The United States Eventing Association (USEA) Young Event Horse (YEH) Championships are now just over four months away and young horses are well underway earning their qualifications for the fall. The Championships offer classes for qualified 4-year-olds and qualified 5-year-old horses on both the East and West Coasts. Those in the 5-year-old division on both coasts will vie for the prestigious Holekamp/Turner Le Lion d'Angers Prize and Grant for the chance to compete at the FEI Eventing World Breeding Championships for Young Horses at Le Lion d’Angers in France as a 7-year-old.
The YEH East Coast Championships will be in Elkton, Maryland at Fair Hill International on Thursday-Friday, October 17-18, 2019. The YEH West Coast Championships will be in Fresno, California at the Fresno County Horse Park on Sunday, October 20, 2019.
To qualify for YEH Championships, horses must earn a score of 75% or higher at one qualifying event. New in 2019, the scoring of a 70% or higher at two events will no longer be accepted. Details about this change were released last December - click here for additional information about this change. Qualified horses will be allowed to participate at one Championship only.
Entries for the YEH East Coast Championships at Fair Hill International will open on August 20 and close September 17, and the first 55 qualified horses that enter before the closing date will be accepted. Of those 55 horses, 15 slots will be saved for the YEH-4 division, and 40 will be saved for the YEH-5 division. Once those numbers are reached, the competition management reserves the right to compile a waiting list. Of those horses on the waiting list, the horses with the highest qualifying scores will then be accepted to fill the maximum number of accepted horses. Horses may still earn qualifications up to 10 days before the YEH Championships begin.
For the YEH West Coast Championships, entries open September 3 and will close on October 1. If large entries occur, then the same waiting list practices will be adapted from the YEH East Coast Championships.
The YEH Championship judges on both coasts this year will be two judges returning from 2018: Sally Ike (USA), and Chris Ryan (IRL). Sally Ike will judge the dressage while Chris Ryan judges the conformation, and then they will judge the jumping phase together.
The USEA recently added a list of 2019 Young Event Horse Championships Qualified Horses and a list of 2019 Future Event Horse (FEH) Championships Qualified Horses to the website. These two lists will be updated each month throughout the 2019 competition season.
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 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 Holekamp/Turner Young Event Horse Lion d’Angers Prize and Grant awards the highest scorer of the USEA Young Event Horse 5-Year-Old East and West Coast Championships combined with a cash prize that will enable them to travel to the FEI World Breeding Eventing Championships at Le Lion d’Angers in France for the 7-year-old three-star Championships. Winners who are North American-bred will be awarded with $17,500 to travel to Le Lion d’Angers and imported horses will be awarded $8,000. Click here for more information about the Grant.
The USEA would like to thank Timothy Holekamp of New Spring Farm and his family and Christine Turner of Indian Creek Farm and her family for spearheading this grant and raising funds to support it.
On this episode of the Equiratings Eventing Podcast, show host Nicole Brown talks to Pan American Games gold medalist and U.S. team stalwart Boyd Martin about his career to date, highs and lows, and coming back from injury.
On Monday, March 8 at 5:00 p.m. Eastern, USEF will host a member webinar providing updates on the impacts of the case of EHV-1 (neurological) reported in Ocala, Florida. This case is similar in nature, but unrelated to the neurological strain of EHV-1 impacting Valencia (ESP) and other European countries.
As competitors rise through the levels, they often see the costs associated with competition rise and, unfortunately for most organizers, this can’t be avoided. With fewer competitors requiring more jumps, officials, footing management, etc., the expenses for running higher levels – especially FEI – are greater than lower levels.
Our sport is going to present you with many amazing opportunities, and some equally amazing challenges. While you’re sure to enjoy the opportunities, it sometimes takes a little more effort to enjoy the challenges. Contrary to the common misconception (from non-equestrians) that our sport is easy, it’s actually one of the hardest and most demanding sports of all!