The USEA Future Event Horse (FEH) 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, on Thursday, September 19. Next, the Central Championships will take place at Haras Hacienda in Magnolia, Texas on Thursday, September 26 followed by the East Coast Championships across Saturday and Sunday, September 28 and 29. The USEA will be providing coverage at all three events.
A total of 22 horses will be competing at the West Coast Championships today.
The 2018 Yearling Overall Champion owned by Sarah Moseley and bred by Dragonfire Farm, Twain’s Fireflight DF (The Twain x Dominga) is back this year in the 2-year-old division.
Last year’s 2-year-old Overall Champion, Illuminada (Mighty Magic x La Patrona) is entered in the 3-year-old division this year. The Irish Sport Horse owned by Ann Patton scored a whopping 88.35 last year.
The only other 2-year-old competitor returning to compete in the 3-year-old division this year is Bounce DFEN (Redbuds Blue Moon x Manzanita), owned and bred by Sarah McCarthy, winner of the 2018 2-year-old Gelding/Colt division.
Two of last year's 3-year-old competitors are back this year in the FEH 4-year-old Championship: Adrienne Hillas's 2018 3-year-old Gelding/Colt Reserve Champion Luxury Mail (Jaguar Mail x Aquidam) and Nite Life (Blaur Vogel x Happy Hour), owned by Chloe Smyth and bred by KingsWay Farm. The FEH 4-year-old Championship was created for horses not quite ready for the rigors of the USEA Young Event Horse (YEH) 4-year-old class.
From those entered at the Championships, the highest scoring yearling on the West Coast this year has been Sarah McCarthy’s Hanoverian stallion, Ferao DFEN (Flexible x Bella Patriot), who scored an 85.45 in the spring.
The highest scoring 2-year-old on the West Coast this year has been returning champion, Twain’s Fireflight DF with an 87.85 at Twin Rivers in April.
The highest scoring 3-year-old on the West Coast this year has been the other returning champion, Illuminada, scoring an 84.05 at Twin Rivers in April.
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.
West Coast Championships Competition Schedule
Thursday, September 19
8:00 a.m. – Yearlings
9:00 a.m. – 2-Year-Olds
10:10 a.m. – 3-Year-Olds – In-Hand/Conformation
11:30 a.m. – 4-Year-Olds – Under Saddle and Conformation
1:10 p.m. – 3-Year-Olds – Jump Chute
2:25 p.m. – 4-Year-Old – Jump Chute
4:00 p.m. - final awards
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, 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.
The US Equestrian Federation is accepting bid applications to host the 2021 and 2022 North American Youth Championships (NAYC) for Eventing. US Equestrian must receive completed bids on or before Friday, March 27, 2020, by 5:00 p.m. EDT for consideration.
Pan Am Games team gold medalist Tamra Smith and Mai Baum and five-star pairs Andrea Baxter and Indy 500 and Frankie Thieriot Stutes and Chatwin headline a strong Advanced field when Twin Rivers begins an exciting season of eventing competition this weekend.
The USEA Future Event Horse (FEH) and Young Event Horse (YEH) programs have around 30 qualifying competitions each, and youngsters around the country are about to begin their seasons aimed at Championships.
As the season begins to turn, the temperature begins to drop, turnout time becomes more limited, schedules shift to accommodate the waning daylight and the possibility for a colicky horse increases. While the exact environmental causes of colic are not well understood, a commonly accepted theory is that any abrupt changes to a horse’s environment or schedule can increase the risk of colic.
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The USEA is the official sport affiliate of U.S. Equestrian