The YEH Class of 2018 is something special here at the USEA YEH East Coast Championship. Drool-worthy prospects with talent coming out all ends, this group of horses are pure class, with valedictorians Quality Obsession and R River Star topping the pack.
Tim Bourke’s Quality Obsession, a Dutch Warmblood mare by Zambessi, is the day one leader of the 5-year-old Championship after earning a score of 24.19% (out of 30%), with the true highlight being the mare’s conformation score of 8.95 (out of 10), which was the best of the day.
It’s clear from how Tim describes her, this mare is special — he says one of the favorite young horses he’s had. She’s taken patience in her development, but he sees the potential.
“The goals of this competition is to show off a horse for the future, so that’s what we went for,” Bourke said. “It’s a real horse—probably one of the best ones I have. This one is pretty special—real brave, good jumper. I’ve taken my time with her more than any other horse that I’ve ever had.”
Tim is a big proponent of the YEH program, and we’re excited to see him here this weekend also in the CCI2* with YEH graduate Quality Time.
Tamie Smith was second MB MaiStein, who is making his first east coast appearance. The Oldenburg gelding by Rocky Lee had the best dressage score of the day on 16.46 for a total score of 23.96.
Bonnie Stedt’s Miss Lulu Herself is third in the class ridden by Mike Pendleton. Bred by Boyd Martin, the Hanoverian mare (Stolzenfels x Noisette) sits on 23.96%.
Courtney Cooper’s R River Star was the best of the 4-year-olds on 24.75%. This is a Irish Sport Horse/Dutch Warmblood gelding by Riverman and out of R Star. He was bred by Courtney and Neal Camens.
Colleen Rutledge’s most recent sight-unseen purchase is working out swimmingly as the second-placed 4-year-old. Like This is a Mecklenburg gelding by Do It and out of Ballerina II. He was sourced by JM Durr in Ireland, and landed in the U.S. just two months ago.
“Considering this atmosphere almost always lights them up, I’m completely happy with what I have,” she said. “There’s a massive room for improve for improvement. He truly is 4, he’s gangly, he’s still a little unbalanced the raw basics are there and he’s only going to get better on them. He is pretty fantastic.”
These young horses will be judged on their jump and gallop tomorrow in the Saw Mill Field. The 4-year-olds start at 8 a.m. and the 5-year-olds start at 10:16 a.m. You can check out a course preview on the USEA’s website. Their jumping will be weighed much more heavily this year with tomorrow’s score counting for 70% of their total (up from 50% in previous years), so we’re ready to see this field go! Rumor has it USEA CEO Rob Burk will be out there serving mimosas, so come on by if you’re visiting Fair Hill.