2020 has been quite the year for everyone in the eventing community. With events completely shut down for nearly three months, many competitors didn't have the 2020 season they were planning on. Still, the truncated season didn't stop Rayastrada and her owner and rider Meghan Lewis from earning the lowest finishing score of any competitor during the whole of the 2020 season.
This year, The Dutta Corp. USEA Young Event Horse (YEH) West Coast Championships took place at Twin Rivers Ranch in Paso Robles, California on October 24-25, 2020 alongside the 2020 USEA Future Event Horse (FEH) West Coast Championships. Judged by Peter Gray and Debbie Adams, the YEH West Coast Championships had over double the number of entries from last year’s YEH West Coast Championships.
The 2020 USEA Future Event Horse (FEH) East Coast Championships recently took place at Loch Moy Farm in Adamstown, Maryland on September 26-27. The Championships judges, Susan Graham White and Robin Walker, judged a total of 39 horses on Saturday and Sunday. The 3- and 4-year-olds went on Saturday and the 2-year-olds and yearlings competed on Sunday.
There were 68 horse-and-rider combinations that competed in the Great Meadow International CCI4*-S on August 20-23, 2020. Out of the 68 horse-and-rider pairs, five of them made time on cross-country, four finished on their dressage score, and one came in 13 seconds under optimum time.
Arguably one of the cutest national leaderboards the USEA has to offer is the Smartpak USEA Pony of the Year leaderboard. Since it’s more than halfway through the year, this month the USEA selected the pony sitting on top of that leaderboard, Have A Little Faith, as the USEA Horse (Pony) of the Month! Standing at 14.1 hands, Have A Little Faith is an 18-year-old chestnut mare ridden by Diane Smith and owned by Sarah Lesser.
There were 14 USEA recognized events that took place in June, the first month back from the suspension of the eventing calendar due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While no one finished with a score in the teens, Erin Walker and Zydeco Nights came very close. By finishing on a score of 20.0, Walker and Zydeco Nights won the Novice Rider division at the Chattahoochee Hills H.T. on Sunday, June 28.
While every story submitted to the USEA for the June Horse of the Month was unique and special, it was Teddy’s story that stood out. Therefore, the USEA June Horse of the Month is Talon Ted aka "Teddy", a 14.1 hand, 17-year-old Paint Pinto Gelding owned by Eran Murray and ridden by Eran’s daughter, Brooke Murray.
During this downtime, the USEA members have submitted their favorite horse tricks to be featured on the USEA social media. The tricks have consisted of horse kisses and horse smiles, but one trick that stood out was the synchronized dancing done by Haley Geraci and Winston.
He’s competed at the Kentucky Three-Day Event CCI5*-L for the past three consecutive years, he’s never had more than one rail down in show jumping at an international event, and he recently won the CCI4*-S at Red Hills International – Cooley On Show is the USEA Horse of the Month.
He started his eventing career 19 years ago, he recently placed second at the Ocala Winter I H.T. in the Preliminary Rider division with Amanda Gardiner, he was a demo horse for this year’s 2020 USEA Educational Symposium, and he’s 24 years old – Relentless Pursuit is the USEA March Horse of the Month. Relentless Pursuit (A Lee Rover x Sumptious Gal) is a 1996 Thoroughbred gelding owned by Dana and Pamela Widstrand and currently ridden by Amanda Gardiner.
He was the first winner of 2020 with the lowest finishing score, Rock on Cooley is the USEA February Horse of the Month! On January 12, Rock on Cooley finished with a score of 20.5 to win the Open Training division at the Majestic Oaks Horse Trials with rider Leslie Law.