This year's USEA Future Event Horse (FEH) Championships will have three regional competitions. First, the FEH Central Championships will take place tomorrow, Thursday, September 24, at Haras Hacienda in Magnolia, Texas. The FEH East Coast Championships will follow this weekend on Saturday, September 26 and Sunday, September 27 at Loch Moy Farm in Adamstown, Maryland. Finally, the FEH West Coast Championships will take place next month on Friday, October 23 and Saturday, October 24 in conjunction with The Dutta Corp. USEA Young Event Horse (YEH) West Coast Championships at Twin Rivers Ranch in Paso Robles, California.
There are a total of 89 horses across the country qualified to compete in the FEH Championships. However, horses are able to qualify at the FEH qualifier hosted at each venue the day before the Championship begins.
On the East Coast, there are 50 total entries: 10 in the yearling class, 12 in the 2-year-old class, 24 in the 3-year-old, and four in the 4-year-old class.
The Central Championship has nine entries: four yearlings, one 2-year-old, one 3-year-old, and three 4-year-olds. This is the third year the FEH Central Championships will be held in Texas and the second year at Haras Hacienda.
The East Coast Championship is the only of the three championships to be conducted over two days.
Last year's East Coast Overall Yearling Champion, Arden Nike (Songline x Noblest Yet), Anita Antenucci's Trakehner/Thoroughbred filly, is returning this year to compete in the East Coast 2-year-old Championship. Arden Agustus (Jaguar Mail x Juneau), a Warmblood gelding also owned by Antenucci, ROR Envy (GK Calucci x Rock-On Rose), Whitney Weston's Oldenburg filly, and N'Chantressare (Toronto x Gremlin N Gold), Marlene Leuenberger's Dutch Warmblood filly, are the only other return competitors from last year's East Coast Yearling Championship competing in the East Coast 2-year-old Championship this year.
In this year's East Coast 3-year-old Championship, the 2019 FEH East Coast 2-year-old Reserve Champion Daedalus WG (Doctor Wendell MF x Blumins Best), Eileen Pritchard-Bryan's Oldenburg gelding, Emeraude Sharer's Holsteiner filly Knuit d'Emeraude (Contendro I x Etoile d’Emeraude), and Holsteiner stallion Ciel d'Emeraude (Contendro I x Arundhati), Antenucci's Warmblood filly Vintage Chanel (Valentino x Count Your Pennies), and Whitney Digney's Oldenburg filly Dark Angel d'Avalon (Dracula d'Avalon x Chanel d'Avalon) are all returning after competing in last year's East Coast 2-year-old Championship.
Dark Angel d'Avalon is a full sister to the winner of the 2019 FEH Central 3-year-old Championship, Dark Shadows d'Avalon (Dracula d'Avalon x Chanel d'Avalon), owned by Marcella Pinell. Dark Shadows d'Avalon is competing this year in the FEH Central 4-year-old Championship.
Poison Ivy d'Avalon (Manhattan x Persis), Ana Pinell's Rheinland Pfalz-Saar mare and one of the other competitors in the FEH Central 4-year-old Championship this year, is from the same Avalon Equine breeding program in Wynnewood, Oklahoma as Dark Angel d'Avalon and Dark Shadows d'Avalon, but is not related.
Diamond Follie (Diamond Domini x Gouverneur's Pardon), Jayne Lloyd's Dutch Warmblood filly, is returning to her third FEH Central Championships, this time in the 4-year-old division. She was the 2018 FEH Central 2-year-old Filly Champion and placed fifth in the 2019 FEH Central 3-year-old Championship.
Flagmount's Keen Ice (Flagmount's Freedom x Fire N' Ice) is also a three-peat competitor at the FEH Central Championships. W.J. Everett and Kelley Kays's Irish Sport Horse Stallion was the 2018 FEH Central Yearling Colt Reserve Champion and 2019 FEH Central 2-year-old Colt Reserve Champion.
Flagmount's Keen Ice's half-sibling, Flagmount's Invincible (Flagmount's Freedom x Devious Princess), an Irish Sport Horse gelding owned by Robbie Peterson, will be competing in the Central 2-year-old Championship this year.
The sole member of last year's East Coast 3-year-old Championship that will be back this year to compete in the East Coast 4-year-old Championship is Quaden AF (Qredit HTF x Glitter), Matthew Bryner's Oldenburg stallion. Quaden AF was the 2019 FEH East Coast 3-year-old Colt Champion and Overall Reserve Champion.
DaVinci HTF (Don Principe x Balissa HTF), Taylor Phoenix's 3-year-old Hanoverian gelding, earned the highest qualifying score this year, a 92.0 at Genesee Valley Riding & Driving Club Horse Trials in August. He is entered in the 3-year-old Championship on the East Coast.
Anita Antenucci has five horses entered in this year's FEH East Coast Championship, the most of any single owner.
Due to concerns over national travel during the COVID-19 pandemic, the USEA will utilize different judges for each of the three FEH Championships. At the FEH Central Championships, Wayne Quarles will be the judge. Susan Graham White and Robin Walker will work as a team to judge the FEH East Coast Championships. Click here to learn more about each of the championship judges.
This year, horses must have earned a 72% or higher at any FEH qualifier to be eligible to compete at the FEH Championships. Horses are only permitted to compete in one championship.
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.
Each championship will be following the USEF COVID-19 Action Plan and it is extremely important for everyone to comply with these regulations. The USEA recommends every competitor review it before arrival.
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.
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.
There is still time to experience the long format of three-day eventing this year, by competing in a fall USEA Classic Series Event! The USEA Classic Series offers long-format eventing at the Beginner Novice, Novice, Training, Modified, and Preliminary levels, and there are still a few left on the fall calendar in various Areas.
I have had many young horses in my time, and one thing I’ve learned is that it’s rarely the perfect, easy baby that becomes the next superstar. In fact, I’ve always considered it a positive to have the well-behaved youngster throw a little bit of attitude my way, as I believe that it takes fight to become a great event horse.
It is hard to believe it, but Old Tavern Horse Trials is already here. This weekend's event, which runs September 24- September 25, will host over 300 entries, running Beginner Novice through Intermediate.
The 2022 Area IV Championships took place in Wheeler, Wisconsin at the Otter Creek Fall Horse Trials on September 16-18. Four new champions were crowned in four divisions: Preliminary, Training, Novice, and Beginner Novice. Meet your newest USEA Area IV Champions below.
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