The biggest educational event of the year will happen on February 18-21 at Grand Oaks Resort, the new, state-of-the-art facility in Weirsdale, Florida. Owners, breeders, riders, trainers, volunteers, event officials, professionals, and amateurs are all invited to attend the United States Eventing Association (USEA) Educational Symposium that will be jam-packed with useful information for the 2019 competition season. The USEA Instructors’ Certification Program (ICP), Future Event Horse (FEH) Program, and Young Event Horse (YEH) Program are joining forces to bring USEA members a week of training and education. This year, the Frenchman Maxime Livio will be flying across the pond to be one of the featured clinicians.
Livio is currently ranked 20th in the FEI Eventing World Athlete Rankings, has over 20 international wins, and recently finished 11th individually and won team bronze at the 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games in Tryon, North Carolina. Livio caught the attention of many Americans' eyes when he made one of his first memorable appearances in the states in 2017 where he finished second with Qalao Des Mers in the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event. From top finishes at the Le Lion d’Angers Young Horse Championships to top finishes at the FEI World Equestrian Games, Livio will bring a wealth of knowledge to the attendees of the ICP and YEH portions of the Symposium.
February 18-19: ICP Symposium
The week will start off with the ICP Symposium and take two full days - one day for dressage and one day for jumping. Livio will cover dressage on Monday, February 18 with a focus on training and movements. On Tuesday, February 19, Livio will teach show jumping and cross-country with a focus on riding related fence lines. Both ICP days will require demo riders at Training level through Advanced level. For anyone interested in attending the ICP Symposium as a demo rider, please contact Lauren Gash at [email protected].
If interested in joining as a spectator, the ICP Symposium offers spectators the option to purchase a ticket for one day (either Monday OR Tuesday) or a ticket for two days. The one-day ticket costs $35 for all ICP Certified Instructors, FEH/YEH participants, and USEF Licensed Officials, $50 for the general public, and $15 for children 12 and under. The two-day ticket costs $60 for all ICP Certified Instructors, FEH/YEH participants, and USEF Licensed Officials, $90 for the general public, and $25 for children 12 and under. Click here to register for the ICP Symposium.
February 20: YEH Symposium - From Five Years to Five Stars: Identifying the Star Quality
On Wednesday, February 20, the YEH Symposium, ‘From Five Years to Five Stars: Identifying the Star Quality’ will take place with Livio focusing on the key components of what a five-star horse looks like in its 5-year-old year. Attendees will learn how to identify a five-star horse by some major components like conformation, movement, behavior, evidence of rideability, and evidence of trainability.
Wednesday morning will start in a classroom setting to discuss and watch videos of what top international horses looked like as 5-year-olds. Wednesday afternoon, Livio will assess the major components in each demo horse. New to this year, demo horses will be ridden by their designated riders but might have the option to be picked for Livio to ride.
The YEH Symposium is looking for a range of quality young horses aging from 4 to 6 years old. For anyone interested in sending their young horse as a demo horse in the YEH Symposium, please contact Kate Lokey at [email protected].
It only costs $30 for USEA members and $40 for non-USEA member to attend the YEH Symposium on Wednesday, February 20. A two-day ticket for the YEH and FEH Symposia (Wednesday and Thursday) is also available to purchase for $55 to USEA members and $70 for non-USEA members. Click here to register and purchase tickets.
February 21: FEH Symposium
The FEH Symposium will wrap the week up on Thursday, February 21. The main focus will be a hands-on assessment of young eventing prospects. The morning session will cover conformation for FEH judges, breeders, and competitors. The afternoon session will cover free jumping, studying the canter, and quality of jump and scope.
The two featured clinicians for FEH, Holly Simensen and Matthias Hollberg, will bring invaluable information to the final day of the Symposium. Holly Simensen will cover the morning session of FEH and Matthias Hollberg will cover the FEH afternoon session. For over 30 years, Simensen has found success as a breeder of sport horses for eventing and dressage. Simensen is a specialist in conformation and the only approved U.S. inspector of young horses for the German Oledenburger Pferde Verband. Simensen is also the wife of the late Dr. A. Martin "Marty" Simensen, USET Team Vet and 2018 USEA's Eventing Hall of Fame inductee.
Originally from Brandenburg, Germany, Matthias Hollberg has years of grand prix experience and has trained under notables including Ludger Beerbaum, Peter Weinberg, and Rod Brown. Hollberg has numerous top placings and wins in the grand prix circuit and is a meticulous producer of quality young horses. With an emphasis on patience and optimism, Hollberg operates his successful training program, Hollberg Equestrian, in Middleburg, Virginia.
The 2018 FEH Championship judges, Robin Walker and Peter Gray, will add another component of education as they will be commentating during the entire day of the FEH Symposium.
For anyone interested in sending their young horse (ages 1-4) as a demo horse for the FEH Symposium, please contact Kate Lokey at [email protected]. It only costs $30 for USEA members and $40 for non-USEA member to attend the FEH Symposium on Thursday, February 21. A two-day ticket for the YEH and FEH Symposia (Wednesday and Thursday) is also available to purchase for $55 to USEA members and $70 for non-USEA members. Click here to register and purchase tickets.
For stabling of demo horses, please contact Grand Oaks Resort. The USEA has booked a hotel block at the Towneplace Suites by Marriott in The Villages, Florida. Use the code USEG while booking the reservation to receive the discounted rate of $105/night. Make sure to book a room before January 31, 2019 to receive the special USEA discount. Visit the Towneplace Suites by Marriott website or call (352) 753-8686 to reserve a room!
About the USEA Instructors’ Certification Program
Instructors are essential to the training of riders and horses for safe and educated participation in the sport of eventing. The USEA Instructors’ Certification Program (ICP) was initiated in 2002 to educate all levels of eventing instructor with essential training principles upon which those instructors can continue to build throughout their teaching careers. ICP offers educational Workshops and Assessments by which both regular instructors, Level I through Level IV, Young Event Horse (YEH) instructors, and Young Event Horse professional horse trainers can become ICP certified. A directory of current ICP-certified instructors, YEH instructors, and YEH professional horse trainers are available on the USEA website. Click here to learn more about the USEA Instructors’ Certification Program. The USEA would like to thank Stable Secretary, sponsor of the ICP program.
About the USEA Young Event Horse Program
The USEA 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 (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 USEA Future Event Horse Program.
On this episode of the Equiratings Eventing Podcast, show host Nicole Brown talks to Pan American Games gold medalist and U.S. team stalwart Boyd Martin about his career to date, highs and lows, and coming back from injury.
On Monday, March 8 at 5:00 p.m. Eastern, USEF will host a member webinar providing updates on the impacts of the case of EHV-1 (neurological) reported in Ocala, Florida. This case is similar in nature, but unrelated to the neurological strain of EHV-1 impacting Valencia (ESP) and other European countries.
As competitors rise through the levels, they often see the costs associated with competition rise and, unfortunately for most organizers, this can’t be avoided. With fewer competitors requiring more jumps, officials, footing management, etc., the expenses for running higher levels – especially FEI – are greater than lower levels.
Our sport is going to present you with many amazing opportunities, and some equally amazing challenges. While you’re sure to enjoy the opportunities, it sometimes takes a little more effort to enjoy the challenges. Contrary to the common misconception (from non-equestrians) that our sport is easy, it’s actually one of the hardest and most demanding sports of all!