Feb 03, 2024

Panelists & Riders Announced for the 2024 Ocala Horse Properties USEA YEH Symposium

By Kaleigh Collett - USEA Staff | Press Release

There are just over two weeks left until the 2024 Ocala Horse Properties USEA Young Event Horse (YEH) Symposium, and this jam-packed day of education is shaping up to be a "can’t miss" event! On Tuesday, Feb. 20, the USEA Young Event Horse Committee will demonstrate the proper training and evaluation of young eventing prospects in Ocala, Florida, at a morning session at Majestic Oaks Ocala and an evening session at Redtail Ridge Farm South. The day will be centered around paving a pathway to success for future four- and five-star horses. Click here to register!

The Ocala Horse Properties USEA YEH Symposium will kick off at Majestic Oaks with a session entitled “Evaluating Jumping, Galloping, and Conformation” from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. EST. Participants will have the opportunity to evaluate young prospects’ jumping technique and ability with the help of a world class panel and several demonstration horse and rider pairs. The following panelists are experts in their fields and will each provide unique perspectives to the topics at hand:

  • Marilyn Payne, Chair of the USEA YEH Committee, FEI Level 3 Eventing Judge, and USEF Senior Dressage Judge, will moderate the session and provide valuable information on the YEH program,
  • Lauren Nicholson, Olympian and avid trainer and competitor in the YEH program, will call on her ample experience working with young horses to evaluate the demonstrations,
  • Liz Halliday, international five-star competitor, will review the prospects based on their potential as a future four- or five-star mount,
  • Debbie Adams, FEI Level 2 Eventing Judge, USEF “S” Eventing Judge, owner and trainer of Young Event Horses, and owner of the first Holekamp/Turner Grant Recipient, D.A. Duras, will give an inside look at the judge’s thoughts on the young horses based on the program’s scoring criteria, and
  • Lisa Casinella, DVM, an equine veterinarian who has served as the Official USEF Team Veterinarian for the U.S. Show Jumping, Driving and Vaulting Teams and works with many eventing athletes in the Ocala area, will provide feedback based on the horses’ physical suitability for the sport.

Several top international competitors and young horse experts will be acting as the demonstration riders for the morning session, including Caroline Pamukcu, Kelly Hutchinson, Alex O’Neal, and Ariel Grald. Each rider will guide a 4- or 5-year-old prospect through a YEH Jumping test on the cross-country course at Majestic Oaks, then they will return to the panelist and participants to discuss their ride.

For each demonstration, the panel will assess the horse’s jumping and galloping technique, their potential improvement in performance through appropriate training, and the effects of their conformation on their performance and future soundness. There will be ample time for questions and feedback throughout the session, so participants can interact with the experts and gain valuable experience in training their eyes to assess the horses’ ability.

After the morning session, there will be a break for the afternoon, so attendees can tend to their horses locally or explore the Ocala area. For those interested, a special behind the scenes tour of the state-of-the-art World Equestrian Center – Ocala has been organized at 2:00 p.m. EST. Jim Wolf, former U.S. Equestrian Team Director of Eventing and Executive Director and Chef d'Mission for the USET at numerous Olympic, Pan American, and World Equestrian Games, will lead the tour of the facility, which is complimentary for all symposium attendees. Be sure RSVP for the tour on your Symposium registration!

At 5:00 p.m. EST, participants will regroup at O’Neal Equestrian’s Redtail Ridge Farm South for a “YEH Masterclass” with Jonathan Holling, Leslie Law, and Doug Payne. While enjoying complimentary hors d'oeuvres and drinks, participants will be in for a treat as these top international competitors provide mounted demonstrations on how to strengthen and improve a horse’s jump, how to build confidence, how to introduce narrow cross-country obstacles, and more.

Jump 4 Joy USA, Gold Sponsor of the 2024 Ocala Horse Properties USEA YEH Symposium, will provide several portable cross-country jumps for use in the masterclass, which will be available for sale to attendees after the event at a 20% discount. Alex O’Neal will moderate the session and allow opportunities for attendees to ask questions and engage with the riders.

Ocala Horse Properties, the new title sponsor of the USEA YEH Symposium, will also be on-site at the evening session to help you find your next farm in the area. The team at Ocala Horse Properties is the number one ranked realtor in the Ocala MLS and offers the most comprehensive list of farms and ranches for sale in Ocala & Marion County, FL. If you're looking to make an investment in the local area, Ocala Horse Properties is here to help!

The 2024 Ocala Horse Properties USEA YEH Symposium is $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 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, and Ocala Horse Properties, Title 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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