With over 100 horses qualified for the USEA Young Event Horse (YEH) Championships, 2013 was a phenomenal year of growth for the YEH Program. Fair Hill International, held in Elkton, Maryland, was host to the ninth annual USEA YEH East Coast Championships while the Galway Downs International Three-Day Event and H.T. in Temecula, California served as the competition site for the fifth annual USEA YEH West Coast Championships.
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 successful upper-level event horses. The 2013 YEH 5-year-old graduate horses who went on to reach the highest levels of eventing include Mr Bojangles, Dutch Times, D.A. Duras, Northern Quest Lady’s Man, Right Above It, Ringwood Justice, and The Green Machine.
It was Bruce Davidson’s entry Mr Bojangles who topped the field in the 2013 USEA YEH 5-year-old East Coast Championships on a score of 82.53. The Thoroughbred gelding by Mystic Replica and out of Memorial Cap was bred by Davidson who competed him through the Preliminary level before the Saxe family purchased him in 2015. Leila Saxe and the then 7-year-old grew together from the Beginner Novice level all the way to the CCI3*-S level. Most recently, in April of 2021 Catlyn Harms competed at the Novice level with Mr Bojangles in Ocala, Florida.
Finishing fourth at the 2013 USEA YEH 5-year-old East Coast Championships was Christina Aharoni’s Dutch Warmblood gelding Dutch Times (Good Times x Alino Queen) piloted by Tik Maynard. Maynard and Dutch Times campaigned through the CCI3*-S level before Arielle Aharoni took over the reins in 2016. The pair have had several top three placings at the Intermediate level throughout their career together, with their most recent success being a second-place finish in the CCI4*-S at Fair Hill International in April 2021.
The Dutch Warmblood gelding D.A. Duras (Numero Uno X Medoc) rounded out his YEH career with a fifth-place finish in the USEA YEH East Coast Championships with then owner/rider Debbie Adams. Following his top five placing, Kelly Prather earned the ride on D.A. Duras in 2014 and competed him through the Intermediate level through 2015. D.A. Duras made history as the first recipient of the Holekamp/Turner Young Event Horse Lion d’Angers Grant, which is awarded to the highest scoring horse during the YEH 5-year-old Championships who has qualified for the 7-year-old three-star Championships at Mondial du Lion in Le Lion d’Angers, France. Currently owned by Jacqueline Mars, Lauren Nicholson took over the ride in 2016. Together, Nicholson and the bay gelding received numerous impressive placings including a third-place finish in the 2019 Great Meadow International CCI4*-S. Now, D.A. Duras competes at the Grand Prix level of show jumping.
Northern Quest Lady’s Man (West Cork x Silver Lady) has had the same owner and rider, Jorgen Olijslager, since the Irish Draught Sport Horse gelding’s debut at the YEH 5-year-old East Coast Championships. Their lengthy partnership has progressed from the YEH series to the Advanced level. They most recently competed in the CCI3*-S at Stable View in March of 2021.
After a successful career through Preliminary with Jennie Brannigan in which no jump faults on cross-country would be added to his record in his 21 outings, YEH graduate Right Above It (Lord Z x Her Highness) would continue to thrive under the direction of Erika Nessler. From 2014-2019, Nessler guided the Irish Sport Horse gelding from Training level to a sixth-place finish out of 53 starters in his second attempt at the CCI4*-S level at Plantation Field International in 2019. After a brief break from competition, Right Above It returned to competition in 2021 with Lauren Burnell in the tack and the pairing most recently competed at the Preliminary level at The Event at Rebecca Farm.
Several members of the graduating class of the 2013 USEA YEH 5-year-old West Coast Championships are also still competing, including third-place finisher Ringwood Justice. Owned and ridden by Derek di Grazia, the Irish Sport Horse gelding (Titulus x Slytely Cinnamon) bred by Peter Leonard finished on a score of 81.51. The partnership has continued to grow since 2015, working their way up to the CCI4*-S level. Ringwood Justice is a consistent performer on cross-country, delivering clear rounds at almost every Intermediate outing he has had in his career.
Finishing in sixth place at the 2013 USEA YEH 5-year-old West Coast Championships was the Irish Sport Horse Gelding The Green Machine (Formula One x Peaches). Piloted by owner Anna Collier, The Green Machine finished out his YEH career on a score of 79 at Galway Downs. With Collier in the irons, the gelding won three of his five Intermediate outings and jumped clear on cross-country at every outing he made at the level. Since 2017, The Green Machine has been serving as an excellent teacher at the lower levels and most recently competed with current owner Alexa Marandas at Training level at The Event at Rebecca Farm in 2021.
Twelve additional horses who competed in the 2013 USEA YEH 5-year-old Championships that competed through the Intermediate/CCI3* level include Good Enough an Irish Sport Horse of unknown breeding; As Cool As Ice (Ciceras Ice Water x Fria the Ice Queen) a Holsteiner mare; Get Lucky a Dutch Warmblood gelding of unknown breeding; Gaelic Wealth (Galloping Gael x Personal Wealth) a Thoroughbred gelding bred by David Ahearn; Roulette (Rosenthal x Lady Logan) an Oldenburg gelding bred by Cynthia McNemar; Fernhill Tiger Con (Ustinov x Piska) an Irish Sport Horse gelding bred by Basil Kyle; Exterminator a Thoroughbred gelding bred by Stoney Oaks TBn; MTF Cooley Knight (Lancelot x Sea Bright Clover) an Irish Sport Horse gelding bred by Michael Purtill; Code Name (Cormint x Mystera) a Holsteiner gelding; Sunsprite Syrius (Titulus x Slightly Cinnamon) a Trakehner gelding; Dempsey (Idocus x Wildegunde) a Dutch Warmblood gelding; and Irish Blend (Rascalino x Miss Congeniality) an Irish Sport Horse mare.
Congratulations to all the YEH graduates and stay tuned for the next class – the class of 2013! To look back at previous YEH Yearbooks, click here.
When super groom Max Corcoran mentioned in 2005 that it would be fun to participate in a USEA Classic Series event, her employer and eventing legend Karen O’Connor took that to heart. “I did a lot of grooming for the classic format when Kentucky and all those other competitions were proper long format,” Corcoran shared. “When Gretchen [Butts] started offering the Classic Series at Waredaca [Gaithersburg, Maryland,] she asked if I would come up and do some lectures to help people understand what the 10-minute box was and how to pack for it. I did that a few times and said to Karen, ‘Man, it would be so fun to do one of these.’ And so Karen's like, 'You want to do one? Yeah, you're gonna do one next year.'”
Has this horse quality? The answer is definitely yes. This first impression is so important. As a selector for the Goresbridge Go for Gold Event horse sale, I have an abbreviation ‘GPO’ which stands for "Good Pull Out." It means that the first look prompts the potential client the need to bring the horse out of his box for a further look.
It was a beautiful but chilly weekend in the pines at the Setters' Run Farm Carolina International. After a record-setting 19.4 in the CCI4*-S dressage, Will Coleman became the first three-time winner in the event's history when he led from start to finish on Hyperion Stud's Chin Tonic HS.
West Coast eventers experienced tremendous success in 2022. Tamie Smith recorded top-10 finishes at Badminton in England, at the FEI World Championships at Pratoni in Italy, and at the Maryland 5 Star at Fair Hill. Helen Alliston won the $60,000 Adequan USEA Advanced Final, and Tommy Greengard captured the USEA Intermediate Championship at the USEA American Eventing Championships (AEC), presented by Nutrena Feeds. James Alliston returned to the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event for the first time since 2017 and finished third in the CCI4*-S.