The USEA Future Event Horse (FEH) East Coast Championships concluded Sunday, October 26 with a spectacular showing by the 2-year-olds and yearlings at Loch Moy Farm in Adamstown, Maryland. Seven fillies and eight colts were presented to judges Robin Walker and Lori Hoos in the FEH 2-Year-Old Championship, while the FEH Yearling Championship was composed of seven fillies and three colts. Both divisions were divided into fillies and colts sections for placing, in addition to overall division champion.
Entries in the FEH East Coast 2-Year-Old and Yearling Championships were presented in hand to the judges. The colts and fillies’ conformation was first scored by the judges, followed by walking and trotting the triangles in hand.
Champion honors for the filly section of the FEH Two-Year-Old Class went to Record Year (Upsilon x Annabella), a Holsteiner filly owned and bred by Kurt Martin. Record Year was also 3rd overall for the 2-year-olds with a score of 83.5.
“She’s out of my 4* winner Annabella who we bred to Upsilon, who was a 4* winner also,” Martin shared. “We went with that stallion for added blood and a little bit of refinement. My farrier and I picked the stallion out a few years ago, and he wanted to do this class with her.” “She’s obviously very special to me because I love the mare,” continued Martin. “This is a great opportunity for her to come out here, get on the trailer, and learn how to behave properly. I think she has a future wearing ribbons.”
Reserve Champion for the filly section of the FEH 2-year-old Championship was awarded to Centreville Sunset (Coer d’Amour x Honorable Partner), a Holsteiner filly bred by Kate Demasi and owned by Elizabeth Platt. Centreville Sunset was 8th overall for the 2-year-old Championship with a score of 76.05.
Thoroughbreds topped the leaderboard again on Sunday when Ronald Zavala-Goetschel’s Wise Heraldik Breaker (Herald III x Hera Wisegirl) was crowned Overall Champion and Colt Champion of the FEH 2-year-old Championship. Wise Heraldik Breaker finished with a cumulative score of 87.3 from the judges. The colt’s sire is a Grand Prix jumper, and his dam is the half-sister of Zabala Goestchel’s upper-level stallion Mr. Wiseguy.
Zabala-Goetschel’s program went two-for-two as his Thoroughbred colt Wise Marcus Pleasure (For Pleasure x Shamia) was named Overall Reserve Champion and Colt Reserve Champion with a score of 84.325. Thirty years of breeding and genetics helped produce the Reserve Champion colt.
“The sire of Wise Marcus Pleasure [For Pleasure] got two Olympic gold medals in show jumping and was named The Horse of the Century. The dam of Marcus Pleasure was a mare that I bred, four generations with me, so he is the 5th generation,” Zabala Goetschel commented.
Dominating the field yet again in the FEH Yearling Championship was another Zabala Goetschel’s owned entry, this time it was the Anglo-Arab filly Wise Totilas Simparita (Totilas x Simpar) who received top marks of 87.1 from judges to earn the title of Overall Yearling Champion and Yearling Filly Champion. Three of Zabala Goetschel’s yearling entries in today’s Championship are all results of three embryos out of the same mare and fertilized by the same site that were shipped from Kentucky to Pennsylvania and placed into recipient mares to produce what Zabala Goestchel’s refers to as ‘the triplets.’
“She’s the quiet one,” he said of Wise Totilas Simparita. “The other two are kind of wild. They [all] have blood and a lot of character. She’s the sweet one of the three.”
Zabala Goetschel’s triplets all received high marks from the judges. Finishing with a score of 85.6, Wise Totilas Simbero Rumbero (Totilas x Simpar) was crowned Yearling Colt Champion and placed 4th overall in the Yearling Championship. Wise Totilas Simbero Rumbero was named not only for his sire and dam but also for the recipient mare who foaled him.
Rounding out the triplets was Wise Totilas Simparo (Totilas x Simpar) who was awarded Yearling Colt Reserve Champion with a score of 82.65 which placed him 6th overall.
Overall Reserve Champion honors and the Reserve Champion Filly in the FEH Yearling Championship went to Alla'Gancze NBF (Alla’Czar x Rotura), a Westphalian filly bred and owned by Karen Severns who was awarded a score of 86.35.
“I bred her and raised her,” reflected Severns. “She’s a very straightforward baby, very intelligent and easy to handle. She’s been a real pleasure to raise. My plans for her are to continue to do some of the great young horse programs, like FEH and YHS [United States Sport Horse Breeders Association Young Horse Series].”
After a busy weekend of judging young event horses, judge Hoos was full of praise for the horses seen throughout the Championship. “The quality of horses has gone up dramatically. We’re seeing straighter legs, better movement, and better conformation. I think that’s going to help us create a better horse for eventing for the future,” she commented. “This program is doing exactly what it was intended to. People are paying more attention to the correct conformation and bloodlines. We’re breeding a lighter type, I think now we’re seeing not the dressage champion, but more blood and more refinement.”
Judge Walker shared positive feedback about the presented horses from the FEH East Coast Championship, with an emphasis on the competitors in the youngest class of the weekend. “This yearling class was probably the hardest one to judge out of all the ones I’ve done. Today there were several standout yearlings. Some of the things we were seeing years ago for conformation are disappearing. The quality of horse is improving all the time,” he reflected. “Good depth here, it’s exciting, it just keeps developing,” he said of the Future Event Horse program.
In addition to working towards building the future of eventing, Hoos commented that the FEH program offers great opportunities for young horses and their breeders or owners: “I think even for the people who weren’t coming for the blue ribbon, the chance for some of these young horses to get out and handled was very valuable to them, to see what we’re breeding for and how to handle them.”
All four Overall Champions from the East Coast Championships were bred in the U.S.
In addition to earning Overall Champion in the 3-year-old division, Monica Fiss Burdette’s Thoroughbred filly Miss Roxy was named the FEH East Coast T.I.P. Champion.
Wise Heraldik Breaker's score of 87.3 would lead him to win the Born in America award, which is presented to the highest scoring American bred horse out of the entire FEH East Coast 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.
Lisa Pragg is a busy woman, but between her normal day job and competing her own 19-year-old Thoroughbred Impeccable she still prioritizes time to volunteer - both at horse trials and as a volunteer firefighter. Pragg understands the importance that volunteers play in the eventing community and makes sure to give whatever time she can back as a fair gesture.
Attention USEA members! Registration for the 2022 USEA Annual Meeting & Convention is now open! The convention will be held in person on December 7-11, 2022 at the Hyatt Regency Savannah Hotel in Savannah, Georgia.
The United States Eventing Association (USEA) is proud to announce the selected Young Rider athletes for the Emerging Athletes 21 Program (EA21) national camp, now that the EA21 regional clinics have concluded. Twelve riders were accepted into each of the five regional EA21 clinics, taught by USEA Eventing Coaches Program (ECP) instructors, and now riders have been selected from the regional clinics to participate in the inaugural EA21 national camp this winter.
Ninety percent of training a horse is getting the horse to understand exactly what you want them to do. In general, horses are generous and willing creatures who want to please us; very seldom do they behave badly on purpose. Horses don’t come out and say, ‘Let’s make Mom’s (or Dad’s) life miserable today by going as poorly as possible - most prefer to do the right thing, as long as they know what that is.