The last of the three USEA Future Event Horse (FEH) Championships will be held this weekend at Loch Moy Farm in Adamstown, Maryland. The West Coast Championship took place last week at Twin River Ranch in Paso Robles, California and the Central Championships took place yesterday at Haras Hacienda in Magnolia, Texas.
There are a total of 63 horses entered in the East Coast Championships: 15 in the yearling classes, 21 in the 2-year-old classes, 20 in the 3-year-old classes, and seven in the 4-year-old class. Twenty-four of these horses are entered in the FEH qualifier at Loch Moy Farm today to achieve their qualification to compete in the Championships.
The East Coast Championship is the only of the three championships to be conducted over two days, with 3- and 4-year-olds competing on Saturday and yearlings and 2-year-olds competing on Sunday.
The East Coast Championships is also the only championship to divide age groups into filly and colt/gelding classes, with the overall champion for that age group being decided by the lowest-scoring horse from both classes.
Five 2018 Yearling competitors are returning to compete as 2-year-olds: 2018 Yearling Overall Champion Royal Casino (Rosenthal x Lady Logan), 2018 Yearling Colt Reserve Champion Ciel d’Emeraude (Contendro I x Arundhati), 2018 Yearling Filly Reserve Champion Knuit d’Emeraude (Contendro I x Etoile d’Emeraude), VH De La Noche (Don Deluxe x Saintly Appointed), and Dark Angel d’Avalon (Dracula d’Avalon x Chanel d’Avalon).
Three of the 2018 2-year-olds are back this year to compete in the 3-year-old divisions: 2018 2-year-old Overall Champion Jaguar My (Jaguar Mail x Katlyn Lil), 2018 2-year-old Overall Reserve Champion I Da Magic (Mighty Magic x Vanity Fair), and 2018 2-year-old Colt Reserve Champion Arden Casino (Valentino x Count Your Pennies).
As yearlings, Wise Santos Du Pele (Donatus x Ravina), Wise Paco Iberico (Camarinal Del Jaral x Hera Wisegirl), Wise Tsunamica Top (Wiseguy Too Top x Tsunami), Wise Minelka (Wise Shamelk x Bandurria Minada), and Wise Lolita Linda (Camarinal Del Jaral x Kwin Wise Christine) all competed in the 2017 USEA FEH East Coast Championships. Wise Santos Du Pele was the Yearling Overall Champion and Wise Tsunamica Top was the Yearling Overall Reserve Champion. All five are returning this year to compete as 3-year-olds.
Six of the seven entrants in the 2019 4-year-old Championship were competitors in the 3-year-old Championships in 2018. GF Yellowstone (Rattle ‘N Snap Laddie Boy x Glendale’s Rock the Boat), a 4-year-old Connemara gelding owned by Michaline West and bred by Deb Norman/Glendale Farm, is the only newcomer in the 4-year-old division this year.
Three Overall Champions from the 2018 FEH Championships are returning this year, including the 2018 3-year-old Overall Champion Solo Hit (Sagnol x Arista GS), a 4-year-old Oldenburg gelding owned by Lauren Welsh and bred by Red Gate Sporthorses.
Ronald Zabala-Goetschel has 12 horses entered at the Championships, the most of any single owner.
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 on their conformation, and 4-year-olds will be judged under saddle before being stripped of their tack for the conformation portion.
Both 3- and 4-year-olds will then also be judged at the canter and over fences in the jump chute.
All three championships are being judged by Peter Gray (CAN) and Chris Ryan (IRL) who have each served as judges in the past, separately.
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.
Jump chute clinics and last-minute qualifiers are once again being offered the day before each championship at each of the respective venues.
Once the East Coast, West Coast, and Central Championships have all taken place, the overall National Champions will be announced and awarded prizes for the highest scoring Yearling, 2-year-old, 3-year-old and 4-year-old in the country. Special thanks to Guardian Horse Bedding for sponsoring the FEH National Awards this year! They will award $500 in prize money to each FEH National Champion, along with an engraved trophy.
Saturday, September 28
8:00 a.m. - 4-year-olds - Under Saddle and Conformation
9:25 a.m. - 3-year-olds - In-Hand and Conformation
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, 3-year-olds, and 4-year-olds for their potential for the sport based on conformation and type. Yearlings, 2-year-olds, and 3-year-olds are presented in-hand while 4-year-olds are presented under saddle at the walk, trot, and canter before being stripped of their tack and evaluated on their conformation. Divisions are separated by year and gender. At the Championships, 3-year-olds and 4-year-olds are also required to demonstrate their potential over fences in an additional free-jump division. Click here to learn more about the 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!
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The USEA is the official sport affiliate of U.S. Equestrian