Jan 10, 2018

Significant Changes Coming to the Young Event Horse Program in 2018

By Kate Lokey - USEA Staff
Kim Severson and Exclusively Cooley, winner of the 2017 YEH East Coast 5-Year-Old Championships. USEA/Leslie Mintz Photo.

Based on feedback from competitors, judges, breeders, owners, and more, the Young Event Horse (YEH) Committee has implemented some significant changes to the YEH program moving forward. Effective immediately, the YEH will have new dressage tests, an entirely new scoring and judging system, and some other significant changes outlined below.

One of the largest changes moving forward is that the Conformation section will no longer be held at YEH qualifying events, as it will only take place at Championships. Thus, qualifying competitions will only consist of two sections: Dressage, and the Jumping/Galloping Test. The new scoresheets for all YEH qualifying events can be found here.

Championships will still include Dressage, Conformation, and the Jumping/Galloping test. The new scoresheets for YEH Championships can be found here. The Jumping/Galloping test will now count for 70% of the final score at both qualifiers and Championships, as opposed to 50% in the past. Details on the new class structure for the YEH program can be found here.

With new the scoresheets comes a new scoring system. Each jumping effort in the jumping phase will receive a score 0.0-3.0. The course designers will place exactly 5 show jump efforts, and exactly 10 cross-country efforts, and the judges will now score each fence. At qualifying events, If a numbered fence as an “A-B” element, each letter will be scored as its own effort and receive its own score. At Championships, “A-B” elements will be scored together under the same effort. Please refer to the scoresheets above to review how jumps are scored. To view the jumping standards for competitors, click here.

Based on member feedback, the YEH Committee voted to remove the “bye-year” for mares, which allowed a mare that had a full-term foal to compete an age group below her biological age (i.e. a 5-year-old mare who had a full-term foal could compete in the YEH 4-year-old class.) The YEH Committee officially voted this out for 2018, so all horses must compete in their respective age groups. All competing YEH horses and riders must be current USEA members.

Based on competitor and judge feedback, the YEH Committee has shortened the YEH dressage tests. Competitors will also notice that horses are not asked to halt at the end of their tests at qualifying events, so the horse will be scored on the walk as the horse exits the arena. The new YEH Dressage tests may be found below.

All YEH judges are being asked to attend the YEH day (Wednesday, February 21) at the Young Horse Educational Symposium in Ocala in order to learn the new scoring system. The symposium will explain and demonstrate all the program’s changes. For those who cannot attend, please contact YEH Co-Chair Marilyn Payne to review the scoresheets before judging any YEH competitions. There will also be judges seminars at both the YEH East and West Coast Championships this fall for those who wish to remain on the YEH judges list in 2019. To register for the Young Horse Symposium, click here.  

Summary 2018 YEH Changes:

  • No more Conformation phase at qualifier events – Conformation will only be at Championships
  • New scoresheets and judging system for judges
  • New jumping standards for YEH course designers
  • New dressage tests for qualifiers and Championships
  • Jumping/Galloping will now count for 70% of final score
  • All horses must compete in their respective age group: there is no more “bye-year” for mares in foal

For further questions, suggestions or feedback, please do not hesitate to contact the YEH Committee. You may also email the USEA Director of Programs and Marketing.

About the Young Event Horse Program

The USEA Young Event Horse Series (YEH) is best described as an eventing talent search. The goal is to identify young horses that possesses the talent and disposition that, with proper training, can excel in the uppermost levels of eventing. While the ultimate aim is to identify the future four-star horses, many fine event horses who will excel at the lower levels will also be showcased.

The Series gives owners and breeders the opportunity to demonstrate the potential of their 4- and 5-year-old horses while encouraging the breeding and development of top-level event horses for the future. Classes focus on education and preparation of the event horse in a correct and progressive manner. At qualifying events, youngsters are asked to complete a dressage test and a jumping/galloping/general impression phase. At Championships, youngsters are asked to complete a dressage test, a conformation test, and a jumping/galloping/general impression phase.

For more information, please visit the YEH Program page.

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