Apr 15, 2020

The Race to Le Lion: Which Seven Horses are Partially Qualified?

By Claire Kelley - USEA Staff
Tim Bourke and Quality Obsession at the 2018 USEA Young Event Horse Championships. USEA/Jessica Duffy Photo.

With seven horses partially qualified and with seven months until the start of the competition – the race to Le Lion d’Angers has officially begun! Read on to learn more about the championships for young horses, the eligibility requirements for the Holekamp/Turner Grant, The Dutta Corporation prize, the qualifications to compete, and the young horses who are in the running for a chance to represent U.S. eventing.

What, When, and Where

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.

This year, the Mondial du Lion will be held on October 15-18, 2020. The event will take place in Le Lion d ’Angers, France, just two hours southeast of Paris. Click here for the official competition website.

Since 2015, the Holekamp/Turner Grant has awarded significant funds each year that enables a USEA Young Event Horse graduate the opportunity to represent the United States in the 7-year-old Championship at Mondial du Lion in France.

MB MaiStein is the front-runner to receive the Holekamp/Turner Grant this year. USEA/Jessica Duffy Photo.

Eligibility for the Holekamp/Turner Grant

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.

Therefore, any horse that competed in the 5-year-old division at the 2018 USEA YEH Championships may be eligible to receive the Holekamp/Turner Grant this year. The overall results from the 2018 USEA YEH 5-year-old Championships can be found here.

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. 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 grant money is intended to help the horse’s team fund the costs associated with but not limited to stabling, entry fees, ground transportation, and other costs associated with traveling and competing at Mondial du Lion.

Kimmy Steinbuch Durr and Kosmo K at the 2018 USEA Young Event Horse Championships.

Eligibility for The Dutta Corporation prize

As a title sponsor of the USEA YEH Championships, The Dutta Corporation will 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 and will commence in 2020.

The Dutta Corporation is an international and domestic horse shipping company founded by J. Tim Dutta. The leading company in horse transport has been rapidly expanding since its inception in 1988 and particularly so in the last twenty years. Click here for more information on The Dutta Corporation.

“We believe that giving these young horses their wings to France is a key part of their development into becoming future team horses. This is a unique opportunity to test the best of our young horses on the world stage and providing them first-class service to Europe is our contribution to their evolution into Olympic, Pan American, and World Games competitors," said Tim Dutta, owner and founder of The Dutta Corporation.

“We are honored to be a part of this program and look forward to both The Dutta Corp. USEA Young Event Horse Championships at Fair Hill and the World Breeding Championships at Le Lion d’Angers.”

How to Qualify for 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.

The USEA requires that the owners of the grant-eligible horses notify the USEA of their intentions to compete in the 7-year-old Championship by September 1, 2020.

Crystal Crescent Moon won the USEF National CCI2* Championships in 2019. Brant Gamma Photo.

Which USEA Young Event Horses are Qualified

The 2018 USEA YEH 5-year-old Championships saw a total of 41 horses. Out of those horses, seven horses have already earned partial qualifications thus far: MB MaiStein, Quality Obsession, Kosmo K, Crystal Crescent Moon, Global Invieto DHI, Foxdale’s Celtic Charm, and Stunner. Out of the seven horses, three horses are American bred: Kosmo K, a Thoroughbred gelding bred by owner Mary Quarles, Crystal Crescent Moon, a Connemara gelding bred by owner Nancy Winter, and Stunner, a Hanoverian gelding bred by owner Vicky Koss.

The Oldenburg gelding ridden by Tamra Smith and owned by the MB Group LLC., MB MaiStein (Rocky Lee x High Ovation) is currently first in line for the Holekamp/Turner Grant and The Dutta Corporation prize as he was the highest scoring horse at the 2018 YEH 5-year-old Championships with score of 88.29. Right behind MB MaiStein is the Dutch Warmblood mare Quality Obsession, ridden and owned by Tim Bourke, who placed second at the East Coast Championships with a score of 88.02. Next in line is Kosmo K (Corollary x Vandalayindustries) with a score of 84.02, Crystal Crescent Moon (Catherston Dazzler x Ebony Moon) with a score of 80.27, Global Invieto DHI (Up To Date x Rosieta.P) with a score of 77.37, Foxdale’s Celtic Charm (Diarado x Cheeky Rossa) with a score of 76.79, and Stunner (Escudo II x Whiz Bang) with a score 75.4. Six out of the seven horses competed in the 5-year-old East Coast Championship while Stunner competed in the 5-year-old West Coast Championship.

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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