The United States Eventing Association (USEA) Young Event Horse (YEH) Championships are four months away and there’s still plenty of time to earn qualifications to compete! With prestigious prizes at stake like the Holekamp/Turner Grant, young horses with upper-level eventing potential are sure to have the 2018 YEH Championships marked on their competition calendars.
The YEH East Coast Championships will be held Thursday-Friday, October 18-19 at Fair Hill International in Elkton, Maryland. The YEH West Coast Championships will move to a new location this year at the Fresno County Horse Park in Fresno, California on Sunday, October 21.
To qualify for the YEH Championships, horses must be registered with the USEA as a 4-year-old or 5-year-old and must earn a score of 70 percent or higher at two qualifiers or a score of 75 percent or higher at one qualifier in their respective age group. Qualified horses will be allowed to participate at one Championship only. The full calendar of YEH qualifying events can be found here.
In preparation for large entry numbers at the 2018 YEH East Coast Championships, there will be a cap on the number of horses accepted to compete. Entries for the YEH East Coast Championships at Fair Hill International will open on August 14 and close October 2, and the first 50 qualified horses that enter before the closing date will be accepted. Once the first 50 horses are accepted, the competition management reserves the right to compile a waiting list. Of those horses on the waiting list, the 15 horses with the highest qualifying scores will then be accepted to fill the cap of 65 accepted entries.
For the YEH West Coast Championships, entries open September 4 and will also close on October 2. If large entries occur, then the same waiting list practices will be adapted from the YEH East Coast Championships.
The YEH Championship judges on both coasts this year will be Lucinda Green (GBR), Sally Ike (USA), and Chris Ryan (IRL). Lucinda Green and Sally Ike will judge the dressage and jumping phases and Chris Ryan will judge conformation. Click here to learn more about the YEH Championship judges.
2018 Changes to the YEH program and Championships
The YEH program has undergone significant changes this year, based on feedback from competitors, judges, breeders, and owners. Not only were new dressage tests established for 4-year-olds and 5-year-olds, but an entirely new scoring and judging system has been implemented this year.
The conformation section was removed from the qualifying events, but still remains at the Championships. The jumping/galloping test now counts for 70 percent of the final score at both qualifiers and championships, as opposed to 50 percent in the past. At qualifiers, the dressage test now counts for 30 percent and at the Championships the dressage test makes up 20 percent while the final 10 percent consists of the conformation section. Details on the new class structure for the YEH program can be found here.
The jumping/galloping section now contains exactly five show jumping efforts, and exactly 10 cross-country efforts, with each effort now receiving a score from 0.0-3.0. To learn about the YEH jumping/galloping phase expectations, please visit the YEH jumping standards here.
About the USEA Young Event Horse Program
The Young Event Horse (YEH) Program was first established in 2004 as an eventing talent search. Much like similar programs in Europe, the YEH program was designed to identify young horses that possess the talent and disposition to, with proper training, excel at the uppermost levels of the sport. The ultimate goal of the program is to distinguish horses with the potential to compete at the three- and four-star levels, but many fine horses that excel at the lower levels are also showcased by the program.
The YEH program provides an opportunity for breeders and owners to exhibit the potential of their young horses while encouraging the breeding and development of top event horses for the future. The program rewards horses who are educated and prepared in a correct and progressive manner. At qualifying events, youngsters complete a dressage test and a jumping/galloping/general impression phase. At Championships, young horses are also evaluated on their conformation in addition to the dressage test and jumping/galloping/general impression phase. Click here to view the jumping standards and specifications.