Like the years before it, 2010 was another year of growth for the USEA Young Event Horse Series (YEH). The USEA YEH East Coast Championships were once again held at Fair Hill International and the USEA YEH West Coast Championships, now in their second year, were hosted at Twin Rivers Ranch in Paso Robles, California. The two championships combined saw 26 starters and there were 18 qualifying events held over the course of the year.
Now, the YEH program has YEH competitions across the country, The Dutta Corp. USEA Young Event Horse Championships take place on both the East and West Coasts, and there is the opportunity to receive the Holekamp/Turner Lion d’Angers Grant where the recipient wins a cash prize up to $17,500 to travel to the FEI World Breeding Eventing Championships at Le Lion d’Angers in France. In addition, The Dutta Corp. will donate a roundtrip flight to the grant recipient.
This well-established program has seen many horses go through its doors, but more importantly, there are several horses that have fulfilled the program’s mission to become a successful upper level event horse. The 2010 YEH 5-year-old graduate horses who went on to reach the highest levels of eventing include D.A. Adirmo, Zeizos, Alcatraz, Marble Arch, Zauberruf, William Street, Cappuccino Ice, Carmac, Flagmount’s Allstar, Fuerst Harrisburg, Chaos, and Tall Tale.
D.A. Adirmo, who finished as the 5-year-old Reserve Champion on a score of 79.15 at the 2010 USEA YEH East Coast Championships under the name Adirmo, was a Dutch Warmblood gelding sired by Rash R, out of Tadirmie, and bred by R.J. Hegen in the Netherlands. Owner Debbie Adams competed him in his 5-year-old year, including at the YEH Championships, and then the ride went to Ashley Kehoe while Adirmo was competing at the Training and Preliminary level. Adams took the ride back in 2012, moving Adirmo up to the Intermediate level, and in the fall of 2012 the ride went to Buck Davidson. Adirmo and Davidson competed up through the Advanced/CCI3* (now CCI4*-L) level, earning top finishes including first in the Advanced at the Rocking Horse Winter II Horse Trials, second in the Jersey Fresh International CCI3* (now CCI4*-L), and fifth in the Millbrook Horse Trials Advanced, along with wins at the Intermediate level at Morven Park, Poplar Place, Ocala Horse Properties, the Maryland Horse Trials, and the Stuart Horse Trials. Most recently, Adirmo was competing at the Preliminary level with Margot Luria.
Carmac was ridden to a fifth-place finish in YEH 5-year-old division at the Longwood Farm YEH Qualifier by Rebecca Hoos, finishing on a score of 69.52. Owned by Morgan Shaw, Carmac is a Thoroughbred gelding by New Trieste and out of Sherunsfornanny that was bred for the track but never raced. William Hoos competed Carmac successfully through the Advanced/CCI3* (now CCI4*-L) level, finishing third in the CIC3* (now CCI4*-S) at Poplar Place in the fall of 2012 and seventh in the Advanced at Poplar Place in the spring of 2013. In 2014, the ride went to Michael Pollard, who earned several top-five finishes with Carmac at the Intermediate level at venues including the Ocala Horse Park, Poplar Place, and Chattahoochee Hills. In 2015, Heather Hornsby purchased Carmac and has since competed him up through the Intermediate level as well.
Marble Arch (Silver Whirlwind x Maximillian Mystiko), an Anglo-Arab/Trakehner gelding imported from the UK, finished fourth in the 2010 USEA YEH 5-year-old East Coast Championship with owner Helen Brettell on a score of 78.02. From his 6-year-old year onward, Marble Arch competed with Stephen Bradley, progressing together to the Intermediate/CIC2* (now CCI3*-S) level, earning second place in the Intermediate at the Maryland Horse Trials, first place in the Intermediate at Chattahoochee Hills, sixth in the Intermediate at the Virginia Horse Trials, and sixth in the Richland Park CIC2* (now CCI3*-S).
In fifth place behind Marble Arch on a score of 77.68 was Zauberruf (Hibiskus x Zauberlied), a Trakehner stallion bred by Phillip Schöning in Germany and owned and ridden by Darren Chiacchia. Chiacchia competed Zauberruf up through the Intermediate/CCI2* (now CCI3*-L) level, completing events at Red Hills International and Poplar Place Farm.
Daryl Layfield-Insley’s William Street (VT Tsunami x Bold Marisa), an Oldenburg gelding, was sixth at the USEA YEH East Coast 5-year-old Championships on a score of 77.48. Layfield-Insley competed William Street up through the Preliminary level, passing the ride to Boyd Martin in 2014. Together, William Street and Martin completed several Intermediate level events, earning sixth place at Pine Top and Carolina International and seventh place at Plantation Field. Most recently, William Street competed at the Novice level with Fiona McGahren.
Cappuccino Ice (Cicera’s Icewater x Isis du Desert), a Holsteiner gelding owned and bred by Rosemarie Merle-Smith, was ridden to a seventh-place finish in the USEA YEH East Coast Championships by Hannah Burnett on a score of 77.14. Rosemarie’s daughter Nicolette Merle-Smith campaigned Cappuccino Ice up through the Intermediate level, finishing sixth at Plantation Field and 10th at the Horse Park of New Jersey. Cappuccino stepped down from the upper levels in 2016 and competed at the Training level with Sidney Baughman.
Janet Marden’s Flagmount’s Allstar (Flagmount’s Freedom x Velma), an Irish Sport Horse gelding, won the YEH 5-year-old division at Meadowcreek Park with rider Stuart Black, finishing on a score of 92.41. Flagmount’s Allstar was ridden at the Training level by Amanda Merritt and then at the Preliminary level by Natalie Lester and Kim Severson before Marden took the ride back. Marden and Flagmount’s Allstar completed the Intermediate division at the Texas Rose Horse Park in seventh place. Laura Welsh is currently competing with Flagmount’s Allstar at the Preliminary level.
Fuerst Harrisburg (Fuerst Grayheart x Reed’s Rising Star), an American Warmblood bred by Carolyn Reed and owned by Ellen Doughty-Hume, placed third in the YEH 5-year-old division at Richland Park on a score of 71.94. Doughty-Hume competed Fuerst Harrisburg up through the Intermediate/CCI2* (now CCI3*-L) level, finishing fourth in their debut at the level at Holly Hill Farm, earning top-10 finishes at Ocala Horse Properties and Rocking Horse, finishing 15th in the CIC2* (now CCI3*-S) at Chattahoochee Hills, and finishing 18th in the CCI2* (now CCI3*-L) at Richland Park.
Anni Grandia’s Quarter Horse gelding Chaos (Cahuna x Cindy’s Foxy Lady) finished fifth in the YEH 5-year-old division at The Event at Rebecca Farm on a score of 72.1. Bred and ridden by Grandia, Chaos moved up the levels and was very successful at the Intermediate/CCI2* (now CCI3*-L), earning top-10 finishes in Intermediate divisions up and down the West Coast including fourth place in the CIC2* (now CCI3*-S) at Rebecca Farm, third in the Intermediate Championship at Caber Farm, ninth in the CIC2* (now CCI3*-S) at Galway Downs, and fourth at the CCI3*-S at Twin Rivers. In 2020, Chaos competed at the Training and Preliminary level with Alisa Gilbert.
Zeizos (Gentleman x Sentimental), a Dutch Warmblood gelding, was ridden by Ryan Wood for owner Sarah Hughes in the YEH 5-year-old division at Waredaca, finishing in first place on a score of 79.11. Zeizos started out at the Intermediate level the following spring with Phillip Dutton before the ride passed to Allison Springer, who took him to his first CIC2* (now CCI3*-S). Katie Willis piloted Zeizos around the Intermediate at the Virginia Horse Trials in the spring of 2012, and then Wood became Zeizos’s primary rider in 2015. They earned several top finishes at the Preliminary level before Zeizos was sold to Carly Weilminster, who competed with Zeizos at the Novice level.
Right behind Zeizos in the Waredaca YEH 5-year-old division was his stablemate, Alcatraz (Lady Killer x Annes), an Oldenburg gelding also owned by Sarah Hughes, in second place on a score of 77.29. Like Zeizos, Alcatraz moved up to the Intermediate level the following spring with Dutton and then Springer took over the ride, piloting Alcatraz to second place in his first CIC2* (now CCI3*-S) at Fair Hill International. In 2015, Wood began riding Alcatraz and piloted him to top finishes at the Intermediate/CCI2* (now CCI3*) level including third in the CIC2* (now CCI3*-S) at Red Hills International, second in the CIC2* (now CCI3*-S) at Fair Hill International and third in the CCI2* (now CCI3*-L) at Jersey Fresh. In 2018, the ride went to British rider Alexander Bragg, who earned several top-10 finishes with Alcatraz at the CIC2* (now CCI3*-S) and CCI4*-S levels. Irish rider Cathal Daniels has been competing with Alcatraz since 2019 at the CCI4*-S level. Alcatraz has also been highly successful at the hybrid Arena Eventing competitions both in the U.S. and in Europe.
Tall Tale (Sam the Pettyjudge x Givemyregardstosam), a Thoroughbred mare bred by Virginia Benz-Shemonic and owned and ridden by Adrianna Nannini, finished sixth in the YEH 5-year-old division at Waredaca on a score of 74.37. Tall Tale and Nannini have been competing successfully at the Preliminary level since 2011 and finished 10th in their single attempt at the Intermediate level at the Seneca Valley Pony Club Horse Trials in 2018.
Congratulations to all the YEH graduates and stay tuned for the next class – the class of 2011! To look back at previous YEH Yearbooks, click here.
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, 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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This story first appeared in the August 2022 issue of Sidelines Magazine.
I have had many young horses in my time, and one thing I’ve learned is that it’s rarely the perfect, easy baby that becomes the next superstar. In fact, I’ve always considered it a positive to have the well-behaved youngster throw a little bit of attitude my way, as I believe that it takes fight to become a great event horse.