The race to Mondial du Lion in Le Lion d’Angers, France is entering the final stretch and eager young mounts and their respective riders are giving it all they have in the final push for qualification for the coveted The Holekamp/Turner YEH Lion d’Angers Grant. The horses, who all competed in the 2020 Dutta Corp. USEA Young Event Horse (YEH) Championships, have worked hard over the past two years to gather their final qualifications in hopes of representing the United States at the FEI Eventing World Breeding Championships in the 7-year-old CCIYH3*-L Championship.
Meet the Newest Horses in Contention
Warmblood gelding (National Anthem x Ularinka) owned and bred by Nina H. Gardner
Gardner’s homebred mount, Kismet, most recently took home an impressive fourth-place finish on a score of 28.1 in the 3-Day 2-Star CCI2*-L at Bromont QC in early June with their longtime rider, Jennifer Brannigan. The Gardner-Brannigan partnership has proven to be a successful combination having already received the Holekamp/Turner Grant with their homebred Thoroughbred Twilightslastgleam in 2017. Again, Brannigan had the ride on the American bred mount. With numerous sub-30 finishes this year, the duo will be looking to make it a repeat performance.
Curraghgraigue Clear Future
Irish Sport horse gelding (Womanizer x Curraghraigue Coevers Z) owned by Alexa E. Ehlers and bred by Baden Powell (IRE)
Owner and rider, Alexa E. Ehlers, also found success at Bromont QC with her own mount, Curraghgraigue Clear Future. Marking their first-ever CCI2*-L together, the duo laid down an admirable performance scoring a 37.4, and racking up enough points to be in contention for the grant.
Horses Fully and Partially Qualified
Horses who competed at the 2020 Dutta Corp. USEA Young Event Horse Championships are eligible for the Holekamp/Turner Grant once they obtain the necessary qualifications for La Mondial du Lion in Le Lion d’Angers, France. The horse must complete the Minimum Eligibility Requirements (MER) which is one CCI2*-L and one CCI3*-S both with zero jump penalties on cross-country and a maximum of four jump penalties in the show jumping in order to qualify for the 7-year-old CCIYH3*-L Championship at Mondial du Lion. Horses have until September 26, 2022 to earn their qualifications, but the owners of each horse must notify the USEA of their intentions to seek the Holekamp/Turner Grant by September 1, 2022. The mount who meets the MER, has notified the USEA of their intentions to attend, and has the highest number of points will win the 2022 Holekamp/Turner Grant. Additionally, the Dutta Corp. will be awarding a round trip flight to the Holekamp/Turner Grant recipient.
Currently, Sherrie and Caroline Martin's Irish Sport Horse gelding, Galwaybay Blake leads the pack of fully qualified contenders with 91.47 points. Sitting in second on the leaderboard is the highest ranking U.S. bred mount Quiberon, an Oldenburg stallion (Quite Easy x Avalon) owned by Doug Payne and bred by Elizabeth Callahan with 87.38 points. Excel Star Time to Shine, an Irish Sport Horse gelding (Luidam x Lismore) owned by Dare to Dream Team sits in third just fractions of a point behind Quiberon with 87.31 points. Sitting less than one point behind in the fourth position is Double Diamond C, the U.S. bred Hanoverian gelding (Diacontinus x Lois Lane CBF) owned and bred by by Laurie Cameron. Redtail Penumbra is the other horse to have secured full qualifications thus far, who is a German Sport Horse mare (Cevin Z x True Dynamite xx) owned by James Devanney, Elinor MacPhail O'Neal, Christy Parsons, and Barbara Lightner, and ridden by Alex O'Neal. The mare sits on the 2020 score of 81.67.
A majority of the horses in contention for the grant are only partially qualified looking to complete the required CCI3*-S in the next coming months.
Significance of The Holekamp/Turner Grant
Founded in 2015 by Timothy and Cheryl Holekamp of New Spring Farm and Christine and T.J. Turner of Indian Creek Farm, the Holekamp/Turner Grant provides a USEA Young Event Horse (YEH) Championship competitor with the opportunity to represent the United States at the FEI Eventing World Breeding Championships in the 7-year-old CCIYH3*-L Championship at Mondial du Lion in Le Lion d’Angers, France. With the sole purpose of paving a clear pathway for U.S. team horses to progress in the sport of eventing, recipients who are North American bred will be awarded the full cash grant of $17,500, while imported horses are awarded $8,000.
With the first grant having been given away seven years ago, its deserving recipients have gone on to have illustrious careers at the highest levels within the sport of eventing. Most notably, the 2018 recipient, Quantum Leap (Quite Capitol x Report to Sloopy), the 10-year-old American bred Holsteiner gelding bred by Elizabeth Callahan and owned and ridden by Doug Payne went on to dominate the 5-star level most recently taking a third place finish in the 3-Day 5-Star CCI5*-L at the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event.
With North American bred horses serving as the minority in major competitions not only in the United States, but also across the globe, the grant serves as a means of incentivizing homebred horses. In stimulating the breeding scene on home turf, the sport becomes more accessible to those who cannot afford to import a horse from Europe, bolsters the United States Eventing Team’s string of mounts, and puts an emphasis on breeding for the sport specifically.
The Dutta Corp. will also be awarding a round trip flight to the Holekamp/Turner Grant recipient.
About La Mondial du Lion
The FEI Eventing World Breeding Championships for Young Horses at Mondial du Lion in Le Lion d’Angers, France is one of the most prestigious young horse championships in the world. Eager competitors from all over descend upon France to showcase their 6- and 7-year-old event horses culminating with The 6-year-old Championship as a CCIYH2*-L and the 7-year-old Championship as a CCIYH3*-L. The USEA offers the Holekamp/Turner Grant for horses from the USEA YEH 5-year-old Championships to go on and compete in the 7-year-old Championships in France.
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 aged four and five, 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 four- and five-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 learn more about the Young Event Horse Program.
The USEA would like to thank Bates Saddles, SmartPak, Standlee Premium Products, Parker Equine Insurance, Capital Square, Kerrits, and The Jockey Club for sponsoring the Young Event Horse Program. Additionally, the USEA would like to thank The Dutta Corp., Title Sponsor of the Young Event Horse Championship.
Are you following along with the action from home this weekend? Or maybe you're competing at an event and need information fast. Either way, we’ve got you covered! Check out the USEA’s Weekend Quick Links for links to information including the prize list, ride times, live scores, and more for all the events running this weekend.
The USEA Emerging Athlete (EA21) Regional Clinics continued farther down the West Coast yesterday to the picturesque town of Paso Robles, California. Nestled in the countryside between rolling hills and vineyards, the beautiful Twin Rivers Ranch played host to this invitational event.
Richard Mark Picken, 53, lost a courageous battle with cancer on August 13, 2022, dying peacefully at home. Born in the UK, he emigrated to Kentucky in 2013 and became an instant fixture on the US Equestrian Federation’s eventing and show jumping circuits. A top coach and trainer, he traveled throughout the USA and overseas with his students to competitions. He enjoyed coaching young riders and training inexperienced horses as much as he thrived under the pressure of an international championship.
Riders returned to Aspen Farms in Yelm, Washington for the final day of the USEA Emerging Athlete (EA21) Regional Clinic with USEA Instructor's Certification Program (ICP) Level IV Certified Instructors Rebecca Brown on Tuesday. Coming off of a solid first day focusing primarily on proper flatwork and dressage basics, the twelve young riders took to the outdoor arena for the show jumping portion of the clinic.