DelGiorno Dances Her Way to a Freestyle Gold at 2009 NAJRC

Sun, 07/26/2009 - 00:00
2009 North American Junior and Young Riders Championships

The 2009 North American Junior Rider Championships went out rocking with the Junior freestyle dressage tests.

The top 15 Juniors came back to perform their choreographed routines in the Championships and the crowds cheered them on under sunny Kentucky skies.

After the scores were tallied Nicole DelGiorno and Lamborghini Dane continued their winning ways and were named the freestyle Gold medalists. The pair wowed the judges with their well-choreographed test to the music of “Pirates of the Caribbean” to earn a total score of 68.550%. Even after performing two other stunning tests this week, Lamborghini performed a fluid and expressive test for DelGiorno.

“I had a good test today,” DelGiorno said. “It started off a little shaky. I turned into the arena, and he kind of flew to the left. It started out crazy, kind of like a rodeo, but then it got better. I think that actually helped him relieve some of his energy, and that was really good for the rest of the test.”

The freestyle Gold is the third medal and second Gold for DelGiorno and Lamborghini this week; they earned the Individual Gold medal, as well as the Team Bronze medal. Their score in the freestyle was the highest Junior score of the competition.

Finishing in the Silver-medal position was Megan Lane and Caravella. The pair turned out a flashy test to earn them a score of 68.000%. This was the third medal of the competition for Lane and Caravella. The pair also earned a Team Gold medal and an Individual Bronze medal this week.

Finally, Heather Ots and Varekai made their first medal appearance this week. They were awarded the Bronze medal with a score of 68.000%. This was the best showing for Ots and Varekai this week by more than five points.

Individual Silver medalists Lauren Knopp and Rho Dance had a few bobbles in their test and received a score of 60.050%. The scores in the freestyle were very close throughout with less than a point-and-a-half separating first from 10th place.

Immediately after the Juniors finished their freestyles, the Closing Ceremonies took place. All the medalists received their medals for their accomplishments this week. There were also several special awards awarded at the Closing Ceremonies. The awards and recipients included the Captain Andrew B. De Szinay Memorial Sportsman Award, presented to eventer Huxley Greer; the Howard B. Simpson High Five Trophy, awarded to Hugh Kincannon and Robbie Murphy; The Fiona Baan Memorial Trophy, awarded to dressage rider Kassandra Barteau, Show Jumping Style Award, awarded to Carolyn Lynn; the Dressage Style Award, awarded to Carloine Roffman; the Caristo Cup, awarded to show jumping Chef d’Equipe Guy McElvain; the Eventing Style Award, awarded to Waylon Roberts; and the Trish Gilbert Award, presented to eventer Maxance McManamy.

Photo copyrighted: Mary Phelps/

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