Adamstown, Md. – The second East Coast leg of the 2021 Adequan®/USEF Eventing Youth Team Challenge took place in July in Adamstown, Md., bringing in young riders to compete in the CCI1*-S, CCI2*-S, and CCI3*-S in team and individual competition.
The Youth Team Challenge, currently in its inaugural year, is an opportunity for youth eventing athletes to gain experience in team competition format. The series is a new iteration of the North American Youth Championships, but redesigned to make the competition more geographically accessible to more participants by offering multiple competitions at various locations throughout the season before culminating in an East Coast and West Coast long-format championship.
The Adamstown YTC drew competitors from its home Area II and nearby Area I as well as Area V.
In the CCI3*-S, a mixed Area II/Area V team of Kit Ferguson (Tulsa, Okla.) and Rick Ferguson’s 2008 Irish Sport Horse mare Fernhill Allure, Sydney Solomon (Dayton, Md.) and Laurie Cameron’s 2009 Hanoverian mare Early Review CBF, and Alexa Gartenberg (Gladwyne, Pa.) and her own 2011 Wurttemberger mare FE Whole Lotta Rosie finished in first place with a total combined score of 110.1.
Representing Areas I and II, the team of Cassie Sanger (Lakeville, Conn.) and Caroline and Sherrie Martin’s 2008 Warmblood gelding Danger Mouse, Caitlin O’Roark (Centreville, Va.) and Shannon O’Roark’s 2012 Thoroughbred/Dutch Warmblood gelding What the Devil, and Meg Pellegrini (Wayne, Pa.) and her own 2009 Oldenburg gelding Cici Top won the CCI2*-S with a total combined score of 157.6.
The CCI1*-S had four participants competing as individuals. Ella Braundel (Clayton, N.C.) and her own 2008 Irish Sport Horse gelding Categorically Cooley finished in first place with a score of 37.6.
“There were 16 riders that participated, and they were super excited to participate,” said Area II Youth Coordinator Chris Donovan. “I think with continued publicity and as people learn the benefits of the Youth Team Challenge program, it will continue to take off.”
Donovan added that the event also hosted an interscholastic competition that drew 40 participants, and seeing the championship atmosphere was inspiring to them.
“The interscholastic kids were really motivated by seeing the podium for the Youth Team Challenge,” said Donovan. “They said, ‘I can’t wait until I’m going at the FEI level so I can do that!’ So that visibility is really important…Ian Stark, the course designer, participated in the CCI3*-S awards ceremony, and that meant a lot to those kids.”
The YTC at Adamstown was the third in the 2021 series, following the first East Coast leg in Aiken, S.C. in March, and the West Coast premiere in Yelm, Wash., in June. The series will culminate in the long-format championships in November. See all YTC dates here.
As the series continues to develop and grow, Donovan encourages competitors, trainers, and parents to help shape it into the program they want to see.
“The Youth Team Challenge has the same prestige and meaning as the NAYC. The course was just as challenging,” she said. “It’s as prestigious as you make it. This is an opportunity to help the sport grow. Come out to the awards ceremony. Show up for the sponsors who are there for us.”
The next leg in the series will take place September 15-18 in Unionville, Pa.
“[The Adamstown YTC] went super well, and we’re really looking forward to the next one,” said Donovan.
Learn more about the Adequan®/USEF Youth Team Challenge and see all dates and locations here.
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