With the cancellation of endurance at the 2016 Adequan FEI North American Junior & Young Riders Championships (NAJYRC) in Parker, Colorado, Broxton Bridge Plantation and USA SE Endurance were pleased to host the the 2016 Young Riders Endurance Team Challenge from 10-13 November in the Low Country of South Carolina.   Grace Ramsey and Jan Worthington came down to manage the ride making it possible to provide a fun and learning environment for our young riders.

The trails were in GREAT shape due to the installation of more than $162,000 in drainage culverts to accommodate all of the rain we had in the southeast. Then Hurricane Matthew came by, and left pine trees looking like twiddly ‘pick up’ sticks so it was a tremendous effort by Jerry Varn and his sons Gerhard and Martin, Allan, Mann, and Joetta. Pat Thomas and Cathy Maulsby went up a week early to remark the trails. According to Patsy Gowan, the 20 year ride manager of Sand Hills Stampede in SC, the trails were the best she has ever seen (and she’s coming back for the January ride).

Friday involved a series of clinics where the young riders learned about a variety of crewing styles at the international level from USA Chef d’Equip Mark Dial followed by nutritional support and samples from Seminole Feeds. Mr. Wayne Adams from Seminole provided a learning opportunity for young riders, other athletes, officials and volunteers. Kristen Brett, Director of Endurance from USEF provided cost estimates for the young riders with the goal of representing the USA at the 2017 Longines World Young Rider Endurance Championships in Italy in September. Lastly, the vet selectors and the athlete selectors offered a discussion about what they were looking for in order to make the USA team for Italy, or for the seniors at World Endurance Games in Tryon, NC in 2018.

Donna Shifflette, the Owner of Equine Monitors, LLC in Texas Equine Monitors donated four heart monitors to the ride. The volunteers, young riders and athletes that won these were ecstatic! We appreciate the generosity of companies that helped us pull this together on short notice!

Originally we had 24 YR registered but one horse and one other athlete could not compete. Thus, 22 young riders started resulting in six teams: International (Guatamala, Ecuador, Canada), Canada, USA Central, USA North East and USA Southeast South and USA Southeast East. USA SE was the only zone to have two teams. Each team had to complete three riders in order to be eligible for the team medals. USA Southeast East and USA Central lost athletes and horses and could not compete for team medals. International led all day for fastest times but regrettably, lost a rider at the completion veterinary examination. USA Northeast had been running 2-3 all day fighting with Canada but they widened their lead in the later phases. Then Canada had a finish line FTQ thus only two teams survived. USA Northeast was GOLD MEDAL team and USA Southeast South was SILVER medal team. We want to thank DISTANCE DEPOT, the INTERNATIONAL HORSEMANSHIP COUNCIL, AND SEMINOLE FEEDS for sponsoring our team awards.

The Gold medal team athletes were Sarah Buckley, Hunter Green, Calla Orino, and Amelia Young while the USA Southeast South team was comprised of Katie Baldino, Brooks Prater, Kelsey Russell, and Annie Whelan. All of these young riders who completed did so in a time earning a COC (certificate of capability) making them eligible for a 4* championship in the next two years. A ride time of 8:33 would earn a COC, averaging 14 kph, approximately 8.5 mph. Chef Natalie Muzzio from USA Northeast was really proud of her team having a 100% completion rate. Chef Lynn Kenelly from the USA SE work hard managing two teams, finishing five of the seven young riders. Her solid strategy was to ride smart in the early loops and come on strong on the later phases, and it worked as other horses failed to qualify.

Chef Natalie was also complimentary of her young riders for giving the beautiful 2016 YOUNG RIDER ENDURANCE TEAM CHALLENGE GOLD MEDAL COOLERS to the horse owners who provided horses for these young riders! This is true sportsmanship from our young riders.

Individual Gold went to Marcelo Pira Beckerling (Guatamala) on Syrocco Rabia (owned by Dr. Meg Sleeper) in a ride time of 6:45. Individual Silver went to Sarah Buckley on her second ride (6:53) on Siena (owned by Mary Howell) followed by her teammate Hunter Green on Style N’Attitude (6:59) for the Individual Bronze medal. Thanks to Quail Creek Harness for providing the biothane that Pat Thomas used to make beautiful awards for the 3 medalists and the Top Foreign Rider!

14 of the 22 young riders successfully finished, thus a 64% completion rate. Here is a complete list of the entries in the 120 km / 75 mile ride from AERC results: (broxton november 75 on november 12 AERC 75 mile results 11-12-2016

Brooks Prater on SR Mirage (owned by Mary Farris) crossed in fifth place with a ride time of 8:05 being the first USA Southeast South rider to finish. In addition, Brooks and Mirage earned high vet score with a beautiful trot out! Best Condition went to Marcelo and ‘Rabi’ – the smiles were awesome but the crowd of athletes, owners, officials and volunteers had already decided that GUATAMALA earned the SPIRIT award for the event! They were always smiling, helpful, and efficient. Thanks to Pat Thomas for providing the Individual Top Ten Awards and to Vicky Larosch and Tack Shack for the beautiful High Vet Score prizes! The Best Condition cooler was sponsored by TT Distributors.