Youth Comes to the Fore at the 2018 Adequan Global Dressage Festival

Photo credit: ©SusanJStickle

Youth Comes to the Fore at the 2018 Adequan Global Dressage Festival

The sixth annual Florida International Youth Dressage Championships (FIYDC) were the highlight of competition on the final day of week 10, Sunday, March 18, of the Adequan Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) in Wellington, Florida.

The 2018 Florida International Youth Dressage Championships — presented by Terri Kane, Hampton Green Farm, Sarah Davis, USEF Owners’ Dressage Task Force and Dressage 4Kids — took place alongside senior competition in week 10 at the AGDF. It featured competition for riders in the Under-25, Young Rider, Junior, Children and Pony divisions, offering them a chance to compete on the big stage and showcase their talent at one of the world’s largest and most high-profile dressage competitions.

There were five youth division winners, with 16-year-old Natalia Bacariza from Spain winning the overall trophy for the highest average score. She beat six other Junior riders, winning all three classes with over 71% on the Yeguada De Ymas’s 11-year-old Don Crusador gelding, Dhannie Ymas — former ride of her trainer Juan Matute Guimon and his kür gold medal-winning 2015 Junior European Championships partner.

 

Mei Mei Newsome, director of Just World International, and Sarah Davis with overall youth champion Natalia Bacariza (ESP) and Terri Kane of Diamante Farms.
Mei Mei Newsome, director of Just World International, and Sarah Davis with overall youth champion Natalia Bacariza (ESP) and Terri Kane of Diamante Farms. Photo credit: ©SusanJStickle

 

“I am super happy about winning; I’ve wanted this for a very long time and I’m really happy that we finally did it,” said Bacariza, who is from Madrid and is the daughter of Cristina Danguillecourt and Javier Bacariza, owners of the Yeguada de Ymas. “I’ve been riding Dhannie for three months. He was ridden by Juan before, so he already knows his job, but you still have to ride him and not make any mistakes. Our best test was the individual [71.716%] and I’m very excited about our journey together.

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“Our highlights were probably the changes and the trot work. We’re finished with the Wellington season now and then we’re going to be competing in Europe — first in Spain then Germany and maybe France,” added the teenager, who has big career aspirations. “I hope to improve my riding and continue my career in dressage and hopefully become another big champion.”

 

Spain's Natalia Bacariza, 16, dominates the Junior ranks riding Dhannie Ymas, by Don Crusador.
Spain’s Natalia Bacariza, 16, dominates the Junior ranks riding Dhannie Ymas, by Don Crusador. Photo credit: ©SusanJStickle

 

It was another win for Spain in the Under-25 division, with Rodrigo Encinas Fuentes and Van The Man leading the field of 10 entrants. The horse is owned by Cesar Parra, who rode the now 16-year-old gelding by Obelisk at grand prix at AGDF in 2013, 2014 and 2015 before handing the reins over to his young pupil.

Fuentes won only one of the three young rider tests, with Natalie Pai (USA) winning the other two on Unlimited, but his average score of 68.094% edged out Pai’s 67.746%.

 

Rodrigo Encinas Fuentes, 22, attracts praise for his mature riding en route to winning the Under-25 division of the Florida International Youth Dressage Championships aboard Cesar Parra's Van The Man.
Rodrigo Encinas Fuentes, 22, attracts praise for his mature riding en route to winning the Under-25 division of the Florida International Youth Dressage Championships aboard Cesar Parra’s Van The Man. Photo credit: ©SusanJStickle

 

It was Canada’s Beatrice Boucher who came out on top of the 17 competitors in the Young Rider division. Riding Gilles Bergeron’s 15-year-old Del Piero gelding Delfiano, she averaged 69.415% across the three tests.

 

Beatrice Boucher (CAN) and Delfiano cement their partnership by winning the hotly-contested Young Rider division with an average score of 69.415%.
Beatrice Boucher (CAN) and Delfiano cement their partnership by winning the hotly-contested Young Rider division with an average score of 69.415%. Photo credit: ©SusanJStickle

 

The youngest division winner came in the form of 13-year-old Tori Belles from Pennsylvania riding PJ Rizvi’s pony Prince Z to an average score of 67.498%.

“I’ve been riding him for a month,” she said. “He’s been to the European Championships [he was a Dutch team medal winner under Febe van Zwambagt in 2011] and it’s a privilege from PJ Rizvi to show and compete him. He gives you the best feeling ever and supports you — even if you have a little mistake he tries to support you and help you out. I’m hoping to carry on showing him and also go to Lamplight festival of champions.”

 

The experienced pony Prince Z carries 13-year-old Tori Belles to honors in the Pony division.
The experienced pony Prince Z carries 13-year-old Tori Belles to honors in the Pony division. Photo credit: ©SusanJStickle

 

The final winner was another to hail from Canada. Lily-Rose Lemaire, 14, rode the former broodmare World Lady, 18, to the Children’s title.

Sponsor Terri Kane of Diamante Farms, who sponsors the under-25 division throughout AGDF and supports FIYDC, said: “This is the future of dressage and if these kids aren’t out there competing, then our sport will die. It’s very important for people in the dressage community to show that we support them and that we care.”

 

Canada's Lily-Rose Lemaire, 14, only began riding three years ago but pilots the 18-year-old former broodmare World Lady to the Children’s title.
Canada’s Lily-Rose Lemaire, 14, only began riding three years ago but pilots the 18-year-old former broodmare World Lady to the Children’s title. Photo credit: ©SusanJStickle

 

This concludes action in week 10 of the 2018 AGDF, which was the largest dressage show ever held outside Western Europe. The circuit hosts its final week of competition on March 28-31, and includes the Stillpoint Farm FEI Nations Cup team event. For more information and results, visit www.globaldressagefestival.com.

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