Whilst the September event at Twin Rivers Ranch provided the West Coast with the first ‘post lockdown’ FEI competition, there was a group of riders busily preparing their Young Event Horses for the penultimate event on a strangely altered 2020 calendar.
The prominent California venue owned by the ever-supportive Baxter family hosts the Dutta Corp USEA Young Event Horse West Coast Championships and USEA Future Event Horse West Coast Championships October 23-24. This will be first stand-alone Championships combining the best Young and Future event horses seen on the West Coast, a huge nod to the program itself and those that support it.
Thanks to the likes of Ironwood Ranch owned by the Salinger Family (Lompoc, CA), Twin Rivers (Paso Robles, CA), Woodside Horse Park (Woodside, CA) and Spokane Horse Trials (Spokane, WA), owners and riders of Young and Future Event horses on the West Coast have been able to qualify for the much anticipated Championships.
Last month David Koss and Fendi, an Oldenburg mare (Fahrenheit x Haupstutbuch Dora) owned by Tessa Robinson, came out on top of the YEH 4 year olds on an impressive score of 87.9 currently placing them second in the nation based on qualifying scores. Widely respected amateur rider Julie Anne Boyer piloted Truly Enchanted, a Thoroughbred mare (Eddington x Chetak) owned by the rider, to the top spot in the YEH 5 year old on a score of 88.8. Boyer is no stranger to producing young Thoroughbreds: High Decorum contested the YEH 5 year olds in 2014 and went on to compete at the 4* level. Now her sights are firmly set on this year’s 5 Year Old Championships. “I think she’s pretty special. She is very smart but definitely an alpha mare!” says Boyer of the chestnut TB ‘Charlotte.’
Expectations are high as riders prepare for the stand-alone event, something event organizer Connie Baxter feels the program needs to showcase the best young horses on the West Coast for the U.S. “We need to highlight the Young Horses, not have them get lost within a big horse show,” says Baxter. With this in mind the Championships are the headline act in a weekend dedicated to the program.
Following the YEH and FEH, Twin Rivers will then welcome riders to the Halloween themed One Day Event on October 25. A long standing, highly entertaining unrecognized event on the Area VI calendar, this event offers riders the opportunity to dress up in their best Halloween costumes while honing their skills before heading to the Galway Downs CCI at the end of the month.
As if that’s not enough for the year, Area VI riders can now add one more Horse Trials to their 2020 calendar, as Twin Rivers rounds out the year with a recognized Horse Trials on November 13- 15 offering Introductory to Intermediate.