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McMorris and Zavoyna Lead in Eventing Championships at NAJYRC

Lexington, VA—August 5, 2006 – Both Areas II and I&III posted all double clear cross-country rounds today to maintain their overnight tie for the lead in the CCI** championship. The Area II team consists of Stephanie Boyer on Macloud, Ashley Adams on Vaunted, Emilee Libby on Golden Malt, and Alexandra Zavoyna on Merloch. Zavoyna is currently leading the individual standings as well. The Area I&III team consists of Dana Widstrand on Relentless Pursuit, Rebecca Barron on Oberon IV and Kate Luce on Fox in Flight. Rebecca Barron moved up to second individually. Overnight individual leader Jessica Di Genova of Ontario, Canada posted 4.0 time faults, dropping her into third place individually (52.1), followed closely by Ashley Adams (52.3). It will be a close competition in tomorrow’s show jumping phase.

Di Genova said that her mare, who is a warmblood/thoroughbred cross, is not a fast horse and often has trouble making the time at the two-star level. “Maybe if I’d stayed closer to the ropes in a couple places we could have shaved off a couple seconds but she couldn’t have gone faster,” she said. “She jumped awesome, though, and her fitness was better than I expected. She was hot when we came into the box but her heart rate was normal in ten minutes and her temperature was normal in 20 minutes.”

Veterinarian Chris Newton of Lexington, KY, said that the horses recovered well in general, and perhaps quicker today than yesterday, which he attributed to a decrease in humidity and the fact that today’s horses did not do a long-format event.

The new leader, Alexandra Zavoyna, 17, of Unionville, PA in Area IV is delighted by her current standing with her New Zealand-bred gelding, Merloch. A student of Bonnie Mosser, Zavoyna has had her horse for nearly three years and they have come up through the levels together.

“He was a good jumper when I got him but he wasn’t as experienced on the flat,” she recalls. “It took a good month for me to figure him out; in jumping it’s always been good if I just let him do his thing. If he has a rail in show jumping tomorrow it’ll be because I got in his face too much.”

Last year Zavoyna was on the gold medal winning team and previously she finished third in the non-championship CCI*. “It’s incredible being on a team,” she said. “Steve and DC McBroom, our team managers, make it a fun experience. Our training camp at The Fork (in North Carolina) was a lot of work but a lot of fun, too. We’re here to do well, but also to have fun and to have a lot of stories to tell later.”

Cross-country proved challenging but not overly so; out of 19 starters, one horse, Acacia Brush’s Bru Maguire, retired after a fall while every other horse completed the course, and eleven of them without adding any faults to their dressage score. Three horses had refusals and six added time faults to their scores.

Ashley Adams, 20, said she was tremendously pleased with her horse Vaunted, an off-the-track thoroughbred that she has brought up through the levels. A former working student for Kim Severson, Adams now works for trainer Holly Hepp in Southern Pines, NC as well as part-time work at other farms in the area. She has dedicated herself to eventing and said that she is enjoying the competition and spending time with her teammates. Still, she admits, “This is my vacation time and I am getting up before 5:00am every morning. I’d really like a shower and a nap!”

Adams, who also competed in the two-star championship last year, said that she liked the course. Last year she had a fall at the corner so she rode with that fence with extra determination this year and posted a double clear round.

In the CCI*, Area IV held their lead with four double clear rounds from members Meachan Marinovich on Ahlerich, Callie Judy on Kilkenny Castle, Cassidy Lundmark on What’s Shakin’ and Katlyn McMorris on Clifton Peekachu, the latter pair leading the individual standings on their dressage score of 40.7. Second is Cassidy Lundmark of Barrington Hills, IL, who has a two-phase score of 51 on What's Shakin'. Third is Melissa Miller of Hamilton, OH, who has 51.2 penalties on Schotchfelder's Fantasy.

“Pikachu is a superstar,” said McMorris. “He’s taught me so much.” McMorris, of Barrington Hills, IL, said her horse came out of the barns feeling good this morning. “In the warmup he was swapping his leads and jumping up and down,” she said. “He was so ‘on’ on cross-country – he’s pretty game.” Looking toward tomorrow, she said, “I do get nervous going into show jumping but he’s super, so it’s on me to give him a good ride.”

The Canadians claimed another win – though not another medal – in an already successful weekend when Kendal Lehari and Understudy won the non-championship, long format CCI* today after a clear show jumping round.

For complete results go to http://www.youngriders.org

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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