Wins don’t get much more convincing than Zone 2’s gold medal in the USHJA North American Young Rider Show Jumping Team Championship at the Adequan®/FEI North American Youth Championships, presented by Gotham North, at Old Salem Farm in North Salem, NY on August 3. Earlier in the day, Zone 5 handily won the USHJA North American Junior Rider Show Jumping Team Championship, while Canada were the gold medalists in the USHJA North American Child Rider Show Jumping Team Championship.
In the Young Rider division, the Zone 2 team of Katherine Strauss of New York City, NY, Madison Goetzmann of Skaneateles, NY, Samantha Cohen of New York City, and Ailish Cunniffe of South Salem, NY, finished on a score of 9.80, more than 20 points ahead of the silver-medal USHJA Zone 10 team and the Mexican team that took bronze.
“I’m so excited to help add a gold medal to Zone 2’s long list of medals,” said Strauss, 19, who rode Katherine Strauss LLC’s All In, a 13-year-old KWPN gelding, on her fourth NAYC team. “We’re all extremely grateful and proud to represent a team that’s historically been so successful. There are so many riders who rode for Zone 2 who we all look up to today, like McLain Ward, Georgina Bloomberg, Reed Kessler, and the list goes on. We’re really thrilled to be here and to have the opportunity to gain this team experience.”
This year’s NAYC brought a format change, as scores from the Individual Qualifying Round counted toward the team total for the Young Rider and Junior divisions. That meant that Zone 2 came into the two-round Team Final today in the lead, but only by three points.
“After yesterday, we were all feeling very confident, but we had a lot of work to do today with two rounds,” said Cohen, who rode her own Carmen, an 11-year-old KWPN mare, to scores of zero and four in the Team Final. “We all felt very comfortable with our horses, we had great team spirit, we all knew that we could do it. I think we all had a good first round and there was some pressure in the second round, but we all kept our cool and were able to do it.”
"To win a gold medal with this team is definitely an incredible feeling It’s such an amazing experience competing here." – Madison Goetzmann, USHJA Zone 2 Young Riders🥇Madison Goetzmann and Presitgious jumped two clear rounds today to help 🇺🇸 Zone 2 to win the United States Hunter Jumper Association – USHJA North American Young Rider Show Jumping Team Championship at #FEINAYC!
Posted by Adequan FEI North American Youth Championships on Friday, August 3, 2018
Cohen, 17, was the only NAYC first-timer on the Zone 2 team. This was Cunniffe’s third time at NAYC and her second consecutive Young Rider team gold medal. “Being on Zone 2 is an honor and I’m lucky to be with these girls; they’re some of my best friends. It means so much to me to not only be able to compete against them, because we do that every week, but also to compete with them on a team; it’s an amazing experience,” Cunniffe said.
Cunniffe, 21, rode Elm Rock LLC’s Baloucento, a 13-year-old Oldenburg gelding, to scores of four and zero. “I went first for our team today, which was a little bit of pressure, but I’ve been in that position before, so that was helpful. For me, I was just focusing on sticking to my plan. I had one down in the first round and I was just trying to fix that mistake in the second round,” she said.
Goetzmann, 18 and competing in her third NAYC, turned in the team’s only double-clear performance over the two rounds aboard her own Prestigious, an 11-year-old Westfalian gelding that she has owned for two years. “He’s the horse that has taken me up to the bigger classes,” said Goetzmann. “I jumped my first four-star classes this summer. He’s taught me so much as a rider. He’s a bit of a sensitive horse, so that’s helped me adapt to that type of riding. And he always wants to jump clear. I couldn’t ask for a better horse.
“Also, I think I speak for on behalf of all the riders at this championship in saying that we’re so grateful to have support from Georgina Bloomberg and her Gotham North, and Adequan and Old Salem Farm for these championships,” Goetzmann continued.
Mckayla Langmeier of Zone 1 currently leads the individual standings over Goetzmann in second.
The USHJA Zone 10 team will take the silver medal home to California after Hayden Zadel, 18 and from Los Gatos, Calif., riding HHZ LLC’s Triskel der Kerliven, an 11-year-old Selle Francais gelding; Hannah Loly, 16 and from Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., on her own 12-year-old Swedish Warmblood mare, Ayma de la Demi Lune; Ransome Rombauer, 19 and from Saint Helena, Calif., riding her own Emorkus Re, a nine-year-old KWPN gelding; and Natalie Dean, 19 and from Palo Alto, Calif., on her own 13-year-old Oldenburg mare Chacco’s Goldy.
The Mexican team won their first Young Rider medal in ten years at NAYC, since Mexico won claimed silver in 2008. Jumping for Mexico were: Carlos Hank Guerreiro, 18, on Tracy Priest’s Market Irminka, a 12-year-old AES mare; Jose Madariaga Gonzalez Ulloa, 19, who rode Jose Madariaga’s 10-year-old KWPN gelding Davidoff; Alfonso Guttierez Diaz, 21, on the 14-year-old Selle Francais stallion Quick Ardent; and Juan Pablo Gaspar Albanez, 20, riding the 13-year-old Selle Francais stallion River Dance Semilly.