Double Gold for Junior Rider Jenna Upchurch at NAJYRC

Jenna Upchurch and Greystoke. Photo by

Parker, Colo. – August 1, 2016 – Jenna Upchurch teamed up with Greystoke to snag double gold medals in the Junior division at the North American Junior and Young Rider Championships, held this year at the Colorado Horse Park. The 18-year-old rider and her flashy dapple gray partner started their week by taking third place in Thursday’s Junior Team Test, then stepped up their game to earn back-to-back wins in Saturday’s Junior Individual Test and Sunday’s Junior Freestyle.

Upchurch, who hails from Chesterfield, Missouri, and rides for Region 4, has only been partnered with Greystoke since December 2015. They have already made great strides in their communication in the ring.

“I feel like we’ve improved on our connection a lot with the flow of the test and going from movement to movement, as well as how relaxed and collected he could be throughout the test,” Upchurch explained. “For our music, it’s a compilation of Coldplay music including Viva La Vida and an assortment of scores from the Fast and Furious movies, which I love. I edited and cut the music myself with my trainer.”

Vanessa Creech-Terauds (silver), Jenna Upchurch (gold) and Jackson Gillespie (bronze) on the podium after the Junior Freestyle. Photo by

Upchurch has bounced around the disciplines, riding in the hunter/jumpers and also competing in the Arabian pleasure world before transitioning full time to the sport of dressage. She drives over two hours to her home base each week to train. While she competed at NAJYRC in 2015, she did not qualify to move forward to the Freestyle, so this year’s victory was particularly sweet.

“Being able to ride (the freestyle) this year was just fantastic,” she said. “He’s a fabulous horse and to be able to say that he’s mine is incredible. He’s an amazing animal. I have to thank so many people for the opportunity to work with him and have him. I’m really happy to be able to make my trainer Martin Kuhn proud.”

Finishing just behind Upchurch in both the Junior Individual Test and Freestyle after winning the Junior Team Test was Canada’s Vanessa Creech-Terauds, who earned double silver medals. Upchurch and Greystoke scored 70.632 percent in the Individual and 71.35 percent in the Freestyle, while Creech-Terauds rode Leatherdale Farms’ Fleur de Lis L to scores of 70.184 percent in the Individual and 70.5 percent in the Freestyle.

Vanessa Creech-Terauds and Fleur de Lis L. Photo by

Creech-Terauds, who lives in Caistor Centre, Ontario, noted that NAJYRC is her favorite week of the year and also commented on the continued improvements of the young Hanoverian mare throughout the duration of the competition.

“Fleur was very good in all three classes and all three tests,” Creech-Terauds said. “She stayed very focused today and was energetic with the music going. She kept with me very well, and I was proud of her for that. This is a gorgeous facility, and I have to thank the sponsors for making this show possible.”

Fleur de Lis L’s freestyle featured a fun and lively music selection.

“The trot music is from Madagascar 2, and the canter is Kung Fu Panda,” she said. “We had a lot of fun making the music, and in the Juniors it’s all about having fun and getting experience in the ring. I find that’s exactly what our music reflects.”

Jackson Gillespie and Westpoint CB. Photo by

Jackson Gillespie of Region 5 captured the Junior Freestyle bronze with Westpoint CB. The pair earned a score of 69.5 percent. Gillespie, a Denver native, narrowly missed selection to last year’s team and traveled to Lexington, Kentucky, as a groom for Region 5.

“This year getting to make the team was such an amazing experience, especially because there is nothing else like this competition for the youth community in our sport,” Gillespie said.

In the Junior Individual Test, Carlos Maldonado Lara and Massimo, the only NAJYRC representatives in the dressage discipline from their home nation of Mexico, received the bronze medal with a final score of 69.974 percent.

“To come here and have this huge venue and all these other disciplines was fun. To have Mexico and the United States and Canada on the podium together is kind of surreal to think about,” Maldonado Lara said after the Individual Test. “My horse was very good today, and I want more riders from our country to come here and compete. I want to have a good team here for next year.”

Carlos Maldonado Lara and Massimo. Photo by

Vanessa Creech-Terauds (silver), Jenna Upchurch (gold) and Carlos Maldonado Lara (bronze) in their Junior Individual medal presentation ceremony. Photo by

Jackson Gillespie, Vanessa Creech-Terauds, and Jenna Upchurch after their Junior Freestyle medal presentation ceremony with Allyn Mann of Adequan. Photo by

Jenna Upchurch and Greystoke. Photo by

Vanessa Creech-Terauds and Fleur de Lis L. Photo by

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