KALISPELL, Mont. (Dec. 16, 2016) – Rebecca Farm, home to The Event at Rebecca Farm, will welcome a new competition in 2017: The North American Junior/Young Rider Championships, known by some as “The Junior Olympics” of eventing. This FEI championship is the only one of its kind hosted in North America and will coincide with 2017’s Event at Rebecca Farm, July 20 to 23.
For Sarah Broussard, organizer of The Event at Rebecca Farm, adding the junior/young rider international competition is significant, both professionally and personally. The competition falls in line with her mother’s vision of helping young riders prepare for advanced competition, and the North American Junior/Young Rider Championshipswill do exactly that, Broussard says.
“This competition exposes young riders to a true international championship. Being part of a high performance activity like this affords young riders the opportunity to work with coaches they might not normally meet,” Broussard notes. “It’s an incredible opportunity for young riders.”
The North American Junior/Young Rider Championshipsbrings together the sport’s highest ranking junior and young riders, ages 14 to 21, from across the globe; it tests skill, discipline and endurance. Teams of qualified riders from North America and Canada will vie for team and individual medals in the Olympic equestrian discipline of eventing, which consists of show jumping, dressage, and cross-country.
Young riders will compete in CCI* and CIC2* divisions, demanding levels of competition similar to what seasoned riders face at The Event at Rebecca Farm, Broussard says. “A lot of upper level [riders seen at The Event at Rebecca Farm] took part in competitions like these when they were younger,” Broussard notes.
The championship is ideal for younger riders looking to build a following and establish themselves. “Recruiters often attend, seeking to cultivate young talent,” Broussard says. “They’re on the lookout for those showing promise for the international U. S. eventing team.”
Broussard also anticipates the junior/young rider championship will have a positive financial impact on the Flathead Valley. In 2016, The Event welcomed more than 600 competitors and 10,000 spectators. The addition of The North American Junior/Young Rider Championships should attract even more. “We are always looking for ways to grow The Event at Rebecca Farm, and hosting this championship will bring a larger international audience to The Event in July,” Broussard concludes. “We are honored to welcome new folks to the Flathead Valley each year and to showcase all the community has to offer.” For more information, visit www.rebeccafarm.org.
ABOUT THE EVENT AT REBECCA FARM The Event at Rebecca Farm presented by Montana Equestrian Events is held every July in Kalispell, Montana. One of the largest equestrian triathlons in the United States, The Event also boasts some of the world’s finest scenery. Each year the competition draws hundreds of riders of all levels, from amateur to Olympians.
Rebecca Farm features ten courses, ranging in difficulty from novice to Olympic qualifier. The courses were originally developed by world-renowned course designer, Mark Phillips, and in 2012, Scottish equestrian Ian Stark redesigned them. Known for his immense contributions to Eventing, Stark has won multiple Olympic medals and was inducted into the Scottish Sports Hall of Fame in 2010. For more information, visit www.rebeccafarm.org.