The United States Eventing Association (USEA) and the USEA Future Event Horse (FEH) Committee are set to run the upcoming 2020 USEA FEH Championships with the same venues as previously announced. However, due to travel concerns amidst COVID-19, the FEH Championships will have separate judges at each championship (East, West, and Central).
The series of championships will first start with the FEH Central Championships at Haras Hacienda in Magnolia, Texas on Thursday, September 24, 2020. Immediately following will be the FEH East Coast Championships at Loch Moy Farm in Adamstown, Maryland on Saturday and Sunday, September 26-27, 2020. Lastly, the FEH West Coast Championships will take place a month later running alongside 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 and Saturday, October 23-24, 2020. **The FEH West Coast Championships have been extended by one day and the 3-year-olds and 4-year-olds will be competing during both days.
The FEH Committee has voted and identified regional judges for the 2020 Championships (please see below).
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. Click here to see who’s already qualified.
Still need to qualify? All three championship venues will offer a last-minute qualifier and a jump chute clinic the day(s) before their respective championships. In addition, many of the FEH qualifiers that were canceled in April and May have been rescheduled to a later date. Please continue to follow the 2020 FEH calendar for the most recent updates.
Each championship will be following the USEF COVID-19 Action Plan and it is extremely important for everyone to comply with these regulations. The USEA recommends every competitor review it before arrival.
Please keep in mind the procedures for in-hand classes as stated on page 10 of the USEF COVID-19 Action Plan: Face masks or face coverings that fully cover your nose and mouth are required at all times at USEF-licensed competitions, including while exhibiting horses and ponies in-hand. However, if absolutely necessary, you may lower your mask while jogging or running with a horse or pony in-hand, or while executing a pattern, but only if you are able to maintain social distancing of at least six feet while doing so. The mask must be replaced immediately once the jog, or run, or pattern is completed.
For anyone interested in shadowing the FEH East Coast Championship judges on September 26-27, please email [email protected].
Wayne Quarles holds FEI ‘I’ Eventing Judge and Technical Delegate, FEI Level 2 Steward, USEF ‘R’ Dressage Judge, and USEF ‘S’ Eventing Judge and USEF ‘S’ Technical Delegate licenses, plus a USEF “r” Connemara Judge license. He is the current chair of the USEF Eventing Sport Committee Officials Working Group, a member of the USEA Eventing Licensed Officials Committee, co-author and panelist for the Training Program for Eventing Officials, an Eventing Continuing Education Panelist, and a founding member of the Masterson Park Equestrian Trust Foundation. He is also a member of the USEF Connemara Committee and sits on the American Connemara Association Board of Governors. Quarles currently competes in in-hand, dressage, and eventing with three fifth-generation homebreds. Quarles has been involved with both the USEA Young Event Horse (YEH) Program and FEH program for many years and is a current judge for both programs.
Susan Graham White is a USEF licensed Eventing "S" and Dressage "R" judge as well as a Dressage Sport Horse Breeding "r" judge. She is also a licensed FEI Eventing 3*/4* judge. Graham White has judged over 200 USEF/USEA recognized competitions, more than 50 international events, including the 2006 and 2007 North American Young Rider Championships, Scotland’s Blair International in 2006, and the Eventing Young Horse Championships at Le Lion d'Angers, France in 2009. Still an active competitor, Graham White is currently showing in dressage classes at the FEI levels and also presents young horses in hand and under saddle at breed shows. She teaches and trains at Wolfhaven Farm in southern Maryland and heads to central Florida during the winter season. Graham White is the co-chair of the FEH Committee.
Robin Walker began his riding life in England and prior to moving to the U.S. had ridden at the Advanced and international levels. Since then, Walker has continued to ride at the upper levels in eventing and also show jumps successfully at the Grand Prix level. In addition, he is highly involved in the FEH program as he is one of the founders of the program, a co-chair of the FEH committee, and has been a FEH Championship judge for numerous years, including the 2017 and 2018 FEH Championships. Walker is also an ICP faculty member and co-chair of the ICP Committee. Walker has a successful breeding and training program which is based at Maute House Farm in Grass Lake, Michigan. Walker spends the winter season in Ocala, Florida, and continues to find success with horses at every age and every level of eventing.
One of the most well-known eventing judges in the country, Gray has years of experience judging dressage at both national and international levels. Originally from Bermuda, Gray became the first Bermudian rider to compete at an international level in 1980. Gray became a Canadian citizen in 1995 and now resides in Ocala, Florida. Gray has competed in three Olympic Games, Badminton, Burghley, and two World Equestrian Games. A USEF ‘R’ Dressage Judge, a certified USEA YEH and FEH championship judge. Gray has judged the 2018 FEH Championships and 2019 FEH Championships.
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.
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.
Regardless of the level at which a horse is competing, its veterinary team is at the forefront of most decisions regarding its career and well-being. Liz Arbittier, VMD, CVA, has been working with equine athletes for over two decades. Graduating from the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Veterinary Medicine (Penn Vet) in 2001, she worked in private practice with a focus on sports medicine and pre-purchase exams until joining Penn Vet’s New Bolton Center Field Service team in 2013. Situated in the heart of Area II’s eventing scene, the team provides ambulatory services to the surrounding area, which is home to multiple Olympians.
US Equestrian (USEF) announces the appointment of David O’Connor to the newly created position of Chief of Sport beginning October 3, 2022.
Aspen Farms in Yelm, Washington was host to this year’s USEA Area VII Championships on September 16-18 and put on a spectacular show where 10 horse and rider pairs celebrated victory by being awarded the title of Area VII Champion in their respective divisions. Hear about each pair’s weekend below.