Oct 29, 2021

Fast Facts: FEH and The Dutta Corp. USEA YEH West Coast Championships

By Meagan DeLisle - USEA Staff
Tina Fitch photo.

It’s going to be a busy weekend at Twin Rivers Ranch. The event site in Paso Robles, California is the host of the 2021 USEA Future Event Horse (FEH) and The Dutta Corp. USEA Young Event Horse (YEH) West Coast Championships where over 40 young horses will battle it out for the champion tricolor in their respective divisions. With returning champions and fresh faces on this year’s lineup, we’ve outlined everything you need to know to follow along in this week’s Fast Facts.

The Field

  • There are 25 entries total in The Dutta Corp. USEA YEH West Coast Championships, the same number as 2020. Of those 25 entries, 11 are in the 4-year-old Championship and 14 are in the 5-year-old Championship

  • Returning Dutta Corp. USEA YEH West Coast 4-Year-Old Champion Leonardo Diterma (Gullet HBC x Gracie Terma), Andrea Pfeiffer’s Dutch Warmblood gelding, is back and ready for more at this year’s 5-year-old Championship. With Tommy Greengard in the tack, Leonardo Diterma has had quite the successful 2021 season with two first-place, a second place, and a fourth-place finish at the Training level since moving up from Novice in May of this year.
  • Graduating from FEH levels and now in The Dutta entered to compete in The Dutta Corp. USEA YEH West Coast 4-year-old Championship is Sarah Moseley’s reigning 2020 FEH 3-year-old champion Twain’s Fireflight DR (The Twain x Dominga). The Oldenburg mare got her start as an event horse this year and has contested a handful of Beginner Novice and Novice events in addition to their YEH qualifying outing.
  • Rebecca Braitling and Kaylawna Smith-Cook both have three mounts to ride in the Dutta Corp. USEA YEH East Coast Championships. Braitling has Jenny Ramirez’s Oldenburg gelding Conlino PS (Conthargos x Zoratia) in the 5-year-old Championship as well as Michlynn Sterling’s two entries in the 4-year-old Championship, the Irish Sport Horse gelding Gaelic Gamble (Island Comander x Marlton Dusk) and the Dutch Warmblood gelding Musquito (Fly x Silona). Smith-Cook also has one entry in the 5-year-old Championship, Marcella Ashton’s German Sport Horse mare AEV Zara, and two entries in the 4-year-old Championship, Anita Nardine’s Oldenburg gelding Quinn HSR (Quarterback x Bonne Chance) and Katie Dixon’s Thoroughbred gelding The Bachelor (Kafwain x Mom Nana Petrie).
  • Crafty Don, Julianne Guariglia’s Irish Sport Horse gelding, earned the highest qualifying score out of the field of 5-year-olds in the Dutta Corp. USEA YEH West Coast 5-year-old Championships having earned a 84.9 at Twin Rivers in September. Kristi Nunnink’s Thoroughbred cross gelding NSF R-Twain Star (The Twain x R Star) had the highest qualifying score in the 4-year-old Championships with a 81.8 which he earned at Twin Rivers in July.
  • Charlotte Freeman and Ghislaine Homan-Taylor both have mounts in both the YEH and FEH Championships with two horses each.
  • The USEA FEH West Coast Championships has 17 entries total.
  • After winning last year’s FEH 2-year-old Championship, Michelle Cameron Donaldson’s now 3-year-old Hanoverian gelding RSH Goliath (Gringo-Gallipoli x Sam’s Girl) has his sights set on striking gold for the second year in a row in this year’s FEH 3-year-old Championship.
  • The final returning champion of this year’s West Coast roster is Janine Jaro’s Belgian Warmblood Trilogy (Claire de Lune x Honor Jean). After winning last year’s Yearling Championship, the filly is back and ready to add another win to her resume in the 2021 FEH 2-year-old Championship.
  • Louise Leslie’s Hanoverian gelding Cnick Cnack JJM has the honor of being the highest scoring horse at a FEH Qualifier after earning a 82.1 at the Spokane Sport Horse Spring Horse Trials in May. Cnick Cnack JJM will be trying to maintain that top performance in this year’s FEH 4-year-old Championship.

The Facts

  • The Dutta Corp. USEA YEH West Coast Championships will be judged by Chris Ryan and Debbie Adams. Adams will judge the dressage section while Ryan does the conformation section, and then the two will judge the jumping/galloping phase together.
  • Chris Ryan and Susan Graham White will be serving as the judges for the FEH West Coast Championships.
  • To be eligible for the West Coast Championships, horses must earn one score of a 70% or higher at any YEH qualifier event.
  • 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, 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

The Competition Schedule

Friday, October 29th

  • 8:30 a.m. - The Dutta Corp. USEA YEH West Coast 4- and 5-year-old Championships Dressage and Conformation
  • 1:30 p.m. - USEA FEH West Coast Championships Triangle
  • 2:45 p.m. - USEA FEH West Coast Championships Yearling & 2-year-old Awards
  • 3:10 p.m. - USEA FEH West Coast Championships 3-year-old Triangle
  • 4:00 p.m. - USEA FEH West Coast Championships 4-year-old Undersaddle and Conformation

Saturday, October 30th

  • 8:30 a.m. - The Dutta Corp. USEA YEH West Coast 4- and 5-year-old Championships Jumping
  • 1:00 p.m. - The Dutta Corp. USEA YEH West Coast 4- and 5-year-old Championships Awards
  • 1:30 p.m. - FEH West Coast Championships Jump Chute
  • 3:00 p.m. - FEH West Coast Championships 3-year-old Awards
  • 5:15 p.m. - FEH West Coast Championships 4-year-old Awards

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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 Premium Western Forage, Parker Equine Insurance, Etalon Diagnostics, and Saratoga Horseworks 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 Premium Western Forage, and Etalon Diagnostics for sponsoring the Future Event Horse Program.

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I’d like to start my Holiday Pressure Proof Tip with an excerpt from my new book Bolder Braver Brighter.

"Imagine leaning against a tree while your horse grazes happily beside you. You feel the warm sunshine and breeze on your cheek, hear the chirping of nearby birds, and smell the fragrance of the grass and wildflowers. Your horse nickers quietly and all you can think about is how lucky you are to have this horse and this sport and this life… right here, right now.

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