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Sat, 2018-09-22 20:43

Solo Hit Strikes a High Note at the 2018 USEA FEH East Coast Championships

The 2018 USEA FEH East Coast Grand Champion, Solo Hit, with owner Lauren Welsh, handler Martin Douzant, and judges Robin Walker and Peter Gray. USEA/Leslie Mintz Photo.

The first day of autumn also ushered in the first day of the 2018 USEA Future Event Horse (FEH) East Coast Championship at Loch Moy Farm in Adamstown, Md. Six 4-year-olds and 17 3-year-olds strutted their stuff today, while the yearlings and 2-year-olds have their chance to take to the triangle tomorrow.

Although the 4-year-old class was introduced last year, only the 3-year-olds are eligible to be named overall FEH East Coast Grand Champion and the competition was tight. In the end, judges Robin Walker and Peter Gray scored Solo Hit as the 2018 FEH East Coast Grand Champion on a score of 87.64.


Solo Hit and Martin Douzant. USEA/Leslie Mintz Photo.

Owned by Lauren Welsh, the 3-year-old Oldenburg gelding (Sagnol x Arista GS) was handled by Martin Douzant to the win. Welsh purchased Solo Hit from his breeders, Red Gate Sporthorses in February of this year. “I got Solo for a Valentine’s Day present. He looked like a big gangly yearling in February. I actually bought him off a video sight-unseen,” said Welsh. “There were three or four canter strides and I thought ‘I want to ride that canter,’ so I bought him.”

Solo is already started undersaddle and Welsh said, “He is so balanced and soft. He is fantastic.”

“I really I couldn’t have done this without the help of Tanya Davis at Three-Day Farm in Midway, Ky.,” continued Welsh. “It was her idea to bring him here. She is really into developing horses and she has a really good team there. Abby Blackburn, her assistant, does a really good job helping me with him.”


East Coast 3-Year-Old Reserve Champion, Samwise TWF. USEA/Leslie Mintz Photo.

Overall 3-Year-Old Reserve Champion also went to an Oldenburg gelding handled by Martin Douzant, Samwise TWF, who was just over a point of the Championship title on a 86.55. Samwise TWF (Sir Donnerhall II x Keepsake) is owned by Julia Poladsky and bred by Laureen Megan.


Prismatic WE, 3-year-old filly winner. USEA/Leslie Mintz Photo.

The top 3-year-old filly was Prismatic WE (Rabble Rouser x Report to Sloopy), a Thoroughbred cross owned by Kristin Carpenter, bred by Wits End Eventing and handled by Martin Douzant.


Star Quality CSF was ridden to the 4-year-old win. USEA/Leslie Mintz Photo.

Topping the 4-year-old class was Star Quality CSF, Crissteen Miller’s Canadian Warmblood filly (Schwarzenegger x Garcia) bred by Tracy Anderson/ Cornerstone Farm and ridden by Laura Kosiorek-Smith. Star Quality CSF scored a 78.49 to claim top honors by just 0.16 over Katie Hasse’s Frostiron, an Oldenburg filly (Fisherman's Friend x Gisele RSH) bred by Ellen Geddes. The 4-year-olds were split by gender and ridden undersaddle at the walk, trot, and canter before being stripped of tack and judged on conformation. They then showed off their gallop and jump in the jump chute with the same format as the 3-year-olds, but higher fences.

Judge and FEH co-chair, Robin Walker, complimented the handling and preparation of the East Coast entries and even said he was "tempted to get out his checkbook!"

Congratulations to all of the 3- and 4-year-olds in the 2018 USEA FEH East Coast Championships! Catch up on the coverage from Thursday’s West Coast Championships and stay tuned for the conclusion of the FEH East Coast Championships tomorrow. The Central FEH Championships will take place at the Texas Rose Horse Park Saturday, September 29. 

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About the USEA Future Event Horse Program

The USEA introduced the Future Event Horse (FEH) Program in 2007 as a pilot program in response to the popularity of the already established USEA Young Event Horse (YEH) Program. Where the YEH program assesses 4- and 5-year-old prospective event horses based on their performance, the FEH program evaluates yearlings, 2-year-olds, and 3-year-olds for their potential for the sport based on conformation and type. Horses are presented in hand and divisions are separated by year and gender. At the Championships, 3-year-olds are also required to demonstrate their potential over fences in an additional free-jump division. New in 2017 was the FEH 4-year-old division, designed for youngsters not quite ready for the rigors of the Young Event Horse program. These horses are presented under saddle at the walk, trot, and canter before being stripped of their tack and evaluated for their conformation. Additionally, 4-year-olds also participate in the free-jump divisions at Championships to show their potential over fences. Click here to learn more about the Future Event Horse Program.

The USEA would like to thank SmartPak, Standlee Hay Company, and Merck Animal Health for sponsoring the Future Event Horse Program and Loch Moy Farm for hosting the 2018 East Coast FEH Championships.

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