All three jumped clear on cross-country and all three finished within the top 20, so how did the three YEH graduates do at the 2019 Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event? They were excellent. Considered ‘a talent search,’ the USEA YEH program was designed to identify young horses that possess the talent and disposition to excel in the upper levels of eventing. Three horses who were spotted as promising young horses showed their five-star talent at the 2019 Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event as Tsetserleg finished second, PFun finished 17th, and Indy 500 finished 18th.
2nd place - Tsetserleg
2007 Trakehner Gelding
Sire: Windfall | Dam: Thabana
Rider: Boyd Martin | Owner: Christine Turner | Breeder: Timothy Holekamp (USA)
For years it’s been Cooley Cross Border as the face of the YEH program but Tstserleg is hot on his heels with his recent successes. Going into the 2019 Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event, Tsetserleg hadn’t finished outside of the top two in 2019. Coming out of the event was just the same.
Tsetserleg, who was expertly piloted by Boyd Martin, added nothing to his dressage score to earn second place, finishing right behind the defending champions, Oliver Townend and Cooley Master Class. The 12-year-old jet black Trakehner owned by Christine Turner is sired by Windfall II (the USEA May Horse of the Month) and out of Thabana. Tsetserleg, where the ‘T’ is silent in the pronunciation, has a simpler barn name: Thomas. Thomas started his eventing career with a YEH 5-year-old competition at Longwood Farm with rider Cristin Stoop. Since then he’s become one of the leading event horses for the U.S.
Tsetserleg’s breeder, Tim Holekamp, and his owner, Christine Turner, make up the Holekamp/Turner YEH Lion d’Angers Grant and are both generous supporters of the YEH program. Thomas and Martin have been the highest placed YEH graduate for two years in a row. They finished 11th at the 2018 Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event and this year they finished nine spots higher. “I think in years to come, he could win this thing,” Martin said of Thomas after their double clear cross-country round. Nearly coming close to the win, 2.6 penalties to be exact, Martin and Thomas are a force to be reckoned with.
17th – PFun
2007 Irish Sport Horse Gelding
Sire: Tadmus | Dam: Celerina
Rider: Will Faudree | Owner: Jennifer Mosing & Sterling Silver Stables | Breeder: Tracy Priest (Ireland)
“PFun was a star all weekend. [He] was a dream on cross-country and show jumped a great round with one down to finish 17th. A solid performance and sound horse as we look forward to the next,” Will Faudree shared on his Facebook page. In 2017, Faudree piloted PFun through his five-star debut to finish 25th at the Kentucky Three-Day Event and this year they finished eight spots higher.
The 2012 YEH graduate was first introduced to U.S. eventing through Bobby Costello at the YEH 5-year-old division at Spring Horse Trials at the Ark. In 2013, Will Faudree started competing Teddy and together they have over 16 top-three finishes on their USEA record as well as two five-star completions.
18th – Indy 500
2005 Thoroughbred Mare
Sire: Cromwell | Dam: TensofThousands
Rider: Andrea Baxter | Owner: Andrea Baxter | Breeder: Clyde Hunsaker (USA)
“She was fantastic out there,” said Andrea Baxter after the pair put in a stellar cross-country round. Showing her Thoroughbred blood, Baxter said the 14-year-old mare was still “full of run” when she pulled up for the finish.
Baxter and Indy 500 added another five-star completion to their resume this past weekend. They’ve now completed four five-star events - Kentucky Three-Day three times and Burghley. Rewind ten years and Baxter entered the 4-year-old mare in her very first recognized competition, the YEH 4-year-old division at Cottonwood Ranch. Scoring an impressive 83.56, Indy 500 showed five-star potential at an early age and had top placings in both YEH 4-year-old and 5-year-old divisions.
Congratulations to the three YEH graduates for their performances at the toughest event in North America!
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 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.
US Equestrian has announced the nomination of the following athlete-and-horse combinations to the U.S. Eventing Team, as well as the Reserves for the Lima 2019 Pan American Games. Three direct reserve horses have also been named. A direct reserve horse would be an automatic replacement should the original horse on which an athlete was named need to be substituted.
A combination that can be found on almost every cross-country course starting at the Novice level is the coffin combination. As the levels go up, so does the difficulty of the coffin question. The distances become shorter, coffins become bigger, and the terrain becomes steeper - even the name itself sounds intimidating.
The dressage test is the first of the three phases in eventing. Intended to demonstrate "the harmonious development of the physique and ability of the horse," the dressage test contains a prescribed list of movements to be carried out in front of a judge, or judges, and which is then given a penalty score that horse and rider carry through to the end of the competition.
On Sunday, June 16, Molly Sullivan and Kate Swain were named the two winners of the Charles Owen Technical Merit award for Area IX at Golden Spike Horse Trials.