Jul 13, 2023

Get Qualified for the YEH Championships

USEA/Tina Fitch photo

The USEA Young Event Horse (YEH) program was established to identify young horses that possess the talent and disposition to excel at the uppermost levels of eventing. Each year, the YEH program meets its goal of establishing four- and five-star horses, and the program has seen many graduates of the program succeed in the pipeline to go on to represent the United States in team competitions at the World Championships, the Olympic Games, Pan American Games, and at various Nations Cups.

Throughout the competition year, YEH classes are offered at competitions around the country, giving 4- and 5-year-old horses the chance to gain experience in eventing and show off their skills under saddle in dressage and over fences in a jumping and galloping test. Whether owners, riders, or trainers are looking to qualify their horses for the 2023 Dutta Corp. USEA Young Event Horse Championships, or simply give their young horses some competitive experience without the stress and pressure of a full horse trials, YEH classes are a great way to introduce young horses to the sport of eventing.

The Dutta Corp. USEA YEH East Coast Championships will again take place in correlation with the Maryland 5 Star at Fair Hill in Elkton, Maryland, across Thursday and Friday, Oct. 19-20, 2023. One week later, the Dutta Corp. USEA YEH West Coast Championships will take place at Twin Rivers Ranch in Paso Robles, California, Friday and Saturday, Oct. 27-28.

Judges

The judges for the 2023 Dutta Corp. USEA YEH East Coast and West Coast Championships will once again be Marilyn Payne (USA) and Martin Plewa (GER). Payne is a young horse expert who is the Chair of the USEA Young Event Horse Committee, and Plewa is one of Germany’s leading experts in training riders, coaches, and horses, who has an exceptional expertise in young horses. Both Plewa and Payne judged the 2022 Championships, and the YEH Committee voted to keep consistency in the judging again in 2023.

Additionally, due to anticipated large entry numbers, the Dutta Corp. USEA YEH East Coast Championships will bring on four domestic judges to judge the 4-year-old Championship. Linda Zang will judge the 4-year-old dressage phase on the East Coast while Cathy Tucker-Slaterbeck judges the 4-year-old conformation phase. Peter Gray and Pam Wiedemann will judge the jumping and galloping phase together.

Qualifications

To qualify for the 2023 Dutta Corp. USEA YEH East Coast Championships, horses must earn a score of 75 percent or higher at any YEH qualifying event. To qualify for the 2021 Dutta Corp. USEA YEH West Coast Championships, horses must earn a score of 70 percent or higher at any YEH qualifying event.

Is your horse qualified? The USEA manages a running leaderboard with YEH horses that are qualified for The Dutta Corp. USEA YEH Championships and the list of those horses may be found here. The YEH horses are listed in ranking based on the highest scores, and the leaderboard is updated twice monthly after the USEA receives scores from each event.

Horses still have a chance this summer and fall to compete in a YEH qualifying competition. The 2023 YEH calendar may be found here.

Don’t see a YEH qualifier near you? Reach out to your local organizers to express your interest, and ask them to add a YEH division to their event!

Entry Process

WEST: All entries must be received before closing date on Oct. 10, 2023. Event management reserves the right to deny entries sent after closing date.

EAST: Closing date will be on Sept. 19, but horses may obtain qualifications until Oct. 9, 2023. Event management will accept up to 40 horses in the 4-year-old division, and 55 horses in the 5-year-old division. The event management will accept entries based on the order they are received, whether the entry has obtained qualifications or not. Shall the entry not receive qualifications by Oct. 9, their entry will be removed and fully refunded. The open spots will be filled from the wait list, in order of highest qualifying scores.

Helpful Links For YEH Championships

YEH Calendar

YEH General Page

YEH Rules and Guidelines

2023 YEH Championship Information

Holekamp/Turner Grant Information

YEH 4-year-old Championship Dressage Test

YEH 5-year-old Championship Dressage Test

2023 YEH Championship Qualified Horses

For questions or to inquire about the YEH Championships, the Holekamp/Turner Grant, and The Dutta Corp. prize, contact [email protected].

About The Holekamp/Turner Grant and The Dutta Corporation Prize

In 2015, Timothy and Cheryl Holekamp of New Spring Farm and Christine and T.J. Turner of Indian Creek Farm spearheaded a new grant to support the USEA Young Event Horse program and pipeline for U.S. team horses. The Holekamp/Turner Grant awards the highest scorer of The Dutta Corp. USEA Young Event Horse 5-year-old Championships, East and West Coast Championships combined, with cash that enables them to travel to the FEI World Young Horse Championships at Mondial du Lion in Le Lion d’Angers, France, for the 7-year-old three-star Championships. Additionally, this year, the Dutta Corporation will award a round-trip flight to the Holekamp/Turner Grant recipient to further aid in the commitment of garnering a YEH horse for the World Young Horse Championships in France.

Grant recipients who are North American-bred receive $17,500 to travel to Le Lion d’Angers, but if the Holekamp/Turner Grant recipient is an imported horse, the recipient will be awarded $8,000. The intention of the grant is to further develop an upward pathway for U.S. team horses in the sport of eventing. The horse that has the highest score from the USEA Young Event Horse Championships that also qualifies to compete at La Mondial Du Lion will receive the Holekamp/Turner Grant. If the highest-scoring 5-year-old does not qualify or is unable to attend, the Grant is then awarded to the next highest scorer who is qualified, willing, and able to go.

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 4- and 5-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 Bates Saddles, SmartPak, Standlee, Parker Equine Insurance, Capital Square, Kerrits, Horse Week, 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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