A NAJYRC to Remember
This July, competitor Buck Davidson attended the Event at Rebecca Farm in a different capacity as the Area I onestar team coach for the North American Junior & Young Rider Championships, which Rebecca Farm hosted in conjunction with its annual horse trials.
Over 50 NAJYRC competitors from every corner of the U.S. and Canada made the trip to Rebecca Farm, many of whom might never compete there otherwise. “It’s exciting to see the number of NAJYRC competitors on par with previous years and proves that Montana truly is a bucket-list destination for many riders near and far,” says organizer Sarah Broussard. She says she was grateful for the opportunity to host the championships, furthering her mother’s ardor for assisting young riders on their path to contesting the upper levels of the sport and representing their country in international competition.
“It’s something I’ve wanted to do but for one reason or another it never happened,” she says. Historically, all the NAJYRC disciplines have competed at the same large venue, such as the Kentucky Horse Park or the Colorado Horse Park. This year, for logistical reasons, eventing splintered off from the pack and needed a new home. “Eventing was sort of the orphan child, and I said ‘Oh yes, of course we’ll host it,’” Sarah says.
Sarah, a former NAJYRC competitor herself, knows firsthand what a benchmark the championships can be in the lives and careers of aspiring eventers. “The experience was about so much more than just riding,” she says. “Nothing beats the rush of excitement while on course and that incredible feeling of support one gets from both your team and those watching. It is an honor to help facilitate that experience for the next generation of young riders.”
This year’s NAJYRC teams exercised creativity and determination in their fundraising efforts to offset travel expenses to Montana. From silent auctions and GoFundMe campaigns to pancake breakfasts and benefit horse trials, the riders made it happen and went home with glowing reports from their experience.
NAJYRC two-star team gold and individual silver and bronze medalist Cornelia Dorr traveled to Rebecca Farm from Massachusetts—a 2,600-mile journey. “It was pretty daunting, packing and putting it all together,” she says. “But it’s not so bad once you have it figured out.”
William Zuschlag, from South Carolina, won the NAJYRC individual gold. “The trip was definitely more doable than I thought it would be,” he says.
From left: CH-J* individual medalists, Mallory Hogan (bronze), Tosca Holmes-Smith (gold) and Alexandra Baugh (silver)