on Gunnin For Diamonds rounded out the podium positions with Bronze and a score of 213.5.
Most contested was the 13 & Under age division which resulted in a run-off for the Gold medal. Emily Winegar of Aubrey, TX, and Kyndall Harper of St. Augustine, FL, both scored a 214 in the first round, resulting in a second round to determine the 2009 champion. Energized by the excitement, the crowd whistled and cheered their favorite through the run-off, which put Winegar on top with a second score of 217.
Winegar, riding Red Berry Wine owned by her family’s Green Valley Ranch, is a persistent force to be reckoned with and also competes among adults in futurities and derbies throughout the nation. Her effort and consequent Gold medal in the 13 & Under puts all competitors on alert as she steps up into the 14-18 division in 2010.
“What an exciting competition,” said Winegar. “We both had really nice rides in the class, and the tie breaker was very exciting. I’m very happy with my horse and happy to have had this great experience.”
As a result of the run-off, Kendall Harper as named Silver medalist with her second score of 216 aboard Please Me Whiz. From Ringgold, GA, Bronze medalist Asa Peeples scored a 203.5 on Reeboks Diablo.
Adding perspective on the quality and level of competition in the youth championships, the qualifying score in the go-rounds for an adult to advance as a finalist in the concurrently held NRHA Open Derby was a 214.5. The future of the sport looks bright, and the success of the Developing Young Riders program was apparent at this year’s championship.
“The youth reining programs at USEF are coming on strong,” said Pete Kyle, Chairman of the USEF High-Performance Reining Committee. “We’ll see a very strong set of U.S. reining teams at the NAJYRC, and I expect to see even better quality at the qualifying competitions for next year’s championship.” Held throughout the nation at existing reining events, Youth Reining Qualifying Competitions are the method that Young Riders get qualified for the annual national championships.
“With dozens of qualifying competitions leading up to the championships, virtually all youth riders have an opportunity to get qualified,” said Kyle.
Many of the medalists concurrently competed in the CRI-Y competition which serves as one of the selection procedures for advancement to the North American Junior Young Riders Reining Championship, sponsored by SmartPak.
A special thank you goes to Jerry Kimmel and his stallion Mister Nicadual for his continued support of reining competitions at the USEF and of the U.S. Reining Team. Kimmel supplied the prize money for the 2009 Adequan/USEF National Youth Reining Championships presented by Equine Motorcoach.
For more information on the USEF Developing Young Riders Program, visit www.usef.org, for more information about the 2009 Adequan FEI North American Junior/Young Rider Championships, please visit www.youngriders.org.
For more information on the 2009 NRHA Derby, visit www.nrhaderby.com.
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