Twin Rivers Ranch in the picturesque wine country of Paso Robles, California, is once again the host to the Dutta Corp. USEA Young Event Horse (YEH) and USEA Future Event Horse (FEH) Championships. The Championships consist of six divisions: The Dutta Corp. USEA YEH West Coast 5-year-old and 4-year-old Championships, and the USEA FEH West Coast 4-year-old, 3-year-old, 2-year-old, and Yearling Championships. All six divisions of the Championships competed on Friday with the FEH 2-year-old and yearling classes crowning their champions.
The Future Event Horse Yearling from 2020, Trilogy (Claire de Lune x Honor Jean), returned to justify her previous crowning and to mark up yet another win in the FEH 2-year-old division. Janine Jano, owner, and breeder of the Belgian Warmblood filly was quite thrilled. “For her to have won two years in a row is beyond our wildest expectations,” said Jano. “I am so excited that more than one judge thinks she is as spectacular as they do.”
Jaro not only attributes the filly's success to her handler, Ghislaine Homan-Taylor, but also to pure luck. “I bought the breeding to him [Clair de Lune] at Galway in 2009. I just liked him.”
Standing closely behind in second was Sarah McCarthy’s homebred Connemara gelding, Totality DFEN (Redbuds Blue Moon x She’s Magic) with a score of 76.3. Taking the third spot was Serena Carlson handling her own Ivy League (Iconicus x Diabolus) Oldenberg filly.
The FEH yearling championship was won by Megan Bittle’s homebred, Chammander BDF (Blue Dreamin x CMeFly) Warmblood gelding.
The race for the FEH 3-year-old Championship is closely contested with less than a point between first and second. Rylin Clarke and her Holsteiner filly, NSF Cassiopeia (Chiron x Be A Star) are the overnight leaders with a score of 77.40. Clarke has only owned the filly for six months. “She’s out of one of my favorite mares that I have ever ridden before, “ said Clarke “I want to take her as far as she can go, I think she will like eventing overall. She is super willing to do anything I ask her to do.”
Right on her heels in second is Chloe Smyth with last year’s FEH 2-year-old champion, RSH Goliath (Gringo-Gallipoli x Sam’s Girl). The Hanoverian gelding finished the first day on a score of 77.20.
As well as being presented for confirmation, the FEH 4-year-olds were put through their paces under saddle on Friday. This group of well-behaved youngsters is currently being led by Allyson Hartenburg's Thoroughbred mare, Test Pilot HE (Empire Way x Desert Tony). Sitting in a close second is Emily Russell's Thoroughbred gelding, American Quest (Daddy Nose Best x Shellys Terms).
Both the 3-year old and the 4-year old FEH divisions will demonstrate their aptitude over fences in the jump chute Saturday afternoon.
The beginning of the day consisted of the dressage and conformation portion of the competition for the Dutta Corp. USEA YEH West Coast 4- and 5-year old Championships. The overnight leader in the 5-year-old Championship is Cellar Farm Corp.’s, Lex D (Freeman VDL x Berber) handled by Amber Birtcil.
Sitting on a score of 26.3, Lex D and Birtcil will go into the final phase of the Championship with less than a point between the pair and runner-up, Andrea Baxter and her homebred Dutch Warmblood gelding, Liefhebber (Connect x Vrijbuiter).
The 4-year-olds were also put through their moves this morning in the 4-year-old Championships. Out of the 10 horse field, Jillian Terzian took the lead on Kristi and Randy Nunnink's Thoroughbred gelding NSF R-Twain Star (The Twain x R Star). “I’m really happy with him,” said Terzian, “He was nicely relaxed, he’s just an easy good guy.” Kaylawna Smith sits in second place with Anita Nardine’s Oldenburg gelding, Quinn HSR (Quarterback x Bonne Chance).
YEH competition moves into the jump field today where horses will gallop as well as jump both showjumping and cross country obstacles to demonstrate their ability under tack.
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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, 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.
The USEA introduced the Future Event Horse Program in 2007 in response to the popularity of the already established USEA Young Event Horse Program. Where the YEH program assesses 4- and 5-year-old prospective event horses based on their performance, the FEH program evaluates yearlings, 2-year-olds, 3-year-olds, and 4-year-olds for their potential for the sport based on conformation and type. Yearlings, 2-year-olds, and 3-year-olds are presented in-hand while 4-year-olds are presented under saddle at the walk, trot, and canter before being stripped of their tack and evaluated on their conformation. Divisions are separated by year and gender. At the Championships, 3-year-olds and 4-year-olds are also required to demonstrate their potential over fences in an additional free-jump division. Click here to learn more about the Future Event Horse Program.
After a one-year gap, eventers from all over are ready to gather together and engage in four days of seminars, presentations, and gatherings at the USEA Annual Meeting & Convention. This year’s convention begins Thursday morning at the Hyatt Regency Albuquerque Hotel and continues through the weekend.
Over 40 horses competed in the USEA Young Event Horse (YEH) 5-year-old East and West Coast Championships in 2015. The YEH East Coast Championships were held during the Dutta Corp. Fair Hill International in Elkton, Maryland, while the YEH West Coast Championships took place at Galway Downs in Temecula, California. Following 2015’s YEH finale, many of the graduating class of the 2015 USEA Young Event Horse Championships have gone on to make their mark on the upper levels of eventing.
Nicole Brown is joined by a panel of experts including top FEI veterinarian Dr. Emily Sandler-Burtness, five-star eventer Will Faudree, and professional eventer and horsemanship expert Tik Maynard to answer all of your biggest questions.
I’d like to start my Holiday Pressure Proof Tip with an excerpt from my new book Bolder Braver Brighter.
"Imagine leaning against a tree while your horse grazes happily beside you. You feel the warm sunshine and breeze on your cheek, hear the chirping of nearby birds, and smell the fragrance of the grass and wildflowers. Your horse nickers quietly and all you can think about is how lucky you are to have this horse and this sport and this life… right here, right now.