Feb 19, 2024

Fast Facts: 2024 Ocala Horse Properties USEA YEH Symposium

By Kaleigh Collett - USEA Staff | Press Release

Spend the day immersing yourself in the intricacies of producing Young Event Horses at the 2024 Ocala Horse Properties USEA Young Event Horse (YEH) Symposium tomorrow, Feb. 20, in Ocala, Florida. A star-studded list of presenters and demonstrators will be on-hand to educate the audience on the proper training and evaluation of the next generation of four- and five-star horses. Click here to register!

The Facts:

  • The YEH Symposium is a great opportunity for competitors, coaches, trainers, parents, owners, breeders, and avid supporters of the sport to learn about the evaluation and training of young event horses.
  • The event will be split into two sessions:
    • The morning session will be hosted at Majestic Oaks Ocala at 17500 N US Hwy 441, Reddick, FL 32686 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. EST. Check-in and on-site registration will begin at 8:30 a.m.
    • The evening session will be hosted at O’Neal Equestrian’s Redtail Ridge Farm South at 6550 NW 110th St, Reddick, FL 32686 from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. EST. Check-in and on-site registration will begin at 4:30 p.m.
  • At Majestic Oaks, an expert panel of industry professionals, including Lauren Nicholson, Liz Halliday, Debbie Adams, and Dr. Lisa Casinella, as well as Marilyn Payne acting as a moderator, will lead a session on “Evaluating Jumping, Galloping, & Conformation.”
  • Ariel Grald, Kelly Hutchinson, Alex O’Neal, and Caroline Pamukcu will serve as the demonstration riders for the morning session. Each rider and their young horse will have 30 minutes to complete a YEH Jumping and Galloping test, commensurate to a course that would be used at a YEH qualifying event later in the season for the 4-year-old age group, and then they will return to the panel and audience to discuss their ride.
  • In the evening, O'Neal will moderate a YEH Masterclass with Jonathan Holling, Leslie Law, and Doug Payne as they provide mounted demonstrations about various training techniques for young horses. This will include topics like how to strengthen and improve a horse’s jump, how to build confidence, and how to introduce narrow cross-country obstacles.
  • A bonus activity will be hosted between the two sessions for interested attendees. Enjoy a complimentary behind-the-scenes tour of the World Equestrian Center – Ocala with Jim Wolf at 2:00 p.m. ET.

The Schedule:

  • 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. - “Evaluating Jumping, Galloping & Conformation”
    • 9:00 a.m. – Panelist Introductions and Overview of the Upcoming Demonstration Format
    • 9:30 a.m. – Ariel Grald & Melypsa Test and Discussion
    • 10:00 a.m. – Alex O'Neal & Nikah van de Muggenhoek Test and Discussion
    • 10:30 a.m. – Kelly Hutchinson Test and Discussion
    • 11:00 a.m. – Caroline Pamukcu and HSH Afterglow Test and Discussion
    • 11:30 a.m. – Wrap-Up and Q&A
  • 2:00 p.m. - Tour of the World Equestrian Center - Ocala with Jim Wolf
  • 5:00 – 8:00 p.m. - “YEH Masterclass”
    • 5:00 p.m. – Hors d'oeuvres, Introductions and Overview of Session
    • 5:30 p.m. – Jonathan Holling and Capstone will demonstrate gymnastic exercises to help develop the young horse's physical strength over fences.
    • 6:15 p.m. – Leslie Law and NDS Jackson will provide exercises to help develop a young horse's confidence over jumps.
    • 7:00 p.m. – Doug Payne and Lordendro will teach the audience how to introduce narrow cross-country fences to a young horse.
    • 7:45 p.m. – Wrap up and Final Questions

*Please note that times are approximated, and the schedule is subject to change.

The Sponsors:

  • Matt Varney of Ocala Horse Properties, title sponsor of the 2024 USEA YEH Symposium, will be on-site at Redtail Ridge Farm South to give a brief presentation and mingle with attendees. The number one ranked realtor in the Ocala MLS is eager and ready to help you find your next farm or ranch in the area!
  • Sandy Mercier, owner of Gold Sponsor Jump 4 Joy USA, will provide the portable cross-country fences used in the masterclass and will be on-site serving complimentary margaritas and water at her Jump 4 Joy USA margarita show jump display. Chat with Mercier about your schooling and competition jump needs for your facility. Symposium attendees are eligible for 20% off the cross-country portables used in the demonstration or 10% off any order placed with Jump 4 Joy USA through March 31, 2024.


  • The 2024 Ocala Horse Properties USEA YEH Symposium is $50 per session or $100 for the full day of learning.
  • Complimentary access to the World Equestrian Center – Ocala tour with Wolf is included with all registration types. RSVP is required to attend.
  • Advanced registration is encouraged to ensure a quick and efficient check-in process. Click here to register.
  • On-site registration will be available at both venues with a credit card (preferred) or check as payment.

If you have any questions about the 2024 Ocala Horse Properties USEA YEH Symposium, please contact Kaleigh Collett at [email protected].

Interested in competing in a USEA YEH Qualifying event this week as well? Enter to compete at the 32nd Court YEH Hosted by Buck Davidson, Jr. Eventing in Ocala on Wednesday, February 21. Debbie Adams, one of the panelists from tomorrow's morning session, will be judging the qualifier, and it is a great opportunity to use the knowledge that you gain at the symposium with your young event Hhorse. View the rest of the 2024 YEH Series Calendar here.

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About the USEA Young Event Horse (YEH) 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-years-old, 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 ARMA, Bates Saddles, Capital Square, HorseWeek, Kerrits, Parker Equine Insurance, SmartPak, Standlee, and The Jockey Club 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, Ocala Horse Properties, Title Sponsor of the YEH Symposium, and Jump 4 Joy USA, Gold Sponsor of the YEH Symposium.

About The Holekamp/Turner Grant

Founded in 2015 by Timothy and Cheryl Holekamp of New Spring Farm and Christine and T.J. Turner of Indian Creek Farm, the Holekamp/Turner Grant provides a USEA Young Event Horse (YEH) Championship competitor with the opportunity to represent the United States at the FEI Eventing World Breeding Championships in the 7-year-old CCIYH3*-L Championship at Mondial du Lion in Le Lion d’Angers, France. With the sole purpose of paving a clear pathway for U.S. team horses to progress in the sport of eventing, recipients who are North American-bred will be awarded the full cash grant of $17,500, while imported horses are awarded $8,000. Additionally, The Dutta Corp. offers a prize to the Holekamp/Turner Grant recipient, consisting of a round trip flight from the Eastern United States to Europe.

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