Apr 02, 2010

Young Event Horse Competition at Florida Horse Park

Five-year-old YEH winner Adirmo, owned and ridden by Debbie Adams.

Photos by Sylvia Palmer

On March 9th, the Spalding Labs/USEA Young Event Horse (YEH) competition for four- and five-year-olds was hosted at the Florida Horse Park (FHP) in Ocala. Like other early season competitions, the number of entries was small, however the quality of horses was quite impressive. Cheryl and Tim Holekamp are to be complimented for their very professional organizational effort. The outstanding venue and smooth running competition made for a wonderful learning opportunity for the young horses.

Sponsors Spalding Labs and Fleeceworks are very supportive of the YEH program believing that it is a true “talent search” for future horses at the top levels of eventing. Fleeceworks generously rewards the winners at each qualifier with their really nice sheepskin saddle pads and quilt liners. For the first place finishers Spalding Labs provides Fly Predators giving six months protection against flies for the entire barn. The five-year-old winner was Adirmo, a KWPN gelding owned and ridden by Debbie Adams. This was his first competition ever and his score was high enough to qualify him for the national YEH Championships to be held during the Fair Hill CCI in October. Winner of the four-year-old section was a Hanoverian mare, Galiba, owned by Julia Bitler, and ridden by Maren Foster. Full results are posted here.

Four-year-old Young Event Horse winner Galiba competing with Maren Foster and owned by Julia Bitler.
The jumping phase, designed by Leslie Law, started with half a dozen show jumps followed immediately by going into the cross-country portion with another half dozen efforts that included water and a bank. They then went on to a short gallop to demonstrate that ability as well. Overall, the course was very much up to the standards that the YEH program is attempting to achieve. At first glance, the courses looked a bit large and challenging for young horses, but it rode very well giving the youngsters a positive experience. Obviously, Leslie knew exactly what would create forward riding fences to get horses in a rhythm and jumping well.
Adirmo shows off his gallop for Debbie Adams in the jumping section.


Officials Jo Dimmick from Germany (in the US judging Red Hills and Rocking Horse) and Mike Huber (who assisted as second jumping judge) were excellent with their comments. We were fortunate to have Jo Dimmick, as he is a top judge in Germany for Young Horse competitions, and judged the National YEH Championships at Fair Hill International in 2009. At the end of the day, when the awards were presented, they explained the scoring, which is still a mystery to many. They then did a wrap-up to tell the participants their rationale for the placings, giving an overall view of what they “saw,” and then they spoke to each competitor. It’s really fascinating to get their immediate feed back on your horse; what is good, what is weak, and how you could improve the horse’s abilities to help them become successful. This commentary on the young horses was of great interest to all watching. Of course, you received your written score sheets from all three phases as well and there was the opportunity to discuss them with the officials.

Galiba shows off her gaits during the conformation phase.

Also offered were “open classes” which were at Novice or Training where you could participate with other horses (any age) doing a similar format to the YEH. Hopefully, the Holekamps and others will keep offering the extra classes as it is such a great low pressure and affordable way for the horses to get mileage. What a great chance to give the horses an outing in a proper dressage arena and then go jumping.

Oct 17, 2021 Competitions

Following the Final Horse Inspection, 34 Horses Set to Show Jump at Maryland 5 Star

Following yesterday’s downpour, the temperatures for the final jog this morning were brisk but the CCI5*-L horses remained professional for the last horse inspection leading into show jumping later today. Of the 35 pairs set to move forward with the final phase of competition, only 34 presented to judges Angela Tucker (GBR), Martin Plewa (GER), and Mark Weissbecker after Lisa Marie Fergusson opted not to bring forward her own 15-year-old Welsh/Thoroughbred gelding (Brynarian Brennin x Dream Contessa) Honor Me.

Oct 17, 2021 Competitions

The Maryland 5 Star Daily: Show Jumping

After a jam-packed week, the final day of competition at the Maryland 5 Star is upon us. Riders have shown off their style in the horse inspection, danced their way down the centerline in dressage, and contested some serious obstacles in cross-country up until this point. Now it's time to demonstrate the fitness and accuracy that each horse possesses in the final phase: show jumping.

Oct 16, 2021 Competitions

Maryland 5 Star Rider Talk: What Did They Say After Cross-Country?

It was a great day of cross-country riding at the Maryland 5 Star. There were 35 horses who crossed the finish and 11 of those finished double clear. With British, French, New Zealand, Canadian, and American riders coming through the finish flags – it was a true world class competition. The USEA was at the finish to see what the riders thought of the very first Maryland 5 Star cross-country track designed by Ian Stark.

Oct 16, 2021 Competitions

What Happened Where? 2021 Maryland 5 Star Cross-Country Rewind

Weren’t able to spend your morning glued to the livestream of the 2021 Maryland 5 Star cross-country? Couldn’t be there in person to trek up the hills? We have you covered with a play-by-play of what happened on Ian Stark’s cross-country course which gave both the designer and the riders many sleepless nights, but ended up riding quite well for the majority of the field.

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