BY LINDSAY BROCK/JUMP MEDIA
The Adequan®/FEI North American Youth Championships (NAYC), presented by Gotham North, are on the brink of a new era. With a fresh name, new location, and renewed dedication to the future of horse sport in North America, the event fondly known as “young riders” for the past 44 years is on the rise among future generations of North American riders.
Settling at Old Salem Farm’s pristine 120-acre facility in North Salem, NY, this year, the 2018 NAYC will soak up the spotlight as a standalone event, a point stressed by organizers. Steps have also been taken to heighten the prestige of NAYC, refocusing North American athletes on the importance of championship and team competition experience at the youth level and the role it plays in successful senior teams at Olympic Games, Nations’ Cup competitions, and championships in the future.
“Together with the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI), national federations, and the organizing committee, we have ushered in a renewed commitment to bring the future of equestrian sport a meaningful experience,” said U.S. Equestrian Federation President Murray Kessler. “In the event’s history, we have implemented improvements aimed at preserving the heart of these championships for future generations.
“New this year, prize money will be awarded in the Junior and Young Rider Jumping Championships,” continued Kessler. “Additionally, USEF Network, along with FEI TV, will live stream the entire event, and Hippodata will provide live scoring.”
Over several decades, Old Salem Farm has developed knack for hosting competitions with a boutique feel, but prestige to spare. In addition to the American Gold Cup CSI4*-W and iconic Spring CSI2* and 3* Horse Shows, Old Salem Farm hosted the U.S. Equestrian Team selection trial for the 1990 World Equestrian Games, the 1992 American Horse Shows Association/Miller’s National Hunter Pony and Pony Medal Finals, and the 1993 Rolex/USET Show Jumping Talent Search Finals-East competition.
Today, Old Salem Farm’s 501(c)(3) not-for-profit Foundation has joined sponsors including Adequan® and Gotham North to support the advancement of the NAYC. Both the Farm and the Foundation value the influence that the NAYC has on up-and-coming riders in the disciplines of show jumping and dressage. Old Salem Farm trainer and U.S. Olympic team silver medalist, Lucy Davis, won both team gold and individual silver medals during her time competing at NAYC and has championed the importance of the event in shaping young professionals and giving talented riders opportunities to experience a championship atmosphere.
“It is our goal to highlight the prestige of the NAYC and recognize its position as a pivotal stepping stone in the development of young riders for international and Olympic level sport,” said Davis. “In an effort to ensure the relevance of NAYC for future years, Old Salem Farm and US Equestrian have taken steps to ensure participation in the event by partnering with sponsors to provide prize money that is more in line with the purses offered at the international level around the world.”
Davis is not the only rider who believes her success at the international level depended heavily of the knowledge she gained at NAYC. Grand prix rider and 2015 Pan American Games team bronze medal winner Georgina Bloomberg grew up riding at Old Salem Farm and has cherished NAYC memories of her own.
“The NAYC was a major goal of mine throughout my time as a young rider,” said Bloomberg, who owns Gotham North just down the road from Old Salem Farm in North Salem, NY. “My team and individual gold medals at NAYC are still two of the most memorable wins of my career. Gotham North is very proud to be a part of the 2018 event as presenting sponsor and we encourage the athletes at this year’s event to cherish every moment of this special experience.”
The 2018 NAYC will soon welcome dressage and show jumping riders from 12 to 21 years old to Old Salem Farm from July 31 through August 5. These athletes will offer a glimpse into the future of North American talent and showcase multi-discipline competition that is not to be missed.
If you go:
Admission is FREE
Parking is FREE
VIP experience is available for purchase by contacting Chelsea Dwinell at [email protected]
Live streaming is FREE and available through USEF Network: https://www.usef.org/network/coverage/2018NAYC/?cl=b