NAJYRC - Wolff Earns Gold in Young Riders & Asselin Takes Gold in Juniors

Leslie Deckard

August 2, 2010

The 2010 North American Junior & Young Rider Show Jumping Championships presented by USHJA came to a close August 1 following the completion of the Showing Jumping Individual Finals at the Kentucky Horse Park.

For the Young Riders, the Gold medal was awarded to Ali Wolff riding H & M Necoll from Zone 5 for their amazing effort throughout the five-round competition. Catherine Pasmore and My Boy, representing Zone 3, took the Silver medal, while Zone 2’s Jessica Springsteen and Vornado Van Den Hoendrik took home the Bronze medal.

In the Junior division, Ben Asselin of Calgary, Alberta, riding Lolita, jumped clean through the final rounds of competition and ended up as the only pair to finish with zero faults. The Silver medal was presented to Zone 2 representative Meg O'Mara and Sinatra IV, while Zone 10’s Jocelyn Neff and Gaja 20 took the Bronze medal.

Olaf Peterson Jr. designed challenging courses for both the Young Riders and the Juniors.

This was the last year the 21-year-old Wolff can qualify for the Young Rider competition and she was thrilled with her performance, after finishing fourth in 2007. "After the first day (knocking down two rails in the first Individual Qualifier) I wasn't really expecting much, I rode in the Nations Cup for the team," she said. "We really clicked that night and we were double clear, so I just tried to keep that rhythm and remember to be smooth and calm."

Wolff hopes to eventually become a professional and will be traveling to Holland this year to attend the Maastricht University and continue her training.

After his fault-free win in the Juniors, Asselin said, “It still feels like a dream, it’s quite surreal. Meg and Jocelyn put a lot of pressure on me by jumping clear in the first round, so I knew I had to put in a good clear round to win the Gold."

Asselin contributes his victory to a great deal of focus and his partner Lolita. "Lola is quite a hot mare, she's got a lot of blood, which is a really big help jumping that many rounds," he said. "It's really tough on the horses having to jump two rounds in the Nations Cup and then two rounds again today. I think all the blood that mare has really helped, she just has the biggest heart."

Special awards were given during the Closing Ceremonies. The Ralph Caristo Award was presented to Zone 3 Chef d’Equipe Sandra Ruiz. The Howard Simpson “High Five” Award went to Page Tredennick and Joanie Morris.

The show jumping finals marked the final day of competition for all the disciplines at the 2010 FEI Adequan North American Junior & Young Rider Championships. Competition will continue during the Kentucky Summer Classic Horse Show, beginning with the 2010 USEF Hunter Finals- East Coast, which begins August 3.

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