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Area II Wins Big At Eastern Youth Team Championships


Mill Spring, N.C. – With a huge number of entries, the final day of competition at the 2021 Tryon International Three-Day Event was just as full and exciting as the days that preceded it, with show jumping taking place from the cool morning into the evening under the lights. By the end of the day, a new four-star national champion emerged, and the victors of the inaugural Adequan®/USEF Eventing Youth Team Challenge were crowned.

New for 2021, the Youth Team Challenge series came to its conclusion at Tryon, with teams and individuals competing for titles in the CCI1*, CCI2*-L, and CCI3*-L East Coast Final.


The formidable Area II contingent took the team title in the CCI1* division, show jumping under the lights to close out the busy week at Tryon. The team was composed of Ella Braundel and Categorically Cooley, Caroline Brown and Sydney, Grace Mykitshyn and MTF Cooley Classic, and Juliana Cassar and Cheranimo.

Area V’s Chloe Johnson had an outstanding first two phases with Chilli Bean, entering the show jumping phase on her dressage score of 26.3. She had one unfortunate rail, which dropped her down to second place in the class behind overall winner Boyd Martin with Gestalt, but still maintained her lead in the individual Youth Team Challenge standings.

“Chilli was absolutely a saint all through the weekend,” said Johnson. “In dressage, she perked right up as soon as we went in the ring, and put down our best test ever. Cross-country, she’s always on it. She loves it. She likes to go fast. She’ll cut any angle. She had no hesitation at all. I was really happy with her. In stadium, we took a rail, but that’s OK; that happens. And it was an honest rail, it’s all good.”

As part of the combined Area III/V/VII Team, Johnson took home reserve team honors as well.

“I really appreciate the combined area teams, because we get to know everyone in our area, but this lets us reach out a bit more,” she said. “I met new wonderful people this weekend and it was awesome to be on a team with them. Everyone was so helpful. We all talked through cross-country right before we went, and it was just a great feeling to know people had our backs the whole time.”

Canada’s Claudia Oppedisano finished second individually with God of Thunder, turning in a double-clear show jumping round after adding only 3.2 time faults to her score on cross-country. The pair finished with a 31.7 overall.

“He was just on it for everything,” Oppedisano said of her horse. “He’s a Clydesdale/Thoroughbred, so cross-country’s not the easiest for him to run, and he was just locked onto everything. I couldn’t have asked for a better week here.”

Representing Area II, Grace Mykityshyn and MTF Cooley Classic added a third-place individual win to their team championship. Despite a couple of rails in the jumping, the pair stayed in the top three thanks in part to their excellent dressage score and solid cross-country effort, ending the weekend with a total of 37.5.

“Clark was amazing. I’m just so happy to have a horse that’s so awesome in settings like this. It helps me stay calm when I get nervous,” said Mykityshyn. “We’ve been working super hard on the flat and I felt like that really paid off and we scored a personal best. On cross-country, he was super brave and awesome. That was probably the best round we’ve had all season.”


With more than 70 horse-and-rider combinations starting, the CCI2*-L was a crowded field, and 27 of those riders were in the mix for the Youth Team Challenge. Area II showed its depth of talent again, winning the team title in the division. The team roster included Jackson Dillard and Layla Q, Mia Braundel and Junkanoo, Maddie Hale and Cinzano 87, and Kiera Kenny and FE Black Ice.

Jackson Dillard and Layla QJ

Jackson Dillard and Layla Q. ©Shannon Brinkman courtesy of US Equestrian

Dillard not only won the Youth Team Challenge individual championship with Layla Q, but also took third place with his individual horse, Elmo.

“I’ve had [Layla Q] for six years,” he said. “It was a really tough four-year-old, but it has really come into its own in the last two or three years, and she keeps impressing me. It was a wonderful experience to be here this weekend. She really showed me what she’s capable of and we’re just going to keep moving forward with that.”

Dillard has been working with Elmo for about two years, bringing him into the eventing world after his experience as a show jumper.

“Two years ago, he hadn’t seen a cross-country fence, and there were some quirks we had to iron out there at the beginning, but certainly in the last year and a half he’s really come into his own,” said Dillard.

Dillard is part of Clemson University’s Intercollegiate Eventing team, and he believes in the benefits of competing on a team.

“I think it’s interesting when you work around other up-and-coming young riders,” said Dillard. “They all have different backgrounds and different ways of interpreting the things that are asked all weekend. So being able to work with my teammates allowed me to learn a lot. I think I’ll take a lot away from this weekend as well.”

Dillard’s Area II teammate Kiera Kenny finished in second place individually after a double-clear show jumping round with FE Black Ice.

“It was my first two long, and I’m very lucky to be riding a very experienced horse,” said Kenny. “I have really good support, so my pressure was as much as I put on myself, but I was extremely happy with the outcome and really happy with my horse who has just been an amazing teacher this year. He’s very special.”


A scramble team with riders from Areas II, III, and VIII finished at the top of the YTC standings in the CCI3*-L. Alex Baugh and MHS Fernhill Finale, Elizabeth Bortuzzo and Belongs to Teufer, Benjamin Noonan and Keep Kitty, and Sarah Bowman and Altus Louvo were the members of the winning team.

On the individual side, Noonan and Keep Kitty had a double-clear show jumping round on Sunday to finish at the top of the YTC standings.

“I’ve had Keep Kitty for the past five years and it’s just wonderful every time I compete her,” said Noonan. “I’m very lucky. I would say I had a very good weekend. I was a little bit disappointed in dressage because I didn't have the test I was hoping for. But this time I tried to ignore that phase and just kind of move on through the rest and I had maybe the best cross-country round I’ve had in my entire life, so I was super happy with my cross-country. Show jumping is my favorite phase. It’s my horse’s favorite phase and it just all came together. I had a great weekend, and we love being at Tryon. It’s absolutely incredible being here.”

For Noonan, the team aspect of the YTC was a pleasant surprise.

“When I was a little kid, I was in every sport you can think of, and it just never clicked,” he said. “It was the horses that really clicked, because it was individual. So being on a team this weekend, it’s wonderful because I enjoy the people I’m around. [Being part of a team] is definitely a good teacher; it’s really enjoyable.”

Alex Baugh finished just 0.3 penalty points behind Noonan with MHS Fernhill Finale to take second place, and followed up in third place with her other three-star mount, I Spye. Baugh had a busy weekend, with four horses across three divisions, but enjoyed the Tryon and Youth Team Challenge experience.

“My team horse, Finn, is only nine years old and he missed quite a bit of last year, and we’re working on building back his strength and getting him going again,” said Baugh. “This was his third long-format this year, but he really felt like he came into himself at this event. It’s the best he’s ever felt. It’s the best he’s ever jumped--just a pesky rail--but I think he’s going to come out stronger next year.

“It was amazing [galloping around the cross-country course],” Baugh added. “It’s so beautiful here. They do such a great job and Mark Phillips is such an amazing course designer, I always look forward to riding his courses. I wasn’t sure what my horse would think of the hill at the end, but he just kept running, and it’s great to be on a horse that does that.”

Baugh has previously competed in the previous North American Youth Championships format, and believes in the importance of team opportunities for young riders.

“I think it’s such good practice what the USEF is doing with Youth Team Challenge,” said Baugh. “I think what the Europeans get that the Americans don’t is all the Nations Cups to practice being on a team. The program they have set up here I feel really prepares everyone really well for future team events.”

UPDATE: Youth Teams/YR Standings and List, as of 2/18/21

From Chris Donovan, Area II Young Rider Coordinator:

"YR Memberships with the usea have been confirmed for those 21 and under. For those competing at the first YTC - Please remember to do your FEI entry on the USEF website, (free) as well as the national entry form, where you pay.  On your entry and/or stabling, please leave them a note that states "Area 2 YTC candidate". This helps everyone know. (Organizer, event secretary, stabling manager, Young Rider coordinator.)

On the Facebook/Young Riders page, we posted some links to articles which include Equiratings information you may find useful to evaluate your performance. These are the articles published by the USEA "How Strong is Your (Beginner Novice/Novice/Training/Preliminary) Game". All have been posted at the Facebook page.

Here at the site, if you navigate to the upper right on this page, under YR Forms, there is a detailed list of the Area II selection criteria published in the documents all dated 2021.  We are now working on the ratings, so the above information will help you understand the methodology.

Here is the 2/18/21 comprehensive list.

 If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact me." ~ Chris

Updated List - IEL/Yrap riders as of 2/11/21

Below is the Roster I will be submitting for Area 2 - YRAP team, please confirm the accuracy of the list, and let me know if you are opting out.  

All other teams with YR Program members, are listed below.   If you are not listed against the correct team please let me know ASAP.  The first IEL team competition is this weekend in Ocala!
Please note:
1. These lists only include Area 2 YR members, you may have people on your team who are not program members and therefore do not show up on my lists.
2. Your  "Team Representative" needs to send the organizer your team list for each competition.  For the Area 2 - YRAP that's me.  Please make sure you know whom is your Team Representative.
3. It's not too late to create another team for your Pony Club, Barn, best friends, trainer etc.  Please do submit the Team Affiliate form before 2/15.  The rosters can be later, but the Affiliate list they want tightened up ASAP.
4. Any coloring of your name is meaningless.
IEL Team First Name Last Name USEA ID
Area 2- YRAP Emma  Anderson 198242
Area 2- YRAP Liana  Anson 196290
Area 2- YRAP Morgan Appel 204570
Area 2- YRAP Grace Baierl 186425
Area 2- YRAP Johari Baschnagel 190401
Area 2- YRAP Michael Baugh 202845
Area 2- YRAP Isabel Beard 177292
Area 2- YRAP Isabella Beddow 201065
Area 2- YRAP Sarah Bernat 178456
Area 2- YRAP Nicholas Beshear 166947
Area 2- YRAP Jane Biddle 175521
Area 2- YRAP Clare Brady 197260
Area 2- YRAP Ella  Braundel 170604
Area 2- YRAP Macie Brock 202772
Area 2- YRAP Katie Bromley 200024
Area 2- YRAP Emma  Brooks 206417
Area 2- YRAP Caroline Brown 193488
Area 2- YRAP Gabrielle Brown 191262
Area 2- YRAP Mazarine  Bruno 178435
Area 2- YRAP Maggie Buchanan 163119
Area 2- YRAP Westley Burchianti 189073
Area 2- YRAP Sydney Cannon 201910
Area 2- YRAP Riley Carr 191554
Area 2- YRAP Aimee Carson 205505
Area 2- YRAP Juliana Cassar 193953
Area 2- YRAP Mary-Cooke Catlett 192587
Area 2- YRAP Meredith Chance 189460
Area 2- YRAP Willow Chase 208944
Area 2- YRAP Elle Cooper 205861
Area 2- YRAP Stephanie Cordell 166208
Area 2- YRAP Kaelyn Corun 200943
Area 2- YRAP Madeline Cracknell 190764
Area 2- YRAP Evelyn Crawford 198696
Area 2- YRAP Kaylyn  Cunningham 164845
Area 2- YRAP Katherine Cushing 193775
Area 2- YRAP Lily Dal Cin 201526
Area 2- YRAP Zoe Davenport 207641
Area 2- YRAP Margo Deal 162981
Area 2- YRAP Darcy Dean 176432
Area 2- YRAP Aylah Dhruv 195731
Area 2- YRAP Kathryn Doherty 193532
Area 2- YRAP Camryn Downey 204798
Area 2- YRAP Tallulah Drash 193579
Area 2- YRAP Emily Earhart 197058
Area 2- YRAP Julianne Elliott 175121
Area 2- YRAP Gianna Fernandez 162481
Area 2- YRAP Grace Fiedler 177994
Area 2- YRAP Silas Flaum 208479
Area 2- YRAP Abigail  Frank 201772
Area 2- YRAP Charlotte Garagusi 203213
Area 2- YRAP PAIGE GEITER 208393
Area 2- YRAP Faith Genkinger 203530
Area 2- YRAP Gina Gibbons 208994
Area 2- YRAP Finley Habenicht 192654
Area 2- YRAP Maddie Hale 174402
Area 2- YRAP Sofie Harangozo 162376
Area 2- YRAP Emma Hayes 204554
Area 2- YRAP Leah Hiener 174641
Area 2- YRAP Hallie  Higgs 195967
Area 2- YRAP Hannah Higgs 195966
Area 2- YRAP Cameron Hope 206213
Area 2- YRAP Frances Hope 206182
Area 2- YRAP Gloria Huber 174591
Area 2- YRAP olivia Iskra 191124
Area 2- YRAP Elliot Jacobs 196817
Area 2- YRAP Alyssa Jastram 208622
Area 2- YRAP Etta-Meade Jernigan 202906
Area 2- YRAP Lillian  Kager 165322
Area 2- YRAP Sophia Kager 153378
Area 2- YRAP Emma Keahon 156062
Area 2- YRAP Drew Keiser 188453
Area 2- YRAP Ariana Keith 198619
Area 2- YRAP Olivia Kennedy 207678
Area 2- YRAP Kiera Kenny 170035
Area 2- YRAP Abby Klaitman 204998
Area 2- YRAP Alexa Kosofsky 205156
Area 2- YRAP Noah  Kowalski 208475
Area 2- YRAP Maya Kozauer 192642
Area 2- YRAP Rachel Kreiser 203697
Area 2- YRAP Annabelle Kress 162546
Area 2- YRAP Izzy Lenk 192644
Area 2- YRAP Jenna Levesque 198201
Area 2- YRAP Emma Makovitch 203717
Area 2- YRAP Sophia Mather 208470
Area 2- YRAP Abigail Mazzatta 173031
Area 2- YRAP Juliet Mellwig 197637
Area 2- YRAP Greer Melville 164891
Area 2- YRAP Gianna Minghenelli 178326
Area 2- YRAP Hannah Moon 208761
Area 2- YRAP Adrianna Moyer 203546
Area 2- YRAP Lauren Myers 204308
Area 2- YRAP Grace Mykityshyn 157447
Area 2- YRAP Rachel  Namrow 198806
Area 2- YRAP Kylee Narron 195535
Area 2- YRAP Audrey Ogan 188051
Area 2- YRAP Chloe Paddack 203372
Area 2- YRAP Evelyn Parsonage 188621
Area 2- YRAP Meg Pellegrini 162630
Area 2- YRAP Viktorija Petraitis 160788
Area 2- YRAP Lainey Phillips 177467
Area 2- YRAP James Power 204512
Area 2- YRAP Maggie Proffitt 169288
Area 2- YRAP Ava Raiser 164904
Area 2- YRAP Paige Ramsey 191715
Area 2- YRAP Ashley Redman 200167
Area 2- YRAP Lila Rhodes 203212
Area 2- YRAP Ryan Russell 170811
Area 2- YRAP Anneke Scace 203187
Area 2- YRAP Veronica Scansaroli 204635
Area 2- YRAP Fenya Siepser 197385
Area 2- YRAP Madi Simpson 190971
Area 2- YRAP Zoie Sitton 207925
Area 2- YRAP Grace Spencer 206092
Area 2- YRAP Johannah Stahl 163044
Area 2- YRAP Noah Stanlaske 196958
Area 2- YRAP Noah Stanlaske 196958
Area 2- YRAP Elle Stephenson 200820
Area 2- YRAP Rylee Tipton 206247
Area 2- YRAP Claire Wheeler 156978
Area 2- YRAP Emma Wick 194453
Area 2- YRAP Sarah Wilson 208748
Area 2- YRAP Gretchen Wolfe 199928
Area 2- YRAP Kirsten Wood 204301
ASGO Olivia Devening 177447
CSI Eventing Brynne McIntyre 196866
CSI Eventing Isabella Quill 199658
CSI Eventing Emily Warren 200400
Eternal Atake Madison Chisholm 170777
Eternal Atake Emeline Gilbert 167702
Eternal Atake Caitlin  O'Roark 177863
Eternal Atake Dylan  Philipps 157018
Full Moon Farm Elizabeth Burns 204906
Full Moon Farm Virginia Burns 191967
Full Moon Farm Carla Lindsay 199385
Full Moon Farm Payton  Myers 193278
Full Moon Farm Rina Naganna 209231
Fylicia Barr Eventing Lucinda  Donaldson 191518
Fylicia Barr Eventing Rylie Nelson 199555
Fylicia Barr Eventing Will Rowland 170853
Good Counsel Eventing Farm Addison Kasley 172200
Good Counsel Eventing Farm Emerson Kasley 198630
Good Counsel Eventing Farm Claire Shioutakon 198852
Iron Bridge Hounds Pony Club Emma Burk 196934
Iron Bridge Hounds Pony Club Carlin Keefe 190701
Jill Thomas Eventing Ashley Cosenza 199682
Jill Thomas Eventing Megan Hopkins 201780
Jill Thomas Eventing Erin Mullin 208568
KEC Event Team Jana Skowvron 208875
Out of the Box Alyssa Bortner 190034
Out of the Box Isabella Craft 197259
Out of the Box Jillian Dean 191340
Out of the Box Gretel Frew 189443
Out of the Box Delaney O'Neil 163524
Out of the Box Grace Turjan 208454


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Kate Schneider and Private Biggs, Photo credits to Adam Schneider


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