Sep 19, 2022

The Race to Le Lion: King’s Especiale Set to Receive 2022 Holekamp/Turner Grant

By Kate Lokey - USEA Staff
King’s Especiale and Caroline Martin. USEA/ Leslie Mintz photo

The United States Eventing Association (USEA) is pleased to announce that the Redfield King's HX Group’s 7-year-old gelding, King’s Especiale is the likely recipient of the 2022 Holekamp/Turner Grant and The Dutta Corp. prize! King’s Especiale (Connect x Cha Cha Cha Special) is a 7-year-old KWPN gelding ridden by Caroline Martin and bred by C.M.L. Delissen-Verstappe. The pair aims to represent the U.S. at the 2022 FEI Eventing World Breeding Championships for Young Horses in the 7-year-old CCIYH3*-L Championship. The Championship will take place at Mondial du Lion in Le Lion d’Angers, France on October 20-23, 2022.

“I am incredibly appreciative and thrilled that King’s Especiale has been named this year’s likely recipient of the Holekamp/Turner Young Event Horse Grant,” said rider Caroline Martin. “I think the world of this horse and feel that we have had a great season thus far building up to have a strong showing for the USA. Thank you to the USEA Foundation for their support and the Holekamp and Turner families for their incredible generosity.”

The intention of the Holekamp/Turner Grant is to further develop an upward pathway for U.S. team horses in the sport of eventing. The grant recipients who are North American bred are awarded the full cash grant of $17,500. If the winner is an imported horse, he will be awarded $8,000. Since King’s Especiale was imported, his team will be awarded $8,000 USD. He will also receive The Dutta Corp. prize which is one round-trip flight to Europe. The grant will be officially awarded after King’s Especiale passes the first horse inspection at the Championship in France.

“We are very excited for Caroline and King’s Especiale to receive the Holekamp/Turner Grant to compete at Mondial du Lion,” said Redfield King’s HX Group, consisting of Paul Hendrix, Emil Spadone, Derek Strine, and Gayle Davis. “King is such a wonderful example of a young horse with all the attributes of a future star. He has blossomed in Caroline's very capable hands and having the support of this grant to represent the US abroad is such an honor for all of us involved with King and Caroline. We would like to thank the remarkable donors behind this opportunity for making it possible and look forward to an exciting experience.”

The horse that has the highest score from the 2020 USEA Young Event Horse (YEH) Championships that is also qualified to compete in the 7-year-old Championship receives the Holekamp/Turner Grant. If the highest-scoring YEH horse from the 2020 YEH Championships does not qualify or is unable to attend, the grant is then awarded to the next highest scorer who is qualified and able to go. For Caroline Martin, she holds rides on the top two spots with King’s Especiale (formerly Redfield King), and HSH Blake (formerly Redfield Galway Blake), and plans to compete both horses in the 7-year-old Championship. If for any reason King’s Especiale does not pass the first horse inspection, the grant could then be given to HSH Blake should he pass the horse inspection, upping the odds for rider Caroline Martin. HSH Blake (Tolan R x Doughiska Lass) is an Irish Sport Horse gelding owned by Sherrie Martin, Molly Hoff, and Caroline Martin, and bred by Justin Burke.

Redfield Galway Blake and Caroline Martin. USEA/Claire Kelley photo.

“We are so proud to support Caroline, she is an amazing person and the hardest working rider I know,” said Hoff. “Blake is a phenomenal horse with a bright future and for our family to get to play a small role in their journey to Le Lion is an honor.”

The USEA would like to wish the best of luck to the pairs representing the U.S. at Mondial du Lion! Stay tuned to the USEA website to follow along for updates and information.

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.

About La Mondial du Lion
The FEI Eventing World Breeding Championships for Young Horses at Mondial du Lion in Le Lion d’Angers, France is one of the most prestigious young horse championships in the world. Eager competitors from all over descend upon France to showcase their 6- and 7-year-old event horses culminating with The 6-year-old Championship as a CCIYH2*-L and the 7-year-old Championship as a CCIYH3*-L. The USEA offers the Holekamp/Turner Grant for horses from the USEA YEH 5-year-old Championships to go on and compete in the 7-year-old Championships in France, along with a round trip flight from The Dutta Corp.

About the USEA Young Event Horse 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, 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 Bates Saddles, SmartPak, Standlee Premium Products, Parker Equine Insurance, Capital Square, Kerrits, 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.

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