Dec 17, 2018

Dates and Locations Announced for the 2019 USEA Young and Future Event Horse Championships

By Kate Lokey - USEA Staff
Tamra Smith and MB MaiStein, winners of the 2018 USEA Young Event Horse East Coast Championships. USEA/Jessica Duffy Photo.

The United States Eventing Association (USEA) is pleased to announce the dates and locations for the 2019 Future Event Horse (FEH) and Young Event Horse (YEH) Championships. The FEH will host East, West, and Central Championships, and the YEH will host East and West Coast Championships.

Future Event Horse Championships

The FEH will host three Championships in 2019, as was done in 2018. The addition of the FEH Central Championships in 2018 was a roaring success with Jayne Lloyd of Snowdonia Farms serving as organizer of the Championships, which took place at the Texas Rose Horse Park in Tyler, Texas. In 2019, Lloyd is moving the FEH Central Championships to her own Snowdonia Farms in Tomball, Texas, just outside of Houston, on Thursday, September 26.

The 2019 FEH West Coast Championships will remain at Twin Rivers Ranch in Paso Robles, California, organized by Andrea Baxter and her family. The FEH West Coast Championships will take place one week before the Central Championships on Thursday, September 19, in conjunction with the Twin Rivers Fall Horse Trials.

Carolyn Mackintosh of Loch Moy Farm stepped up once again to host the very popular FEH East Coast Championships in Adamstown, Maryland. With the anticipation of large entry numbers, the East Coast Championships will run across two days on Saturday and Sunday, September 28-29, 2019.

Hallelujah DF, winner of the 2018 USEA FEH West Coast 3-year-old Championship. MGO Photography Photo.

Each of the three FEH Championships will evaluate yearlings, 2-year-olds, and 3-year-olds for their potential for eventing based on their conformation and type. Horses will be presented in-hand and divisions will be separated by age and gender. The 3-year-olds will also be required to demonstrate their potential at the canter and over fences in an additional free-jump division. The free-jumping division is only offered at the Championships, not at qualifying events.

In 2017, the FEH program added a 4-year-old division, designed for youngsters not quite ready for the rigors of the YEH program. These 4-year-old FEH horses will be presented under saddle at the walk, trot, and canter before being stripped of their tack and evaluated on their conformation. Additionally, 4-year-olds will also participate in a free-jumping division to show their potential over fences at Championships.

To qualify for FEH Championships, horses must earn a minimum qualifying score of 72% at any qualifying event. Horses may qualify at any qualifier(s) in the country, but may only compete at one FEH Championship, whether it be East, West, or Central. Four-year-old horses may also compete in both FEH and YEH qualifiers, but may only compete at one Championship.

Young Event Horse Championships

The Young Event Horse Championships will continue to host East and West Coast Championships in 2019 and the venues will be familiar to competitors. The YEH East Coast Championships will once again be held at the elite Fair Hill International facility in Elkton, Maryland, Thursday-Friday, October 17-18, 2019. The organizers will place a cap of 55 horses at the Championships, so competitors will be urged to enter on the opening date. Of the 55 slots, 40 of those will be saved for 5-year-olds if entries warrant, while the last 15 slots may be composed of 4-year-olds.

The YEH West Coast Championships will return to the Fresno County Horse Park in Fresno, California. John Marshall ran a strong Championships in 2018 and looks forward to increasing the number of competitors at the YEH West Coast Championships in 2019, which will take place Sunday, October 20.

MVP Madbum took home the win in the USEA YEH West Coast 5-year-old Championship! USEA Photo.

The YEH program saw significant changes in 2018, including the adoption of new, shorter dressage tests for the 4- and 5-year-olds and the implementation of an entirely new scoring and judging system. The conformation section was removed from the YEH 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, and the test contains exactly five show jumping efforts and exactly 10 cross-country efforts, all which receive their own score.

The 2018 changes to the YEH program will remain in effect for 2019. However, the YEH Committee has changed the qualification structure moving forward. Previously, a horse could qualify for Championships by scoring a 70% or higher at two qualifying events, or by scoring a 75% or higher at one event. Moving forward, the committee has dropped the offering of scoring a 70% or higher at two events, and now horses must obtain one qualification of 75% or higher at any qualifier to be eligible for the 2019 YEH Championships.

For more information regarding the FEH and YEH Championships, contact Kate Lokey at [email protected] or (703) 779-9897. Stay tuned for the announcement of the FEH and YEH Championship judges, coming soon!

About the USEA Young Event Horse Program

The Young Event Horse 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 learn more about the USEA Young Event Horse Program.

About the USEA Future Event Horse Program

The USEA introduced the Future Event Horse Program in 2007 in response to the popularity of the already established USEA Young Event Horse 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.

In 2017, the FEH added a 4-year-old division designed for youngsters not quite ready for the rigors of the YEH program. These horses are presented under saddle at the walk, trot, and canter before being stripped of their tack and evaluated on 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 USEA Future Event Horse Program.

The USEA would like to thank SmartPak, Standlee Hay Company, Merck Animal Health, and C4 Belts for sponsoring the USEA Young and Future Event Horse Programs.

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