Feb 13, 2024

One Week Until the 2024 Ocala Horse Properties USEA YEH Symposium

By Kaleigh Collett - USEA Staff | Press Release

Next week, young horse trainers, riders, breeders, judges, and enthusiasts will converge on Ocala, Florida, for the 2024 Ocala Horse Properties USEA Young Event Horse (YEH) Symposium. On Tuesday, Feb. 20, attendees will be treated to two educational sessions on the proper training and evaluation of young eventing prospects, with a morning session on evaluation jumping, galloping, and conformation hosted at Majestic Oaks Ocala and a YEH Masterclass in the evening at Redtail Ridge Farm South. Click here to register!

The morning session of the Ocala Horse Properties USEA YEH Symposium at Majestic Oaks will be from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. EST and will be moderated by Marilyn Payne, Chair of the USEA YEH Committee.

An expert panel comprised of Lauren Nicholson, Liz Halliday, Debbie Adams, and Lisa Casinella, DVM, will evaluate and discuss several 4- and 5-year-old prospects as they navigate a YEH Jumping and Galloping test in real time.

The panelists will call on their individual experiences, whether it be as a competitor, a judge, or a veterinarian, to assess the horses’ technique, their potential improvement with appropriate training, and the effects of their conformation on future performance and soundness. Each horse and rider demonstration will be given 30 minutes to complete their test and return to the audience to review their ride. The audience will also have ample time to ask questions. The following horse and rider pairs will participate in the session:

  • Caroline Pamukcu will partner with her own HSH Afterglow (Hype x Ringwood Venus), a 5-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding bred by Peter Leonard who won the 2023 Dutta Corp. USEA Young Event Horse East Coast 4-Year-Old Championship (Elkton, Maryland). Pamukcu is no stranger to the YEH program, claiming multiple champion and reserve titles at the East Coast Championships over the years. Pamukcu also regularly competes at the upper levels of the sport, including recent appearances on the U.S. Eventing Team for the Poland Nations Cup at the Strzegom Horse Trials and the Pan American Games (Chile) in 2023.
  • Kelley Hutchinson will ride a 4-year-old that she is targeting for The Dutta Corp. USEA Young Event Horse Championships later this year. Hutchinson regularly sources horses for Pamukcu, including her 2023 Pan American Games mount and 2020 Dutta Corp. USEA YEH East Coast 5-Year-Old Champion, HSH Blake, and the FEI WBFSH Eventing World Breeding Championships (France) 6-year-old reserve champion and 2020 Dutta Corp USEA YEH East Coast 4-Year-Old Champion, HSH Connor.
  • Alex O’Neal will present Christy Parson's Nikah van de Muggenhoek (Idextro x Ziedonja), a 6-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding. O’Neal is an Advanced level eventer who runs O’Neal Equestrian with his wife Ellie out of Redtail Ridge Farm South, the host venue of the YEH Masterclass on the evening of the symposium. Alex has a passion for sales, training, and coaching, and has ample experience training and competing horses in the YEH Program.
  • Ariel Grald will guide Annie Eldridge's Melypsa, the 4-year-old Holsteiner mare (Barcley x Elypsa) who was bred by Eggers Sönke. Grald is an accomplished international five-star competitor who recently represented the U.S. as an individual at the 2022 FEI Eventing World Championships in Pratoni, Italy, finishing in 11th place in her first senior team appearance with Eldridge’s Leamore Master Plan. Together with Eldrige, Grald currently has an exciting string of promising young horses that they are enjoying developing to the top-level together.

Between the morning and evening session, symposium attendees have the opportunity to join a complimentary behind the scenes tour of the World Equestrian Center – Ocala at 2:00 p.m. EST with Jim Wolf. Be sure RSVP for the tour on your Symposium registration!

The YEH Masterclass at Redtail Ridge Farm South will begin at 5:00 p.m. and feature demonstrations from Jonathan Holling, Leslie Law, and Doug Payne. Alex will moderate the session and allow opportunities for attendees to ask questions and engage with the riders. While mounted on young horses, each rider will demonstrate and explain various exercises as outlined below:

  • Holling will ride his own and Kathryn Krische's Capstone, a 5-year-old Trakehner gelding (Tatendrang *Ps* x Catch the Bouquet). Capstone, who was bred by Krische and known as "Pretzel" around the barn, was named a Premium Foal and the Highest Scoring Foal of the year when inspected by the American Trakehner Association in 2019 and will make his competition debut later this year. Holling has competed and trained students at the top level of the sport, and currently runs Holling Eventing at Willow Run Farm in Ocala, Florida, with his wife, Jennifer Holling. Jon and Pretzel will demonstrate the use of gymnastic exercises in developing a young horse's physical strength over fences.
  • Leslie Law will ride Michelle Mercier's 5-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding NDS Jackson (Jack the Robin x Killycloghan Mayfair). NDS Jackson, who was bred by Noel Dunne, made his debut at the Beginner Novice level in the fall of 2023 with Mercier in the irons. Law is an Olympic gold medalist who currently serves as the USEF Emerging Athlete Coach. Law and NDS Jackson will work through exercises that are intended to help build a young horses' confidence over jumps.
  • Doug Payne will also ride a horse owned by Michelle Mercier named Lordendro. The 6-year-old Hanoverian gelding (by Lord Pezi Junior) was bred by Sabine Tielenhenrich and competed at the Novice level in 2023 with his owner. Doug is an international five-star eventer and an FEI four-star show jumping competitor. Doug and Lordendro will teach the audience how to introduce narrow cross-country fences to a young horse.

During the evening session, title sponsor Ocala Horse Properties and gold sponsor Jump 4 Joy USA of the Symposium will be on-site to interact with attendees. Ocala Horse properties, the number one ranked realtor in the Ocala MLS, will have a representative in attendance to discuss the local area and help you start the process to find your next farm or ranch.

Sandy Mercier, owner of Jump 4 Joy USA, will provide the portable cross-country fences used in the masterclass and will serve complimentary margaritas and water at her Jump 4 Joy USA margarita jump display. Symposium attendees are eligible for 20% off the purchase of the cross-country portables used in the demonstration or 10% off any order placed with Jump 4 Joy USA through March 31, 2024.

The 2024 Ocala Horse Properties USEA YEH Symposium will be $50 per session or $100 for the full day of learning. Complimentary access to the World Equestrian Center – Ocala tour with Wolf is included with all registration types. Attendees will need to coordinate their own transportation to, from and between venues, as well as any materials they would like to bring to take notes. Seating options will be provided at both venues, while drinks and hors d’oeuvres will only be served during the evening session. Click here to register.

If you have any questions about the 2024 Ocala Horse Properties USEA YEH Symposium, please contact Kaleigh Collett at [email protected].

About the USEA Young Event Horse (YEH) 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 aged four- and five-years-old, 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 ARMA, Bates Saddles, Capital Square, HorseWeek, Kerrits, Parker Equine Insurance, SmartPak, Standlee, and The Jockey Club 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, Ocala Horse Properties, Title Sponsor of the YEH Symposium, and Jump 4 Joy USA, Gold Sponsor of the YEH Symposium.

About The Holekamp/Turner Grant

Founded in 2015 by Timothy and Cheryl Holekamp of New Spring Farm and Christine and T.J. Turner of Indian Creek Farm, the Holekamp/Turner Grant provides a USEA Young Event Horse (YEH) Championship competitor with the opportunity to represent the United States at the FEI Eventing World Breeding Championships in the 7-year-old CCIYH3*-L Championship at Mondial du Lion in Le Lion d’Angers, France. With the sole purpose of paving a clear pathway for U.S. team horses to progress in the sport of eventing, recipients who are North American bred will be awarded the full cash grant of $17,500, while imported horses are awarded $8,000. Additionally, The Dutta Corp. offers a prize to the Holekamp/Turner Grant recipient, consisting of a round trip flight from the Eastern United States to Europe.

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Fast Facts: The Event at Rebecca Farm

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The Chronicle of the Horse Returns as Bronze Sponsor of the 2024 USEA American Eventing Championships Presented by Nutrena Feeds

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USEA Intercollegiate & Interscholastic Eventing Championships Return to Stable View on May 3-4, 2025

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Jul 16, 2024 Eventing News

Bates Returns as the Official Saddle of the USEA

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Official Corporate Sponsors of the USEA

Official Joint Therapy Treatment of the USEA

Official Feed of the USEA

Official Saddle of the USEA

Official Equine Insurance of the USEA

Official Forage of the USEA

Official Supplement Feeding System of the USEA

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Official Horse Boot of the USEA

Official Shockwave of the USEA

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