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USEA Young Event Horse East Coast Championships Secures New Venue for 2020

Saturday, August 1, 2020
Posted by Kate Lokey - USEA Staff
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The United States Eventing Association (USEA) has secured a new venue for The Dutta Corp. USEA Young Event Horse (YEH) East Coast Championships for 2020. After the Fair Hill Organizing Committee announced that the inaugural Maryland Five-Star at Fair Hill would be postponed until 2021, the USEA began accepting expressions of interest to host this year’s East Coast Championships.

Photo - The 2020 Dutta Corp. USEA Young Event Horse East Coast Championships will take place at the Virginia Horse Trials. (USEA/Jessica Duffy Photo)

The USEA YEH Committee reviewed several expressions of interest from various East Coast organizers and ultimately recommended the bid from the Virginia Horse Trials and organizer Andy Bowles. The USEA Executive Committee took a final vote and The Dutta Corp. USEA Young Event Horse East Coast Championships are now confirmed to take place at the Virginia Horse Trials, Wednesday-Thursday, October 28-29, 2020.

“We’re very happy to be able to keep the YEH [East Coast] Championships going during these difficult times,” said VHT organizer Andy Bowles. “We will ensure that people feel valued and their experience at Virginia is one that they will remember. Our aim is to run the dressage in the grand prix dressage arena and the YEH cross-country will be across the street on Oak Hill, so the course doesn’t feel cluttered amongst all the national classes.”

The 2020 YEH Championship judges originally contracted were Chris Ryan (IRL) and Debbie Adams (USA). Unfortunately, due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, Ryan will not be able to travel from Ireland to judge this year. However, The USEA Young Event Horse Committee and the USEA Executive Committee voted to approve Peter Gray (CAN) as the new YEH judge for 2020. Adams will judge the dressage section while Gray does the conformation section, and then the two will judge the jumping/galloping phase together.

“As we all navigate and adjust during the unprecedented times, we want to thank the USEA, the YEH Committee, and the Virginia Horse Trials organizing team for coming together to keep The Dutta Corp. USEA Young Event Horse East Coast Championships on the calendar. We look forward to seeing everyone in October," said Tim Dutta of The Dutta Corporation.

New Qualification Criteria

Due to COVID-19 and the loss of some YEH qualifier competitions, the YEH Committee also recently voted to ease the YEH Championships qualifiying score to a 70% for both the 2020 East and West Coast Championships. In 2021, the qualifying score will go back up to 75%, but for 2020, horses will need to earn one score of 70% or higher at any YEH qualifier competition. All competitors who are currently qualified will be contacted in the coming weeks, and the YEH qualified horse list will be updated.

**update as of 7/31/20: All qualified YEH entries will be accepted at both the East and West Coast Championships. All entries must be received before closing date. The organizers reserve the right to deny entries sent after closing date. If the East Coast receives a large amount of entries, there will be an option to bring on additional judges for the 4-year-old division.

About the USEA Young Event Horse Program

The Young Event Horse (YEH) Program was first established in 2004 as an eventing talent search. Much like similar programs in Europe, the YEH program was designed to identify young horses aged four and five, that possess the talent and disposition to, with proper training, excel at the uppermost levels of the sport. The ultimate goal of the program is to distinguish horses with the potential to compete at the four- and five-star levels, but many fine horses that excel at the lower levels are also showcased by the program.

The YEH program provides an opportunity for breeders and owners to exhibit the potential of their young horses while encouraging the breeding and development of top event horses for the future. The program rewards horses who are educated and prepared in a correct and progressive manner. At qualifying events, youngsters complete a dressage test and a jumping/galloping/general impression phase. At Championships, young horses are also evaluated on their conformation in addition to the dressage test and jumping/galloping/general impression phase. Click here to learn more about the Young Event Horse Program.