July 2017 - Eye On Eventing: Big Sky Bound
Written by Lauren Billys
Saturday, 01 July 2017 17:19
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Area VI’s nine horse/rider pairs and a seasoned crew of supporters are ready to rock at Rebecca Farm.

This year’s North American Junior/Young Rider Championships has taken on a new face for 2017. In years past NAJYRC has encompassed the three equestrian disciplines of dressage, show jumping and three-day eventing.

With a change in leadership at the start of the year, it became a challenge to find a venue that had the capacity to hold all three sports on short notice. The iconic West Coast event of Rebecca Farm stepped in to support this year’s Championships by holding the eventing portion of NAJYRC July 19-23.

Columnist Lauren Billys contested the 2016 Olympics in Rio, on behalf of Puerto Rico, and has written about that remarkable experience for us since early 2016. She continues to compete and is accepting students and horses at Lauren Billys Eventing on the Monterey Peninsula. Visit www.laurenbillys.com for more info.

For 15 years, Rebecca Farm has held one of the most fun and outstanding events in North America.  Riders travel throughout the country to compete in Kalispell, MT and each year Rebecca Farm steps up even more. Young Rider Championships is going to benefit from having its championships at this prestigious event with one of the best organizational staffs in the country.

Area VI and other West Coast areas have always recognized competing at Rebecca Farm as a milestone. Our area certainly benefits because of the familiarity of this event to our coaching staff and for many of our riders. Every year it seems we send our team off after preparing them in California for championships and cheer behind a computer screen and from our homes. This year much our support team will be right along side us in Montana and cheering for us from the sidelines.

I think this event will be especially exciting for those Area VI riders who will benefit from their friends, family and peers cheering for them on site. 

Quite a Team!

Aside from familiarity and our personal cheering squads, this year’s Area VI team is no joke!

With a full squad of six riders for the CCI* and three riders to complete the CIC2* team, this team has the potential to put in a great result.  Our support staff is also full of a positive and experienced group of individuals. 
Maddy Hogan, a rider who originates from California and now lives back east to work for Allison Springer, will oversee the barn management. Bec Braitling is acting as team coach. Bec has competed throughout the United States working as a rider for Phillip Dutton and Gina Miles when she arrived to the U.S. and also competed in the Adelaide CCI4*.

Christine Trayham, who is an active event rider herself with a daughter, Megan, competing in the CIC2*, was our team coordinator for the last year and this experience will keep her as our fearless leader for this year’s championships. Emily Sandler and Laura Werner are acting as our veterinarians for this process, evaluating the horses each outing and helping them be ready to be at their best. I am acting as chef d’equipe for this year’s team. I know and hope that all my experience at international championships will help me serve this team as we venture into the next part of our journey.

As we get ready for our final training session at the beginning of July at Twin Rivers in Paso Robles, it is exciting to look forward to seeing this team at Rebecca in a few short weeks. Thank you so much to our wonderful sponsors who are supplying us with the top gear in the sport, our support staff who has helped plan the trip thus far, our selectors for watching and caring for these riders throughout the season, the grooms who will work to make us look our best, and our riders who have competed and practiced to get to this point.

Let’s make Area VI proud and have the rides we will always want to remember!