US Show Jumping Riders Get to Know Horses; Attend Opening Ceremonies at 2009 Australian Youth Olympic Festival
RELEASE: January 14, 2009
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: Joanie Morris
Lexington, KY – The US show jumping riders had their first training session on their borrowed horses at the 2009 Australian Youth Olympic Festival in Sydney, Australia. The four riders all spent some time getting to know their borrowed horses and found both the horses and their Australian owners and riders very accommodating.
Each nation is invited to bring four athletes between the ages of 15-20 and the four promising young stars representing the US are: Mavis Spencer, 17, from Santa Monica, CA, Taylor Land, 16, from Atlanta, GA, Kylie Wright, 16, Sparks-Glencoe, MD, and Jennifer Waxman, 17, Chagrin Fall, OH.
“I was really able to click with my horse through some exercises Dick and Francie set up for us,” said Waxman, of her ride on Tom Robertson’s Shekky Express under the watchful eye of US Chef d’Equipe Dick Carvin and his wife, Francie.
Temperatures soared as it is Australian summer, but Wright said her horse felt great despite the temperatures.
“My horse performed beyond expectation,” she said of Pacific Wave. Pacific Wave’s owner, Jack Maunder, had a first of his own – he was on hand to watch someone else ride his horse for the first time.
Land made a couple of simple changes to the equipment on Tom McDermott’s Markovitch and got great results.
“We used less tack and more leg and the plan seemed to really work out,” said Land.
Spencer’s horse is less experienced than some of the others in the competition, but she has lots of confidence in Jeremy Inglis', Jencoyeh.
“He has the most conventional jump and such a level head,” she said.
The riders all attended the opening ceremonies with 1500 athletes taking part from 31 different countries. The ceremonies were impressive and the athletes spent lots of time meeting each other beforehand which added to a truly international feel.
“It made us feel like we were really special,” said Waxman. “We knew this was an experience of a lifetime.”
“Even though we were all from different nations,” said Spencer. “We all have the same conversations going on and are going through the same experiences.”
Riders have limited time to get to know their new horses and training sessions start tomorrow morning, the First Individual Qualifier class will take place on Friday, January 16, followed by the Team Final on Saturday and the Individual final on Sunday.
To follow the Australian Youth Olympic Festival Online please see: http://www.olympics.com.au.