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Coluccio and Boone win at CN North American Young Riders

Lexington Virginia-August 6, 2006- CN North American Junior and Young Riders’ Championship Show Jumping Individual Final round for NAJC and NAYRC.

NAJC Individual Final

The 1.40m Table A, two round competition, marked the last events of NAJC 2006. Faults from the team competition carry forward to today’s scores, making every round jumped at the championship important for the Individual Final. The order of go starts with most faults, and ends with the junior riders with the least faults. The last competitor in the order was Paris Sellon from Zone 10, riding Aurora, with a perfect score of zero.

The Linda Allen course proved to be difficult, with a tight time allowed, and no one jumping clean. The first ten riders of the class struggled their way around, with high scores, and a few eliminations.

After the first round, the standings changed significantly. Paris Sellon had two rails and a toe in the tub raising her score to twelve faults. Hannah Anderson (Ontario/Quebec) on Papillon jumped into the lead, after only receiving four faults. Tied for the silver, Nicole Lakin on Alaska and Katie McDaniel on Quasar both incurred four faults over the course, giving them both a total score of eight.

Fifteen riders chose to come back for the second and final round of the championship. Once again the first riders had trouble navigating the tough course, with many incurring high fault totals. In addition, there was a fall, and two eliminations. Lauren Patava from Ontario/Quebec rode Revelin to the first four fault score, but her total points were just out of the running for a medal. Hannah Selleck on Bauer and Raul Gonzalez on Scheferkes Solo both jumped around with clear jumping scores, but one unfortunate time fault.

Catie Boone changed the mood of the difficult class when she put in the first clean round of the Individual Final (round two) riding Naleida. This put her in a tie with Nicole Lakin who went with four faults, making both of their score twelve and forcing a jump off.

There was a huge reversal of fortune when Hannah Anderson (the final rider) had a stop going into the triple combination. Her score changed from four to fourteen, putting her out of medal contention.

This radical change of top positions caused a jump off for the Bronze Medal, between Sellon and McDaniel, and a jump off for gold between Boone and Lakin.

First to go was Sellon who completed the course with one rail in a time of 32.56 seconds. McDaniel followed with four faults, and a slower time of 34.45. This placed her just behind, into fourth place and gave Sellon the Individual Bronze Medal.

In the race for Gold, 16 year old Boone went first, had a rail and posted a blazing time of 29.45. Lakin followed with four faults and a slower time of 32.15. After an exciting week of show jumping at NAYJRC, the medals for the Junior division were finalized.

Lauren Bass, Boone’s trainer could barely contain her excitement as the class concluded. “The plan was to go quick but not crazy,” Bass stated. “Naleida is naturally very fast in the air, and jumps carefully even when she is pushed to go forward. I’m so proud of Catie. She rode great all week, and Naleida could not have been any better.”

Zone 2 riders defended their winning history by placing Gold and Silver. “I could not be happier with the girl’s performance this week,” Chef d’Equipe Ralph Caristo commented. “They did it! They really pulled it off in the end, what a group of good competitors.”

NAJC Individual Gold Medalist – Catie Boone on Naleida Zone 2

NAJC Individual Silver Medalist – Nicole Lakin on Alaska Zone

NAJC Individual Bronze Medalist – Paris Sellon on Aurora Zone 10

NAYRC Individual Final

The last and most anticipated class of show jumping at the 2006 NAYJRC was the 1.50m Table A, two round, Individual Final. There were fifteen jumping efforts in round one, and eleven in round two.

Hillary Dobbs from Zone 2, and VDL Lotus Excel (ninth in the order), were the first to jump the Linda Allen course clean. This gave the pair a 9.05 fault total to carry forward into the last round.

Javier Berganza of Mexico North, riding HBC Haume Des Malais also put in a beautiful clear, giving him a score of 3.85 going into the final. Natalie Johnson from Zone 1, on Crocket 16 stayed in the running, when she went clear, keeping her a score of 2.71. Right behind her was Gold Medal teammate Maggie McAlary riding Pedro, finishing fault free maintaining her score of 2.70.

Heartbreak happened when Paige Beal-Andros of Zone 10 incurred twelve faults on Gelha’s Junior, making it unlikely that she would medal.

Evan Coluccio of Zone 3 riding Champigny jumped a perfect clean round giving him a score of 0.08, leaving little room for error from Julie Welles who jumped last.

The order was scrambled once again when disaster struck for Welles. The 2006 Team Gold Medalist and favorite to win, incurred 12 jumping faults knocking her down from first to ninth going into the last round of jumping.

Nineteen riders jumped the second round, carrying forward scores in the top ten ranging from Coluccio with 0.08 faults in first, to Addison Phillips with 13.73 in tenth. With less than one rail separating the first to fourth slots, it was still anybody’s game.

The initial ten rounds of the last class went smoothly, with few changes in the placings. It wasn’t until Welles in ninth place, Phillips in tenth, and Carolyn Kelly in fifth on Omona AW, all went clean, that things started to get exciting.

Berganza (in fourth) had a refusal at jump six, taking him out of the medals, and Johnson went clean, assuring her of nothing less than a bronze medal.

McAlary rode Pedro over a beautiful fault free course, landing her the Silver, and putting the pressure fully on the shoulders of Coluccio who was last to go.

Local boy, Evan Coluccio from Zone 3,did it again! After five rounds of competition with only 0.08 faults, he put in a perfect round and won the NAYJRC Individual Gold Medal.

“I have a lot of experience with this horse over big jumps,” 18 year old Coluccio said. “Even though the courses were hard, I knew that if I did it right, he would jump clean,” he laughed. He credited his fellow medalists; “Maggie and Natalie are great riders. They deserved to be here just as much as I do. Everyone jumped clean rounds all week and there was very little difference in our scores.” Champigny, owned by Alex Carl has been partnered with Coluccio since December 2005. “He is a quirky, nervous horse and it has taken me a while to get him in a program that works. Fortunately, I figured out what makes him tick just weeks ago, when he finished fourth in the Grand Prix of Vermont. Needless to say, I have not changed a thing since then,”Coluccio said happily.

Sandra Ruiz was the Chef d’Equipe of Zone 3 this year. She put in tremendous hours preparing for the competition, and made sure that no details were overlooked. Coluccio remarked that “she gave the team spirit and made it a special event for all of us.”

NAYRC Individual Gold Medalist – Evan Coluccio on Champigny Zone 3

NAYRC Individual Silver Medalist – Maggie McAlary on Pedro Zone 1

NAYRC Individual Bronze Medalist – Natalie Johnson on Crocket 16 Zone 1

This special report is a preview provided by PhelpsSports.com. Look for the debut of this new equestrian news website during the World Equestrian Games in August. Visit http://www.PhelpsSports.com for more information.


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