This Sunday, October 9, 2022 the second leg of the 2022 USEA Future Event Horse (FEH) Championships will take place at Haras Hacienda in Magnolia, Texas. The FEH East Coast Championships took place September 17-18 at Loch Moy Farm in Adamstown, Maryland, and the last of the three regional competitions will get be hosted by Twin Rivers Ranch in Paso Robles, California on October 28-29, 2022.
A total of 139 horses across the country have qualified to compete in the FEH Championships, however, additional horses are able to qualify at the FEH Last Chance Qualifier hosted at each venue the day before the Championship.
There are a total of 24 complete entries in the FEH Central Championships. Of those 24 entries, 10 are entered in the Yearling division, five in the 2-year-old division, six in the 3-year-old division, and three in the 4-year-old division.
Nine horses competing this Sunday have previously competed in the FEH Central Championships. Three of those returning competitors (Miranda Ford’s Irish Sport Horse gelding Flagmount’s Scandal (Flagmount’s Freedom x Coaxing Halo), Alayna Josheph’s Westphalian mare Fly By (Lotus T x Plane Jane), and Kristen Wallis’ Hosletiner stallion Roulette OHF (Riverman x Malvern Hill) will be competing in the FEH Championships for the final time in their career.
There are several returning champions who will be seeking to add another champion sash to their collection this weekend: Ann Shira O’Donnell’s Irish Draught Sport Horse mare TGS Lions Sunshine (Sea Lion XX x Windfield All Sunshine RID) was the Yearling Champion in 2020; Miranda Ford’s Irish Sport Horse gelding Flagmount’s Scandal was the Champion gelding in the 3-year-old Championship in 2021 and Reserve Champion overall; Alayna Joseph’s Westphalian mare Fly By was the 2021 Overall Champion of the 3-year-old division; Amy Clemmons’ Irish Draught Sport Horse gelding Gatsby’s Touch of Chrome (Gatsby x MFF Touch of Dutch) was the Champion gelding in the 2021 2-year-old division and Reserve Champion overall; and Nikki Littrell’s Oldenburg gelding Starkstruck Vini Vici (Vindication S x Giorsalah) is the reigning Overall Champion of the 2-year-old Championship last year.
Beatrice MRF (Barbarossa x Bayadere), Elizabeth Mulroney’s Trakehner bred by Elizabeth and Malcolm Mulroney earned the highest qualifying score this year for the FEH Central Championships with an 83.9%. This young filly will making her FEH Championship debut this year while competing in the FEH Central Yearling Championship.
Competitors in this year’s FEH Central Championships hail from Texas, Georgia, Florida, and Missouri.
Of the entries this year, there are 10 mares competing, 11 geldings, and three stallions.
Shasta Charles gets the unofficial award for busiest owner this three entries in this year’s championships, all three of which are in the Yearling Championship.
Charles’ entries, all of which she bred herself, share the same sire: Charles’ own 16-year-old Cleveland Bay stallion Bayfield Bodhi (Stainmore Wolfhound x Foxhollow Weatherly). Bayfield Bodhi is the most popular sire on this year’s FEH Central Championships entry list with a total of four offspring representing.
The Irish Draught Sport Horse is the most popular breed amongst this year’s entries with six entries.
There are two pairs of horses competing in this year’s Championship who share the same dam: Both of Amy Clemmons’ entries Gatsby’s Touch of Chrome and Touch of Lux are out of MFF Touch of Dutch and Ann Shira O’Donnell’s entries TGS Lions Sunshine and TGS Alls Well Mister Perry share the same mom in Windfield All Sunshine RID.
Interestingly enough, nearly 80% of this year’s FEH Central Championship entries are owned by their breeders!
Christel Carlson and Karen Winn will be serving as the judges for the Central Championships.
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.
Championship divisions for Yearlings, 2-year-olds, 3-year-olds, and 4-year-olds will be offered at all three Championships.
Yearlings and 2-year-olds will be judged in-hand on their conformation, 3-year-olds will be judged in hand and at liberty on their confirmation in the jump chute, 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.
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.
In the final USEA Classic Series event of 2022, three horse and rider pairs rode their way to the top of the podium in the Training, Novice, and Beginner Novice 3-Day divisions offered during the Ram Tap Horse Park Horse Trials which took place November 18-20 in Fresno, California.
US Equestrian opened a bid process for one event to host the Advanced level in Area 3 on Week 10 for 2023-2027 due to an event cancellation. The bid process was conducted in accordance with the 2023-2027 U.S. Eventing Calendar CCI4*-L, CCI4*-S, CCI3*-L, & Advanced Policies and Procedures. The USEF Eventing Strategic Calendar Review Task Force made recommendations to the USEF Eventing Sport Committee who made recommendations for final approval by the USEF Board of Directors.
Concluding the 2022 Area Championships season was the Area X Championships held during the SAzEA H.T. which took place November 19-20 in Tucson, Arizona. Three Championship divisions were offered, allowing three horse and rider pairs the opportunity to conclude their 2022 eventing season by being crowned champion!
“The highest priority must be given by instructors to developing in their riders a correct, balanced, supple, effective, and independent seat for dressage and for jumping.” - “Teaching Principles” in the new ECP Eventing Handbook by the Levels
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