Jul 07, 2020

The Race to Le Lion: Three YEH Horses are in Pursuit

By Claire Kelley - USEA Staff
MB MaiStein is currently the front-runner in the race to receive the Holekamp/Turner Grant. USEA/Jessica Duffy Photo.

In a recent public statement made by the La Mondial du Lion Organizing Committee, they confirmed their intent to host the FEI Eventing World Breeding Championships for Young Horses this year on October 15-18, 2020 in Le Lion d ’Angers, France. With events starting back up and the Championships set on the calendar, the race to Le Lion is still on!

The FEI Eventing World Breeding Championships for Young Horses at Mondial du Lion in Le Lion d’Angers, France is one of the most well-known, prestigious young horse championships in the world, and it’s where competitors come to showcase their 6- and 7-year-old event horses. The 6-year-old Championship is a CCIYH2*-L and the 7-year-old Championship is a CCIYH3*-L.

Since 2015, the Holekamp/Turner Grant has awarded significant funds that give a USEA Young Event Horse (YEH) competitor the opportunity to represent the United States in the 7-year-old Championship at Mondial du Lion. New this year, 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.

To qualify for the 7-year-old CCIYH3*-L Championship at Mondial du Lion, a horse must complete the Minimum Eligibility Requirements (MER) which is one CCI2*-L and one CCI3*-S both with zero jump penalties on cross-country and a maximum of four jump penalties in the show jumping.

Kosmo K showing off his gallop with Kimmy Steinbuch at the 2018 USEA YEH East Coast Championships. USEA/Jessica Duffy Photo.

Six YEH graduate horses have now earned partial qualifications thus far: MB MaiStein, Quality Obsession, Kosmo K, Crystal Crescent Moon, Global Invieto DHI, and Foxdale’s Celtic Charm.

Out of those six horses, three are officially in the race to Le Lion as they have contacted the USEA that they intend to compete to obtain full qualifications in the upcoming months and travel overseas to Le Lion to compete, if overseas travel is allowed. Ranked in order of their YEH Championship scores, the three horses are MB MaiStein (Rocky Lee x High Ovation), an Oldenburg gelding ridden by Tamie Smith and owned by the MB Group LLC; Kosmo K (Corollary x Vandalayindustries), a Thoroughbred gelding ridden by Kimmy Steinbuch and owned by Mary Quarles; and Foxdale’s Celtic Charm (Diarado x Cheeky Rossa), an Irish Sport Horse gelding ridden by Kristin Schmolze and owned by Penny Worsham.

All horses partially qualified can fulfill their second qualification (completing a CCI3*-S) at one of the 12 events listed below. Keep an eye out for MB MaiStein, Kosmo K, and Foxdale’s Celtic Charm as they will be aiming to compete at an upcoming CCI3*-S event.

Upcoming U.S. Qualifiers for Mondial du Lion

  • The Maryland International (CCI3*-S) in Adamstown, Maryland – July 3-5, 2020
  • VHT International & H.T. (CCI2*-L and CCI3*-S) in Lexington, Virginia – July 20-24, 2020
  • Horse Park of New Jersey Horse Trials II (CCI3*-S) in Allentown, New Jersey – July 24-26, 2020
  • River Glen Summer H.T. (CCI3*-S) in New Market, Tennessee – August 1-2, 2020
  • Fair Hill International H.T. (CCI3*-S) in Elkton, Maryland – August 8-9, 2020
  • Great Meadow International (CCI3*-S) in The Plains, Virginia - August 20-23, 2020
  • Chattahoochee Hills H.T. (CCI3*-S) in Fairburn, Georgia – August 29-30, 2020
  • Plantation Field International CCI (CCI3*-S) in Unionville, Pennsylvania – September 16-20, 2020
  • Twin Rivers Fall H.T. (CCI3*-S) in Paso Robles, California – September 17-20, 2020
  • Stable View Oktoberfest in Aiken, South Carolina – September 24-27, 2020
  • Woodside International (CCI3*-S) in Woodside, California – October 1-4, 2020
  • Morven Park Fall International (CCI3*-S) in Leesburg, Virginia – October 1-4, 2020

*Please note that YEH graduate horses can also obtain their qualifications outside of the U.S. (e.g. Bromont International).

Kristin Schmolze and Foxdale's Celtic Charm at the 2018 USEA YEH East Coast Championships. USEA/Jessica Duffy Photo.

How to Earn the Holekamp/Turner Grant and The Dutta Corporation Prize

Founded by Tim and Cheryl Holekamp and Christine and T.J. Turner, the Holekamp/Turner Grant is given to the highest scorer of The Dutta Corp. USEA Young Event Horse (YEH) Championships 5-year-old division from both the East and West Coast Championships combined, pending the horse’s qualifications for the Mondial du Lion in their 7-year-old year. If the horse obtains proper qualifications, then it is awarded the grant money two years later to travel to Mondial du Lion to compete in the 7-year-old CCIYH3*-L Championship in France.

The eligibility of the grant remains with the horse, regardless of change of rider after the YEH 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 United States citizens will be eligible. **Therefore, Quality Obsession would still be able to receive the grant but since the rider, Tim Bourke, is Irish, he may elect a rider with U.S. citizenship to compete the horse at Mondial du Lion.

Grant recipients who are North American bred will be awarded the full cash grant of $17,500. If the winner is an imported horse, he will be awarded $8,000. **Since Kosmo K is American-bred, if he were to receive the grant, he would be awarded the full amount of $17,500.

In addition to the funds provided through the Holekamp/Turner Grant, The Dutta Corporation will award one round trip flight to travel to France for the Mondial du Lion. This prize will be awarded to the Holekamp/Turner Grant recipient and will commence in 2020.

Good luck to all the YEH graduates on the race to Le Lion d’Angers!

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 Hay Company, Parker Equine Insurance, C4 Belts, and Etalon Diagnostics 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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