Nov 18, 2022

Four Champions Crowned During 2022 Dutta Corp. USEA Young Event Horse Championships

By Olivia Airhart - USEA Staff
Shmick and Diego Farje. USEA/ Meagan DeLisle photo

The Dutta Corp. USEA Young Event Horse Championships came to an exciting close in October with the final championship of the calendar year held on the West Coast. After seeing some of the highest turnouts for both championships since the program's inception, four champions were crowned.

The East Coast kicked off the 2022 Dutta Corp. USEA YEH Championships at the Maryland 5 Star held at Fair Hill in Elkton, Maryland. The four-year-olds were the first to contest for the title as 39 entries in the Dutta Corp. USEA YEH East Coast Four-Year-Old Championship vied for top honors. As the first of the four winners to be named, it was Boyd Martin’s Zangersheide gelding Shmick (Luigi d'Eclipse x Winter Lady), ridden by Diego Farje, who not only took the title in his respective division with a cumulative score of 89.20 but also took the title of the highest scoring young horse out of all four championships.

Having only competed four times before entering the championship, the impressive young mount tucked yet another feather in his cap taking the Stillwater Farm 'Go Get 'Em' trophy, which is awarded to the horse with the best gallop score at each coast’s YEH 4-year-old Championship. This award is generously provided by Stillwater Farm and is presented in loving memory of Donald Trotter, who passed away in 2019.

With 49 young horses entered in the Dutta Corp. USEA YEH East Coast Five-Year-Old Championship, there was a waiting list for the competition due to the amassing of talented mounts in the division. With stiff competition to qualify, the close scores continued throughout the two days of competition. Ultimately it was another win for Boyd Martin, this time not as an owner, but as a rider taking the YEH-5 Championship title with Patricia Luttgen’s Trakehner gelding Sky Moon (E.H. Sixtus x Pr. St. Sky Lady) finishing on a score of 84.29.

With half of the champions crowned, judges Marilyn Payne and Martin Plewa made the journey over to the golden coast for the West Coast Championships held at Twin Rivers Ranch in Paso Robles, California. Now having the championships hosted at the beautiful and expansive facility, the West Coast Championships saw their largest turnout for the 2022 Dutta Corp. USEA YEH West Coast Championships and USEA FEH West Coast Championships.

Cellar Farm Corp’s Dutch Warmblood gelding Natagho-W (Comthago x Odorette-W) ridden by Kristin Joly was the first of the West Coast champions to be crowned on a total score of 84.10 points in the four-year-old division. Having only piloted the mount for a few weeks prior to the competition, the 2022 Dutta Corp. USEA YEH West Coast Championships was Natagho-W’s first competition on U.S. soil, after qualifying at Twin Rivers’ Last Chance Qualifier that same week.

The last of the champions to be crowned was That's Me Z, owned by Tommy Greengard and Andrea Pfeiffer in the 2022 Dutta Corp. USEA YEH Five-Year-Old West Coast Championships. The Zangersheide gelding by Take A Chance On Me Z out of Venetia took the title of the highest-scoring five-year-old with a total score of 85.30 points.

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 Products, Parker Equine Insurance, Capital Square, Kerrits, 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.

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