The 2008 North American Junior Young Riders Championships (NAJYRC) wrapped up competition on Sunday at the Colorado Horse Park in Parker, and the big winner in show jumping was 19-year-old Hannah Selleck of Thousand Oaks, CA. Selleck trains with Karen Healey Stables of Westlake Village, CA. Selleck and her horse Bauer took home the team gold medal with Zone 10 and the individual gold medal in the Young Rider competition.
Selleck has owned the 11-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding for two years. They competed at the 2006 NAJYRC and won the team silver medal in the junior division. Selleck and Bauer competed lightly throughout the year, winning at Oaks Blenheim and competing at Spruce Meadows, all as preparation for the NAJYRC.
The show jumpers rode the World Championship format, which included a speed class as the first event. Selleck and Bauer had one rail, but their speedy time in the faults converted format put them into fifth place after the first round.
In the two-round team competition the next day, Selleck was the first rider to complete the difficult course with no faults, which she did in her second round. Two of her other teammates repeated that feat, which gave Zone 10 the gold medal. “I went first out of my teammates and went second in the class. It was a really tough course and there were no clears in the first round. We were sitting in first after the first round,” she recalled. “We ended up winning the gold that day. It was pretty cool. Two of my other teammates went clear in the second round. It was great because it wasn’t led by just one person; we all really contributed and all had great rounds.”
It was a great achievement for Selleck, who enjoyed the team aspect of the sport and the camaraderie. She added that the format of the competition is great practice if she represents the United States in the future. “It really prepares you for international competition and hopefully the Olympics. I would like to show in the Olympics one day if I have the horse,” she said.
Selleck returned on the final day for two more rounds to determine the individual champion. Selleck sat in second place, while her teammates Paige Dotson and Karl Cook were in first and third, respectively. After Selleck went clear in the second round and Dotson and Cook faulted, Selleck was named the gold medal winner.
“I didn’t really want to watch my teammates go because I want them to do well but at the same time I want to win,” she noted. “Paige had the last fence down, and I thought she was going to go clear. It was a surprise.”
Selleck was happy with Bauer, who has been very successful this year. “He was great throughout the week. He hadn’t shown too much before this,” she explained. “He was really consistent and jumped great.”
Reprinted with permission from Phelps Media Group.