Individual Golds for Farish, Pielet and Stephenson at USHJA North American Show Jumping Championships During Adequan®/FEI North American Youth Championships

Daisy Farish and Great White ride to victory in the Young Rider Individual Championship. Credit: Jump Media/USHJA

North Salem, N.Y.- August 5, 2018– Daisy Farish started the week at the Adequan®/FEI North American Youth Championships winning, and she ended it with the gold medal in the North American Young Rider Show Jumping Individual Championship, presented by USHJA. She shared the podium on August 5 at Old Salem Farm in North Salem, N.Y., with Samantha Cohen, who took silver, and Mckayla Langmeier, who took bronze.

Farish (Lexington, Ky.) topped the Individual Qualifying round at the beginning of the week riding Great White. “Winning the speed gave me a lot confidence in my horse and myself going into the next few days,” she said. Four faults for a foot in the water during the team competition dropped her to third in the individual standings before the final day of competition, but she bounced back up into the lead with a clear first round, then clinched gold with another one.

“I think the biggest thing for me this week is seeing how far my horse has come,” Farish said. “He has surprised me in every way. I didn’t think we’d be here today and I definitely didn’t think we’d be winning gold. I’m so proud of him and so thankful to my trainers and everyone who helped him get here and helped me get here. I’m mostly just very proud of my horse.”

The weekend before, Farish topped the USHJA Hunterdon Cup Equitation Classic – East Coast, presented by Intermont Equestrian at Emory & Henry College, and also captured the overall grand championship of the USEF Junior Hunter Championship – East Coast riding Style. “It’s a dream come true to add these three titles to my accomplishments,” she said.

Her NAYC gold came aboard Great White, the 10-year-old Holsteiner gelding she’s owned for 2½ years. But things haven’t always gone smoothly for the pair. “For the longest time, we struggled with getting him broke and rideable because he was always kind of fighting against me, and it made it difficult to get him broke,” Farish said.

McLain Ward’s barn manager, Lee McKeever, suggested that they try a long-shank hackamore on Great White. “I don’t know why it didn’t pop into my head sooner, but the first day of NAYC last year, we tried this exact hackamore, and from the second we put it on, he was a different horse. He’s been great ever since and he loves it,” she continued.

“I think ever since we changed the bit, his rideability clicked. He’s just 10 so he really started showing us his scope and range. I was young, so I wasn’t jumping very big classes either, so all of the big classes we’ve done together have been both of our biggest classes. He’s yet to show me what he can’t jump, so I think we’re growing together and jumping bigger classes and it makes me happy to see him progress,” Farish said.

Mckayla Langmeier and Durosa W. Credit: Jump Media/USHJA

The individual medals turned into a tense battle between Farish, Cohen and Langmeier, who were all faultless in the final round. At the beginning of the day, Langmeier, 18 (East Granby, Conn.) led the individual standings with Durosa W, a 10-year-old KWPN mare owned by Linda Langmeier, but a rail in the first round dropped her to third and elevated Farish to the lead, leaving Cohen (17, New York, N.Y.) with silver aboard her Carmen, an 11-year-old KWPN mare.

Samantha Cohen and Carmen. Credit: Jump Media/USHJA

In a special presentation, the Ground Jury recognized Taylor St. Jacques with the Style of Riding Award. Additionally, Juan Andres Rodriguez of Guatemala City, Guatemala, was awarded the Caristo Cup, which is given to the chef d’equipe who best exemplifies Ralph Caristo’s enthusiasm and professionalism.

The week didn’t get off to the best of starts for Alexandra Pielet, as she had a run-out in the Individual Qualifying Round of the North American Junior Show Jumping Individual Championship, presented by USHJA, that put her into 11th place. But Pielet didn’t let that stop her, as she and Helene VE jumped clear round after clear round to take the junior individual gold.

Junior riders took to the podium. Credit: Jump Media/USHJA

After putting in two clear rounds to help her USHJA Zone 5 team win junior gold a few days earlier, Pielet, 17, and Helene VE were the only pair to put together two clean rounds on the final day of the Individual Final, which moved her into gold-medal position.

Pielet had been focusing on the Zone 5 team effort, so she was a bit surprised with her individual gold. “This is a huge accomplishment,” she said. “Getting a medal at a championship has been a dream of mine. It was just a dream come true to be able to go clear in all my rounds and have it pay off.”

Helene VE, an 11-year-old Belgian Warmblood mare owned by Co-Pielet LLC, came into Pielet’s life three years ago and Pielet started out showing her in the children’s jumpers. “She’s brought me all the way up to my first U25 classes in Florida. I never really had that high of expectations for her, but the bigger the jumps got, the more she just kept jumping her heart out and the more comfortable she was,” said Pielet.

That long relationship helped them succeed at NAYC as the courses on the final day were tricky. “A few places were really challenging because you had to go forward and back and it really tested their adjustability. But it was great because it really had you thinking on your feet,” said Pielet.

Alexandra Pielet rode Helene VE to the top spot in the Junior Individual Championship. Credit: Jump Media/LLC

Pielet used her knowledge of her mare’s stride to help jump the testing lines without fault. “She has a small stride, so in the first round, I was not really planning on doing seven [strides] down the first line, but she jumped in short and then was cool off my leg, so I added there,” she said. “Luckily, I know her really well, and I know she’s pretty quick across the ground, so I can add in the lines if need be and still be okay on time.”

Pielet lives in Highland Park, Ill., but rides with Andre Dignelli in New York, spending her summers in New York and then commuting back and forth during the school year. She plans to attend Auburn University (Ala.) in the fall.

Elli Yeager, 15 (Wellington, Fla.), had been leading the individual standings in her first NAYC until the final round, when she had two rails to earn the silver medal riding her Waliba VDL, a 15-year-old KWPN mare. “She jumped amazing all week. I just didn’t help her enough to the triple [combination] and she had ‘a’ and ‘b’ down,” Yeager said. “I just recently got this horse, so she’s still fairly new to me. I’ve just been working with her on the flat to try and figure her out. I do jump her at home so I can get to know her better, but she doesn’t really need to jump; she’s amazing.”

Elli Yeager earned silver in the Junior Individual Championship aboard Waliba VDL. Credit: Jump Media/USHJA

Claudia Villamil of Puerto Rico, 15, claimed the bronze on her own Quite Close Vd Smis, an 11-year-old Zangersheide mare. “She was really good; I couldn’t have been prouder,” she said.

Olivia Stephenson of Canada used a smart strategy to win gold in the North American Children’s Show Jumping Individual Championship, presented by USHJA. Stephenson used her mare’s strengths to be fastest in a three-horse jump-off, relegating her teammate for Canadian team gold, Charlotte McLaughlin, into silver and Guatemalan rider Valentina Arenas Saravia earned the bronze.

Children’s riders took to the podium. Credit: Jump Media/USHJA

Mia Albelo from the Zone 3/4/5/7 team was the top-placed U.S. rider in fourth riding her Cassandra Dreams, a 12-year-old Holsteiner mare.

All three riders had jumped clean over the five rounds of team and individual competition during the week, so they had to jump off for the individual gold. Stephenson (Calgary, Alberta) got to watch both McLaughlin (Ottawa, Ontario) and Arenas Saravia (Guatemala) jump off before her and saw they’d both done six strides up the first line.

“I knew that Valentina’s horse was very quick, but she seemed like she has a smaller step,” Stephenson, 12, said. “I took advantage of that, because my horse has a huge step. In the first line, I saw that these two did six [strides] there and I think the five there helped me. When I went around, I tried to be efficient but also use my horse’s big step, which helped me.”

Stephenson rode Chaccana, an 11-year-old chestnut mare owned by Tomboy Farms to her title. “She’s a bigger type of mare; she’s 17 hands. She’s faster when you gallop, and not so much at inside turns, so that’s where I put my focus on in the jump-off. And I think that’s what got us to the top,” she said.

McLaughlin, 14 and from Ottawa, Ontario, rode her own Bronan, a 10-year-old KWPN gelding, to the silver medal. Arenas Saravia, 14, and Enrique Arenas’ Belina, a 12-year-old mare, claimed the bronze.

USHJA is proud to be the presenting sponsor of Show Jumping for the Adequan®/FEI North American Youth Championships, presented by Gotham North, and recognizes the importance this program plays in the development of our sport’s future top athletes.

For more information about the FEI North American Youth Championships visit

Release by Jump Media