The United States Eventing Asociation (USEA) is pleased to announce the dates and locations for the 2017 Future Event Horse (FEH) Championships on both the east and west coast.
The FEH West Coast Championships will be held Thursday, September 21, 2017 at Twin Rivers Farm (Paso Robles, Calif.), followed by the East Coast Championships at Loch Moy Farm (Adamstown, Md.) that Saturday and Sunday, September 23-24, 2017.
The 2017 FEH Championship judges on both coasts will be FEH Committee Co-Chair Robin Walker, and world renowned horseman, Chris Ryan.
New in 2017, horses must earn a minimum qualifying score of 72% at any qualifier to be eligible for the FEH Championships on either coast.
In addition to the regular form at of the FEH classes, in which each age group is judged in hand, three-year-olds in the FEH East and West Coast Championships will be asked to free jump through the jump chute in order to analyze the horse’s full potential for Eventing. Through the jump chute, the judges will be able to examine the horses’ canter movement, jumping technique, jumping ability and scope. This process was introduced to the East Coast in 2015, and was mandatory in the three-year old divisions at both the East and West Coast Championships in 2016.
2016 FEH West Coast 3-year-old Champion See Spot Fly, a Knabstrupper by Colorado Skrodstrup and out of a TB mare, Djinn Chaser. Captured Moment Photo.
Also new in 2017, the USEA is offering a free-jump division for four-year-olds at the Championships as well. For more information about the four-year-old division, read the announcement here.
The 4-year-old undersaddle class scoresheet can be found here, and the conformation scoresheet can be found here. At Championships only, the 4-year-old division will be required to complete a free-jumping class, and that scoresheet can be found here. Further information on the new division can be found in the FEH Rules document, on page 7.
The yearlings, 2-year-olds and 3-year-olds will all still be judged at Championships with the original FEH scoresheet. The 3-year-olds will also still be evaluated on their canter and free-jump using this scoresheet.
Jump Chute Clinic Opportunities
Both of the Championship host farms will hold a jump chute clinic the day before each Championship, in order to help familiarize the horses and handlers with the process, and to safely set them up for the Championship the next day. More information and signup sheets for those will be made available soon.
In addition to hosting the Championships, Loch Moy Farm will not only be hosting a jump chute clinic just before the Championships on September 22nd, but another jump chute clinic this summer to give competitors the chance to practice well in advance. Championship judge Chris Ryan will be teaching another jump chute clinic at Loch Moy Farm on July 5th, and owners/breeders/riders are encouraged to bring their horses for the day to learn and practice. More information can be found on the Maryland Horse Trials website.
About the FEH Championship Judges:
Chris Ryan comes quite simply from one of the most respected equestrian families in Ireland. Following in his father’s footsteps, Ryan hunted the legendary Scarteen hounds for 28 seasons. The Scarteen hounds have been in the Ryan family for more than 400 years. From racing in his youth, to huntsman, and now as a judge and commentator, Ryan has become a regular part of eventing life in Ireland and Europe. One of the foundation selectors of the Goresbridge “Go For Gold Elite Event Horse Sale” held every November in Wexford, Ryan has developed a keen eye for young stock.
In the United States, we know him best by finding and producing Mackinleigh (individual silver medal in Beijing) through five-years-old. International winning and top placed horses Copper beach, Rourkes Drift, Cooley SRS, November Night, Prince Mayo, Glencento, Reenmore Duke, Ballymurphy Mark and many others all came under Ryan’s eye. Blending his experience with an instinct for what is required and the genetics to operate at the highest level gives us an insight into what has kept Ireland at the top of the world eventing rankings for 21 of the 23 years they have been in existence.
Robin Walker began his riding life in England and prior to moving to the USA had ridden at the Advanced and International levels of Eventing. Since then, Walker has continued to ride at the upper levels in Eventing and he also show jumps successfully up to the Grand Prix level. In addition, he is an ICP Faculty member and is the Advisor to the Developing Event Horse Programs. He is the expert coordinator of the development of the Future and Young Event Horse Programs to ensure goals are consistent with the FEH horses transitioning smoothly into the YEH program. This fits well with the small but successful breeding program that continues at his farm. Walker is based at Maute House Farm in Grass Lake Michigan. The farm has developed into a fully self-contained facility for the production of both horse and rider.
2016 East Coast 3-year-old Champion, Beall Spring Shamrock (Shakespeare RSF x Sahara), a Swedish warmblood bred by Beall Spring Farm. USEA Photo.
Other helpful FEH links:
For more information about the FEH Program and Championships, contact Kate Lokey at 703-779-9897.
About the USEA FEH Program
The USEA Future Event Horse (FEH) series was introduced in 2007 as a pilot program as, what the USEA hoped would be, a successful precursor to the already popular USEA Young Event Horse (YEH) series, which is designed for 4- and 5-year-olds. Since the “test year” was so successful – with more than fifty young horses competing at the year-end Championship show – 2008 would see the FEH’s first season as a bona fide USEA program. FEH Classes are in-hand classes for yearlings, 2-year-olds and 3-year-olds. At Championships, 3-year-olds are required to compete in an additional free-jump division. New in 2017, the FEH program will offer a 4-year-old class in which the horses show their gaits under saddle at qualifier events, and compete in a free-jump division at Championships as well.
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This article will be updated to include statements as they are released from upcoming USEA recognized events regarding actions they are taking due to the coronavirus (COVID-19).