There were 39 young horses contesting the 2017 USEA Young Event Horse (YEH) 5-year-old Championships between the East and West Coast Championships which were held in Elkton, Maryland and Woodside, California, respectively. Following 2017’s YEH finale, many of the graduating class of the 2017 USEA Young Event Horse Championships have worked their way up through the rankings to leave a mark on upper-level eventing.
This well-established program has seen many horses go through its doors, but more importantly, there are several horses that have fulfilled the program’s mission to become a successful upper-level event horse. The 2017 YEH 5-year-old graduate horses who went on to reach the highest levels of eventing include Ferrie’s Cello, Chin Tonic HS, 2 A.M., and Miks Master C.
Placing second amongst competitors from both coasts was the Dutch Warmblood gelding Ferrie’s Cello, now owned by Jeanee C. Shigo, (Chello III VDL x Kareliza) shown by Caroline Martin. The gelding received the highest overall score for his jumping style out of all 39 entries from the East and West Coast. Following his second-place finish, Martin and Ferrie’s Cello would work their way up to the Preliminary level and contest their first CIC1* by 2018. In 2019, however, Martin would pass the reins over to Andrew McConnon who would continue to advance the horse’s career, producing him up through the CCI3* level. In April of 2022, the pair navigated their first CCI4*-S at Chattahoochee Hills adding just time to their dressage score. Most recently, Ferrie’s Cello had a top-ten placing in his first CCI4*-L at the Tryon International Spring 3-Day Event.
One of the most notable names of the YEH graduating class of 2017 is the Hyperion Stud owned Holsteiner gelding Chin Tonic HS (Chin Champ x Wilderra). William Coleman has had the ride on this strapping horse since his YEH debut in 2018 where the horse placed 5th in the East Coast Championships and 6th overall with one of the top-three highest marks for conformation playing a part in those placings. From that point on, it was full steam ahead for Coleman and Chin Tonic HS. The pair made their FEI debut at the two-star level in 2019 and would complete their first Intermediate just two months later. 2020 was an exciting year for Chin Tonic HS as he marked his first three-star win in the CCI3*-L at Tryon in the fall of that year, adding nothing to his dressage score of 25.70. The pair had their first four-star appearance in 2021 and rolled in not one, not two, but three three top-five finishes at the level including a win in the CCI4*-S at Stable View in April.
The Dutch Warmblood gelding 2 A.M. (Sheraton x Regina K) was the first-place finisher in the 2016 USEA YEH 4-Year-Old East Coast Championships with Matthew Flynn in the tack before making his way over to the West Coast where he would finish in second place in the 2017 USEA YEH 5-Year-Old West Coast Championships with Charlotte Babbitt. Babbitt carefully produced 2 A.M. up from the Novice level all the way to his four-star debut in 2020 where the horse had a top-ten finish in his first-ever CCI4*-S at Twin Rivers.
Miks Master C (Mighty Magic x Qui Luma CBF) is no stranger to the young event horse programs offered by the USEA. The Swedish Warmblood gelding kicked off his eventing career as a three-year-old in 2015 in the FEH 3-Year-Old class at Applewood Farm with owner Laurie Cameron as his handler. He would go on to compete in both the YEH 4-Year-Old and 5-Year-Old Championships at Fair Hill in 2016 with Phillip Dutton and 2017 with Waylon Roberts. In 2018, Cameron gave the ride on the young horse to Maya Black who would bring the horse along to his first FEI competition in November of their first year together. They tackled their first Intermediate as a team in early 2019 at Pine Top where they placed fourth and would place second in their first CCI3*-L competition. The pair were the recipients of the prestigious Holekamp/Turner Grant in 2019 but inevitably elected not to make the trek to France. Miks Master C tackled his first four-star in early 2020 and had consistent placings in the top 10 throughout his 2021 season. He concluded his 2021 season with a second place finish at Morven Park adding just 6.4 time penalties to his dressage score.
Ten additional horses who competed in the 2017 USEA YEH 5-year-old Championships have since competed through the Intermediate/CCI3* level. Those horses include Summerbridge Park (Ramiro B x Summerbridge Lilly), Mi Campeon SE (Clair de Lune SE x Piktorial), Cascor, Quality Start (Warrant x Trifee Van Wittenstein T), R-Perfect Storm (Riverman x Stormin’s Barbie), Carlsburg (Puissance x Flame and Passion), Steam Engine, Can Be Sweet (Candyman x Tres Belle), Bradley Cooper (by Greytop), and MakeMineADouble (Blavier Voel x Gin and Juice).
Congratulations to all the YEH graduates and stay tuned for the next class – the class of 2018! To look back at previous YEH Yearbooks, click here.
Karma is developing into one of the fastest and most-reliable cross-country horses in the West. The 9-year-old bay Oldenburg mare and James Alliston won their third-straight blue ribbon together at either the four-star or Advanced level in the CCI4*-S at the Twin Rivers Fall International in Paso Robles, California, with the only double-clear cross-country round on Saturday.
Most couples share a kiss and part ways at 8:00 a.m. as they head off to their own work days, but eventing power couple James and Helen Alliston do it all together. We gave our USEA members the opportunity to submit their questions for this West Coast-based couple, and USEA Podcast host Nicole Brown gets them to share all on many topics: eventing in the U.S. versus the U.K., who is the most competitive of the two, dealing with warmer temperatures, why James likes to drive illegally slow, and so much more!
The Plantation Field International CCI4*-S concluded today with the cross-country phase, and the final standings were nearly a matter of “last one standing.” As Tropical Storm Ophelia brought a torrential downpour to the area, a number of riders decided to opt out: of 39 competitors, only six completed, and 17 withdrew before the start of cross-country.
After 15 years of successfully cultivating and establishing the Future Event Horse (FEH) program for eventing breeders and owners, the United States Eventing Association (USEA) has merged the FEH program with the Young Horse Show Series (YHS). The updated YHS allows for a more comprehensive show series for sport horses in the U.S., as the YHS is now open to young talent with a future in eventing, as well as hunters, jumpers, and dressage.