Jul 25, 2017

Go Get Qualified for the YEH/FEH Championships!

By Robby Bowersox - USEA Staff
USEA/Leslie Mintz Photo.

The USEA Young Event Horse (YEH) and Future Event Horse (FEH) Championships are coming soon for both the East and West coasts, but there is still time to get your young horse qualified! With two full months of competition left for both the YEH and the FEH divisions before the Championships, be sure to make it to your local events and get your qualifying score.

Young Event Horse Championships

The YEH East Coast Championships will be held October 11-12 at Fair Hill International in Elkton, Md., and the West Coast Championships will be held on October 5 at the Woodside International Three-Day Event and H.T. in Woodside, Calif. The judges are USEF dressage and eventing judge and former USET rider, Mark Weissbecker, past Burghley winner known for producing top quality young horses, Judy Bradwell, and returning judge and speaker on producing and evaluating young horse prospects, Faith Fessenden, as the conformation judge.

For a horse to be qualified to enter a YEH class, it needs to be a 4- or 5-year-old and registered with the USEA. Each horse will be required to complete three sections; conformation, dressage, and jumping, where the jumping is a course consisting of both stadium fences and cross-country elements. To learn about the jumping criteria and what is expected of young horses in the Championships, please check out the YEH Jumping Standards Document. To qualify for the YEH Championships, horses must earn a score of 70 percent or higher at two qualifiers, or a score of 75 percent or higher at one qualifier. Qualified horses will be allowed to participate in one Championship only. To view the full calendar of YEH qualifiers, go here. Be sure to also check out the guidelines for scoring and the class structure for all YEH competitions, and check here for more general information about the Young Event Horse program.

The YEH division jumping courses contain both show jumping and cross-country jumps. USEA/Leslie Mintz Photo.

As an additional prize for the 5-year-old YEH division, the highest overall scorer of both East and West Coast Championships combined will be awards the Holekamp/Turner Young Event Horse Le Lion d’Angers Prize and Grant. This grant will enable the winner to travel to the FEI World Young Horse Championships at Le Lion d’Angers in France for the 7-year old two-star Championships. The winning horse that is North American bred will be awarded $17,500 to travel to Le Lion d’Angers. If the winner is an imported horse he will be awarded $8,000. To learn more about this incredible prize and opportunity, click here.

Future Event Horse Championships

The FEH East Coast Championships will be held on September 23-24 at Loch Moy Farm in Adamstown, Md., and the West Coast Championships will be held September 21 at Twin Rivers Ranch in Paso Robles, Calif. The judges for the FEH Championships will be Chris Ryan, a legendary horseman with a knack for spotting a world class-horse at a young age, and Robin Walker, an experienced upper-level eventer and grand prix show jumper who also runs a successful breeding program producing top-quality horses for competition.

Yearlings, two-year-olds, and three-year-olds are shown in-hand at FEH qualifying events and at the FEH Championships. USEA/Shelby Allen Photo.

There are multiple division that your future event horse can enter depending on its age. Your horse can compete as a yearling, 2-year-old, 3-year-old, or in the recently added 4-year-old division. Divisions at qualifying events are judged in-hand for yearlings, 2-year olds, and 3-year-olds, and under saddle for 4-year-olds, and at the FEH Championships the 3-year-old and 4-year-old divisions will also be required to free jump in a jump chute. Horses must earn a minimum qualifying score of 72 percent at any qualifier to be eligible to compete in the FEH Championships.

Jump Chute Clinic Opportunities for FEH

To learn more about the jump chute portion of the FEH Championships, you can watch or read an introduction to free jumping and attend free jumping clinics taught by the FEH Championship judges. There will also be an additional free jumping clinic the day before each FEH Championship to help familiarize the horse with the jump chute and for extra practice for the horses and handlers.

USEA Jump Chute Clinics are an excellent way to familiarize your young horse with the jump chute that will be used at FEH Championships. USEA/Jessica Duffy Photo.

Pure Gold Stables is hosting their jump chute clinic with FEH Championship judge, Robin Walker, on August 29. “Based on last years’ experience it was very obvious to the judges which horses had practiced and were confident and those who had not,” Robin said. “I would recommend strongly that as many of you as possible attend these functions. Come Championship time you'll be glad you did!” More information can be found on the Pure Gold Stables website.

The yearlings, 2-year-olds, and 3-year-olds will all still be judged at Championships with the original FEH scoresheet. The 3-year-olds will also still be evaluated on their canter and free-jump using this scoresheet. To learn more about the FEH classes, be sure to read the rules and some tips for competitors and handlers to be as prepared as you can be.

2017 Young Event Horse Championships

West Coast Championships at Woodside International (Woodside, CA) October 5, 2017

East Coast Championships at Fair Hill International (Elkton, MD) October 12-13, 2017

2017 Future Event Horse Championships

West Coast Championships at Twin Rivers Ranch (Twin Rivers, CA) September 21, 2017

East Coast Championships at Loch Moy Farm (Adamstown, MD) September 23-24, 2017

View the full YEH calendar here

View the full FEH Calendar here


If you are interested in hosting a USEA Young Event Horse or Future Event Horse Series competition or have questions about the program, please contact Kate Lokey, (703) 779-9897.

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