Sweat equity pays dividends at North American Youth Championship at Rebecca Farm

KALISPELL, Montana (July 25, 2019) — A long year of hard work is paying off for young riders this weekend at Rebecca Farm.  It is day one of the Adequan North American Youth Championships (NAYC) Presented by Gotham North and the beginning of an exciting journey for the nation’s rising talent. NAYC runs concurrently with The 2019 Event at Rebecca Farm.

As the NAYC CCIY3*-S dressage competition comes to a close today, one young rider’s dedication has landed him in the top spot.

William Kidwell could not hide a contagious smile after his first day competing with

William Kidwell Photo Credit: RedBayStock.com

Tremolo, a KWPN gelding owned by Michelle Donlick. He leads the CCIY3*-S division with a score of 28.0 and described his test this way: “[Tremolo] felt consistent through the layout. He is a very self-aware horse; he always thinks ahead. He is kind of shy but bold at the same time. He held his own out there, [it was] a fantastic ride for me.”

This is Kidwell’s first year competing at Rebecca Farm representing U.S. Eventing Areas III/VII, and his home state of Georgia.

Finishing first place in a crowd of promising competitors, Kidwell is hesitant to take all of the credit. “I am so glad to have support from the team and others behind the team,” he said. “It feels good to know that people are helping you out.” And he is not just referring to his team here at Rebecca Farm.

Kidwell started a GoFund me page this spring, taking on responsibly for raising the immense costs of competing at this level. He describes his journey to supporters, “Competing horses is very expensive as well as hard work, and I have been putting all my efforts toward Tremolo and others alike. This will probably be my only opportunity to ride at the NAYC Championships.”

The last step for Kidwell was getting here, a 40-hour non-stop trek to the storied grounds of Rebecca Farm. He made it here and does not plan on taking the opportunity for granted. Kidwell will compete in cross country Saturday amongst stiff competition.

Area I/II took the lead in team competition today with four returning riders and a combined score of 91.2. Madeline (Maddie) Lichten, riding Yarrow, couldn’t hide her excitement.

“Young Riders is the best week of the year,” said Maddie Lichten. The excitement is translating through to her performance; she is currently in third place individually at the end of dressage with a score of 30.0.

Maddie and her twin sister, Katie Lichten, make up half of the Area I/II team.  Katie finished in fourth place today on her horse, Sapphire Blue B. One might think that competition at this level between twins could get dicey, but the sisters disagree, “We just want each other to do well,” said Katie Lichten. Maddie Litchen proudly looked on and nodded her head emphatically.

According to Lichtens’ teammate, Megan Loughnane, even the horses step up their game for NAYC, “[My horse] was super, a lot more energy than he usually has in the ring. He felt amazing; I am really happy.” Loughnane secured second place individually on her horse Linford with a score of 29.4.

Sami Crandell, the final rider on this Area I/II team, shares her teammates’ enthusiasm after the first day of competition. Having advanced to the 3* level this year, she is looking forward to competing Saturday on cross country. “It’s beautiful. The course is awesome,” described Crandell. “I am excited to run it.”

Standing in second place, just behind the leading team, is Area III/VII with a score of 95.1. Area IV/VIII enters Saturday’s cross-country phase in third place with a score of 100.0.

Rebecca Farm is celebrating 30 years of sanctioned eventing in the Flathead Valley this year. Nearly 600 riders and their families from across the United States and Canada will help to commemorate this milestone.

Tomorrow’s schedule includes an exciting day with international levels and the North American Youth Championships CCIJ2*-L competing in dressage. The national levels will kick off cross-county and show-jumping for novice and training levels.

For 2019 Ride Times and Results throughout the weekend, please visit www.rebeccafarm.org. For NAYC team results, please visit https://eventing.startboxscoring.com/eventsr/rebecca/yrht0719/index.php.

Admission for this family-friendly spectator event is free, with full concessions and a large multi-interest shopping fair, as well as a free Kid Zone that includes pony rides, PonyUp! (Horsemanship 101 classes for kids), face painting, arts and crafts, and more. A one-time, recommended $10 parking donation per car to support Halt Cancer at X and a full weekend pass is available with a $25 donation.

To access Rebecca Farm, from the junction of Highways 93 & 2, travel 2 miles north on Highway 93 to Reserve Loop and go west 2 miles, then south on W. Springcreek Rd. The entrance is 3/4 mile on the right.

For more information, visit www.rebeccafarm.org.

Remaining Schedule


Friday, July 26, 8 a.m. - 6 p.m.

Dressage all day. CCI2*-L, CCI3*-L, CCI4*-S, CCI4-L*, CCIJ2*-L.

Cross-Country all day. Preliminary, Intermediate, Training 3-day, Novice 3-day, Senior Open Novice.

Show Jumping all day. Junior & Senior Open Novice, Junior & Senior Open Training

Shopping Fair & Festival: 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.

Kid Zone: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Saturday, July 27, 8 a.m. - 6 p.m.

Cross-Country all day. All FEI levels, CCIY3*-S, CCIJ2*-L.

Show Jumping all day. Intermediate, Preliminary, Training 3-Day, Novice 3-Day.

Shopping Fair & Festival: 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.

Kid Zone: 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.

Sunday, July 28, 8 a.m. - 6 p.m.

Final Horse Inspection: 8 a.m.

Show Jumping all day. CCIJ2*-L, CCIY3*-S, All FEI levels.

Shopping Fair & Festival: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Kid Zone: 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.

For further details about the schedule of events, please visit Schedule of Events


The Event at Rebecca Farm presented by Montana Equestrian Events is held every July in Kalispell, Montana. One of the largest equestrian triathlons in the United States, The Event is also considered to have some of the world’s finest scenery. Each year it draws hundreds of riders of all levels, from amateur to Olympians. In addition, the 2019 Event celebrates 30 years of sanctioned eventing in the Flathead valley, with longtime participants returning to the farm and reminiscing amongst future generations.

The Event at Rebecca Farm features thirteen courses ranging from novice to Olympian qualifier, which were originally developed by world-renowned course designer, Mark Phillips. In 2012, Scottish equestrian Ian Stark redesigned the Rebecca Farm courses. Known for his immense contributions to eventing, Stark has won multiple Olympic medals and was inducted into the Scottish Sports Hall of Fame in 2010.

For more information, visit www.rebeccafarm.org.

No Comments Yet.

Leave a comment