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Young Riders Gain Vital Team Experience At NAYRC

Old Mill Creek, IL— May 28, 2002—In most equestrian competitions, riders compete as individuals. But at the North American Young Riders' Championships (NAYRC), presented by State Line Tack, which takes place in Old Mill Creek, IL on August 6 – 11, 2002, Young Riders get the chance to participate in highly rewarding and exciting team competition.

The North American Young Riders' Championships, presented by State Line Tack, is the premier equestrian

competition in North America for Young Riders, age 16-21. Young equestrians come from the United States, Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and the Caribbean Islands to vie for team and individual Championships in the three Olympic equestrian disciplines of Show Jumping, Dressage, and Eventing.

Many of the riders competing will use the experience they gain from riding on a NAYRC team in the future if they go on to represent the United States or their respective countries at World Championship events. Olympic Silver Medalists Greg Best and Karen O'Connor, as well as Megan Johnstone, Lauren Hough, Elise Haas, Buck Davidson, Abigail Lufkin, Alison Firestone, Chris Kappler, Nicole Shahinian Simpson, Ray Texel, Chris Pratt, Lisa Carlsen Lubitz, Kathleen Raine, Heather Mason, David Wilson, Tiffani Loudon, Mara DePuy, and Julie Gomena are all NAYRC alumni who have gone on to compete internationally for the U.S. or Canada.

For many riders, the competition is their first experience riding on a team, as well as competing under the rules of the Fédération Equestre Internationale, the international governing body for equestrian sport. The NAYRC also carries with it the prestige of being designated as an official USA Junior Olympic-Equestrian event.

“The NAYRC was the greatest experience—it gave me confidence, team experience and my first taste of international competition,” said Frankie Chesler, a member of the Canadian Equestrian Team (CET) and six-time Nations Cup competitor, who got her start at the NAYRC in 1997, where she and her horse Bravehart earned team and individual Silver Medals in the show jumping division.

“It’s incredible. It was the beginning of such a personal growth experience for me and thus far has been the most rewarding experience of my life. It was the stepping stone of my riding life,” Chesler said.

Since first riding for the CET, Chesler has continued to support the NAYRC. “If one has the opportunity to qualify for the NAYRC—go again and again, it is well worth it,” she concluded.

2002 also marks the fourth year that the Mills Team Challenge, a dressage competition for young riders with disabilities, will be part of the NAYRC. The Mills Team Challenge is coordinated by the National Disability Sports Alliance, the national governing body for equestrian sports for riders with disabilities.

The NAYRC began in 1974 as an eventing challenge between the United States and Canada. A Dressage Championship was added in 1981, and Show Jumping debuted in 1982. The first complete NAYRC was held in British Columbia, Canada in 1982. Tempel Farms has hosted the Championship 12 times since 1985.

For more information on NAYRC activities, please visit www.youngriders.org. At the NAYRC website you will find zone, region, area contact information, a competition schedule, Tempel Farms information, and many other details pertaining to the event.

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Updated: October 2005.