Jun 10, 2024

The Race to Le Lion Begins: Qualification Requirements and Current Contenders for the 2024 Holekamp/Turner Grant

By Meagan DeLisle - USEA Staff
That's Me Z and Tommy Greengard at the Galway Downs International H.T. Tina Fitch Photography photo

It’s that time of year again! Time to start counting down the days until the 2024 FEI WBFSH Eventing World Breeding Championships for Young Horses at Mondial du Lion in Le Lion d’Angers, France. This year’s 6-year-old CCI2*-L and 7-year-old CCI3*-L divisions will take place October 12-20.

Since 2015, the USEA has awarded the annual Holekamp/Turner Grant, which provides significant funds to one eligible USEA Young Event Horse (YEH) competitor per year to represent the United States in the 7-year-old championship at Mondial du Lion.

The Holekamp/Turner Grant was founded by Timothy and Cheryl Holekamp of New Spring Farm and Christine and T.J. Turner of Indian Creek Farm in 2015. The intention of the grant is to further develop an upward pathway for U.S. team horses in the sport of eventing. Grant recipients that are North American-bred will be awarded the full cash grant of $17,500. Imported horses will be awarded $8,000. If the highest-scoring 5-year-old does not qualify or is unable to attend Mondial du Lion, the grant will be awarded to the next highest scorer who is qualified, able, and willing to go.

The title sponsor of the USEA YEH Championships, The Dutta Corporation, will also generously provide one round trip flight to travel to France for the Mondial du Lion. This prize will be awarded to the Holekamp/Turner Grant recipient. The grant and prize recipient must be fully qualified to compete at Mondial du Lion.

This year, the horse that has the highest score from the 2022 USEA Young Event Horse 5-Year-Old Championship that is also fully qualified to compete in the 7-year-old Championship will receive the Holekamp/Turner Grant. The eligibility of the Grant remains with the horse, regardless of change of rider after the 5-year-old Championships, but for the Lion d’Angers grant, only USEF-sponsored 7-year-old entries will qualify. Thus, only horses ridden by U.S. citizens are eligible.

Owners of grant-eligible horses must notify the USEA of their intentions to compete in the Championships by September 1, 2024.

To qualify for the 7-year-old CCI3*-L Championship at Mondial du Lion, a horse must complete the Minimum Eligibility Requirements (MER) for the level, which is one CCI2*-L and one CCI3*-S, both of which must be without any cross-country penalties and a maximum of four jump penalties in show jumping. Activating a maximum of one frangible device on cross-country will maintain the MER results.

The USEA is excited to share that the top placed horse in the nation from 2022 has fully qualified for Mondial du Lion and the 2024 Holekamp/Turner Grant, in addition to one other horse, at the current time. Eight additional horses have received partial qualifications, and still have the time to obtain final qualifications. We have outlined the highly competitive list of current contenders for the 2024 Holekamp/Turner Grant.

Current Contenders for the Holekamp/Turner Grant

Fully Qualified Horses

That’s Me Z | Zangersheide Gelding (Take A Chance On Me Z x Venetia) | Bred by Simons Roeland, owned by Andrea Pfeiffer, and ridden by Tommy Greengard

That’s Me Z was the highest scoring USEA YEH 5-year-old in the nation in 2022, scoring an 85.3 at the Dutta Corp. USEA YEH West Coast Championship with Tommy Greengard. Since their big win, Greengard has maintained the ride on the talented young event horse and brought him up through the three-star level. “Z” has had two wins at the Preliminary level to date and has quite the consistent cross-country record with no jump faults in that phase. He made his FEI debut in 2023 in the CCI2*-L at The Eventing Championships at Galway Downs (Temecula, California) where they finished inside the top-10 with just one rail down in show jumping. Greengard entered Z into his first three-star in April of this year, again at Galway Downs, and the pair improved upon their last performance there to finish in sixth place and secured their qualification for Le Lion to maintain their consideration for the Holekamp/Turner Grant for 2024.

Top Carrera and Gabby Dickerson at the 2023 USEF/USEA Developing Horse National Championships. USEA/Meagan DeLisle photo

Top Carrera | Hanoverian Gelding (Carridam PJ x Cecil 16) | Owned and ridden by Gabby Dickerson

Gabby Dickerson’s Top Carrera finished fourth in the nation in his 5-year-old year with a score of 83.31 at the Dutta Corp. USEA YEH East Coast Championship. The following year, “Cappy” moved up to the Modified and Preliminary level before successfully completing his first FEI, the CCI2*-S at the 2023 USEF/USEA Developing Horse Eventing National Championships in Aiken, South Carolina, where he finished second in the field. He then finished second in the CCI2*-S Young Horse division at Morven Park (Leesburg, Virginia) in October of that year. Cappy and Dickerson had a win at the two-star level this spring at the Fair Hill International April H.T. and Spring CCI-S (Elkton, Maryland) before finalizing their Le Lion qualifications with a top-10 finish in the CCI3*-S at the Tryon International Three-Day Event (Mill Spring, North Carolina) this May.

Partially Qualified Horses

The following horses have received part of the necessary qualifications thus far, to be considered for the grant:

  • Monbeg Zebedee (Dignified Van't Zorgvliet x Bolacreane), an Irish Sport Horse gelding bred by Marti Rudd, owned by The Zebedee Group LLC, and ridden by Allison Springer.
  • Milky Bar OS (Flugel M x Oakingham Dollar), a British Sport Horse gelding bred by Oakingham Farm & Stud, owned by Christy Parsons, and ridden by Alexander O’Neal.
  • Fast Forward (Windfall x First Flight), a Trakehner gelding bred by Timothy Holekamp, owned by Patrcia Luttgen, and ridden by Chris Talley.
  • Electric Quality (S Creevagh Ferro Ex Siebe x Tynan Lily), an Irish Sport Horse mare owned by Marley Stone Bourke and ridden by Tim Bourke. *Electric Quality is partially qualified for the grant, but would need to be ridden by a U.S. citizen at Le Lion in order to be fully eligible if selected for the Holekamp/Turner Grant.
  • Gortglas Lupin (Luidam x Gortglas Skye), an Irish Sport Horse gelding bred by Sian Carson Ball and owned/ridden by Gabby Dickerson
  • Spiro P (Spiros z X Ugomein), a German Sport Horse gelding bred by M.N. van der Pas, owned by Donna Wallace, and ridden by Megan Sykes.
  • Zenith Petite Etoile (Quebec x Vatavia), a Westphalian mare bred by EWSZ, owned by Molly Adams, and ridden by Karl Slezak. *Zenith Petite Etoile is partially qualified for the grant, but would need to be ridden by a U.S. citizen at Le Lion in order to be fully eligible if selected for the Holekamp/Turner Grant.
  • Piccadilly’s Pride M.D. (Colmander x Narew xx), owned and ridden by Bonner Carpenter.

The USEA will continue to provide updates as more horses earn their full qualifications for the 7-year-old Championship at La Mondial du Lion. For questions or to inquire about the Holekamp/Turner Grant and The Dutta Corp. prize, contact [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.

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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