Last week, young horses on the West Coast took their turn in The Dutta Corp. USEA Young Event Horse West Coast Championships at Twin Rivers Ranch in Paso Robles, California. This week, attention moves to the East Coast, where the Virginia Horse Trials in Lexington, Virginia will host The Dutta Corp. USEA Young Event Horse East Coast Championships over two days - Wednesday, October 28 and Thursday, October 29.
This year, The Dutta Corp. USEA YEH East Coast Championships has a total of 77 entries – this is one of the largest fields in YEH history. There are 22 horses in the YEH 4-year-old division and 55 in the YEH 5-year-old division.
There are four riders who have two horses competing in the YEH 4-year-old division: Daniel Clasing (Limelight AF and Butts Arthur), Caroline Martin (Redfield Haras and Redfield HSH Conner), Marley Stone-Bourke (Kung Fu Quality and Qualitini), and Courtney Cooper (Excel Star Just Right and Briarhill Excel Star Take 2).
A whopping eight riders have three or more horses competing in the YEH 5-year-old division: Hallie Coon (Global Excellencia Z, Global Countess, and Global Clue), Doug Payne (Vaya Con Dios, Quiberon, and Red Right Return), Maya Black (Double Diamond C, Petey Blinders, and Lanthan Lights C), Caroline Martin (Redfield Galway Blake, Redfield HSH Lux Special, Redfield King), Courtney Cooper (Hunting Stars, Excel Star First Class, Excel Star Time to Shine, and Excel Star Tick Tock), Michael Pendleton (Mystic Fair, Magic Spirit, and Prinz Con der Ahe ICF), Jennie Brannigan (Keepsake, Kismet, and Stella Royale), and Alexa Ehlers (Clear Candidate, Parlez Clear, and Curraghraigue Clear Future).
Between the two divisions, Courtney Cooper's six rides (two in the YEH 4-year-old division and four in the YEH 5-year-old division) make up 7.7 percent of the total YEH entries.
The most represented breed between the two championship divisions is the Irish Sport horse with a total of 18 horses entered (seven in the 4-year-old division and 11 in the 5-year-old division).
Oldenburg and Thoroughbred are the second and third most popular breeds with ten horses and eight horses, respectively. Other breeds represented at the championships include Irish Draught Sport Horse, German Sport Horse, Trakehner, British Sport Horse, American Sport Horse, Danish Warmblood, Dutch Warmblood, Swedish Warmblood, Holsteiner, Hanoverian, Selle Francais, Zangersheide, and German Hannoveranner.
OBOS Quality and Cevin Z are the most prolific sires of the championships with three offspring each: Tim Bourke's Quality Collusion and Quality Stock and Courtney Cooper's Excel Star Just Right are sired by OBOS Quality, while Cevin Z sired Elinor O'Neal's Redtail Penumbra and Daisy Trayford's Exmoor Xandy Z and Exmoor Xena.
National Anthem, Jaguar Mail, Diktotor Van de Boslandhoeve, Ehrentanz KD *PG, Tolan R, and Womanizer have all sired two horses in the field: Keepsake and Kismet are both by National Anthem; Arden Katniss and Magic Spirit are both by Jaguar Mail; Clear Candidate and Parlex Clear are both by Diktotor Van de Boslandhoeve; Jorie and Prinz Von der Ahe ICF are both by Ehrentanz KD *PG; Excel Star in Hindsight and Corraghoe Brilliant are both sired by Tolan R; and Qualitini and Curraghraigue Clear Future are both sired by Womanizer.
Sea Lion, who sired the USEA FEH West Coast 4-year-old Champion Sea Lioness (Sea Lion x Princess Kabbalah), has one progeny competing at the East Coast Championships: Nick Olijslager's Northern Quest Lioness (Sea Lion x Silver Lady).
There are 10 horses that competed in the YEH East Coast 4-year-old Championships last year that will return this year to compete in the YEH East Coast 5-year-old Championships: Excel Star Time to Shine (1st), Double Diamond C (2nd), BE Maxwell 16 (4th), Redtail Penumbra (5th), Prinz Von der Ahe ICF (6th), Quiberon (7th), Lanthan Lights C (8th), Hunting Stars (9th), Keepsake (10th), Quality Stock (16th), Redtail Achiever (17th), Esperance (20th), Kismet (22nd), and Red Right Return (25th).
Parlez Clear (Diktotor Van de Boslandhoeve x Crystal Clear), Alexa Ehlers' Thoroughbred mare, has the highest qualifying score of any horse competing at the YEH East Coast Championships - a 92.5 earned at Flying Cross Farm in September. This is the highest qualifying score of any horse in the country.
Arden Casino (Valentino x Count Your Pennies), a Warmblood mare owned by Anita Antenucci, is the sole 2019 USEA FEH Championships competitor competing this year in the YEH 4-year-old division.
Frame Seahawk, a Swedish Warmblood gelding by Shakespear RSF, competed last year in the FEH 4-year-old division with owner Martin Douzant and this year will be competing in the YEH 5-year-old division with Joe DeSantis. The FEH 4-year-old Championship was created for horses not quite ready for the rigors of the YEH Championship in their 4-year-old year.
The Dutta Corp. USEA YEH East Coast 5-year-old Championships will be judged by Peter Gray and Debbie Adams. Adams will judge the dressage section while Gray does the conformation section, and then the two will judge the jumping/galloping phase together.
Due to large entries at The Dutta Corp. USEA YEH East Coast Championships, the 4-year-old Championship will have separate judges: Tim Holekamp (conformation), Marilyn Payne (dressage and jumping/gallop), Phyllis Dawson (jumping/gallop).
The YEH Committee voted to ease the YEH Championships qualifying score to 70% for both the 2020 East and West Coast Championships due to the effects of COVID-19 on the competition season. In 2021, the qualifying score will go back up to 75%.
Horses in the 4-year-old and 5-year-old Championships will perform a dressage test under saddle, be judged in-hand on their conformation, and then tackle a hybrid show jumping/cross-country jumping course with a gallop section at the end.
YEH and FEH competitors are only allowed to compete their 4-year-old in either the FEH 4-year-old Championship or the YEH 4-year-old Championship, not both.
The Holekamp/Turner Young Event Horse Le Lion d'Angers Grant and The Dutta Corp. prize will be up for grabs for the highest-scoring horse from the YEH 5-year-old Championships (both East and West) that is qualified and willing to compete at the FEI World Breeding Eventing Championships in their 7-year-old year.
At The Dutta Corp. USEA YEH East Coast Championships, four special awards will be presented: the Born in America Award, presented to the highest-scoring American-bred horse; the American Thoroughbred Award presented by Dennis Glaccum will go to the highest-scoring American-bred Thoroughbred horse; the TIP Award, presented to the highest-scoring Jockey Club registered Thoroughbred; and the Safe Harbor Award, presented to the young horse who consistently exhibits the most graceful and rider-friendly performance throughout the competition.
Stillwater Farm is providing an award to the 4-year-olds on each coast with the best gallop score. Stillwater Farm is providing a trophy and a small prize check to the winning gallop score at each Championship. This award is generously provided by Stillwater Farm and is presented in loving memory of Donald Trotter, who passed away in 2019.
The Virginia Horse Trials 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.
The Young Event Horse (YEH) 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 aged four and five, 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 four- and five-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 Young Event Horse Program.
It’s the turn of the world’s best eventing athletes to stand under the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games spotlight over the next few days as all but one of the horses presented at this morning’s horse inspection at Baji Koen Equestrian Park were confirmed for action by the Ground Jury.
And they're off! Eventing kicks off today in Tokyo (Thursday, July 29 – 7:30 p.m. ET), with the first of three Olympic dressage sessions. Competitors from 29 nations will go head to head, vying for a spot on the coveted Olympic podium.