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California’s gold

Strong Zone 10 Young Rider team in show jumping win in Lexington

Special to the Horsetrader - August 19th, 2010 - Show & Event News

Kenneth Kraus photo / PhelpsSports.com

Zone 10 teammates (from left) Richard Neal, Taylor Siebel, Lucy Davis and Saer Coulter take the victory stand along with Chef D’Equipe Mary Manfredi after winning the team competition of the 2010 FEI Adequan American Young Rider Show Jumping competition July 30 at Kentucky Horse Park.

LEXINGTON, Ky. — In the same arena where the world’s best jumpers will compete this fall at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, a team of California Young Riders put together a sterling effort to win the 2010 FEI Adequan American Junior and Young Rider team show jumping crown.

In addition to the California’s Young Riders team title, the Junior Rider team award went to the Alberta, Canada, squad.

A thread between the respective Young Rider and Junior Rider teams is trainer Dick Carvin of Meadow Grove Farm in Lake View Terrace where he trains two of the Young Riders, Lucy Davis and Richard Neal. He also travels to Calgary, Alberta, to train Bretton Chad, a member of the gold medal-winning Canadian Junior Riders.

“I had Ricky and Lucy on the Young Rider Team and Bretton on the Junior team — it was an exciting week,” said Carvin.

Olaf Peterson, Jr. designed a demanding test at Kentucky Horse Park for each group of riders that included a double combination, a triple combination and a tricky open water obstacle. Each rider completed a first round course and the rider with the greatest number of faults had their score dropped before having all faults added together. The six teams with the lowest fault count after the first round returned to tackle the course for a second time in the same format.

Zone 10 took an early lead after the first round of competition during the Young Riders section with and eight-fault total. The team included Neal with Cavalier Tommi Tank, Davis on Nemo 119, Taylor Siebel aboard Thunder-Ball, and Saer Coulter riding Chalan. The group continued their domination during the second round under the guidance of Chef D’Equipe Mary Manfredi with another eight-fault score for a two round total of 16 faults to win the gold medal.

“We had an idea of what to expect after competing her last year,” noted Coulter, a member of the Zone 10 team in 2009 that earned a bronze. “Last year was definitely very hard and challenging, and this year was just as challenging — but I think we came prepared expecting something that was of the same level.”

Neal added that the level of competition makes the Young Riders competition special.

“These are the biggest jumps and the hardest courses we will face all year, so it’s a great place to do it,” he said. “You always learn a lot coming here.”

Carvin noted that the current assembly of Zone 10 riders has always ranked strong.

“We’ve always had a really strong zone, he said. “This group of kids grew up together. Somebody from another Zone said to me, you guys have so much camaradie within your group.’ Well, I can tell you all of these kids are friends – they’re not just hanging out here because they at the Zone. They all hang out with each other. They go out to dinner. They spend the night at each other houses. It’s really close-knit.

“I think the clsoeness has made this group stronger they are always against each other, in a healthy way. As a result, they keep riding to bigger and bigger levels. You see your friends out there, moving up in a division, starting the grand prixs and it makes you say, `I’m ready…I want to do it!’.”

The silver and bronze medal winners were determined by a jump-off between Zone 5 and Zone 2. They each scored 20 faults during the first round and 12 faults during the second round for a 32-fault total. All four horse and rider combinations from each zone were required to show over the jump-off course. During the jump-off Zone 2 accrued 12 faults while Zone 5 incurred just 10 faults.

The silver medal was presented to Zone 5 riders, which included Ali Wolff with H & M Necoll, Kirstie Dobbs aboard Kolette, Theo Genn riding Paradox, and Taylor McMurty showing Just An Illusion. Champion rider Wilhem Genn acted as Chef D’Equipe for the group.

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