The third and final leg of the 2019 USEA Future Event Horse (FEH) Championships is taking place this weekend at Loch Moy Farm in Adamstown, Maryland. The FEH West Coast Championships took place last week at Twin Rivers Ranch in Paso Robles, California, and the FEH Central Championships occurred this past Thursday at Haras Hacienda in Magnolia, Texas. Today, championship judges Peter Gray and Chris Ryan crowned the winners of the FEH East Coast 3- and 4-year-old divisions.
Wise Lolita Linda (Caraminal Del Jaral x Kwin Wise Christine), an Anglo-Arab/Belgian Warmblood filly owned and bred by Ronald Zabala-Goetschel, stole the show in the 3-year-old Overall and Filly divisions on a combined score of 82.9, just 0.2 points ahead of the Overall Reserve Champion.
Zabala-Goetschel revealed that “Lolita” gets her name from a Marc Anthony song. “It’s a phrase he has in one of his songs,” he explained. “Lolita Linda is a song about love – he loves this girl called Lolita, so he calls her ‘Lolita Linda’ which means ‘beautiful Lolita.’”
“She’s very special because her dam is the full sister of my life-changing horse, Wiseguy, who we cloned – we have three clones of Wiseguy. So, her dam is a full sister, and we bred her to this stallion that I bought who was the 3-year-old Champion in Spain in eventing. He is by a French stallion and out of a French mare . . . we were lucky that she came out with good things from the sire and good things from the dam.”
Zabala-Goetschel knew she was going to be something when she literally hit the ground running, right from birth. “From the moment she was born, the first day out of the stall, she was so fast. We have bred for many years and we have never had a colt or filly who was that fast on the first day.” In fact, Lolita’s first time in the jump chute was the Thursday before the Championships. You wouldn’t have known that based on her performance in the jump chute today, where she scored the highest individual score for scope/ability – an 8.9.
Next, Lolita will have a bit of a holiday and will come back into the barn at the beginning of her 4-year-old year to be started. “I start late with my horses. I am not a commercial breeder so I don’t start riding them until they’re four – I break them when they’re turning four and I go slowly with them. I don’t rush them – I want them to grow stronger physically and mentally and I’m not going to rush because if you go slow by the time they are 10 or 11 they’re doing the upper levels and I think that’s a perfect age.”
The 3-year-old Overall Reserve Champion and Colt Champion was Matthew Bryner’s Quaden AF (Qredit HTF x Glitter), an Oldenburg stallion, on a score of 82.7. Third place in the 3-year-old Overall division went to Frame D'Arenberg (Dheputy x Lhoretta), Martin Douzant’s Oldenburg gelding bred by Dr. Bob Jackson, on a score of 82.3.
Revel In Soul (Riverman x Shadais China Moon), Andrea Manley’s Holsteiner/Anglo-Arab gelding, walked away with the 4-year-old Overall Champion title on a score of 81.4.
Manley competed “Indy’s” mother up through the Preliminary level before she was sidelined by an injury and Manley made the decision to breed her to Riverman. “I don’t have much on her background, but she’s got a lot of heart,” Manley said of Indy’s dam. “She would do anything for me and I wanted a piece of her for me.”
“I really wanted a bay filly, so I got the exact opposite,” she continued, gesturing at the 17 hand grey gelding, “and I would not trade him for the world.”
“He came out huge,” she described. “I had to pull him out myself, so we had a bond right away. He was six week’s overdue – he was 3’7” when he stood up, so I called him my Preliminary jump. He had legs everywhere and this tiny little body and I just spent as much time as I could with him and started doing things right away so we went for walks and I ponied him off his mother and he’s done cross-country in-hand.”
Indy recently went for his first cross-country schooling under saddle, where he conquered banks, ditches, and water with ease. “I think it’s because we’ve done so much on the ground and have such a good partnership.” Manley said they’ll head for Aiken this winter and look to complete their first recognized event in the spring.
The 4-year-old Overall Reserve Champion title went to Olympus (Ferro x Kallisto), Diane Tauber’s Swedish Warmblood gelding, on a score of 80.6. The third-placed 4-year-old was Citori (Ehrentanz x Chianti), Jean Marie Larson’s Trakehner stallion, on a score of 78.0.
Championship judge Peter Gray praised the work of Carolyn Mackintosh and her team of volunteers for putting on a fantastic Championships. “What we’re looking for in the committee is a real destination venue to host Championships to make them feel extra special and I think we hit the jackpot here,” he said. “Its so beautiful and Carolyn did such a great job manicuring the rings and putting out flowers and with the awards area. We’re very grateful to the organizers and fans of the FEH who put on such an effort.”
“The horses were outstanding this year,” he continued. “I judged the FEH last year and there has definitely been an improvement – we’ve seen some very quality horses. I think it’s exciting for the program and it’s exciting for the country because one thing we lack if you look at our high performance riders is horsepower. We simply have to start to breed them because they cost a fortune and we’re getting the second rate horses when we go over to Europe – the ones that haven’t already been sold for big money. I think it’s big for the country that we’re producing quality horses and it’s exciting for the future.”
In addition, after the completion of all three Championships, the FEH National Awards presented by Guardian Horse Bedding will be awarded to the highest scoring yearling, 2-year-old, 3-year-old, and 4-year-old. Each National Award winner will be given a $500 prize check as well as an engraved trophy courtesy of Guardian Horse Bedding. So far, the 3- and 4-year-old Overall National Champions have been decided. Based on overall scores, the 3-year-old Overall National Champion is Wise Lolita Linda and the 4-year-old Overall National Champion is Revel in Soul.
Stay tuned to find out how the yearling and 2-year-old East Coast Championships play out tomorrow, starting at 8:30 a.m.
For full scores from today’s competition, click here.
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.
This is it! The weekend we've all been waiting for is finally here - the return to competition has arrived! After nearly three months of suspended competitions in light of the COVID-19 pandemic that has swept the country and the world, riders are shining up their boots and preparing to trot down the centerline. While our "new normal" will certainly look different than things did before the pandemic, these new regulations are in place for all our safety.
The return to competition upon us! This week on the show Nicole Brown is joined by Sinead Halpin Maynard to talk about how you can make sure you and your horse are prepared to get back to competing.
The Fair Hill Organizing Committee (FHOC), an affiliate of the Sport and Entertainment Corporation of Maryland (The Sport Corp.), today announced the inaugural Maryland Five-Star at Fair Hill will take place October 14-17, 2021. Health and safety factors, in addition to other challenges resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, led to a final decision to postpone the international three-day eventing competition originally scheduled for this October at the newly constructed Special Event Zone at Fair Hill Natural Resources Management Area in Cecil County, Maryland.
Apple Knoll Farm in Millis, Massachusetts (Area I) was scheduled to host two one-day events in 2020 offering Training, Novice, and Beginner Novice divisions. Their May event was forced to cancel due to COVID-19, but their September event is planning to run as scheduled.