LANGLEY, Canada — Three young New Jersey riders helped their teams win gold in international competition for juniors during the Langley Odlum Brown BC Open at Thunderbird Show Park on June 2.
Emma Callanan, of Tewksbury Township, N.J. served as the anchor rider for the U.S.team in the CSIOJ Junior Nations Cup while Hunter and Dakota Champey, of Far Hills, N.J. competed in the CSIOCh Children Nations Cup.
In an opportunity to gain valuable experience in a team setting, the U.S. Children’s and Junior Nations Cup teams jumped against their counterparts from Mexico and Canada at Thunderbird Show Park on June 1. Both U.S. teams were victorious under the guidance of Chef d’Equipe DiAnn Langer.
“We had a fantastic day,” said Langer. “I couldn’t be prouder of both teams. This type of experience is invaluable for our future top riders and they all showed all the potential that they have.”
The Children’s competition came down to an unusual three-way jump-off between the U.S., Mexico, and Canada after each team finished the first round with 12 faults. The U.S. team prevailed for gold with a jump-off score of zero in a combined time four seconds faster than that of the Canadian team, which claimed silver.
Hunter Champey was the pathfinder for the U.S. and jumped a fast, clear jump-off round with Andrew Kocher’s 12-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding Hill Top van het Gavershof. Katherine Pugliese (Malvern, Pa.) riding Jamie Buis’s 17-year-old Holsteiner gelding Bull Run’s Revelation and Caroline Mawhinney on her nine-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare Flashback VDS also put in clear rounds, while Dakota Champey and Unsomnie de la Roque, MDHT Equestrian LLC’s 11-year-old Selle Francais mare, had eight faults.
“They were a little bit nervous in the first round, so they had those 12 faults, but then they really pulled it together,” Langer said. “In the jump-off, they knew what they were supposed to do. Some were to go their normal speed and get a clear round, others were able to go faster and make sure we had fast enough rounds that we could beat anyone we might tie with on faults.”
The Champey sisters recently dominated competition at the Garden State Horse Show, a little closer to home.
The Junior athletes put themselves well ahead after the first round of their Nations Cup, leading the competition after having a score of four faults as Mexico stood on 12 faults and Canada had 13. In the second round, Amelie Bittar (Los Angeles, Calif.) jumped clean on Georges Bittar’s 11-year-old Selle Francais mare Star Girl B to set the pace, and Hannah Loly (Rancho Santa Fe, Calif.) put zero on the scoreboard as well with Ayma de la Demi Lune, her 13-year-old Belgian Warmblood mare.
Callanan, on Hart Farm’s 13-year-old Hanoverian mare Quinleen, turned in a score of four faults in the first round, and didn’t have to jump again in the second since the team’s lead was insurmountable.
Maggie Kehring (Woodside, Calif.). and the Kehring Family’s 11-year-old Holsteiner gelding Cole Haan had four faults in round two after jumping clean in round one.
“The riders on the Junior team are all nicely seasoned, with experience in the [Adequan/FEI] North American Youth Championships and the [USHJA Zone Jumper Team Championships],” Langer said. “They know their horses well, settled in, and were able to stay focused.”
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