NAJYRC Day Three

If you have never experienced or been involved with NAJYRC you might not know exactly how everything works. Ride times are not decided like normal ride times – there is no pre-planning and everything is very last-minute and up in the air. The team itself decides the order in which the riders will go and then writes them down in a sealed envelope. Then the Chef D’Equipe for each region goes to a meeting and pulls four ride “slots” and that is how you get your ride times. I volunteered to be our first rider of the day because we normally train at home in the mornings, and there was just no way I could sit around the stable all day letting my nerves consume me. Volunteering for the first ride slot in the region can be a dangerous thing, as last years Junior Ellen Wall could tell you when our Chef pulled the very first ride of the morning. It seems to be a trend, or a belief with riders at the very least, that later in the day is a good thing when it comes to ride times. Sometimes judges are more likely to give a really good score at the end of the day. Dressage is not a sport where you compare and rank riders against each other, or it shouldn’t be, but instead you are scored against the scale of a perfect 10. That being said you can see that scores do in fact go up as the day progresses because they have an idea of the standards. Some judges can be hesitant to give out that 8 or 9 to the first rider of the day.

My ride time did not end up being at 7:30AM for the first ride time this morning, but at 8:49AM – a perfect time for both Val and me! We were in a rush this morning as I had a hard time pulling myself from my comfortable bed and as such grooming and braiding ran into tacking up which ate into my warm up and make me a little frantic. Sometimes it is better for me to be frantic though and not sitting around being worried. After a nice long walk to the stadium we put in a super nice warm up before our ride. 

Medium Trot


The test itself really passed in a blur but I could not be happier with it. Val and I just needed to go into “show mode” and get out in a cut throat warm up situation to calm ourselves down. He really settled into the work today and pulled on his big-boy pants. He finally was in a connection which allowed me to ride him in a correct way which was very exciting to feel after two days of not-so-great rides. When I ride tests the world just fades away into white noise which is a funny feeling after you do the final halt and come back to life. My most memorable moment today had to be resurfacing to listen to the announcer call out me and my horse and looking up on the Jumbo-tron to see our names and scores posted! 

Look whose name is up there!

 Our score actually came up a bit, that was provisional, to a 65.6%. At the time it was the top score and put me in first place, but it didn’t hold for the entire day and I wasn’t expecting it too. We ended up 8th overall for the day and 4th out of the US riders in the NAJ Championships. It was a good solid score and I am very happy with it as a warm-up test; now I am ready to go kick some but in the Individual Test which is taking place on Friday. 

So what about the Team, and where did we end up you say? 

Funny you should ask – Region 3/4 Junior Team ended up as the Bronze medalists of the day! 

Clare, Me, Rebecca, and Alex


I ended up pulling the high score for the team followed by Clare Krska, the Dressage Seat Medal Champion and our Region 4 rider, and then Rebecca Cohen. It was a good solid team but took a lot of effort on all our parts – the competition was fierce and the quality of horses was superb! 

My first ever press release can be seen here if you are interested: 

Clare and I tandem in the victory lap!


It was a fantastic day with ribbons and medals and great rides all around. I cannot wait for tomorrow!


Filed under Shows

5 responses to “NAJYRC Day Three

  1. I saw the view from the judge’s box, it was a super nice test.

    • That is so awesome! I didn’t know that you were getting to scribe for the Juniors yesterday! Which judge were you sitting with, if you don’t mind me asking? I will give you a ring today and hopefully we can meet up!

  2. I’ll be there for freestyle:-) No clue where i’m sitting yet.

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