Future Event Horse (FEH) Judging and Scoring

Experience is one of the many perks the FEH program offers. Giving youngsters the opportunity to get out and gain experience is important in their early development. Plus, it allows handlers get a sneak peek into the future work ethic of their fledgling eventer.

Another goal of the program is to bring more breeders into the world of eventing. While there are countless breeders who specialize in purpose-breeding for dressage and show jumping prospects, there are considerably fewer breeders who specialize in breeding specifically for eventing.


In FEH classes, horses are judged on both their conformation and the quality and correctness of their gaits. Upon entering the arena, their handlers are asked to stand the horses up for inspection to allow the judge to analyze the strengths and weaknesses in their conformation. Then, they are asked to walk a 15-meter triangle, and then trot a 30-meter triangle. Finally, they are asked to stand up one last time for the judge to make their final observations.

There are several main points that a judge will look at during the presentation of a competitor. Firstly, they will look for an event horse “type," meaning a horse that appears naturally structured to become an all-around athlete. They will look at the basic correctness and angulations of the horses' legs and the quality of their feet. Also, they will analyze the conformation as a whole to determine if the horse will be able to stand up to the stresses of eventing. Additionally, the judge will look for the horses' gaits to be basically straight, correct, swinging and uphill.

All FEH classes are held under the auspices of the USEA and are considered as USEA "Tests." The USEA establishes the guidelines and the policies for the Future Event Horse Series. In all cases the decision of the judge is final.

Notes for FEH Judges

  • The first impression should be that of an event horse “type”, meaning a horse that appears naturally structured to become an all-around athlete.
  • The horse's conformation must allow for it to stand up to a career that will consist of training, competition and performance at the upper levels of the sport of eventing. Therefore, conformation defects which may indicate early unsoundness will lower the scores.
  • Blemishes should not count. It is future performance that is being determined.
  • Anatomically correct limbs and good feet are key. Weaknesses or faults predisposing a horse to unsoundness or difficulty with training should be penalized.
  • Overweight and/or under nourished or under muscled horses of any age are undesirable.
  • Gaits should be pure (regular), basically correct and unconstrained. This is more important than a flashy movement. Event horses must show a willingness to move forward and cover the ground. Judges are to look for horses who swing through the back and who show an uphill tendency.
  • Unsound horses will be dismissed and disqualified. The decision of the Judge stands.
  • If there are two judges they will judge separately and there will be separate score sheets. The average of the two sets of scores will be the final score. Scores may not be changed following submission to the scorekeeper and the posting of the results.


Separate classes will be held for yearlings, two-year-olds and three-year-olds and the goal is to offer these classes by gender.

Where sufficient entries permit each class will be divided into colts, geldings and fillies. Where there are combined classes of colts and fillies all will be judged as one class and the highest placed colt and filly will be recognized. For example, if there is only one filly in the class and she places third overall she will be recognized as the winning filly of that age group.

Combining age groups is not allowed. Each age group will be judged independently of the other. A yearling will not be judged in the two- or three-year old class, and a two-year-old not be judged in a three-year-old class.

Horses must be registered with the USEA and owners are encouraged to submit a copy of the horse’s papers or any pedigree information available prior to entry. The breeder’s name and pedigree information will be published in the program and in results.

January 1 will dictate the age of the horse. Horses born in 2007 will be considered one year old on January 1, 2008.


Breeder: considered the owner or lessee of the mare when she was bred.
Colt: an ungelded male three-years-old or younger.
Filly: a female 3-years-old or younger.
FEH Gelding: a gelded horse three-years-old or younger.
Handler: the person presenting the horse to the judge and leading the horse during the walk and trot phases.
Whip Assistants: the person designated by the handler and/or owner to follow behind the horse to encourage it to move forward.

FEH Judges List

For FEH Organizers: Please be aware that this list is intended for the identification of USEF licensed judges with past experience judging USEA Future Event Horse competitions. This list should not be confused with the USEA Young Event Horse Judges List. The YEH Judges List may be found through this link. This list was last updated in September 2021.

Janet Briggs
454 Jenness Pond Road
Northwood, NH 03261
[email protected]
Christel Carlson
10710 S. Sherman Road
Spokane, WA 99224
[email protected]
Janice Conlon
211 Greenwood Hall Farm Lane
Grasonville, MD 21638
[email protected]
Faith Fessenden
5975 Sierra Vista Way
Reno, NV 89511-7541
[email protected]
Joan Fleser
1539 Creek Road
Esperance, NY 12066
[email protected]
Peter Gray
12345 NW 110th Avenue
Reddick, FL 32686
[email protected]
Lori Hoos
1678 Old Hillsboro Rd
Franklin, TN 37069
[email protected]
Sally Ike
P.O. Box 357
Oldwick, NJ 08858
[email protected]

Holly Matt
P.O. Box 146
Southern Pines, NC 28388
[email protected]
Megan McGee
PO Box 772395
Ocala, FL 34477
[email protected]
Marilyn Payne
30 Fox Hill Rd
Califon NJ 07830
[email protected]
Eileen Pritchard-Bryan
1318 North Bend Road
Jarrettsville, MD 21084
[email protected]

Wayne Quarles
3011 Spurr Rd
Lexington KY 40511
[email protected]
Karyn Rainey
P.O. Box 142
Churchville, MD 21028-0142
[email protected]
Katie Rocco
22 Rood Hill Rd.
Sandisfield, MA 01255
[email protected]

Chris Ryan
[email protected]
Sue Smithson
1745 E Connecticut Ave
Southern Pines, NC 28387
[email protected]
Charlotte Trentelman
P.O. Box 381
Anthony, FL 32617
[email protected]
Cathy Tucker-Slaterbeck
13929 Old Hanover Rd
Reistertown MD 21136
[email protected]
Robin Walker
3365 NW 85th Terrace
Ocala, FL 34482
[email protected]
Wendy Wergeles
P.O. Box 653
Los Alamos CA 93440
[email protected]
Beth Wheeler
6198 Pony Trail
Aiken, SC 29803
[email protected]

Susan Graham-White
Wolf Haven Farm
P.O. Box 176
Saint Leonard, MD 20685
[email protected]
Karen Winn
2965 Spurr Rd
Lexington KY
40511 859.229.5224
[email protected]

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