Temecula, Calif. – June 4, 2021 – Nilforushan Equisport Events’ Grand Prix Arena at Galway Downs eagerly hosted the West Coast’s top young riders for the first of several highlight events this weekend. Friday evening marked the first of several qualifying classes for the North American Youth Championship (NAYC). Serving as the last stop for precious qualifying points before the Championship held at the Great Lakes Equestrian Festival in Traverse City, Michigan from August 10-15, 2021, Zone 10 riders brought their A game to the $1,500 1.45m JR/AO/AM Speed Special – Zone 10 NAYC Young Rider Trial held at the Temecula Valley National III, presented by Interactive Mortgage. In preparation for the $50,000 1.45m Classic – Final Zone 10 NAYC Young Rider Trial on Sunday, June 6, the talented field of horse-and-rider combinations battled it out in hopes of leading the pack heading into the final qualifying class. It was ultimately Aexis Sokolov and Fasole Du Seigneur who rose to the occasion taking the blue ribbon.
Sophie Siegel and A-Girl were the first to take to Anderson Lima (BRA) and Maxime Goos’ (CAN) 14-obstacle 1.45m track. Held in the USEF Table III format, faults converted to added time, the young riders were tasked with riding a speedy and efficient track where a rail would not take them out of contention for a podium as long as they compensated with extra pace to offset the four added seconds per rail. Eagerly looking to move up in the qualifying standings, Siegel and her 11-year-old Swedish Warmblood mare, rode conservatively hoping that their extreme carefulness on course would reward them with the win. Even though the duo tripped the timers at 78.725, unfortunately they took down two unlucky rails at the end of their round bringing their time to 86.725.
Sitting in the irons with Hot Horse LLC’s known speed demon, the 13-year-old Belgian Warmblood mare, Cana Van De Blom, Alexis Sokolov was itching to prove herself and pocket valuable points in hopes of making the Championship team. The duo rode an immaculately clean course leaving all the rails intact and in a flat time of 76.666 which would be good enough to secure a third place finish.
Though Sokolov was the first to go clear, her time would be topped by that of Kendall Gath and Jamica Van Kattebeek, who comfortably sit within the top ten riders in her zone. The duo came blazing out of the gates hoping to steal the win and boost their overall rank. The pair was wickedly fast crossing the finish in 73.683. The 12-year-old Belgian Warmblood mare owned by The Equine Platform stepped up to the plate for Gath, galloping away from their round clean taking over the first place position.
The tricky track proved to challenge the riders, and in their haste to make it home as fast as they could, many took more than one rail with them on the way. After a string of bad luck it was Alexis Sokolov and her second mount, Fasole Du Seigneur who were last to take to the ring. With nothing to lose, having already snagged the third place podium with Cana Van De Blom, Sokolov turned up the heat with Hot Horse LLC’s 10-year-old Swedish Warmblood mare. She and the fiery chestnut raced around the course. After taking a rail down mid-way through, Sokolov knew that in order to secure a victory she would have to compensate, and she did more than just that. The duo tripped the timers at a blazing 68.103, nearly 6 seconds faster than Gath. With the addition of four seconds for her single rail, Sokolov still had a two second buffer, unseating Gath from the first place podium and topping the leaderboard.
The $1,500 1.40m Junior/Amateur-Owner/Amateur Speed Special – Zone 10 NAYC Junior Trial that took place just before the 1.45m Junior Trial class saw a field of 20 quick and careful riders battling it out for coveted honors and points. Leaving nothing to luck, it was Zoe Brown on Valiant, a 13-year-old Anglo European gelding owned by Harley Brown Equestrian Inc., who rode fast and clear in just 70.276 seconds to steal the lead and first place prize. Laura Hite and Chattanooga, an 11-year-old Oldenburg gelding owned by HF Farms LLC, claimed the second place ribbon with a clear ride, crossing the finish line in 71.399 seconds. Hannah Loly on Ayma De La Demi Lune, her own 15-year-old gelding, finished in 3nd place, also leaving all rails intact to trip the timers in 72.154 seconds.
In the $1,000 1.30m Junior/Amateur-Owner/Amateur Speed Special – Zone 10 NAYC Pre-Junior Trial, it was Della White aboard Complete Luck, a 14-year-old Irish Sporthorse gelding owned by Julie White, who earned victory in the competitive class. The pair’s speedy time of 68.427 seconds around the course was enough to help them earn the first place prize, even with one fault that they accrued to give them a converted time of 69.427. Finishing in second place was Danielle Vahdat on her own Gernice Van De Postbaan, a 10-year-old KWPN gelding. Although Vahdat completed the course in just 65.46 seconds, she had an unfortunate rail that settled them into a close second place with a converted time of 69.46. Kate Kehring and Mr. Miracle Man, a 14-year-old Swedish Warmblood gelding owned by the Kehring Family, finished in third place with a speedy time of 62.516 seconds but 8 jumping faults to give them a final time of 70.516.
NAYC competition at Nilforushan Equisport Events’ Temecula Valley National III heats up Saturday, June 5, with the $5,000 1.20m Classic – NAYC Children Qualifier and the highly anticipated $20,000 1.30m Classic – Final Zone 10 NAYC Pre-Junior Trial. Young Rider competition comes to a head on Sunday, June 6, with the final Zone 10 qualifier, the $50,000 1.45m Classic – Final Zone 10 NAYC Young Rider Trial.
$1,500 1.45m Jr/AO/AM Speed Special-Zone 10 NAYC Young Rider Trial
Place / Horse / Rider / Owner / Faults | Time
1. Alexis Sokolov / Fasole Du Seigneur / Hot Horses LLC / 4 | 68.10
2. Kendall Gath / Jamica Van Kattebeek / The Equine Platform / 0 | 73.68
3. Alexis Sokolov / Cana Van De Blom / Hot Horses LLC / 0 | 76.67
4. Emma Catherine Reichow / Forever Alive / Emma Catherine Reichow / 8 | 71.34
5. Lauren Flather / Fenna / Hannah Loly / 8 | 73.97
6. Skylar Wireman / Citoki / Shane Wireman / 12 | 70.57
7. Sophia Seigel / Barracuda / Sophia Seigel / 8 | 76.57
8. Sophia Siegel / A-Girl / Sophia Seigel / 8 | 78.73
9. Delany Batter / Daisy 920 / Delany Batter / 12 | 77.81
10. Melody Liu / Corsari Van De Helle / Peregrine Farms LLC / 12 | 93.18