Megan Young and Navigator Plot the Right Course to Grand Junior Hunter Champion and Best Child Rider at the Metropolitan National Horse Show in New York City.

NEW YORK, NY – November 3, 2004 –

Megan Young of Jacksonville, Florida piloted Navigator, owned by Manhattan Mortgage to the Grand Junior Hunter Championship at the 2004 Metropolitan National Horse Show in New York on Saturday, November 6th. In addition, Young was named the Best Child Rider at this year’s Metropolitan show. Navigator showed in the 16-17 Year Old Large Junior Hunter section. Lifetime, owned by Alex Beckstett and ridden by Stephanie Danhakl of Pacific Palisades, California was the 16-17 Year Old Large Junior Reserve Champion.


Megan Young aboard Navigator, owned by Manhattan Mortgage.
Photo by Flashpoint Photography.

For Megan Young, who ends her stellar junior career this year, it’s been a fall tour to remember. In addition to all the gold today, Young won the North American Equitation Championship at the Capital Challenge Horse Show in Upper Marlboro, Maryland. She was Grand Junior Hunter Champion and Best Child Rider at the Pennsylvania National Horse Show at Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and then topped that show off with a win in the prestigious USEF National Hunt Seat Medal Finals. Last week at the Washington International Horse Show she and Navigator made it to the winners circle again for another Junior Hunter Championship.

“It was a wonderful way to end my junior career, Young said. “We were shooting for all three after we won at Harrisburg and then Washington but I didn’t want to get my hopes too high, but wow, it was a great way to end my riding as a junior. He’s a wonderful horse and I have to thank everyone at Waterside and Manhattan Mortgage for letting me ride him for the last few years.”

Young knew she had to be on top of her game today. “I knew I had to win today’s class to win the Championship, so I just went in there and I knew I had to nail it. I just galloped to the first jump and everything worked out.”

Asked if the Grand Championship might have an impact on tomorrow’s ASPCA Maclay Finals, Young said, “I don’t think it’s going to affect me one way or the other. The two are totally different, the equitation and the hunters. I had a great week in the hunters and tomorrow I either will or will not have a great day in the equitation. I think the pressure on me is a little less anyway because I won the USEF Medal Finals already. I think I can just go in there and have fun.”

Scott Kemery who trains the 9 year old German bred for Manhattan Mortgage said, He’s the easiest horse I’ve ever had in my life. We don’t have to do anything to get him ready, he’s a show horse and he’s a winner. This is so impressive, I know a fall circuit sweep doesn’t happen that often.”

Kemery gives the credit to Megan Young for all the success. “It’s unbelievable, she’s the best. Megan Young is so slick, it makes my job so much easier because I don’t have to train her so that allows me to focus on getting the horse just right and Megan’s just always ready to go.”

In the 16-17 Year Old Small Juniors it was Sara Rutenberg of Tampa, Florida piloting the 8 year old Holsteiner Wedgewood to Championship honors. Charlie Jayne of Elgin, Illinois rode his Dad’s horse Calumet, an 8 year old Belgian bred, to the Reserve Champion.

Like Megan Young, Sara Rutenberg, is in her last junior competition. “This is amazing! He was good all summer and we were Reserve Champion at Harrisburg and Washington so this was our last chance, this is my last junior year, this is my last horse show right here, so this was really, really great.”

“Wedgewood just jumps amazing, you can’t make him do anything wrong, he just lopes down to everything and coming into the ring here was very special. It has to be special, it’s New York,” Rutenberg said.

Charlie Jayne is another rider bringing a fine junior career to a close. “Yep, last year in the juniors…..it’s been a long time coming, but finally, it’s here,” Charlie said, laughing. “You know, this year is a little different for me, I’m in school at the University of Colorado in Boulder so flying back and forth for each of the indoor shows has been a bit of a challenge, but, when this is over, I’m done for a while, so it’s not too bad. I liked riding here this year, they widened up the ring a bit and it’s been a good show overall,” Jayne said.

In the 15 and Under Small Juniors, the Championship went to Lexy Reed of Ocala, Florida, on the 10 year old Westphalian, Double Cinco.

“I’ve owned him two years now, this is our second year anniversary together …….he was Grand Hunter Champion here last year,” said Reed.

Reed said that she and Double Cinco are a perfect match. “He’s a very special horse and it’s been a good match since day one. I like to sit deep in the saddle and keep him collected and that’s what he likes, so it works out well. He’s very careful, doesn’t like to touch any of the fences and he makes such a gorgeous effort over the jumps. It’s so much fun to ride him because he tries so hard, he always gives 100 percent everyday. I always know it’s my mistake if there is one,” Reed said.

Reed also wanted to credit her trainer, Don Stewart. “Riding just wouldn’t be the same without Don Stewart. He makes it so much fun and everyday is exciting and different. He’s such an awesome trainer and an awesome person too, and when you’re with him it’s more than learning just how to ride. He teaches you good manners, he treats everyone with respect, he’s serious yet he’s very funny too and that creates a good atmosphere for anyone that rides with him.”

Carolyn Kelly, New York, New York, with Cool Blue, owned by Scott Stewart was Reserve. Kelly trains with Ken Berkley and Scott Stewart. “Riding with Ken and Scott is the best. I’m their only junior student so we have a really nice one on one relationship which I really like a lot,” Kelly said.

“Cool Blue is just a 6 year old, so he’s still just a baby,” Kelly said. “He’s a great horse to ride, pretty easy really, and he’s as sweet as he can be. You have to ride him forward down the lines, so as long as you know that ahead of time, he’s very easy. He jumps incredible and for me his jump is easy to follow so that makes him fun to ride.”

In the Large Junior Hunters 15 and Under, hometown rider Caitlin Donovan picked up the Championship with Rodin, a 13 year old Dutch bred. The duo was initially announced as the Reserve Champion but a recalculation of the championship points moved them up to the top.

“I was completely undressed and out shopping for jewelry when they came over to tell me that I was actually the Champion instead of Reserve, so I didn’t know, but I’m really excited about it. Rodin is pretty special. He’s one of a kind,” Donovan said.

Donovan who lives in New York City enjoyed being at the Metropolitan. “The horse show was so much better this year, the ring was wider and the food was great and being from the city, living lie two minutes away from here makes it really easy.”

Carolyn Kelly, New York City picked up her second Reserve Champion of the day, this time with Kontiki.

The three sections of Pony Hunters wrap up early Sunday morning and then the ASPCA Maclay National Equitation Finals will take center stage at the Metropolitan National Horse Show.

More than 80 hunter and jumper events will be contested and $310,000 in prize money is at stake. The Metropolitan National Horse Show features five days and five nights of action, November 3-7, 2004, at Pier 94 and the Show Piers on the Hudson in New York City. Tickets and passes are available in a variety of packages and can be reserved by calling 866-NHS-SHOW or on the web at www.nhs.org

For further information on the Metropolitan National Horse Show, contact the National Horse Show Association of America, Ltd., PO Box 386, Greenvale, NY 11548. E-mail: NationalHS@aol.com; Phone: (516) 484-1865; Fax: (516) 484-1982. Or on the web, visit: www.nhs.org

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The United States Equestrian Federation Inc.(USEF), as the National Equestrian Federation of the U.S., is the regulatory body for the Olympic and World Championship sports of dressage, driving, endurance, eventing, reining, show jumping, and vaulting, as well as 19 other breeds and disciplines of equestrian competition. As the country’s largest multi-breed organization, the Federation has over 80,000 members and recognizes more than 2,800 competitions nationwide each year. It governs all aspects of competition, including educating and licensing all judges, stewards, and technical delegates who officiate at these shows.

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