The dressage and show jumping Adequan®/FEI North American Youth Championships (NAYC), presented by Gotham North, give young riders a unique opportunity to experience team competition in a championship format. Teams and individual riders from various regions throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico and Guatemala have converged on Old Salem Farm in Old Salem, NY, to vie for both team and individual medals at the Young Rider, Junior and Children’s levels in jumping and Young Rider and Junior levels in dressage. Riders earned qualifying scores throughout the year to earn the right to compete at the NAYC.
Team medals for the dressage riders will be decided after their first test of the competition—the FEI Team Test at Young Rider and Junior levels. The Young Riders’ team medals will be awarded on Wednesday, August 1, with the Junior teams competing for medals on Thursday, August 2. Teams are comprised of three or four members, and the top three Team Test scores are combined for a final team score—the highest total score earns gold.
All riders who completed tests in the Team Final move on to the Young Riders and Junior Individual Finals on August 3 and 4, in which the top three scores earn individual gold, silver and bronze medals. Then the top 18 riders from the Individual Finals qualify for the Young Rider and Junior Freestyle Finals on August 4 and 5, where gold, silver and bronze individual medals are awarded to the top three scores. Each Final starts on a clean slate, with scores from previous tests not carrying forward to other tests.
On the show jumping side of the action, riders get underway on Thursday, August 2 with Children’s, Junior and Young Rider Individual Qualifying rounds. As in a World Cup Final or an Olympic Games, the Individual Qualifying Round is run over a Table A type course, but judged as a Table C (speed) class.
The scoring gets a bit complicated after Round 1, as each competitor’s score is converted into penalties using a coefficient of 0.5. The rider with the lowest number of points after the conversion gets assigned 0 penalties, with the remaining riders being assigned a number of penalties depending on the difference between their points and those of the leading athlete.
On Friday, August 3, the Children’s, Junior and Young Rider Team Finals take place over two rounds, where each team member adds penalties to their score after the Individual Qualifying Round—the team with the least number of penalties from their top three riders takes gold and team medals are awarded after this Team Final.
Only the top 60% of the individual riders (no more than 30 and no less than 15) based on cumulative scores from the Individual Qualifying Round and the Team Final then qualify for the Individual Final (those who don’t qualify can compete in a Farewell Competition on August 4). The Individual Finals for Children’s, Junior and Young Rider competitors takes place on Sunday, August 5.
Riders in the Individual Final carry their scores from the Individual Qualifying Round and the Team Final into two more rounds for the individual medals. They jump two different courses on the final day, with any penalties being added to their cumulative score. The three riders with the lowest scores earn individual gold, silver and bronze medals; in the event of a tie score for an individual medal, the riders will jump off.
For many riders, this will be their first taste of a multi-day championship and their first time competing on a team. The NAYC provides young riders with an invaluable experience and for many are a stepping-stone to senior-level championship competition.
Check out the live stream of the NAYC on USEF Network beginning Wednesday, August 1 with the United States Dressage Federation North American Young Rider Dressage Team Championship beginning at 9:00 a.m. EST.
Stay up to date on Old Salem Farm at www.oldsalemfarm.net, and on social media as Old Salem Farm on Facebook, and @oldsalemfarmny on Twitter and Instagram. Follow for an exclusive and behind-the-scenes look at the Old Salem Farm experience.
The Adequan®/FEI North American Youth Championships presented by Gotham North is the premier equestrian competition in North America for Children, Junior, and Young Riders ages 12-21. Young equestrians compete for team and individual Fédération Équestre Internationale (FEI) medals in the three Olympic disciplines of dressage, eventing and show jumping. For more information, please visit: www.usef.org/events/youth-championships.
About Old Salem Farm
Old Salem Farm, located one hour north of New York City, is one of the leading equestrian competition venues in North America, as rated by the North American Riders Group for five years. Host to more than 30 weeks of year-round competition, including the Old Salem Farm Spring Horse Shows each May, the prestigious American Gold Cup CSI4*-W, popular Fall Classic, Old Salem Farm was selected as the location for the 2018 and 2019 Adequan®/FEI North American Youth Championships, presented by Gotham North. The facility offers a state-of-the-art turf grand prix field, indoor riding arena and warm-up area, and four all-weather footing outdoor rings. As a 120-acre boarding and training facility with 95 permanent stalls in the rolling hills of Westchester county, Old Salem Farm is second to none and home to 2016 U.S. Olympic team silver medalist Lucy Davis, who also won team gold and individual silver medals at Young Riders.