The 2016 USEA Young Event Horse (YEH) 5-year-old Championships saw over 40 competitors between the East and West Coast Championships held at the Dutta Corp. Fair Hill International in Elkton, Maryland, and the Woodside International in Woodside, California. Following 2016’s YEH finale, many of the graduating class of the 2016 USEA Young Event Horse Championships have worked their way up through the rankings to leave a mark on upper-level eventing.
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 2016 YEH 5-year-old graduate horses who went on to reach the highest levels of eventing include Woodford Reserve, Ally KGO, Quantum Leap, Quality Time, and Eclaire.
The 2021 USEA YEH West Coast 5-year-old Champion Woodford Reserve (Tinarana’s Inspector x Laharns Laughton) has been carefully produced by owner/rider Erin Kellerhouse since his YEH debut in 2016. The Irish Sport Horse gelding, bred by Frank Hickey, made easy work of the lower levels and has a nearly spotless cross-country jump record. He made his FEI debut in 2017 at the then CIC* (now CCI2*-S) level where he placed second at the same event where he was crowned YEH Champion in 2016, the Woodside International Horse Trials. The gelding completed his first CCI3*-S in 2019 at the Fresno County Horse Park CCI & H.T., bringing home third place honors. Proving to be Woodford Reserve’s stomping grounds, the Woodside International Horse Trials would also be where he would make his CCI4*-S debut in 2020, where he only added 4.80 time penalties and 4 jump penalties to his score to finish in second. Most recently, the Irish gelding won the CCI4*-S at Woodside in October of 2021.
The Trakehner mare Ally KGO (Hirtentanz *E* x Annabel Lee), now owned by the Ally KGO Syndicate, LLC, placed fifth at the YEH East Coast Championships in 2016 and sixth overall. Bred by KD Trakehners, Ally KGO originally started her eventing career under the guidance of Morgan McCue who competed the mare in the YEH 4-year-old East Coast Championships in 2015 where she would finish in fifth. Following their YEH experience, McCue took the mare through the Training level before Caitlin Silliman took over the ride in 2016. Following their top-10 placing in the 5-year-old Championships, Silliman and Ally KGO would finish in third in the Preliminary Rider division at the 2017 USEA American Eventing Championships before moving up to the then CIC2* (now CCI3*-S) level in 2018 where the pairing would add a fourth-place finish out of a large field at the Fair Hill International Horse Trials to their record. 2019 was a fruitful year for the partnership with a second-place finish in the CCI3*-S at Great Meadow and a third-place finish in their CCI3*-L debut at Fair Hill. The mare made her first four-star appearance in the summer of 2021 at Great Meadow and most recently placed fourth in the CCI4*-L at Morven Park in October of last year.
Quantum Leap (Quite Capitol x Report to Sloopy) not only placed seventh at the YEH East Coast Championships and eighth overall, but he was also the recipient of the 2018 Holekamp/Turner Young Event Horse Le Lion d’Angers Prize and Grant which assisted him in competing at the FEI World Breeding Eventing Championships for Young Horses at Le Mondial du Lion d’Angers in France. Doug and Jessica Payne purchased the horse as a yearling and Doug has produced him from the ground up. The horse has a spotless cross-country jump record through 2019 all the way up to the CCI4* level. He was third out of 40 entries in the 2020 Stable View Oktoberfest CCI4*-S, adding just 6.00 time penalties to his dressage score of 26.80. He made his first five-star appearance at the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event in April of 2021 but saw an unfortunate 20 added to their score. Eager to redeem themselves, Payne and Quantum Leap returned to the five-star level at the inaugural Maryland 5 Star at Fair Hill following a second-place finish in the Advanced division at the 2021 USEA American Eventing Championships, presented by Nutrena Feeds, and a third-place finish in the CCI4*-S at Stable View Oktoberfest. With just 1.2 time penalties added to their dressage score over the course of the entire weekend, Payne and Quantum Leap finished in 9th place in the CCI5* division.
Tim Bourke has been the only rider to compete Carla Abramcheck’s Irish Sport Horse mare Quality Time (Guidam x Ruby Roller) for the entirety of her career. While the mare didn’t have the highest of placings at the 5-year-old championships, she quickly proved her worth on the cross-country field and sports a fault-free jump record across the country with very few time penalties as well. Her first four-star outing was in 2019 at the Carolina International where she just added 0.40 time penalties in cross-country and show jumping to her dressage score. In 2021, Quality Time had two first place and one second-place finish at the Advanced level.
The German Sport Horse mare Eclaire (Furejev x Evita) owned by Mark and Katherine Bellissimo and Jimmie Schramm has developed beautifully since competing at the YEH Championships in 2016. She has just one jumping fault on her record on cross-country throughout her entire career. As the levels got more challenging, the mare continued to step up to the plate with Schramm in the irons and 2021 seemed to be her year. The pair had six top-10 finishes, with the highlight of the year being a fifth-place finish at the mare’s first-ever time at the CCI4*-L level at Tryon in November of 2021.
Eight additional horses who competed in the 2015 USEA YEH 5-year-old Championships who competed through the Intermediate/CCI3* level include Foreign Quality (Warrant x Orsina II) a Dutch Warmblood gelding, Landmark’s Mochachino (Maxamillion x Tyrrell) a Warmblood gelding, Galileo WP (Ustinov x Alexia) a Dutch Warmblood gelding, Luna a Dutch Warmblood mare of unknown breeding, Stoneman DF (Grindstone x Smiler) a Thoroughbred gelding, Geluk HVF (Jazz x Bronte HVF) a Dutch Warmblood stallion, Captain Chocco (by Chacco Blue) an Oldenburg gelding, Graceland’s Liebling (Libero Star x Rittersporn) an Oldenburg mare, and Brando (Banderas x Marlo) an Oldenburg gelding.
Congratulations to all the YEH graduates and stay tuned for the next class – the class of 2017! To look back at previous YEH Yearbooks, click here.
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 Premium Western Forage, Parker Equine Insurance, Saratoga Horseworks, and The Jockey Club 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.
The countdown is on for the 2022 USEA American Eventing Championships presented by Nutrena Feeds! This year, the USEA AEC moves to the beautiful Rebecca Farm in Kalispell, Montana. The AEC will move back to the Kentucky Horse Park in 2023, so if you have ever dreamed of riding in the Flathead Valley of Montana with views of Glacier National Park, you won’t want to miss this year’s very special opportunity.
USEA Podcast host Nicole Brown is joined by USEA CEO Rob Burk and USEA President Max Corcoran to look back on the highlights of the season so far. From the big five-stars to the road to Pratoni and what to look forward to this year.
When Auburn University’s Alayna Backel jumped the final jump on her cross-country course today you couldn’t even hear the announcer over the mob of Auburn students, fans, and family members standing at the finish flags. As the last member of the Auburn War Eagles team to compete at the 2022 USEA Intercollegiate Eventing Championships, Backel’s double-clear cross-country round with Amy Dobbins’ 17-year-old Halflinger gelding Oliver Twist (Aurora x Ludora de Las Perlas) solidified Auburn’s first victory at the Intercollegiate Championships in three years on a cumulative team score of 79.23.
It has been three years since Auburn University has clinched the title of USEA Intercollegiate Eventing Champions, but the team aimed to rectify that at the 2022 Championships by sending six teams to compete, one of which, the Auburn War Eagles, sits in the pole position following the first day of competition.