Nov 05, 2019

Two New USEA Leaderboards To Be Recognized at the 2019 USEA Annual Meeting & Convention

By Claire Kelley - USEA Staff
Maya Black and Miks Master C, leaders of the 7-year-old leaderboard. USEA/Leslie Mintz Photo.

This year, the United States Eventing Association (USEA) introduced two new national leaderboards: the 6-year-old leaderboard and 7-year-old leaderboard. These new honors, along with Morven Park’s new CCI3*-L 7-year-old division and CCI2*-L 6-year-old division, offers new opportunities for young event horses competing in the U.S. The 6-year-old leaderboard ranks 6-year-old horses at the Preliminary, CCI2*-S, and CCI2*-L level and the 7-year-old horses are ranked at the Intermediate, CCI3*-S, and CCI3*-L level.

The highest-ranked 6-year-old horse and the highest-ranked 7-year-old horse will both be recognized at the 2019 USEA Annual Meeting & Convention in Boston, Massachusetts on December 12-15. Currently, Laurie Cameron’s Swedish Warmblood gelding Miks Master C (Mighty Magic x Qui Luma CDB) is topping the 7-year-old leaderboard with 88 points and Nancy Winter's Connemara/British Sport Horse gelding, Crystal Crescent Moon (Catherston Dazzler x Ebony Moon) is topping the 6-year-old leaderboard with 44 points.

Allison Springer and Crystal Crescent Moon, leader of the 6-year-old leaderboard. USEA/Jessica Duffy Photo.

These leaderboards were the “missing link for evaluating horses in these two age groups,” described Tim Holekamp, who proposed the creation of the leaderboards in December 2018. Approved by the USEA Board of Governors, 2019 is the first year to have both a 6-year-old leaderboard and 7-year-old leaderboard.

“The main purpose was to start to complete the upward pathway for North American young event horses, which now stretches from yearlings through 7-year-olds, by way of the programs associated with the USEA Future Event Horse (FEH) and the USEA Young Event Horse (YEH), including the [Holekamp/Turner Lion d’Angers] for 7 year-olds,” said Holekamp. “What we are hoping is that over the next few years interest will rise in a little competition here in the U.S. among 6- and 7-year-old horses that are of particularly good breeding, talent, and conformation, using the existing USEA award point system as the measuring stick, but focused only on the Preliminary level for 6-year-olds and Intermediate for 7-year-olds.”

The reason why the 6-year-old leaderboard focuses on Preliminary level and 7-year-old leaderboard focuses on Intermediate level is because “these are the levels tested at the annual FEI World Championships for young event horses, called the Mondial Du Lion, held at the spectacular and challenging venue at Le Lion, France in the Anjou district each October,” explained Holekamp. “This is a heavily attended weekend venue consisting only of a CCI2*-L for 6-year-olds and a CCI3*- L for the 7-year-olds. In some of the recent years, the [Holekamp/Turner YEH Lion d’Angers] Grant has been able to send some very competitive 7-year-olds, with the current placing to beat being ninth place earned by D.A. Duras."

Holekamp, in part with Christine Turner, is responsible for the Holekamp/Turner Young Event Horse Lion d’Angers Grant that’s awarded to the highest scoring horse of the USEA YEH 5-year-old Championships with a cash prize that enables them to travel to Le Lion d’Angers in France for the 7-year-old CCI3*-L Championship.

D.A. Duras competing at the 2015 Le Lion D'Angers. Libby Law Photo.

“To improve the quality of the horses entering the eventing pipeline in the U.S. and to provide better mounts for our very talented cadre of riders,” said Holekamp. “The overall goal is to improve the quality of horses entering the eventing horse pipeline in the U.S. [and] to provide better mounts for our very talented cadre of riders. We believe that if we can focus on measuring the quality of domestic sport-specific breeding, the limited amount of resources (both time and money) available to provide horses to our upper riders and rising talents can be better spent on far more prospect horses than using large amounts to buy a few horses in Europe and the U.K. Increasing numbers of entries and attendance at YEH qualifiers, finals, and symposia imply that there is a thirst for improved knowledge and horses. Each time an American home-bred horse wins big internationally others are encouraged to try to produce similar prospects for the sport.”

“Each little bit of advancement matters,” said Holekamp, and this new advancement will benefit young event horses across the nation.

About the USEA Young Event Horse Program

The USEA 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 USEA would like to thank Bates Saddles, SmartPak, Standlee Hay Company, C4 Belts and Etalon Diagnostics for sponsoring the Young Event Horse Program.

About the USEA Future Event Horse Program

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.

The USEA would like to thank Bates Saddles, SmartPak, Standlee Hay Company, C4 Belts, Etalon Diagnostics and Guardian Horse Bedding for sponsoring the Future Event Horse Program.

Jul 02, 2022 Area Championships

Twelve Area III Champions Crowned at 2022 Area Championships

The Area III Championships kicked off the 2022 USEA Area Championship season June 24-26 at the Stable View Summer H.T. in Aiken, South Carolina. Offering 12 different championship divisions from Intermediate to Beginner Novice, the championships were highly contested as riders from all across Area III put in a gallant effort in hopes of being deemed division champion. The USEA caught up with many of the individual champions to look back on their performances in Aiken that helped them bring home the top prize.

Jul 01, 2022 Young Riders

USEA Announces Athletes for the 2022 Emerging Athlete 21 Program

The United States Eventing Association (USEA) is pleased to announce the athletes selected for the 2022 USEA Emerging Athlete 21 (EA21) Program. USEA Young Rider program members aged 21 and under are eligible for the program, which aims to creates a pipeline for potential U.S. team riders by identifying and developing young talent, improving horsemanship and riding skills, and training and improving skills and consistency.

Jul 01, 2022 AEC

Countdown to AEC: 2 Months Away! Tentative Competition, Entertainment Schedules, & More!

The USEA American Eventing Championships (AEC) presented by Nutrena Feeds are just two months away. The AEC moves to the mountains this year, taking place at Rebecca Farm in Kalispell, Montana across a long Labor Day weekend.

Jun 30, 2022 Competitions

Weekend Quick Links: July 2-3

Are you following along with the action from home this weekend? Or maybe you're competing at an event and need information fast. Either way, we’ve got you covered! Check out the USEA’s Weekend Quick Links for links to information including the prize list, ride times, live scores, and more for all the events running this weekend.

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