Parker, Colo. – July 29, 2016 -The 2016 Adequan®/FEI North American Junior & Young Rider Championships (NAJYRC), presented by Gotham North, kicked off on Wednesday at the Colorado Horse Park. On Tuesday evening, the United States Equestrian Team (USET) Foundation hosted a welcome party.
The festivities, held at Harmony Equine Center, consisted of a parade of athletes, dinner, a bounce house, a mechanical bull and a dunk tank for exhibitors to enjoy as they geared up for the weeklong competition.
The NAJYRC is the premier equestrian competition in North America for junior and young riders age 14-21. Young equestrians vie for team and individual Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) medals in the three Olympic equestrian disciplines of show jumping, dressage and eventing. The competition is run under rules of the FEI, the international governing body for equestrian sport. The NAJYRC is the only FEI championship held annually in North America.
The 175 athletes attending NAJYRC represent the United States, Canada and Mexico, and the future generation of equestrian sports around the world. The USET Foundation’s mission is to support the competition, training, coaching, travel and educational needs of America’s elite and developing international high-performance horses and athletes in partnership with the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF). Thus, supporting an event such as the NAJYRC is a perfect match for the USET Foundation.
“The funding we raise from individuals each year supports programs many young riders will have the opportunity to participate in,” said Sara Ike, major gifts officer of the USET Foundation. “This includes everything from developing and U25 training sessions, international competition and training grants – right up to the Olympic Games.
“This year, the Foundation will provide approximately $4 million in grants to the USEF as well as in direct grants to athletes,” continued Ike. “We are proud to have the privilege to help support this country’s developing and elite athletes, and are grateful to the wonderful individuals, just like those competing at NAJYRC, who are passionate about the sport and make the USET Foundation an important part of their charitable giving each year.”
At the welcome party on Tuesday, Ike addressed the NAJYRC athletes saying, “As I look around the room tonight, I guarantee that the next Beezie Madden, Phillip Dutton or Laura Graves is sitting right here. You are the sport’s future, and it’s looking pretty bright. This week is truly special. Soak up the experience and enjoy it!”
Competition at the Colorado Horse Park continues Friday with the third day of the 2016 Adequan®/FEI North American Junior & Young Rider Championships, presented by Gotham North, featuring competition for each of the three disciplines.
The USET Foundation is the nonprofit organization that supports the competition, training, coaching, travel and educational needs of America’s elite and developing international, high-performance horses and athletes in partnership with USEF.