Feb 24, 2020

FEH and YEH Championship Judges and Qualifications Announced

By Kate Lokey - USEA Staff
USEA/Jessica Duffy Photo.

The USEA Future Event Horse (FEH) and Young Event Horse (YEH) programs have around 30 qualifying competitions each, and youngsters around the country are about to begin their seasons aimed at Championships.

The 2020 USEA Future Event Horse Championships

The USEA Future Event Horse Championships offer in-hand classes for yearlings, 2-year-olds, and 3-year-olds to be judged on conformation and movement, and additionally, the 3-year-olds compete in a free-jump class. The FEH Championships also offer a 4-year-old class in which the horses are judged on conformation, gaits, and movement under saddle, and then an additional free-jump class as well.

This year will continue with three FEH Championships: East, West, and Central. The Central Championships will kick off the trio at Haras Hacienda in Magnolia, Texas on Thursday, September 24. Immediately following will be the East Coast Championships at Loch Moy Farm in Adamstown, Maryland that Saturday and Sunday, September 26-27. Lastly, the FEH West Coast Championships will take place a month later to run concurrently with the Dutta Corp. USEA Young Event Horse West Coast Championships at Twin Rivers Ranch in Paso Robles, California. The FEH West Coast Championships will take place on Friday, October 23. All three Championship venues will offer a last-minute qualifier and a jump chute clinic the day(s) before their respective Championships.

USEA/Jessica Duffy Photo.

Horses must earn a 72% or higher at any FEH qualifier to be eligible to compete at the FEH Championships, and horses may only compete in one Championship. The 2020 FEH Championship judges will be Susan Graham White and Robin Walker. The pair will also be teaching a judge seminar for West Coast judges on October 21-22, just before the West Coast Championships at Twin Rivers Ranch.

The 2020 Dutta Corp. USEA Young Event Horse Championships

The Dutta Corp. USEA Young Event Horse Championships offer classes for 4-year-old and 5-year-old horses under saddle with a dressage test, a conformation test, and a jumping and galloping test. The jumping courses are designed based on the YEH jump course guidelines.

This year, big changes are coming to the YEH Championships, as both venues have added something new. The YEH East Coast Championships will continue to be run at Fair Hill in Elkton, Maryland, but this year they will be run concurrently with the exciting new Maryland Five-Star. Fair Hill has also committed to accept more YEH horses at this year’s Championships, offering space to 40 4-year-olds and 50 5-year-olds. In order for this to occur, the 5-year-old Championship will remain across two days, Thursday and Friday, October 15-16, being judged by the YEH Championship judges Debbie Adams and Chris Ryan. The 4-year-old Championship will take place with all phases running on Thursday, October 15 judged by four additional high-caliber judges selected by the YEH Committee: Linda Zang for dressage, Susan Graham White for conformation, and Peter Gray and Phyllis Dawson for jumping/galloping. Entries will not be accepted after closing date, and if more than 90 entries are received, horses will be accepted based on the highest qualifying scores.

USEA/Jessica Duffy Photo.

The YEH West Coast Championships will, for the first time in history, run concurrently with the FEH West Coast Championships at Twin Rivers Ranch in Paso Robles, California, making for a weekend of a Future and Young Event Horse extravaganza. Judges Debbie Adams and Chris Ryan will judge both the 4-year-old and 5-year-old Championships on the West Coast at Twin River Ranch on Friday and Saturday, October 23-24.

Horses must earn a 75% or higher at any YEH qualifier to be eligible for the East Coast Championships, while horses must earn a 70% or higher at any YEH qualifier to be eligible for the West Coast Championships.

The stakes are high at the YEH Championships, as the highest scorer of the YEH 5-year-old Championships from both the east and west combined, will be awarded with the Holekamp/Turner YEH Lion d'Angers Prize and Grant that awards a cash prize enabling them to travel and compete in the Mondial du Lion in France at the FEI World Young Horse Championships as a 7-year-old. Winners who are North American bred will be awarded with $17,500 to aid in travel and competition costs associated with Mondial du Lion, and if the winner is an imported horse, he will be awarded with $8,000.

New in 2020, The Dutta Corporation has extended their support to the YEH Championships as Title Sponsor, offering a prize of a round trip flight to the Holekamp/Turner Grant recipient to travel to Mondial du Lion. With the support of The Dutta Corporation, the travel for the Holekamp/Turner Grant recipient will be much more seamless, and should now fully cover the cost of the endeavor overseas.

USEA Photo.

Helpful links for YEH Championships:

Helpful links for FEH Championships:

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, C4 Belts 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, C4 Belts, Etalon Diagnostics and Guardian Horse Bedding for sponsoring the Future Event Horse Program.

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Ninety percent of training a horse is getting the horse to understand exactly what you want them to do. In general, horses are generous and willing creatures who want to please us; very seldom do they behave badly on purpose. Horses don’t come out and say, ‘Let’s make Mom’s (or Dad’s) life miserable today by going as poorly as possible - most prefer to do the right thing, as long as they know what that is.

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