My Young Rider Years ~ Final Preparations for the NAJYRC!

     Chance and I have less than one week left to prepare for the 2011 FEI North American Junior & Young Rider Championships! I can’t wait to represent Region 5 on the Young Rider Dressage team! I have dreamed of being a Young Rider ever since I was twelve years old, so four years later it is great to finally be stepping up to the “big leagues” after competing in the Junior division for the past three years. It is especially great since I thought I was going to miss this year’s Championships because of my elbow injury (read more about it in my previous post). It has definitely been a tough recovery and I am not 100% yet, but I am ready to go out, do my best, and have a lot of fun!

     We had a great qualifying season this year, scoring consistent 64% and 65%’s. As Chance and I are both new to the Prix St. George level, I am very proud of our accomplishments. We have been together since he was only five years old and I was twelve. I have loved growing up with him and moving up the levels together. I hope our strong bond will shine through once again this year in Kentucky. I am so grateful to this horse for everything he has taught me, so no matter what happens I know it will be another great learning experience. At least we have the drill down now after attending the past two NAJYRCs in Kentucky, so I definitely feel less stress and nervousness this year. That being said, I can’t help feeling excitement and good kind of butterflies!

     My trainer Ashleigh Luca Tyson was able to keep Chance in great condition for me during my month of recovery while my elbow was healing. I’ve been back in the saddle for almost three weeks now, and our training is right on track! Since we both know the movements by now, we have been focusing on correctness, rhythm, and quality. Just what we need to up our game! Ashleigh is great and she really knows how to get the very best out of my horse and I. I can’t wait to see what we have improved in the show ring from this past season. Chance feels better than ever and I am ready to test our limits and see just how good we can be! I’m also really looking forward to catching up with old friends and seeing how much they have improved from last year. One of the best things about the NAJYRC is that you get to be on a team, as well, so it should be great fun cheering on all of my teammates!

     Well, that’s about it for now! Chance will be loaded on a trailer and I will be boarded on a plane very soon, so look for an update in the near future and wish us luck!

~Catherine Chamberlain~

P.S. Check out this website about the NAJYRC! They will have great info and results up during the Championships, plus my blog is featured on here as well!

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