Young Event Horse Program

USEA Young Event Horse Program

**The 2020 USEA Educational Symposium will take place at Barnstaple South in Ocala, FL on February 17-20. The YEH portion will be on Wednesday, February 19. For more information click here.

Click here for the 2020 YEH Symposium Registration Form.

Program Mission

The USEA Young Event Horse Program (YEH) began in 2004 as a pilot program and is best described as an eventing talent search. YEH's first season as an official program of the USEA was 2005, and the program's goal is to identify young horses that possesses the talent and disposition that, with proper training, can excel in the uppermost levels of eventing. While the ultimate aim is to identify the future four-star horses, many fine event horses who will excel at the lower levels will also be showcased.

The Program gives owners and breeders the opportunity to showcase the potential of their four- and five-year-old horses while encouraging the breeding and development of top-level event horses for the future. Classes focus on education and preparation of the event horse in a correct and progressive manner.

At qualifying events, youngsters are asked to complete two sections:

  1. Dressage
  2. Jumping Test/Gallop/General Impression

At Championships, youngsters are asked to complete three sections:

  1. Conformation/Type
  2. Dressage
  3. Jumping Test/Gallop/General Impression

The USEA is now recognizing the nation's top 6-year-olds on a Preliminary leaderboard, and top 7-year-olds on an Intermediate leaderboard.


  • Age: Horses are considered to be one year older on January 1 each year regardless of birth month.

4-year-old classes are for horses attaining four years of age in the current calendar year. 5-year-old classes are for horses attaining five years of age in the current calendar year.

*New in 2018: The "bye-year" policy for mares that have had term foals has been removed. There will be no more allowance for the "bye-year" and all horses must compete in their respective age groups.

  • Membership: Membership in the USEA is required.
  • Horse Registration: In order to maintain complete records on Young Event Horses in our database, the USEA requires that all horses be registered to participate in YEH classes, and they must be registered at least at the Limited Registration Level. Registration will insure that the horses' full pedigree and competition results will be maintained. Please provide a completed Horse Life Registration form to the USEA. If you have breed registry papers on your horse, send a photocopy along with the USEA HLR form. Thank you for your cooperation!
  • Saddlery: Only snaffle bridles may be used in dressage and boots and martingales are optional for jumping. No boots to be worn in Dressage or Conformation.
  • Dress: Dress code is relaxed. ASTM/SEI approved helmets mandatory for jumping. Braiding is not required at qualifying competitions for any phase, although it is recommended in Dressage. Braiding is required at Championships for Dressage and Conformation.
  • Dressage phase: Collared shirt with sleeves, breeches, and boots.
  • Jumping phase: Cross-country attire with safety vests and medical armbands or bracelets.
  • Foreign Horses: Foreign horses must attend and achieve a qualifying score at a sanctioned YEH competition in the United States in order to participate in the championships.
  • Championships: Qualified horses will be allowed to participate in one championship only. *New in 2019: Horses must earn a score of 75 percent or higher at one qualifier to qualify for the championships.* In the case of a tie, a tie-break will be determined by the higher jumping score.

2019 Young Event Horse Championships

East Coast Championships at Fair Hill International (Elkton, MD) | October 17-18, 2019
West Coast Championships Fresno County Horse Park (Fresno, CA) | October 20, 2019

Judges: Sally Ike (USA), Chris Ryan (IRL)


If you are interested in hosting a USEA Young Event Horse competition or have questions about the program, please contact Kate Lokey, (703) 779-9897.

Contributing Sponsors

Prize Sponsor

Official Corporate Sponsors of the USEA

Official Outerwear of the USEA

Official Supplement Feeding System of the USEA

Official Forage of the USEA

Official Riding Helmet of the USEA

Official Feed of the USEA

Official Saddle of the USEA

Official Joint Therapy Treatment of the USEA

Official Equine Insurance of the USEA