The United States Eventing Association (USEA) has secured a new venue for The Dutta Corp. USEA Young Event Horse (YEH) East Coast Championships for 2020. After the Fair Hill Organizing Committee announced that the inaugural Maryland Five-Star at Fair Hill would be postponed until 2021, the USEA began accepting expressions of interest to host this year’s East Coast Championships.
The USEA YEH Committee reviewed several expressions of interest from various East Coast organizers and ultimately recommended the bid from the Virginia Horse Trials and organizer Andy Bowles. The USEA Executive Committee took a final vote and The Dutta Corp. USEA Young Event Horse East Coast Championships are now confirmed to take place at the Virginia Horse Trials, Wednesday-Thursday, October 28-29, 2020.
“We’re very happy to be able to keep the YEH [East Coast] Championships going during these difficult times,” said VHT organizer Andy Bowles. “We will ensure that people feel valued and their experience at Virginia is one that they will remember. Our aim is to run the dressage in the grand prix dressage arena and the YEH cross-country will be across the street on Oak Hill, so the course doesn’t feel cluttered amongst all the national classes.”
The 2020 YEH Championship judges originally contracted were Chris Ryan (IRL) and Debbie Adams (USA). Unfortunately, due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, Ryan will not be able to travel from Ireland to judge this year. However, The USEA Young Event Horse Committee and the USEA Executive Committee voted to approve Peter Gray (CAN) as the new YEH judge for 2020. Adams will judge the dressage section while Gray does the conformation section, and then the two will judge the jumping/galloping phase together.
“As we all navigate and adjust during the unprecedented times, we want to thank the USEA, the YEH Committee, and the Virginia Horse Trials organizing team for coming together to keep The Dutta Corp. USEA Young Event Horse East Coast Championships on the calendar. We look forward to seeing everyone in October," said Tim Dutta of The Dutta Corporation.
New Qualification Criteria
Due to COVID-19 and the loss of some YEH qualifier competitions, the YEH Committee also recently voted to ease the YEH Championships qualifiying score to a 70% for both the 2020 East and West Coast Championships. In 2021, the qualifying score will go back up to 75%, but for 2020, horses will need to earn one score of 70% or higher at any YEH qualifier competition. All competitors who are currently qualified will be contacted in the coming weeks, and the YEH qualified horse list will be updated.
**update as of 7/31/20: All qualified YEH entries will be accepted at both the East and West Coast Championships. All entries must be received before closing date. The organizers reserve the right to deny entries sent after closing date. If the East Coast receives a large amount of entries, there will be an option to bring on additional judges for the 4-year-old division.
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 Hay Company, Parker Equine Insurance, and Etalon Diagnostics 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.
A double clear cross-country round propelled Rebecca Braitling and Arnell Sporthorses' 11-year-old British Sport Horse gelding Caravaggio II (Vangelis-S x Courtesan) to their first blue ribbon together in the CCI4*-Short, and Haley Turner and her own 12-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding Shadow Inspector (Tinaranas Inspector x Caragh Roller) continued their run of sub-30 dressage tests to win the CCI3*-Short at the 2022 Twin Rivers Fall International in Paso Robles, California.
USEA podcast host Nicole Brown chats with Interim Eventing Chef d’Equipe and Team Manager of the U.S. Eventing Team Bobby Costello about the Silver Medal Performance put forward by the U.S. Team at the 2022 FEI Eventing World Championships.
There is still time to experience the long format of three-day eventing this year, by competing in a fall USEA Classic Series Event! The USEA Classic Series offers long-format eventing at the Beginner Novice, Novice, Training, Modified, and Preliminary levels, and there are still a few left on the fall calendar in various Areas.
This story first appeared in the August 2022 issue of Sidelines Magazine.
I have had many young horses in my time, and one thing I’ve learned is that it’s rarely the perfect, easy baby that becomes the next superstar. In fact, I’ve always considered it a positive to have the well-behaved youngster throw a little bit of attitude my way, as I believe that it takes fight to become a great event horse.