Category Archives: USEA

USEA Foundation Supports Eventers on Their Way to USEA American Eventing Championships

Frankie Thieriot Stutes, recipient of a $50,000 Rebecca Broussard International Developing Rider Grant last year, and Chatwin at The Event at Rebecca Farm in 2018. Photo: Taylor Pence/US Equestrian.

The impact of the USEA Foundation can be felt throughout the 2019 USEA American Eventing Championships (AEC) taking place this week at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Ky. From educational seminars available to all attendees to the very horses and riders themselves, the USEA Foundation plays an important role at the USEA AEC.

The USEA Foundation, formerly the USEA Endowment Trust, is an independent 501 (c)(3) established in 1991 to benefit the USEA and its members. The fundamental mission of the USEA Foundation is to protect and preserve the sport of eventing for future generations and to provide support for the core educational, safety, and equine welfare programs of the USEA.

Originally established to raise funds to build the USCTA (now USEA) headquarters in Leesburg, Va., the Trust evolved into an organization focused on building long-term reserves for the security of the USEA, providing support for the USEA’s educational programs, developing and administrating a number of different grants, and funding safety and equine medical studies and other strategic initiatives essential to the future of the sport. This evolution resulted in the transition from the USEA Endowment Trust to the USEA Foundation.

The Foundation now serves three primary roles for the USEA: it provides short-term assistance to the USEA in meeting financial obligations, provides a long-term financial safety net, and provides protection and growth for the USEA’s monetary assets. In addition to the roles the Foundation serves for the USEA, it also manages several fundsincluding the frangible technology research fund, the equine health research fund, and the Roger Haller educational fundand provides USEA members with a number of different grants that benefit riders of all ages competing at all levels.

“The USEA Foundation is perfectly positioned in a number of ways to secure the future of eventing in this country,” stated USEA CEO Rob Burk. “Initially, we have been trying to spread the word about the existence of the Foundation and differentiate it from the USEA and from other charitable entities. As recognition and support for the Foundation have grown, we have been excitedly watching the successes of the Foundation-supported riders, horses, and projects as they come to fruition. One of the key attributes of the USEA Foundation is that it has been very nimble. Should new research be needed to tackle an issue of concern, the USEA Foundation can quickly establish charitable campaigns to address it.”

One of the many educational seminars taking place during the AEC is a frangible device clinic held by the 2019 USEA AEC course-builder Mick Costello. Attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions relating to frangible technology, from proper installation to the function served by different types of frangible devices. The depth and breadth of knowledge surrounding frangible devices is due in part to the work of the frangible technology research fund, which is invested in and protected by the USEA Foundation.

Several of the riders competing this year at the 2019 USEA AEC have been supported on their journey by USEA Foundation grants. Frankie Thieriot Stutes received the $50,000 Rebecca Broussard International Developing Rider Grant in 2018. This spring, she traveled to compete in the Luhmühlen CCI5*-L in Germany with her partner, Chatwin, where, in their first attempt at the level, they finished in fourth place as the highest-placed American pair.

“I was able to use the bulk of my funds to go to Luhmühlen, and the remainder of my Broussard grant money will make it possible for Chatwin and me to get to Kentucky to compete at the AEC, which is an amazing building-block in our partnership,” explained Thieriot Stutes, who lives in California. “It’s giving us an opportunity, where we otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford to make the trip to Kentucky to compete at such a world-class venue on Derek di Grazia’s courses.”

In addition, Thieriot Stutes will be using a Tex Sutton flight she purchased through the USEA Foundation silent auction at the USEA Annual Meeting and Convention in 2018. “It’s neat, because I was really excited to buy the flight to support the USEA Foundation, not knowing what I would use it for,” she said. “It’s come full circle, and I’m excited to be able to support the Foundation and have the opportunity to fly Chatwin on Tex Sutton to compete at the AEC.”

Madison Temkin, who is competing with Dr. Hart in the Intermediate Championship division and with MVP Madbum in the Preliminary Horse Championship division, received the $5,000 Amy Tryon Young Rider Grant in 2016 and the $6,000 Wilton Fair Young Rider Grant in 2018. She was named to the USEF Eventing 18 training list for five consecutive years since the program’s inception in 2014 and then to the USEF Eventing 25 list in 2019.

“The USEA Foundation grant has given me the opportunity to travel to the East Coast and not only compete at my first AEC, but also to continue east and base myself in Ocala, Fla., with High Performance coach Leslie Law,” said Temkin. “I am so grateful to have been a recipient of this grant, and I cannot wait for the next couple of months. The knowledge and experience I am going to gain is crucial to my career in this sport, and it will be a trip of a lifetime. Thank you so much to everyone who has believed in me and made this possible. I hope to make everyone proud.”

International five-star event rider Caroline Martin has a whopping eight rides at the AEC this year, including two in the Intermediate Championship: Danger Mouse and Cristano Z. In 2017, Martin was awarded the $10,000 Essex Grant, which is available to riders under the age of 25 competing at the CCI4*/CCI5* levels. Martin and her mount, Islandwood Captain Jack, were named to the USEF Development Pre-Elite Training List and represented the U.S. in the CCIO4*-S at Aachen.

In the winter of 2018, Martin used the grant money she received to travel south to train with Olympic dressage rider Bent Jensen. “I was with Bent for over a month, and I also got to ride some of his Grand Prix horses, which was really interesting,” Martin said. “This winter I got to go down for 10 days and work with Anne Kursinski in show jumping. I got to go do my first 1.55-meter Grand Prix with Cristano Z.

“Both experiences were really great for me. It was great for me to go and train with Bent and actually learn pure dressage and ride the pure dressage horses – it helped me with my tempi changes and my pirouettes. I got to live there and completely immerse myself. It was also great to go train with Anne, because I’ve never jumped that big, and it gave me a lot of self-confidence, especially when I went to Aachen this year and jumped in an arena that big. It really helped me take my show jumping to the next level.”

In addition to the training that Martin was able to undertake as a result of the grant, she’s also had the chance to transition her business from pure riding to encompass sales as well. Three of Martin’s AEC mountsRedfield Bajall, Redfield Cheranimo, and Redfield Idealare sales horses owned by her business partners. “Since I got that grant, my business has changed,” she said. “I went from being just a professional rider to now being a salesperson and rider.”

Support of the USEA and USEA Foundation through donations and memberships helps ensure the long-term future of the USEA and the sport of eventing. To learn more about the USEA Foundation and the different grants and programs it supports, visit

by Jessica Duffy, United States Eventing Association

Doug Payne and Quantum Leap to Represent U.S. at FEI World Breeding Eventing Championships

Doug Payne and Quantum Leap. USEA/Leslie Mintz Photo.

The USEA Young Event Horse Program (YEH) introduced the Holekamp/Turner Young Event Horse Le Lion d’Angers Prize and Grant in 2012 with the support of Dr. Timothy and Cheryl Holekamp and Christine Turner to encourage the development of future U.S. Eventing Team horses by providing them with increased international exposure and opportunity as young horses. The grant is awarded yearly to the highest scoring horse from the USEA Young Event Horse 5-year-old East and West Championships combined during their 7-year-old year that is qualified, willing, and able to compete in the FEI World Breeding Eventing Championships for Young Horses at Le Mondial du Lion d’Angers in France.

Horses must have completed one CCI* and one CIC2*, both with no cross-country jumping penalties and no more than one rail in show jumping, in order to be qualified to compete in the FEI World Breeding Eventing Championships 7-year-old CH-2* division and therefore be eligible for the grant.

In the interest in promoting domestic breeding, North American-bred winners of the Grant are awarded with a cash prize of $17,500 to offset the expenses of traveling to France for the Championships, while imported horses are awarded $8,000. Since the intention of the prize is to create a pipeline for U.S. Team horses, the eligibility of top-placing YEH horses remains with the horse, regardless of change of rider after the YEH 5-year-old Championships. However, the horse must be ridden by a United States citizen to receive the grant.

Doug Payne’s Quantum Leap (Quite Capitol x Report to Sloopy), a 7-year-old Zweibrucker gelding, is the recipient of the 2018 Holekamp/Turner Grant and will be traveling to Le Mondial du Lion d’Angers to represent the United States at the 2018 FEI World Breeding Eventing Championships. Bred by Elizabeth Callahan of Cool Na Grena Sporthorses in Oxford, Maryland, Quantum will be the second North American-bred horse to compete at the Championships with assistance from the grant. The first North American-bred horse to receive the grant was Fleeceworks Royal (Riverman x Marisol), a Holsteiner mare owned by Judith McSwain and bred by Charlotte Wrather of Cottonwood Ranch. Twilightslastgleam (National Anthem x Royal Child), an American-bred off-the-track Thoroughbred owned by Tim and Nina Gardner and bred by Nina, was named the recipient of the 2017 Holekamp/Turner Grant but had an unfortunate minor injury before boarding the flight to France.

Payne selected Quantum as a yearling and produced Quantum all the way up to the two-star level without a single cross-country jumping penalty on his record. Most recently, Payne and Quantum won the Intermediate division at the Millbrook Horse Trials in August and were second in the CCI2* at Ocala International in April.

“He was well bred and put together,” recalled Payne of Quantum as a yearling. “We trusted Didi in that this was the second of four horses that we currently have of hers. We try to buy at least one yearling a year to ensure a pipeline of talented horses for the future. Being that we have the space, it’s the most affordable means to do so.

“In the barn is a just like a big dog, and he’s an odd combination of quiet and sharp when riding,” shared Payne. “He’s very quick and careful to jump and his flat work is coming along very well. He’s just starting to be able to use his body as a cohesive unit rather than some massive unattached spider legs. He’s absolutely a future champion!”

Payne has competed overseas on three separate occasions: in the CCI3* at Boekelo aboard Running Order in 2010, in the CCI3* at Saumur aboard Crown Talisman in 2014, and in the Blenheim CCI3* with Vandiver last fall. “I have looked forward to our return to France ever since [competing at Saumur],” Payne commented. “It’s an incredible honor to attend such a competition and I think Quantum will greatly benefit from the experience.”

“I think [the Holekamp/Turner Grant] is a great asset for U.S. eventing,” stated Payne. “In the end these talented young horses will go on to represent the United States. International trips like this will only better prepare them for that experience. This is, after all, the stated goal of the Young Event Horse program, to develop future talent for team success in the years to come.”

Payne expressed his gratitude to Susan and Dave Drillock, who joined the team behind Quantum when he was a 4-year-old. “Without their help I would not have the opportunity to ride such an incredible horse.”

The 2018 Le Mondial du Lion d’Angers will take place on October 18-21, 2018, just 2 hours and 30 minutes southeast of Paris, France.

Authored By: Jessica Duffy – USEA Staff
© United States Eventing Association

Elite Adequan Gold Cup Signature Series to Kick Off in September 2017

Phillip Dutton (photo courtesy of the USEA)

Leesburg, Va. – The United States Eventing Association (USEA) and the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF), with input from the Professional Riders’ Organization (PRO), have joined forces to launch the Adequan Gold Cup Signature Series (GCSS). The GCSS will include many elite CIC3* events in the U.S. that will each offer at least $25,000 in prize money, culminating with a GCSS final with an unprecedented total purse. Competitors will accrue points at each leg of the series, with a leaderboard tracking rankings throughout the year. Leaderboard rankings will then secure riders a spot in the Final, which will held in conjunction with the American Eventing Championships.

Designed to showcase the best eventing athletes in the U.S., build awareness of the sport, and create an unmatched competition experience, the GCSS will work to ensure the long-term growth and sustainability of eventing. In addition, the USEA and USEF are jointly developing key corporate relationship strategies for acquiring and retaining GCSS sponsorship.

“I am very excited about the launch of the Adequan Gold Cup Signature Series. As we look to be successful on the world stage as a nation, it is vital that we elevate the profile of the sport at home,” said 2016 Olympic Individual Bronze medalist and GCSS Steering Committee member, Phillip Dutton. “The GCSS will give horses and riders a great opportunity to test themselves at elite competitions, as well as build an even stronger support and fan base.”

The inaugural GCSS will likely feature six to 10 premier CIC3* competitions beginning in September 2017 and will culminate at the Final slated for the fall of 2018.

The GCSS Steering Committee will select participating events through a bidding process that will begin on October 6, 2016. Participating venues will be announced at the USEA Annual Meeting in December 2016 after a final proposal is submitted to the FEI for approval.

Competitions interested in becoming a fixture of this series or those with general media inquiries are encouraged to contact Kate Lokey at

From the USEF and USEA

USEF and USEA Outline Ongoing Eventing Safety Initiatives

Lexington, Ky. – As the 2015 Eventing year progresses, the United States Eventing Association (USEA) and the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) would like to wish all our members a safe and enjoyable season. Both the USEA and the USEF are committed to the safety of horses and riders and have ongoing policies to further both. We are constantly researching new technologies in safety equipment, jump construction, and course quality. In recent years, the USEF and USEA have passed a rule requiring horse/rider combinations to achieve a standard of competence in competition. Additionally, the USEF mandates use of protective helmets and safety vests, all aimed at reducing the risk of injury and enhancing the enjoyment of Eventing. We urge everyone in the sport to review the following summary of initiatives and rules designed to improve safety in Eventing competitions. Further details can be found here on the USEA website.

Boyd Martin Triumphs at Red Hills International CIC3* and Adequan USEA Gold Cup and PRO Tour Series

Boyd Martin and Trading Aces ( photo)

Tallahassee, Fla. – Boyd Martin drove away in a brand new Mercedes SUV after winning the Red Hills International Horse Trials CIC3*. Martin and Trading Aces galloped through the finish line and stopped the clock with just 6.40 time penalties to add to his dressage score of 41.4, which was enough to push overnight leader Alexandra Knowles and Last Call into second place.

Ellen Doughty and Sir Oberon (HQ Outrigger/Cher) were clear and just one second slower than Martin, a feat which moved them up to third from eighth. Martin’s second ride, Sir Donovan (formerly ridden by Katie Ruppel Frei), made up for his eight faults in the show jumping by putting in the fastest round of the day to move up to fourth. 2013 Adequan USEA Gold Cup Champions, Laine Ashker and Anthony Patch, held onto fifth place and Bobby Meyerhoff riding his wife Danica Moore’s Utah B jumped into sixth after starting the weekend off in 31st place.

“It’s a very satisfying victory,” said Martin. “I have been dialed in to winning this from the beginning of the year and obviously I had a few hurdles to cross before we got here, but it has been the yearly plan for the horse. I came close to winning this a few years ago on Neville Bardos and missed out on the car by .2 and quite frankly I thought it was going to happen again today and Allie was going to pip me to the post.”

Martin was asked if there was any update on his wife Silva, a Grand Prix dressage rider who had suffered a head injury while schooling a young horse in Wellington the day before the competition. “She’s making progress,” he said, relieved. “Dr. Mark Hart [US Team doctor] has been wonderful and has been overseeing the whole thing and has triple checked all the scans and reports for me. Without him I would be very confused and I can’t thank him enough. In his words, ‘We are not out of the woods yet,’ but I spoke to her twice today and each time she was better than the last. Every day we get further away from the accident, the risk is reduced.”

The winner of the CIC3* receives the keys to a brand New Mercedes SUV for a year. When asked if he had been motivated by the new wheels, Martin laughed, “It was motivating in that Silva really wanted that Mercedes. I don’t care what car I drive, but to a classy German dressage rider, a Mercedes Benz is something to look forward to I suppose.”

Despite missing out on the car, Alexandra Knowles was delighted with Last Call’s performance. “She jumped a great round and I was ten seconds not fast enough,” said Knowles. “There are a few things I could change on my part but I am very satisfied with my horse. My hat is off to Boyd – he just went ten seconds faster than me today and that’s the name of the sport. I can learn from that.”

Ellen Doughty from Fourney, Texas was grateful for the help she had received during the training sessions with David O’Connor in Florida. “I don’t get regular lessons at home and the lessons I had in the training sessions have been immensely helpful as this was Obie’s best dressage score to date. He’s always good on cross-country, locks onto the fences and never wavers.”

Fence five, a left hand corner to a right hand corner on a tightly bending line, proved to be the bogey fence on the course and was responsible for several eliminations and retirements. When asked what it was about the combination that caused so much trouble, Knowles easily explained it: “There was nothing wrong with the fence; it was just about getting the approach right and giving the horses enough time to see the line and the question.”

The Young Rider closest to the optimum time was Libby Head from Talbotton, Georgia and her 15.1 Thoroughbred by Rockamundo. Libby represented Area III at the Young Riders Championships in 2011 where she placed 5th individually in the CCI2*. Libby and Rocky had a brilliant clear round and will be a pair to watch as the competition season progresses.

Once again, Red Hills proved to be a weekend of top class entertainment for the local community, whether they came to watch the horses in action, Paint the Pony, shop in the trade fair, or play in the magic castle.

The Adequan USEA Gold Cup and PRO Tour Series now moves to the Carolina International CIC3* on March 21-23 in Southern Pines, North Carolina and then heads West to Galway Downs CIC3* in Temecula, California.

To see the full list of results, go here.

About the Adequan USEA Gold Cup and PRO Tour Series
Qualifying for the 2014 Adequan USEA Gold Cup began last fall with the Plantation Field CIC3* (PA) and the Woodside CIC3* (CA) and features 11 qualifying competitions throughout the United States at the Advanced Horse Trials and CIC3* levels. The final will take place at the Nutrena USEA American Eventing Championships September 2014 in Tyler, Texas. Riders who complete a qualifier earn the chance to vie for $40,000 in prize money in the Adequan Advanced Division and the title of Adequan USEA Gold Cup Champion.

Lad’s Night Out Lands Victory in 2012 Adequan USEA Gold Cup Series

Bea Di Grazia and Lad's Night Out jump a clean show jumping round to take home the win the the Adequan USEA Gold Cup Division. Frankie Thieriot Photo.

Bea di Grazia and her own Lad’s Night Out led the Adequan USEA Gold Cup Series Advanced division at Twin Rivers from start to finish. After a terrific performance throughout the weekend, the duo secured their victory by adding no jumping faults to their dressage score and only two time penalties.

With James Alliston and his longtime partner Parker putting in a clear round prior to Lad’s Night Out entering the ring, the pressure was on, but Bea di Grazia’s level of experience showed through as she seemed to casually walk into the ring with her striking grey gelding and take in the scenery, completing the course with ease. Di Grazia joked following her round that luck must have been on her side as one scary rail danced in the cups but stayed up when all was said and done.

Bea’s husband and cross country course designer Derek di Grazia looked on and applauded his wife on her tremendous weekend and Gold Cup win aboard the horse he purchased for her as a gift not long ago. When asked what will be next for this talented pair, Bea simply said, “What could be better than this? We had so much fun this weekend and Hector did everything I asked of him. I am excited to see where the future takes the two of us.”

Continue reading Lad’s Night Out Lands Victory in 2012 Adequan USEA Gold Cup Series

USEF National Advanced Horse Trials Championship Honors Go to Holder and Courageous Comet

Becky Holder and Courageous Comet (Hannah Bennett/USEA Photo)

Fairburn, GA – The Merial Advanced division at the Nutrena USEA American Eventing Championships presented by Bit of Britain wrapped up today with the show jumping phase at Chattahoochee Hills. Mark Donovan’s tough course had riders incurring numerous jump and time penalties with just five double clear rounds in the division. Becky Holder (Palmetto, GA) and Courageous Comet had one rail down but held onto their lead to win the Merial Advanced division held in conjunction with the USEF National Advanced Horse Trials Championship with a score of 27.7. Holder had a stellar weekend with her and husband Tom Holder’s 16-year-old Thoroughbred gelding, taking top honors at this year’s Championship as they did in 2010 Land Rover USEA American Eventing Championships.

It was a fitting way to end Courageous Comet’s illustrious career as Holder confirmed this was his last upper-level competition. The crowd went wild as Holder and “Comet” crossed the finish line winning the Championship and bringing a very special partnership to a close.

“He (Comet) deserves this. I believe now and have believed for a long time he is the best in his sport,” Holder said. “I appreciate the grooms, vets, trainers, selectors, USEF High Performance Committee, and everyone who has been part of shaping his career. Thanks to all the fans and to those at the Kentucky Horse Park; many of our most memorable moments were on that course and in that stadium.”

Continue reading USEF National Advanced Horse Trials Championship Honors Go to Holder and Courageous Comet

Holder and Courageous Comet Maintain Lead in the USEF National Advanced Horse Trials Championship after Cross Country

Fairburn, GA – The cross country portion of the Nutrena USEA American Eventing Championships presented by Bit of Britain (AEC) took place today for the Merial Advanced division at the lovely facility of Chattahoochee Hills. Making the time on cross country proved to be a challenge on this hot and humid day as almost the entire field incurred time penalties except for two riders. Becky Holder (Palmetto, GA) was one of those riders, piloting Courageous Comet to a double clear round and keeping a firm hold on their first place position in the USEF National Advanced Horse Trials Championship. She confidently rode “Comet,” her & husband Tom Holder’s 16-year-old Thoroughbred gelding, around Hugh Lochore’s championship course, increasing her lead on the rest of the field to 8.7 points.

Laine Ashker (Richmond, VA) rode Anthony Patch, her 13-year-old Thoroughbred gelding, to the only other double clear round of the day moving up from eighth to second place. In the pair’s last start, they finished second in the Advanced division at Millbrook.

Continue reading Holder and Courageous Comet Maintain Lead in the USEF National Advanced Horse Trials Championship after Cross Country

Holder and Courageous Comet Lead the USEF National Advanced Horse Trials Championship

Becky Holder and Courageous Comet (Leslie Threlkeld/USEA Photo)

Fairburn, GA – Competition at the Nutrena USEA American Eventing Championships presented by Bit of Britain (AEC) got underway today. With the Advanced division at the AEC also playing host to the USEF National Advanced Horse Trials Championship, stakes were running high. Becky Holder (Palmetto, GA) and her longtime partner Courageous Comet lead the field after scoring an impressive 23.7 on their dressage test, 5.6 points ahead of the rest of the field. “Comet,” a 16-year-old Thoroughbred gelding owned by Becky & her husband Tom Holder, is nearing the end of his upper level career so a top performance here would be a wonderful way to cap off his outstanding record. Holder is also in fifth place in the USEF National Advanced Horse Trials Championship on Can’t Fire Me, a 13-year-old Thoroughbred gelding owned by Phil & Melissa Town & Tom Holder, with a score of 30.7.

Sitting in second place are Jonathan Holling (Ocala, FL) and Downtown Harrison, an 8-year-old Trakehner/Thoroughbred gelding owned by Constance Holling. The pair earned a 29.3 for their nice, flowing dressage test. Holling won the Bromont CCI3* earlier this summer with Downtown Harrison and hopes to find that top form again here. The pair will head to the Boekelo CCI3* this fall with the help of a Land Rover Competition and Training Grant.

Continue reading Holder and Courageous Comet Lead the USEF National Advanced Horse Trials Championship

USEF National Advanced Horse Trials Championship Is About to Begin at the Nutrena USEA American Eventing Championships

Fairburn, GA – The top eventers from across the nation are ready to take part in the Nutrena USEA American Eventing Championships presented by Bit of Britain (AEC). The Championships are taking place at Chattahoochee Hills located in Fairburn, GA from September 6-9, 2012. The Advanced division at the AEC also plays host to the USEF National Advanced Horse Trials Championship. With 19 U.S. entries in the Advanced division competing September 6-8, the Championship will surely be an exciting one with several of the sport’s top names as well as up-and-coming stars.

Becky Holder (Palmetto, GA) will be riding both her talented grey horses, Can’t Fire Me and Courageous Comet, in the division and vying for top honors. Can’t Fire Me, a 13-year-old Thoroughbred gelding owned by Phil & Melissa Town & Tom Holder, recently won the Richland Park CIC3* leading from start to finish with a final score of 44.30. Finishing right on his tail was stablemate and seasoned competitor Courageous Comet, a 16-year-old Thoroughbred gelding owned by Becky & Tom Holder. Holder and “Comet” were the 2010 AEC Advanced Champions and they hope to find success at the championship again.

Continue reading USEF National Advanced Horse Trials Championship Is About to Begin at the Nutrena USEA American Eventing Championships