Oct 07, 2020

USEA Horse of the Month: Utah Beach

By Claire Kelley - USEA Staff

The 2020 USEA Future Event Horse (FEH) East Coast Championships recently took place at Loch Moy Farm in Adamstown, Maryland on September 26-27. The Championships judges, Susan Graham White and Robin Walker, judged a total of 39 horses on Saturday and Sunday. The 3- and 4-year-olds went on Saturday and the 2-year-olds and yearlings competed on Sunday. The final age group to compete on Sunday afternoon were the yearlings, and the Oldenburg colt, Utah Beach (Ulmar Mail x Avalan), earned the highest score of the weekend, an 87.15, to be named the FEH East Coast Yearling Overall Champion and Yearling Colt Champion.

As the highest scoring horse at the 2020 FEH East Coast Championships, Utah Beach is the USEA October Horse of the Month! Utah Beach is owned by Monica Fiss and bred by Elizabeth 'Didi' Callahan of Cool Na Grena Sporthorses in Oxford, Maryland.

Utah Beach in-hand with handler Martin Douzant at the USEA FEH East Coast Championships. USEA/Jessica Duffy Photo.

Proud owner Monica Fiss shares more about her smart and playful yearling who has a bright future ahead of him.

  • Barn Name?

“Utah Beach was born on June 6, which is the anniversary of the D-Day invasion of World War II. He was American-bred and his sire is Ulmar Mail so his name needed to start with U. [His breeder, Elizabeth Callahan known as] Didi decided to name him Utah Beach to honor the lesser-known invasion that accompanied D-Day that fought for our freedom. I wanted to honor this and keep the theme for his barn name. I decided to name him Fitch, which was the name of one of the surviving battleships in the Utah Beach invasion. I liked it because he is big, strong, and battleship gray in color.”

  • Favorite Treat?

“Fitch loves treats! He hasn’t met a treat yet that he doesn’t like. He loves carrots, apples, mints, and probably most of all stud muffins. He likes to stick his mouth out his grain scoop opening in his stall for a kiss and a treat.”

  • Personality traits?

“Fitch is very smart and has a playful personality. He is an extrovert and would like to meet (and play with) every horse, person, cat, and dog he crosses paths with. I think he has a touch of ADHD and I imagine eventing will be perfect to occupy his inquisitive mind.”

  • Likes?

“He is agreeable and likes most everything. He has fun free lunging in the arena, likes to jump over poles, and is enamored with the handsome horse in the mirror. He also likes to nibble on everything."

  • Dislikes?

“I can’t really think of anything he doesn’t like. He will pout a bit if we correct him when he’s being ornery.”

  • Future plans?

“I would like to continue the USEA Future Event Horse series as a 2-, 3-, 4-year-old, and possibly consider the Young Event Horse shows if he seems mature enough when the time comes. I want to event this horse and think he could have what it takes to make it to the five-star level. Dream big, right?”

  • Fun facts?

“I take Fitch everywhere with me. If I have an extra stall in the trailer he travels to the shows with us. He went to his first show at six months old and hung out. He has been cross-country schooling with us and liked to touch all the big jumps.”

Utah Beach with handler Martin Douzant (right), owner Monica Fiss (center), and judges Susan Graham-White (far left) and Robin Walker (center left). USEA/Jessica Duffy Photo.

Miss any of the previous 2020 horses of the month? Find out about the USEA January Horse of the Month, USEA February Horse of the Month, USEA March Horse of the Month, USEA April Horse of the Month, USEA May Horse of the Month, USEA June Horse of the Month, USEA July Horse of the Month, USEA August Horse of the Month, and the USEA September Horse of the Month.

About the USEA Horse of the Month

The USEA is recognizing an event horse each month on the USEA website and social media. The USEA Horse of the Month is determined based on performance and event results and announced at the beginning of every month. The October Horse of the Month was determined by the performance at the 2020 USEA FEH East Coast and Central Championships.

Stay tuned for the 2020 USEA FEH West Coast Championships that will run in conjunction with the 2020 USEA Young Event Horse (YEH) Championships at Twin Rivers Ranch in Paso Robles, California on October 23-24.

Feb 02, 2023 Eventing News

In Memoriam: James C. Wofford

The USEA is heartbroken to hear about the loss of James “Jimmy” C. Wofford. A lifelong lover and supporter of the sport, Wofford has had an astounding influence on where eventing is today and has tirelessly supported the goals of the United States Eventing Association. He served as president of the American Horse Show Association (now U.S. Equestrian (USEF)), was the first vice-president of the U.S. Equestrian Team (USET), and served as secretary of the USCTA (now USEA). He served two terms as a member of the FEI Eventing Committee, including two years as vice chairman. In addition, he has served on numerous committees during his career.

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Amanda Walker wasn’t sure what she’d gotten herself into when she went to try Runaway Romeo as a potential sales project in 2018. The gelding was a bit bigger than Walker was looking for and was quite pushy coming out of the stall. When she got on, it didn’t get much better.

Jan 31, 2023 Educational Activities

USEA's Tip Tuesday: Cross-Country Positions with Karen O'Connor

For seasoned and novice riders alike, it is always good to revisit the basics. Serving as the foundation for any eventer, the positions used on the cross-country course differ from those in the dressage or show jumping ring. The USEA tuned into five-time Olympian, three-time World Equestrian Games rider, two Pan-American Games rider, and USEA ECP certified coach Karen O'Connor as she walked coaches and students at the USEA ECP Symposium through the basic positions for effective cross-country riding.

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