Oct 22, 2020

Fast Facts: 2020 USEA YEH/FEH West Coast Championships

By Jessica Duffy - USEA Staff , Claire Kelley
USEA/Jessica Duffy Photo.

This year, The Dutta Corp. USEA YEH West Coast Championships and USEA FEH West Coast Championships will be held concurrently at the same venue at Twin Rivers Ranch in Paso Robles, California this Friday, October 23 and Saturday, October 24.

There are three regional USEA FEH Championships this year - the FEH Central Championships took place at Haras Hacienda in Magnolia, Texas on Thursday, September 24 and the FEH East Coast Championships were held at Loch Moy Farm in Adamstown, Maryland on Saturday, September 26 and Sunday, September 27.

The Dutta Corp. USEA YEH East Coast Championships will be taking place next week on Wednesday, October 28 and Thursday, October 29 at the Virginia Horse Trials in Lexington, Virginia.

The Field

  • The Dutta Corp. USEA YEH West Coast Championships has 25 total entries. The 5-year-old Championship has 17 horses and the 4-year-old division has eight horses. This is over double the number of entries from last year, which had 11 horses total.
  • The FEH West Coast Championships has 18 total entries - the 4-year-old division has five horses, the 3-year-old division has eight horses, the 2-year-old division has three horses, and the Yearling division has two horses.
  • Jennifer Wooten-Macouzet and Amber Levine will ride four horses each in the YEH 5-year-old division.
  • Amber Levine is the busiest rider of the two championships with six horses competing in the YEH West Championships (four horses in the 5-year-old division and two horses in the 4-year-old division).
  • Six riders will compete in both the YEH and FEH Championships: Charlotte Babbitt, Andrea Baxter, Anna Collier, Pam Fisher, Chloe Smyth, and Michlynn Sterling.
  • Eight horses have competed in either an FEH or YEH Championship in previous years: Ferao DFEN, RSH Goliath, Twain’s Fireflight DF, Royal Street, Cayman, Luxury Mail, Keep Calm, and Touche.
  • Of those eight horses, three won a Championship title last year and are returning this year:
    • The 2019 FEH West Coast Yearling Champion, Sarah McCarthy's Hanoverian colt Ferao DFEN (Flexible x Bella Patriot), will compete in the FEH 2-year-old division.
    • The 2019 FEH West Coast 4-year-old Champion, Chloe Smyth's Thoroughbred gelding Nite Life (Blaur Vogel x Happy Hour), will compete in the YEH 5-year-old division.
    • The 2019 YEH West Coast 4-year-old Champion, Cellar Farm Corp's Dutch Warmblood gelding Keep Calm (Biscayo x Beauty), will compete in the YEH 5-year-old division.
  • Twain's Fireflight DF (The Twain x Dominga), Sarah Moseley's Oldenburg mare and one of three Dragonfire Farm-bred horses competing at the West Coast Championships, has the highest qualifying FEH score - an 85.8 earned at Twin Rivers last month. Twain's Fireflight DF was the 2018 FEH Yearling Champion and was fourth overall in the 2-year-old Championship last year.
  • Julie Ann Boyer's Thoroughbred mare Truly Enchanted (Eddington x Chetak) has the highest YEH qualifying score of the horses competing at the West Coast Championships - an 88.8 earned at Twin Rivers in September.
  • Two horses that competed in the FEH 4-year-old Championship last year are back this year to compete in the YEH 5-year-old Championship: Adrienne Hillas's Selle Francias mare Luxury Mail (Jaguar Mail x Aquidam) and Nite Life. 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.
USEA/Jessica Duffy Photo.

The Facts

  • The Dutta Corp. USEA YEH West Coast 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 concerns over national travel during the COVID-19 pandemic, the USEA will utilize different judges for each of the three FEH Championships. Wayne Quarles was the judge at the FEH Central Championships and Susan Graham White and Robin Walker worked as a team at the FEH East Coast Championships. Peter Gray is judging the FEH West Coast Championships. Click here to learn more about each of the championship judges.
  • Due to COVID-19, the YEH Committee voted to ease the YEH Championships qualifying score to 70% for both the 2020 East and West Coast Championships. In 2021, the qualifying score will go back up to 75%.
  • For the FEH Championships, horses must have earned a 72% or higher at any FEH qualifier to be eligible to compete. Horses are only permitted to compete in one regional FEH Championship - East, West, or Central.
  • There are 4-year-old and 5-year-old divisions in The Dutta Corp. USEA YEH West Coast Championships. Horses 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.
  • FEH Championships divisions for Yearlings, 2-year-olds, 3-year-olds, and 4-year-olds will be offered at the USEA FEH West Coast 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.
  • 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 Grant 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.
  • 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, will be presented at The Dutta Corp. USEA YEH West Coast Championships.
  • 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.
  • Because safety is of paramount importance to the USEA, jump chute handling teams will be provided at the FEH West Coast 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.
  • A jump chute clinic and last-minute qualifiers for YEH and FEH are being offered the day before the championships.
  • The West Coast Championships 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.
  • Ride On Video will be live streaming the jumping phases of the YEH and FEH competition on Saturday. Details can be found at www.rideonvideo.net.

The Competition Schedule | YEH

Friday, October 23

  • 8:30 a.m. - 4-Year-Olds (Dressage)
  • 8:40 a.m. - 4-Year-Olds (Conformation)
  • 9:50 a.m. - 5-Year-Olds (Dressage)
  • 10:00 a.m. - 5-Year-Olds (Conformation)

Saturday, October 24

  • 8:30 a.m. - 4-Year-Olds (Jumping/Galloping)
  • 10:00 a.m. - 5-Year-Olds (Jumping/Galloping)

The Competition Schedule | FEH

Friday, October 23

  • 1:15 p.m. - Yearlings (In-Hand)
  • 1:35 p.m. - 2-Year-Olds (In-Hand)
  • 2:15 p.m. - 3-Year-Olds (In-Hand)
  • 4:05 p.m. - 4-Year-Olds (Under Saddle/Conformation)

Saturday, October 24

  • 1:15 p.m. - 3-Year-Olds (Jump Chute)
  • 3:15 p.m. - 4-Year-Olds (Jump Chute)

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About the USEA Young Event Horse Program

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.

The USEA would like to thank Bates Saddles, SmartPak, Standlee Hay Company, Parker Equine Insurance, and Etalon Diagnostics for sponsoring the Young Event Horse Program. Additionally, the USEA would like to thank The Dutta Corp., Title Sponsor of the Young Event Horse Championships.

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 USEA would like to thank Bates Saddles, Parker Equine Insurance, SmartPak, Standlee Hay Company, and Etalon Diagnostics for sponsoring the Future Event Horse Program.

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