Oct 09, 2021

Fast Facts: FEH Central Championships

By Meagan DeLisle - USEA Staff

The second installment of the 2021 USEA Future Event Horse (FEH) Championships, the USEA FEH Central Championships, takes place this Sunday, October 10 in Tomball, Texas at Haras Hacienda. The first of the three regional championships, the USEA FEH East Coast Championships, kicked off the FEH Championship season September 25-26 at Loch Moy Farm in Adamstown, Maryland. The third and final championship, the USEA FEH West Coast Championship, will wrap up the 2021 FEH season on October 29-30 in Paso Robles, California at Twin Rivers Ranch.

The Field:

  • A total of 110 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 22 entries in the FEH Central Championships, which is 14 more than were entered in the 2020 FEH Central Championships. Of those 21 entries, five are entered in the Yearling division, six in the 2-year-old division, eight in the 3-year-old division, and three in the 4-year-old division. Thirteen of the 22 entries do require a qualifying score at the last chance qualifier held on Saturday, October 9.
  • The 2020 FEH Central 2-year-old Champion Flagmount’s Invincible, an Irish Sport Horse by Flagmount’s Freedom and out of Devious Princess, is looking to defend his Champion title in the 3-year-old division. Bred by Robbie Peterson, Flagmount’s Invincible is the fourth foal out of his breeding combination and is the last baby out of Devious Princess. His full sister, Flagmount’s Mischief, competed with Doug Payne up to the Advanced level.
  • Also returning for 2021 is the 2020 FEH Central Yearling Champion TGS Lion’s Sunshine (Sea Lion x Winfield All Sunshine RID). The Irish Draught filly was last year’s highest-scoring FEH Central Champion, closing out the weekend on a score of 79.60. Owner and breeder Ann Shira O’Donnell chose to cross her own Irish Draught mare with the Thoroughbred eventing stallion to create an athletic, yet level-headed horse.
  • Owner/breeder Alayna Joseph has the highest scoring Championship entry to date in the 3-year-old Holsteiner mare Fly By (Lotus T x Plane Jane) who scored a 79.20 to earn her spot in the year-end FEH finale.
  • Flagmount’s Freedom, an Irish Sport Horse stallion owned by Janet Marden, is the sire of two horses entered - Flagmount’s Invincible (Flagmount’s Freedom x Debious Princess) and Flagmount’s Scandal (Flagmount’s Freedom x Coaxing Halo).
  • Saketini, a Thoroughbred stallion owned by Audrea Dyer is also the sire of two horses entered - At Close Range (Saketini x Bodacious Bob) and At Heart (Saketini x Shezagreatgal)
  • Giorsalah is the dam of two horses entered - Starstruck Vini Vici (Vindication S x Giorsalah) and Starstruck Legacy (Legacy Obsidian x Giorsalah)
  • Windfield All Sunshine RID is also the dam of two horses entered - TGS Lion’s Sunshine (Sea Lion x Windfield All Sunshine RID) and TGS Alls Well Mister Perry (Rather Well x Winfield All Sunshine RID)
  • Traveling the furthest to compete in this year’s FEH Central Championships are Terry and Audrea Dyer of Morriston, Florida. They will be presenting a pair of Yearlings to the judges in the Yearling Championship: the Thoroughbred colt At Close Range (Saketini x Bodacious Barb) and the Thoroughbred filly At Heart (Saketini x Shezagreatgal).
  • Every horse entered in the FEH Central Championships is American bred.
  • The Thoroughbred and Oldenburg are the most popular breed sin this year’s FEH Central Championships with five entries each. Coming in a close second with four entries is the Irish Draught breed.

The Facts:

  • Lori Hoos and Katie Rocco 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, 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.

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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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This story first appeared in the May 2022 issue of Sidelines Magazine.

In all horse sport, there’s a risk that you might hit the deck. But if you’re an event rider, that is pretty much guaranteed.

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