Dec 22, 2018

New Qualification Standard for USEA Young Event Horse Championships

By Kate Lokey - USEA Staff
Dominic Schramm and Quadrocana, sixth-place finishers in the 2018 USEA YEH East Coast 5-year-old Championship. USEA/Jessica Duffy Photo.

The USEA recently announced the dates and locations for the 2019 USEA Young Event Horse (YEH) East and West Coast Championships, which will take place at Fair Hill International in Elkton, Maryland and the Fresno County Horse Park in Fresno, California in October. The YEH committee has also enhanced the qualification standard for the Championships in 2019.

“We are in a wonderful time in the development of young horses in America,” stated YEH Committee member John Michal Durr. “We now have a consistent level of quality that allows us to showcase our top horses at our finals. This is just another step in raising the bar in this country.”

Previously, a horse could qualify for the YEH Championships by scoring a 70 percent or higher at two qualifying events, or by scoring a 75 percent or higher at one event. Moving forward, the committee has dropped the offering of scoring a 70 percent or higher at two events, and now horses must obtain one qualification of 75 percent or higher at any qualifier to be eligible for the 2019 YEH Championships.

2018 USEA YEH East Coast 4-year-old Champion R River Star with owner/rider/breeder Courtney Cooper. USEA/Jessica Duffy Photo.

“We are excited to say that over the past few years we have seen that the quality of our YEH horses just keeps getting better and better,” noted YEH Committee Chair, Marilyn Payne. “We have also seen an increase in the number of horses qualifying for the Championships and have had to put a cap on the number accepted into the East Coast Championships.”

“To simplify the qualifying requirements, horses must now obtain one qualifying score of 75 percent - they cannot qualify with two 70 percent achievements as in the past,” stated Payne. “If we are oversubscribed, horses will be put on a waiting list. There is no limit to the number of qualifiers in which a horse may compete, and their highest qualifying score will be used to determine their ranking for entering the Championships.”

There will not be a cap on the USEA YEH West Coast Championships in 2019, but due to the anticipation of large entries at the East Coast Championships, there will be a cap of 55 horses total. Forty of those spots will be reserved for 5-year-olds, and the event management will have the right to place horses on a waiting list once the limit has been reached. Horses with the highest qualifying scores may be taken off the waiting list and entered into the USEA YEH East Coast Championships upon availability.

Horses may qualify at any USEA YEH competition, but may only compete at one Championship, whether it be east or west.

Lauren Kieffer and I'll Have Another in the 2018 USEA YEH East Coast 5-year-old Championship. USEA/Jessica Duffy Photo.

About the USEA Young Event Horse Program

The USEA Young Event Horse 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 three- and four-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 USEA Young Event Horse Program.

The USEA would like to thank SmartPak, Standlee Hay Company, Merck Animal Health, and C4 Belts for sponsoring the Young Event Horse Program.

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