December 07, 2021
The YEH Yearbook: Class of 2015
Over 40 horses competed at the USEA Young Event Horse (YEH) 5-Year-Old East Coast and West Coast Championships in 2015. The YEH East Coast Championships were held during the Dutta Corp. Fair Hill International in Elkton, Maryland, while the YEH West Coast Championships were held at Galway Downs in Temecula, CA. After the 2015 YEH Finals, many graduates of the 2015 USEA Young Event Horse Championships continued to make their mark on the higher levels of eventing.
This well-established program has seen many horses pass through its doors, but more importantly, several horses have fulfilled the program’s mission of becoming a top-level competition horse. 2015 YEH 5-year-old graduating horses that have reached the highest levels of eventing include Dondante, La Paz, Laguna Seca, Very Suspicious, Mowgli, Stormin’ Truth, Twilightslastgleam, and Trust game.
After placing fourth overall at the 5-Year-Old Championships in 2015 and third at the East Coast Championships, the Irish Sport Horse gelding by Pachio, Dondante, has made a name for himself. Owned by Team Rebecca LLC and ridden by Will Coleman throughout his career, Dondante has since worked his way up to CCI5*-L level. He finished in the top 20 on his first CCI5*-L completion at Maryland 5 Star in the fall of 2021 after adding just 0.40 points to his dressage score to finish on a 33.0.
Sara Mittleider’s Hungarian sport horse, La Paz (Tangelo van de Zuuthoeve x Dos Opra), finished ninth overall in the 2015 Championships and fourth on the West Coast. Since the championships, Mittleider has been the only rider to take the gelding from novice entry-level to four-star level. They made their four-star debut in 2019 in the CCI4*-S at the event at Rebecca Farm where the duo finished fourth. La Paz won the Galway Downs CCI4*-L in 2019 and placed in the top 20 earlier this spring in the CCI4*-S at Stable View. Sadly, La Paz passed away earlier this year, cutting short a very bright future.
Few riders have the opportunity to bring the offspring of their favorite mounts, but Andrea Baxter had the pleasure of doing so with the son of his top Indy 500 mare, Laguna Seca (Linaro x Indy 500). Bred, owned and ridden by Baxter, the Holsteiner gelding finished sixth on the West Coast and 12th overall as a 5-year-old. He upgraded to four-star level in 2021 and won his second outing at CCI4*-S level at Twin Rivers in April this year.
Coleman also rode Russel’s Irish Sport Horse gelding Highly Suspicious at the 2015 Championships where the gelding finished eighth East Coast and 14th overall. Coleman continued to produce the horse up to the intermediate level before handing over the reins to owner Edie Green and rider Cosby Green in 2017. The pair recently moved up to four-star level this year and earned a second place finish in the Intermediate at Millbrook this summer.
Maya Black continued to produce the thoroughbred gelding Mowgli (Our New Recruit x Night Sire) after finishing 15th at the East Coast Championships in 2015. The pair moved up to advanced level in 2018 at the Fork in Tryon where they finished fourth at Mowgli’s first time at the level.
Alyssa Peterson has been in irons for the entire career of Margaret Peterson’s Thoroughbred mare, Stormin’ Truth (Salute the Truth x Stormin’s Barbie). The horse has an almost unblemished cross-country record with just one jumping fault throughout his career. Peterson moved Stormin’ Truth to the advanced level at Pine Top in 2020 where they placed 12th.
Jennie Brannigan has been around Nina Gardner’s thoroughbred Twilightslastgleam (National Anthem x Royal Child) since her appearance at YEH 5 Year Old in 2015. After placing 7th at the East Coast Championships, Brannigan carefully brought the horse from Novice to Level CCI4*. The duo completed their first CCI4*-L together at Tryon in 2020 and have spent much of 2021 preparing for their next CCI4*-L outing at Rebecca Farm in the summer of 2021. This preparation has paid off as the duo achieved their highest ranking at the four-star level after finishing third.
Colleen Rutledge’s Thoroughbred Stallion Confidence Game (Morluc x Pam’s Ruckus) also went from competing at the YEH 5-Year-Old Championships to their first CCI4*-L at Jersey Fresh this year, where the pair completed their first CCI4*-S in 2019 also.
Five additional horses that entered the 2015 USEA YEH 5-Year-Old Championships that competed at the Intermediate/CCI3* level include Metallic (by Cancara) a Holsteiner mare, KF Chelada a Holsteiner mare of unknown breed, Celtic mark HC (ArdCeltic Art x Star Mark) a Connemara crossbred gelding, FE Charles Owen a German sport horse gelding, and Get Rowdy (Baltic VDL x 2. Unellie) a Dutch Warmblood gelding.
Congratulations to all YEH graduates and stay tuned for the next class – the class of 2015! To review previous YEH directories, click here.
About the USEA Young Event Horse Program
The Young Event Horse (YEH) program was established in 2004 as a search for eventing talent. Like similar programs in Europe, the YEH program was designed to identify young horses between the ages of four and five who possess the talent and disposition to, with proper training, excel at the highest levels of the sport. The ultimate goal of the program is to single out 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 featured by the program.
The YEH program provides an opportunity for breeders and owners to show the potential of their young horses while encouraging the breeding and development of the best competition horses for the future. The program rewards horses that are educated and prepared in a correct and progressive manner. During the qualifying events, the young people perform a dressage test and a jumping/galloping/general impression phase. During the Championships, young horses are also evaluated on their conformation in addition to the dressage test and the jumping/cantering/general impression phase. Click here to learn more about the Young Event Horse program.
USEA would like to thank Bates Saddles, SmartPak, Standlee Premium Western Forage, Parker Equine Insurance, Standard Diagnosisand Saratoga Horseback Riding for sponsoring the Young Event Horse program. In addition, USEA would like to thank The Dutta Company., Title Sponsor of the Young Horse Championships Event.