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Zavoyna and McMorris Win Individual Gold in Eventing at NAJYRC

Lexington, Virginia – August 6, 2006 – In the final day of competition at the NAJYRC today in Lexington, Virginia, Area I&III won gold in the CCI** and Area IV claimed the CCI*. Individually, winning team member Alexandra Zavoyna jumped around clear to win the CCI** on her dressage score and Katlyn McMorris had one rail down but still held on to her lead in the CCI*.

Impressively, every member of three-rider combined Area I&III team finished the event on her dressage score: Area I’s Dana Widstrom on Relentless Pursuit (52.5) and Area III’s Rebecca Barron on Oberon IV (51.5) and Kate Luce on Fox in Flight (55.2) for a combined total of 159.2. They were previously tied for first with Area II, but three members of that team had rails down which dropped them into second place overall (171.2). The Canadian team from Ontario/Alberta finished third overall (175).

Luce, 17, of Mobile, Alabama said that she learned a lot from the Young Riders experience. Barron, 20, of Florida, competed last year but had 20 penalties in show jumping so she was pleased that this year went better.

As members of the same Area, Luce and Barron were already acquainted, and participated in a training session at Bouckaert Farm in Georgia prior to the trip to Virginia, but they met Widstrom at the championship. “Dana fit right in and we were a great team,” said Barron.

Luce’s regular coach, Darren Chiacchia, commented, “To have all three girls finish on their dressage scores is a huge accomplishment. The successful team is really each person doing their personal best.”

The team coach, Kyle Carter, who has coached the Area II Young Riders for five years, said that the girls are a “fractious bunch” but they formed a strong bond as teammates. “We were all comfortable with each other and it was a lot of fun working with them,” he said.

Zavoyna, who took the lead Saturday after a clean cross-country go when dressage leader, Canadian Jessica Di Genova had 4 time faults, said that she knew things would go well today. “My horse was jumping like a rock star in the warm-up,” she said, “I knew he’d try as hard as he could. My coach told me to trust my training and just go for it.” There was no holding back as she piloted Merloch around the open, galloping show jumping course designed by Linda Allen. “I’m going to give my horse a well-deserved break now,” she said.

Rebecca Barron placed second overall, followed by Jessica Di Genova in third.

In the CCI*, Area I maintained their lead to the end despite jumping penalties from each of their riders. Team member Katlyn McMorris on Clifton Peekachu also managed to hang on to the individual gold. Area VI&VIII took second place and the Ontario/Quebec team placed third in the team standings and Jessica Rice on I’m So Brite placed second individually followed by Caitlin Siliman on Twain.

The top standings changed remarkably in this division as most riders had at least one rail down. Rice moved up from fourth place and Silliman moved up from eighth place after cross-country, quite a big jump to finishing in the medals.

“My horse is amazing,” said Rice, who traveled all the way from California to compete in the championships. “He was a good boy start to finish.”

Siliman, whose horse was previously campaigned by top Australian event rider Phillip Dutton, said that she has only had I’m So Brite since January and moved up to Preliminary on him earlier this year, her first time at this level. “This was my first Young Riders and my first team experience,” said the 16-year-old from Malvern, PA. “It was fun that everyone relies on each other on a team, and Sprite is awesome,” she said enthusiastically.

The Junior and Young Riders’ Championships concluded today with an awards ceremony in the coliseum at the Virginia Horse Center. Team, Individual and long-format event medals were awarded to competitors as they stood on a podium during the playing of the national anthems.

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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