Young event horses strutted their stuff in the sandbox today at The Dutta Corp. Fair Hill International. The top 4- and 5-year-old horses are here for their chance at a USEA Young Event Horse East Coast Championship title.
Horses early in the day picked up the top three leaderboard positions for the 4-year-old Championship divisions with Kristen Bond’s Bea Ready leading the charge.
“Sierra” earned a 11.21 for conformation (out of 15 points) and 30.24 (out of 25) points in dressage for a total score of 41.45%.
All it took was a 15 second video in a poorly lit arena and a recommendation from a friend for Kristen to decide to buy the Dutch Warmblood (Haarlem x Izora), and she came to the U.S. this spring. “Matt Flynn found her. I really trust him. If he says it’s nice, I know it’s nice,” she said. Nice indeed!
Sierra is in a unique situation today as a 5-year-old leading the 4-year-old division. This was made possible because of the USEA ‘mare rule’ which allows mares who have taken time off to have a foal to compete in an group below their age to reflect their time off from training.
Kristen, who had a baby earlier this year, is in total agreement with this policy saying, “Yeah she had a baby, and let me tell you what that does to your body! She deserved a year off!”
YEH trailblazer Baymax follows in second place. Ridden by Doug Payne and owned by Stephen Blauner, Baymax is a Irish Sport Horseby Ars Vivendi and out of Olympics Corner. He earned the best conformation score of the bunch – 11.85 – and carry a total score of 40.55%.
2016 USEA Future Event Horse Champion Beall Spring Shamrock takes hold of the 4-year-old third place position. Owned by Stephanie Ormstron, The Swedish Warmblood was bred in the U.S. by Beall Spring Farm. With Martin Douzant in the tack today he earned a score of 38.94%.
The 5-year-old division saved the best for last when the final competitor of the day, Aletta Martin’s Wil Celtic Charlie, took the lead on 43.36%. The Irish Sport Horse earned 12.56 conformation points and 30.80 dressage points.
Kim Severson rode her own Exclusively Cooley to second place in the class. The Irish Sport Horse (by Ramiro B) gained 12.8 conformation points and 29.75 dressage points for a first-day score of 42.55%.
Caroline Martin’s Ferrrie’s Cello wraps up the top three for the 5-year-olds with 42.11%.
But, this isn’t a dressage show, folks! The final phase, which evaluates both jump and gallop contributes to 50% of each horse’s overall score. We’re looking forward to watching this lovely group jump tomorrow!
You can watch all of it unfold as it happens on USEA’s Instagram page at this link.