Jul 26, 2021

The Race to Le Lion: Three YEH Horses Fully Qualified, Seven YEH Horses Partially Qualified

By Claire Kelley - USEA Staff

The race to Le Lion continues with only three months to go! The 2021 FEI Eventing World Breeding Championships for Young Horses at Mondial du Lion in Le Lion d’Angers, France, will be held on October 21-24. 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. 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. The grant and prize recipient must be fully qualified to compete at Mondial du Lion.

Camarillo at the 2019 YEH East Championships. USEA/Leslie Mintz photo.

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. Horses have until September 20, 2021, to earn their qualifications for La Mondial du Lion. But, the USEA requires all owners to notify the USEA of their intention to compete for the Holekamp/Turner Grant by September 1.

As of July 22, 2021, there are ten YEH horses in the race to Le Lion, with three horses fully qualified and seven horses with partial qualifications. The three horses fully qualified include Camarillo (Chicardo x Rehobeth), an American-bred German Sport Horse owned and ridden by Doug Payne and bred by Elizabeth Callihan. Camarillo scored 86.58 at the 2019 YEH East Coast Championships, making him the front runner of those currently qualified for the Holekamp/Turner Grant. Two more horses also have obtained full qualifications, Cerafino D (Cayado 3 x Serafina II), a Holsteiner gelding ridden by Buck Davidson and owned by Carl Segal and Kathleen Cuca; and DHI Showman (Elvis Ter Putte x Bubertha), a Warmblood gelding owned by Sami Crandell and ridden by Buck Davidson.

Cerafino D at the 2019 YEH East Championships. USEA/Leslie Mintz photo.

With ten horses in the race to Le Lion, seven of the ten have earned partial qualifications. Ranked in order of their YEH Championship scores, the seven partially qualified horses include Global Absolute (Do It x Ballerina II), a Mecklenburg gelding owned by the Black Diamond Partners, LLC and ridden by Marissa Nielsen; Va Va Voom (Connelly x Na) the Holsteiner mare ridden and owned by Matthew Bryner, Va Va Voom (Connelly x Na); D’Luxe Steel (Up To Date x Nicola D.) a Dutch Warmblood gelding owned by Jeanne Shigo and ridden by Andrew McConnon; Juniperus (Zapatero VDL x Fleur) a Dutch Warmblood gelding ridden by Amber Birtcil and owned by Cellar Farm Corp.; Flying Quality (OBOS Quality 004 x Orchid Hill) an Irish Sport Horse gelding owned by Barbara Cassani and ridden by Tim Bourke; Atlantic Spark (Atlantic Sparkey x Atlantic Tracey) an Irish Sport Horse gelding owned by Jessica Chappell and ridden by Chris Talley; and the Irish Sport Horse gelding, MBF Cooley Permission To Land (Cobra x Deeply Dippy K) ridden and owned by Cole Horn.

All horses partially qualified can fulfill their second qualification (completing a CCI3*-S) at one of the events listed below.

Upcoming U.S. Qualifiers for Mondial du Lion

  • River Glen Summer H.T. (CCI3*-S) in New Market, Tennessee – August 6-8, 2021
  • Great Meadow International (CCI2*-S and CCI3*-S) in The Plains, Virginia - August 18-22, 2021
  • GMHA Festival of Eventing August H.T. (CCI2*-S and CCI3*-S) in South Woodstock, Vermont - August 13-15, 2021
  • Chattahoochee Hills H.T. (CCI3*-S) in Fairburn, Georgia – September 4-5, 2021
  • Plantation Field International (CCI3*-S) in Unionville, Pennsylvania - September 15-19, 2021

*Please note the cut-off date for qualifications is September 20, 2021.

Va Va Voom at the 2019 YEH East Championships. USEA/Leslie Mintz photo.

About the Holekamp/Turner Grant and The Dutta Corp. Prize

The Holekamp/Turner Grant was founded in 2015 by Timothy and Cheryl Holekamp of New Spring Farm and Christine and T.J. Turner of Indian Creek Farm. The intention of the grant is to further develop an upward pathway for U.S. team horses in the sport of eventing. 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.

The horse that has the highest score from the 2019 USEA Young Event Horse Championships that is also qualified to compete in the 7-year-old Championship will receive the Holekamp/Turner Grant. If the highest-scoring YEH horse from the 2019 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.

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.

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 2021.

For questions or to inquire about the Holekamp/Turner Grant and The Dutta Corp. prize, contact [email protected].

DHI Showman at the 2019 YEH East Championships. USEA/Leslie Mintz photo.

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, Etalon Diagnostics, and Saratoga Horseworks 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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