By US Equestrian Communications Department
Temecula, Calif. – The inaugural Adequan/USEF Eventing Youth Team Challenge Temecula – West Coast Final concluded on Saturday with awards being presented in both the CCI3*-L and CCI2*-L divisions. Audrey Sanborn (San Luis Obispo, Calif.) and OBOS Quality Time placed first in the YTC CCI3*-L and third overall, finishing on a 37.3, while Harper Click (Fall City, Wash.) led YTC Team A to victory in the CCI2*-L, earning top honors in YTC competition, and completing on a 31.5.
The CCI2*-L competition showcased two teams of Area 6 & Area 7 combinations with YTC Team A finishing the weekend on a score of 1069.9, while YTC Team 1 completed the event with a combined team score of 132.9. Athletes on YTC Team A, which included Click and Rubia, a 12-year-old Oldenburg mare owned by Amy Click, Maeson Messmer (Woodinville, Wash.) and her own Gamblin on Jack, a 13-year-old Thoroughbred, and Eliana Thompson (Renton, Wash.) and her own Surelock, an eight-year-old Thoroughbred gelding, completed the weekend with strong finishes around the Marc Donovan (USA)-designed track.
“Rubia was pretty fantastic all weekend and I couldn’t have asked for more from her. She has had a long journey leading up to this event and this is our last time competing together, so it’s been really nice to close it out with a finish like this,” said Click. “I really want to thank everyone at Galway for putting on this amazing show and thank to everyone involved.”
Messmer and Gamblin on Jack dropped two rails and added 1.2 time to finish on a total score of 58.5, while teammate Thompson and Surelock also added two rails to their overall score, finishing on a 42.9. Click and Rubia finished clear around the track and only added 1.2 time to their score.
YTC Team 1 was led by Abigail Cochran (Bellevue, Wash.) and Mixologeigh, a nine-year-old Thoroughbred gelding, who finished was the highest placed combination for the team in the overall division, taking tenth place. The duo added just 1.2 time to their clear round to finish on a 34.2. Teammate Pip Hayes (Plymouth, Calif.) and So Cool, a 12-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding, finished just behind Cochran and Mixologeigh, earning eleventh on a 35.7. Kayla Dumler (Enumclaw, Wash.) and Faramir, her own 11-year-old Thoroughbred gelding, were unfortunately eliminated after two stops around the stadium track.
“Competing on a team puts a bit more pressure on and the team atmosphere helps you out. I think it’s more fun to have the team component, as well as having the individual finish as well,” said Messmer.
This was the first year the competition has been held in a format that uses established short-format competitions to prepare athletes for a final long-format team competition at the end of the season. The athletes commented on the experience of competing in a team environment and having the opportunity to challenge themselves in a long format at the end of the season.
“Being on a team is great because you have other people there for you and that you get to ask for advice from and it does put more pressure on you, but it’s good pressure. You want the other girls to do well and carry your team, so you want to do better,” explained Thompson. “I think that it was as great weekend.”
In the CCI3*-L, Sanborn and her own OBOS Quality Time, an 11-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding, rose to the occasion and completed their first CCI3*-L together, adding just four faults to their original dressage score and finishing on a 37.3. The pair took third overall in the CCI3*-L division and Sanborn discussed her weekend and the improvements she’s seen in the pair’s competitiveness over the last year.
“This was both of our first 3* long, so I was hoping to just get through and have positive rides, so where I ended up is amazing,” said Sanborn. “He’s really bold and we’re new to the 3* level and his boldness really helps him, and I was really happy that came out on cross-country.”
Madison Temkin (Sebastopol, Calif.) and her own MVP MadBum, an eight-year-old Thoroughbred mare, also completed their final competition of the season, taking ninth on a 47.8, after some uncharacteristic faults in their stadium round. Temkin, who had competed previously at the North American Youth Championships, gave her thoughts on the new format and reiterated the importance of having team competition opportunities available to youth athletes on both coasts.
“I did the Young Rider championships a few years ago and that was always the highlight of the summer. It may not be the model that’s feasible at this time, but this is a great step towards that, and this weekend really felt like a championship weekend. For the generation to come, I think that whether your goals are just to be at the 3* level or to represent the U.S. someday, it’s a great experience and it’s really easy to declare and it’s very easy to be a part of.”
The 2021 Adequan/USEF Eventing Youth Team Challenge will conclude next week with the East Coast Finals in Tryon, N.C., with combinations competing in CCI1*, CCI2*-L, and CCI3*-L competition.