The weather was perfect for our first young horse weekend at Valinor Farm. A clinic with Tik Maynard was held on Saturday, which was an excellent opportunity for competitors to work their young horses on the grounds beforehand. Tik taught a wide range of students, from a yearling in an in-hand group, to a Novice/Training level jumping group. At the lunch break, Tik talked about his new book, In The Middle Are The Horsemen, and read a chapter to us as a special treat.
Sunday morning dawned bright and beautiful, and we started off the day with the Future Event Horse yearling group. Mychal Beebe led the way with her new young filly, Kaiko HDS. In the two year old division Connie Brown took top honors with her lovely filly, Parisa SMF.
Revel In Soul, or “Indy” (as he is known throughout social media!) looked stunning in his summer dapples in the three year old division with his mom, Andrea Manley.
For the first time in Area 1, Valinor offered an FEH 4 year old division, new to the USEA as well. The FEH 4 year old class requires horses to walk, trot, and canter in the ring under saddle. After that, they hop off, strip off the saddle, and present in hand for the judge to evaluate their conformation while standing, and also at the walk and trot in hand. Paula Colt and Waps Nite Skye got the dubious honor of winning the first Area 1 FEH 4 year old!
The Young Event Horse division kicked off with Paige Montague and her fancy mare, I Candy SCF, in the 5 year old division. Adrienne Iorio and her absolutely adorable FH Red Fern showed a steady dressage test and a solid jump test to go on to win the 4 year old division.
Valinor Farm also offered a New Event Horse division. This allows horses of any age, from any discipline, to dip their toes in our sport. Horses must be in their first or second year of eventing. They perform a dressage test (same as YEH 4 year old), present for conformation, and finish with a derby style jump course – 5 stadium jumps and 10 cross country efforts. Beth O’Mally and Love Your Rebel Attitude cruised around the course with ease to win the division. Erin Risso and Winglet placed second; they were a fun pair to watch as Winglet finds her way in a new world – she used to roam the west as a wild mustang!
Valinor Farm did an amazing job preparing for this event – the courses were absolutely perfect with a great flow to them and fair questions for the horses. Stabling was clean and easy on the horses that spent the weekend. Every opportunity was made to give the young horses a relaxed and safe weekend. Thank you so much to Valinor Farm!
Missed out? Or want to bring out your young horse again? Your next opportunity is at GVRDC, which is offering the FEH, YEH, and NEH. The weekend after that we have our third annual Young Horse day at the Town Hill Farm Horse Trials and Area 1 Championships. Town Hill will be offering all classes of FEH, YEH, and NEH. They are also hosting a jump chute clinic, for anyone and any horse that would like to participate. This is a great opportunity for the FEH 3 and 4 year old horses to learn the jump chute, which is required at East Coast Championships at Loch Moy Farm in September.