- USEF press release, edited by Eurodressage
Erin Nichols and Handsome Rob AR ended an already fantastic week on an especially high note, winning the Young Rider Freestyle Test with a personal best score of 74.456%.
The win came after the pair earned individual gold and team silver earlier in this year’s NAYC.
Kur Gold as Icing on the Cake
Nichols partnered with her own 2012 Dutch Warmblood gelding Handsome Rob AR (by Charmeur x Don Schufro).
“I’m totally on cloud nine,” said Nichols. “It’s just more than I could ever dream of. I’m super proud of my horse and super thankful to everybody who supported me up to this level. It’s been an incredible journey, and I’m excited to see where we go.”
Nichols opted for fun music and exciting choreography to make her freestyle stand out.
“We wanted to do an old-time, 60s freestyle that kind of makes you want to dance to it,” she said. “I really like the choreography. It fit well with my horse, and I get to add my little own spice with the one-handed three time changes, so it’s really exciting and it all went really well today.”
Boehning Bags Silver
Nichols’ Region 7 teammate, Ellanor Boehning, (Rancho Santa Fe, Calif.) and her own 2011 Rhinelander gelding, Sir Junior (by Sir Stauffenberg x Grosso Z), won the silver medal with a 72.545%. The pair already collected team silver and a bronze in the individual test earlier on the weekend.
“This was my first time ever riding this freestyle at a show,” said Boehning. “I got the music about two weeks ago. I went through it twice at home, and I was like, ‘Everything’s there, I know I can do it, I just have to go and be confident about it.’ Just having confidence in the test is what really held all the pieces together and made it flow well today.
“Before I got on, I was a little bit nervous, but once I get on my horse, it’s all about confidence,” she continued. “Confidence is key. Fake it ‘til you make it! I know if I’m confident, Junior’s going to be more confident going in and doing his best. I just try to be there for him.”
Schults Grabs Bronze
Sophia Schults (Ocala, Fla.) and Conocido HGF, a 2012 PRE gelding (by Cosaco XI x Idilio II) owned by Hampton Green Farm, scored a 70.952% and added a freestyle bronze to the team gold they’d picked up earlier in the week. This year’s exceptional NAYC results for the pair are the result of a long and sometimes challenging partnership.
“I’ve had him since he was four years old, and he’s 10 this year, and it’s been a tough journey to get here,” said Schults. “It was really hairy for a long time, but honestly, it’s just been the last six months or so, something in his mind said, ‘Yep, we’re doing this.’ Every show we do now I have to pinch myself because we actually make it through the tests these days. It’s been absolutely unbelievable. He will work so hard for me every day and I can’t thank him enough for that.”
Scores: 2022 North American Junior/Young Riders Championships
Erin Nichols on Handsome Rob AR Wins Individual Test Gold at 2022 North American Young Riders Championships
Region 3/9 Grabs the Team Gold at the 2022 North American Young Riders Championships
Fruchterman Strikes Kur Gold at 2022 North American Junior Riders Championships
Ella Fruchterman on Holts Le'Mans Wins Individual Test Gold at 2022 North American Junior Riders Championships
Region 4 Wins Team Gold at the 2022 North American Junior Riders Championships