The 2019 USEA American Eventing Championships (AEC) presented by Nutrena Feeds took place at the Kentucky Horse Park and was marked as the biggest event in North American history. With over 900 starters across 23 divisions, the week was filled with tough competition at every level. The lowest finishing score of the 2019 AEC was a 25.1 and the recipient of that score was Valley Creek Carlin LeBeau, a 14-year-old Connemara gelding ridden and owned by Carla Jimmerson.
Winning the AEC is no small feat but finishing with the lowest score at the biggest event in North American history is how Valley Creek Carlin LeBeau earned himself the title as USEA September Horse of the Month. ‘Carlin LeBeau’ which is French for 'beautiful little champion', lived up to his name the week of AEC, as he added nothing to his dressage score of 25.1 to win the Beginner Novice Master Amateur division.
Described as a “king around the farm,” get to know the USEA September Horse of the Month from his longtime owner/rider, Carla Jimmerson.
About Valley Creek Carlin LeBeau:
“Carlin LeBeau means 'beautiful little champion' and I just call him Carlin. He was born on my farm and I owned his parents at the time. I thought he was the most beautiful little guy and knew then I would never sell him.”
“His favorite treat is stud muffins, he just about plows me down for one."
“My favorite phase in eventing is cross-country but he is very good at dressage so he might say that is his favorite.”
“His personality is dominant with other horses although he isn't mean at all. He likes to let everyone know that he is the king around the farm.”
“He is very outgoing so I would say he is an extrovert. He is super sweet with me and is very affectionate. He comes when I am around and does this thing that is so sweet. He breathes me in very gently. I take it as if it's his way of hugging me. I am his only rider and I was the one who started him so we have a very special connection.”
“He likes to be scratched under his neck and will stand quietly and stretch out when I scratch him. He is always alert and interested when I am around and he looks like he is smiling. He loves going to shows and jumps right in the trailer when its time to go. He loves going out in a big hayfield and hacking and going for a good gallop. He loves to eat so dinner time is one of his favorite times of the day.”
“He is 14 years old and is a purebred Connemara gelding. He is related to the stallion Erin Go Bragh who was ridden by Carol Kozlowski (the current USEA President). I watched the movie about that pony Erin Go Bragh over and over dreaming of doing the same thing with my pony. That movie is what motivated me to buy a Connemara pony in the beginning and why I selected Heaven's Ridge Patrick LeBeau his sire. I never did rated events on his sire but knew when Carlin was born he would be my special event pony. He was so much fun to start and never gave me any trouble. I could teach him something and it was like he just said "o.k. got it" and then we would move on to something else. He earned his bronze medal in dressage this year too so it has been a very special year for us. We plan on moving back up to Novice this year and hopefully working on getting our silver medal in dressage.”
Miss any of the previous horses? Follow the links to read about the February Horse of the Month, March Horse of the Month, April Horse of the Month, May Horse of the Month, June Horse of the Month, July Horse of the Month, and August Horse of the Month.
About the USEA Horse of the Month
New in 2019, 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 statistics and event results and announced at the beginning of every month. The September Horse of the Month was selected based on the performance at the 2019 USEA American Eventing Championships.
In 2000 and with the support of Joan Iversen Goswell, the Worth the Trust Scholarships were established to provide financial assistance to amateurs to pursue their education in eventing. The funds from the Worth the Trust Educational Scholarship may be used for training opportunities such as clinics, working student positions, and private or group instruction, or to learn from an official, course designer, technical delegate, judge, veterinarian, or organizer.
The Surefire Farm Horse Trials scheduled for September 25-27, 2020 in Purcellville, Virginia has been canceled.
When introducing a horse to a new concept, it is important to make the entire learning process enjoyable. Make sure to always praise your horse so they continuously understand that they are supposed to be enjoying this time. In eventing, the skinnies have gotten so small that the sooner the horses begin to lock on and enjoy it, the better.
This article will be updated to include statements as they are released from upcoming USEA recognized events regarding actions they are taking due to the coronavirus (COVID-19).