Young, promising event horses are beginning to gear up for the 2021 Future Event Horse Program Championships, which will take place in the next two months. The 2021 USEA FEH East Coast Championships will be held September 25-26 at Loch Moy Farm. The 2021 USEA FEH Central Championships will take place at Haras Hacienda on October 9-10. The 2021 USEA FEH West Coast Championships will be held at Twin Rivers Ranch from October 29-30. To compete in the FEH Championships, a horse must earn a minimum score of 72% at any qualifier.
The FEH program judges the ability of yearlings, 2-year-olds, 3-year-olds, and 4-year olds to evolve into successful upper-level event horses. The four age groups are evaluated individually, and genders within an age group are also judged separately if the number of entries is large enough.
Four champions were crowned at the 2020 USEA FEH Central Championships. The 4-year-old overall champion was Dark Shadows d’Avalon (Dracula d’Avalon x Channel d’Avalon), an Oldenburg owned by Marcella Pinell. Dark Shadows d’Avalon was bred by Avalon Equine and handled by Cynthia Powell-Hall. Flagmount’s Keen Ice (Flagmount’s Freedom x Fire N’Ice) was the 3-year-old overall champion. The Irish Sport Horse gelding is owned by Kelley Kays and handled by Martin Douzant. The overall winner for the 2-year-old division was Flagmount’s Invincible (Flagmount’s Freedom x Devious Princess). The Irish Sport Horse gelding was bred by owner Robbie Peterson and handled by Jackie Ericksen.
The Yearling Overall Champion at the FEH Central Championships was TGS Lions Sunshine (Sea Lion x Windfield All Sunshine). TGS Lions Sunshine is an Irish Draught Sport Horse owned by Ann Shira O’Donnell and handled by Jessica Turner. In 2021, TGS Lions Sunshine finished in third place at Texas Rose Horse Park H.T. in the 2-year-old FEH-2 division. The mare is also qualified for the 2021 FEH Championships.
The 2020 USEA FEH West Coast Championships awarded Sea Lioness (Sea Lion x Princess Kabbalah) as the 4-Year-Old Overall Champion. The Oldenburg mare is owned by Pam Fisher and Elizabeth Koeppel and handled by Pam Fisher. Sea Lioness also won as a 3-year-old in the FEH-3 at Twin Rivers Summer H.T.
Twain’s Fireflight DF (The Twain x Dominga) earned the 3-Year-Old Overall Champion title at the FEH West Coast Championships. The Oldenburg gelding is owned and handled by Sarah Moseley and was bred by Dragonfire Farm. In 2021, Twain’s Fireflight DF received fourth place in the HT SON D at The Event at Rebecca Farm out of 21 starters.
The 2-Year-Old Overall Champion was RSH Goliath (Gringo-Gallipoli x Sam’s Girl). The Hanoverian gelding is owned by Michelle Cameron Donaldson and handled by Chloe Smyth. Trilogy (Claire de Lune x Honor Jean) earned the Yearling Overall Champion with a final score of 82.4. Trilogy is a Belgian Warmblood owned, bred, and handled by Janine Jaro.
Utah Beach (Ulmar Mail x Avalan) was awarded the Yearling Overall Champion at the 2020 USEA FEH East Coast Championships. Utah Beach, an Oldenburg, was bred by Elizabeth Callahan and is owned by Monica Fiss. Martin Douzant is the handler of the gelding. In 2021 Utah Beach earned the first-place prize at the USEA MDHT FEH/YEH/NEH Qualifier in the 2-year-old FEH-2 division. Utah Beach is also qualified for the 2021 FEH Championships.
The 2-year-old Overall Champion at the FEH East Coast Championships was Grace Bay (Grafenstolz x Rehobeth). This mare is owned by Melissa Stubenberg, was bred by Elizabeth Callahar, and handled by Martin Douzant.
Knuit d’Emeraude (CONTENDRO 1 x Etoile d’Emeraude) claimed the 3-Year-Old Overall Champion title. The Holsteiner mare is owned by Emeraude Sharer and was handled by Martin Douzant. Knuit d’Emeraude finished the championship with a final score of 81.44. As a 2-Year-Old, Knuit d’Emeraude earned a second-place finish at the FEH East Coast Championships.
The 4-Year-Old Overall Champion was earned by Quaden AF (Qredit HTF x Glitter). Quaden AF is an Oldenburg owned and handled by Matthew Bryner. At BarnStaple, FEH/YEH/NEH Quaden AF received third place in the YEH-5 division and is qualified for the YEH 5-Year-Old Championships. At Three Lakes Winter I H.T. at Caudle Ranch, the gelding finished first out of 23 starters in the Training OT division. Quaden AF also successfully showed in Preliminary OP at Flora Lea Spring H.T. with a seventh-place finish.
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.
Whether you are a rider preparing for a move-up or a trainer looking to ensure your training program is well-rounded, the soon-to-be released USEA Eventing Handbook by the Levels is the go-to guide to assist you in navigating key decisions. Lucky enough, attendees of the 2022 USEA Instructors’ Certification Program (ICP) Symposium at Barnstaple South Farm in Ocala, Florida on February 8-9 will be the first people outside of the those involved in its creation to access this passion project that the ICP Committee has put two years of research and hard work into developing.
In 2021 Cynthia Smith recorded 536 hours and 59 minutes of volunteer time, setting the standard with the most amount of volunteer hours recorded in a single year since the creation of the USEA Volunteer Incentive Program in 2016. The record-breaking number of volunteer time earned Smith the 2021 USEA Volunteer of the Year title.
Tamie Smith’s year has been nothing short of action-packed as she packed up all 25 of her competition horses and made her way to the East Coast for the first part of the year before hopping on a jet to Tokyo where she served as the U.S. team reserve for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. She then stayed overseas and competed abroad for a little while before returning home to the West Coast. While this year has been full of opportunities to show, her aspirations are bigger than just competition. The 2021 Bates USEA Lady Rider of the Year has been full steam ahead chasing goals in both her riding career as well as in her impact on the sport’s future.
Get to know each United States Eventing Association (USEA) Areas a little better in this new series, Meet the Areas! This month’s feature is USEA Area I which is comprised of Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont. Founded in the 1960s, Area I was the birthplace of the United States Combined Training Association (USCTA) which was founded in 1959 and would later evolve into the USEA in 2001. In 2021 just under 800 members made up the membership count in Area I.