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Mon, 2015-08-31 10:11

D.A. Duras' Race to Le Lion Continues

Kelly Prather and D.A. Duras on their way to finishing in third place at the Richland Park CIC2*.

The Holekamp/Turner Young Event Horse Le Lion d’Angers Grant, founded by Tim and Cheryl Holekamp and Christine Turner, helps the highest scorer of the USEA Young Event Horse (YEH) 5-year-old Championship travel to the FEI World Breeding Eventing Championship in France as a 7-year-old for the two-star. The Holekamp/Turner grant was announced at the 2012 USEA Annual Meeting and Convention, aimed at supporting a pipeline of developing horses for the U.S. Eventing Team.

As stated in the previous race to Le Lion article, the horses that competed in the 2013 USEA YEH are the first group of horses eligible to receive the grant as 7-year-olds in 2015, and they must obtain the qualifications for Le Lion d’Angers. Debbie Adams’ D.A. Duras (Numero Uno – Medoc), ridden by Kelly Prather, remains the top contender for the Grant to the Championships at Le Lion d’Angers, October 16-19, 2015.

The qualifications for Le Lion d'Angers are challenging to meet, and horses must have completed a CCI1* and a CIC2*, each with zero obstacle penalties on cross-country and a maximum of 4 penalties in show jumping.

As the grant states, if the leading horse from the 5-year-old USEA Young Event Horse Championship is not qualified and nominated for the World Championship by the qualification date, the grant will go to the next eligible horse and rider pair who is qualified, willing and able to go. Debbie Adams’ D. A. Duras placed 5th at the 2013 USEA YEH East Coast Championships as a 5-year-old and has already met the required qualifications for the World Championships.

In the interest in promoting domestic breeding, the Holekamp/Turner Grant states that winners who are North American bred will be awarded $17,500 to travel to Le Lion d’Angers, and if the winner is an imported horse it will be awarded $8,000. Adams imported D.A. Duras from Netherlands as a 4-year-old, and she is eager for the opportunity the Grant presents to have rider Kelly Prather compete him in France.

“We are excited for the opportunity to take him to Le Lion D'Angers for such a prestigious championship,” said Adams.  “He will be competing with some of the best young horses in Europe.  They have all had to qualify and there is a limit on the number of horses each country is allowed to send. What we (horses and people) can all learn from being surrounded by such quality in Eventing is going to be amazing. The courses, the training of other horses, the level of competition, and the crowds are all new experiences that are important to understand, which can only help us in preparing our horses for the future. The pipeline of talented horses needs nurturing and direction. Equally important is for the U.S. to show we can produce quality young horses worthy of being at Lion.”

While the Holekamp/Turner Grant will provide substantial funds for the venture to Le Lion d’Angers, there will still be additional costs to complete the trip. Flora Lea is hosting a Starter Horse Trial in Medford, NJ on September 6th in which all funds raised will go to D.A. Duras to help support his trip to represent the United States. As the Omnibus listing states, Flora Lea will offer the levels Starter, Beginner Novice, Novice and Training.

“As D.A. Duras is the first recipient of the Holekamp/Turner Grant, we are doing everything we can think of to raise the remainder of funds needed for his trip,” stated Adams.  “The Starter Horse Trials is a great way to show support for the YEH graduate to meet the next goal, and to have an educational and fun outing at the same time.”

Another effort for raising funds for this trip will be a silent auction during Flora Lea’s Event on September 26-27, and items will be listed online at FloraLeaFarm.com.

This is a very exciting venture for United States Eventing, and D.A. Duras will continue his preparation with all eyes set on representing the U.S.A. in France in October. 

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