Jun 24, 2021

The Race to Le Lion: Who is Eligible for the Holekamp/Turner Grant?

By Claire Kelley - USEA Staff
Cerafino D and Andrea Leatherman Davidson at the 2019 USEA YEH East Coast Championships. USEA/Leslie Mintz photo.

A total of ten USEA Young Event Horse (YEH) graduates are now in the race to Le Lion! 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. 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.

How to Qualify for Mondial du Lion?

Camarillo and Doug Payne are currently the front runners in the race to Le Lion. 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.

Who is Eligible to Receive the Holekamp/Turner Grant and The Dutta Corp. Prize?

Andrew McConnon and D'Luxe Steel have earned partial qualifications. USEA/Leslie Mintz photo.

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.

Which YEH Horses are Qualified?

DHI Showman at the 2019 USEA YEH East Coast Championships with owner Sami Crandall. USEA/Leslie Mintz photo.

As of June 17, 2021, there are now ten YEH horses in the race to Le Lion (two more than last month) 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 which makes him the front runner of those currently qualified for the Holekamp/Turner Grant.

Two more horses have recently obtained full qualifications, and those include 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 and DHI Showman recently obtained their full qualifications at VHT International on May 27-31 where they both completed the CCI3*-S.

Global Absolute and Colleen Rutledge at the 2019 USEA YEH East Coast Championships. USEA/Leslie Mintz photo.

Camarillo is the highest scoring horse out of the 10-horse field, but Global Absolute (Do It x Ballerina II) is the highest scoring horse out of the seven with partial qualifications. The Mecklenburg gelding is owned by the Black Diamond Partners, LLC and ridden by Marissa Nielsen, and recently earned his two-star qualification at the Twin Rivers Spring International CCI2*-L where he finished third.

Second on the list with partial qualifications is the Holsteiner mare ridden and owned by Matthew Bryner, Va Va Voom (Connelly x Na), who is the only horse out of the field that has graduated from both the USEA Future Event Horse (FEH) Program and USEA YEH Program. She obtained her partial qualification at the 2020 Tryon CCI2*-L where she finished within the top 10.

The five additional YEH horses with partial qualifications (listed in order of ranking) include the Dutch Warmblood gelding owned by Jeanne Shigo and ridden by Andrew McConnon, D’Luxe Steel (Up To Date x Nicola D.); Juniperus (Zapatero VDL x Fleur) a Dutch Warmblood gelding ridden by Amber Birtcil and owned by Cellar Farm Corp., and the only horse out of the field who competed at the 2019 USEA YEH West Coast Championships; 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 who competed under the name of ‘Excel Star Atlantic’ at the 2019 YEH East Coast Championship and is now 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.

Va Va Voom at the 2019 USEA YEH Championships with rider/owner Matthew Bryner. USEA/Leslie Mintz photo.

With several months to go, it’s anyone’s race! Stay tuned to the USEA website for more updates in the coming months.

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

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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