The USEA Future Event Horse (FEH) East Coast, West Coast, and Central Championships are being held over the next two weeks. First, the West Coast Championships will be held at Twin Rivers Ranch in Paso Robles, California today, Thursday, September 20. Loch Moy Farm in Adamstown, Maryland, will host the East Coast Championships this coming weekend, September 22 and 23. Finally, the Central Championships will be held for the first time at the Texas Rose Horse Park in Tyler, Texas. The USEA will be on the ground providing coverage at all three events.
Championships divisions for Yearlings, 2-year-olds, 3-year-olds, and 4-year-olds will be offered at all three championships. Yearlings, 2-year-olds, and 3-year-olds will be judged in-hand and on their conformation and 4-year-olds will be judged under saddle before being stripped of their tack for the conformation portion of the championship. Both 3- and 4-year-olds will then also be judged over fences in the jump chute.
A total of 97 horses will be competing between the three championships: 26 at the West Coast Championships, 53 at the East Coast Championships, and 18 at the Central Championships.
The Central Championships, which is being introduced this year at the Texas Rose Horse Park and organized by Jayne Lloyd of Snowdonia Farms, has six yearlings, seven 2-year-olds, two 3-year-olds, and three 4-year-olds entered to compete.
The three championships will be judged by the same two judges: Robin Walker, who is co-chair of the USEA FEH committee and served as a FEH Championship judge in 2017, and Peter Gray, a member of the FEH Committee.
Once the East Coast, West Coast, and Central Championships have taken place, the Overall Champions for each age group will be declared based on final scores.
The FEH East Coast Championships will divide the yearling, 2-year-old, 3-year-old, and 4-year-old divisions into fillies and geldings/colts, while fillies and geldings/colts will compete in combined classes at the West Coast and Central Championships.
The FEH West Coast Championships are being held during the Twin Rivers Fall Horse Trials in addition to Intro through Advanced level competition over the weekend. The East Coast and Central Championships are both stand-alone events.
Jump Chute Clinics will be held the day before the East Coast, West Coast, and Central Championships to provide horses with the opportunity to become familiar with the chute prior to the championships. The East Coast and Central clinics will be led with Martin Douzant and the West Coast Clinic is with Klaus Schengber and his team.
Because safety is of paramount importance to the USEA, jump chute handling teams will be provided at all three Championships. Owners may bring their own handlers if they’d like, but the USEA is providing teams in the jump chute for safety and efficiency. On the East and West Coast Klaus Schengber and his handling team will be facilitating the jump chute while Martin Douzant and his team will be the handlers in the chute at the Central Championships.
2017’s FEH West Coast 3-year-old Champion, Marta Petrenko’s Lady Elegance, is back this year to compete in the FEH West Coast 4-year-old Championship.
The top three from the 2017 FEH West Coast 2-year-old Championship, Cheron Laboissonniere’s Hallelujah DF, Sarah McCarthy’s Escher DFEN, and Michlynn Sterling’s Kosmic Twist S are all back again this year in the FEH West Coast 3-year-old Championship. Hallelujah DF also won the 2016 FEH Yearling Champion title. Can she make it a hat trick this year?
Second and third place from the 2017 FEH West Coast Yearling Championship, Cheron Laboissonniere’s Chosen One DF and Sarah McCarthy’s Bounce DFEN will compete this year in the FEH West Coast 2-year-old Championship.
Just three of last year’s FEH East Coast Yearling competitors are returning this year for the 2-year-old Championship: Mary Lynn Selzer’s Limelight LF, Ariel Grald’s SRF Counterpoint, and Leah Zabarenko’s Galway, who was the Yearling Gelding/Colt Reserve Champion.
Of the FEH East Coast 2-year-old filly competitors, Ashley Beheler’s Kirika and Maryann Luke’s SF Rama are both returning to compete in the 3-year-old Championship. Both fillies are by the stallion Riverman.
Four of the FEH East Coast 2-year-old colts and geldings are back to make a bid for the 3-year-old Championship: Martha E. Mitchell’s Bel Esprit, who was the 2-year-old Gelding/Colt Reserve Champion Andrea Manley’s Revel In Soul, Diane Tauber’s Olympus, and Anita Antenucci’s Arden Juju.
West Coast Championships Competition Schedule
8:00 a.m. – Yearlings
9:45 a.m. – 2-Year-Olds
11:45 a.m. – 3-Year-Olds – In-Hand and Conformation
3:00 p.m. – 4-Year-Olds – Under Saddle and Conformation
3:30 p.m. – 3-Year-Olds – Jump Chute
5:10 p.m. – 4-Year-Old – Jump Chute
East Coast Championships Competition Schedule
9:00 a.m. – 4-Year-Olds – Under Saddle and Conformation
10:20 a.m. – 3-Year-Olds – In-Hand and Conformation
Central Championships Entries and Time (To Be Announced)
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 Future Event Horse Program.
Like most professionals, I tend to do gridwork for most of the winter, before transitioning to coursework through the competition season. I find this exercise to be a good middle ground exercise as you have a little bit of a gymnastic combined with two easy bending exercises to set you up well for doing courses.
In 1993, Stephen Bradley had something to prove. It was the year after the Barcelona Olympic Games where Bradley had two unexpected refusals at the water complex. “It was very disappointing and a huge learning curve for me,” said Bradley. Little did he know, his path to redemption would result in winning the Burghley Horse Trials CCI4* (now CCI5*-L) – a victory so great that only two Americans have achieved: Bruce Davidson Sr. in 1974 and Bradley in 1993.
The United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) has approved additional modifications to the USEF Rules For Eventing in accordance with a resolution approved by the Board of Directors to address issues related to the effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic. The full listing of rule modifications related to COVID-19 impacts can be viewed by clicking here.