Young Sport Horse Show Series Set for 2011 WEF in Palm Beach

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WEF Prize List

WELLINGTON, Florida, Dec. 27–A Young SportHorse Show series open to all disciplines and with a total of more than $30,000 in cash and prizes is being offered for the 2011 Winter Equestrian Festival with a final next December, Equestrian Sport Productions announced Monday.

The unrated competitions have low entry fees and are scheduled for Tuesdays before the opening day of each week’s competition, on Jan. 25, Feb. 22 and Mar. 22 at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center. Judges are U.S. Equestrian Federation Dressage Sport Horse Judge Jos Sevriens of Atlanta and International Breed Judge and two-time dressage Olympian Hilda Gurney of Moorpark, California. Handlers are Silvio Wolfbusch and Klaus Schengber and their fees are included in the entry fees.

The shows have been organized by the FTI Winter Equestrian Festival in cooperation with the North American Studbook and the title sponsor is Spy Coast Farm, one of America’s premier sport horse breeding and competition stables.

The competitions will be held in PBIEC’s Mogavero Ring with its international quality footing. The prize list with complete details is available by clicking here: Prize_List_Final_YHS_WEF.

“The Spy Coast Farm Young Sporthorse Show Series is designed to provide breeders, owners, trainers and riders of young sport horses an affordable show venue,” ESP said in a statement.

“The goal of the young horse program is to introduce sporthorses of all disciplines to the show environment and provide special classes suitable to the proper development of young horses. It is also intended to create a sales environment where numerous young horses are in a single location and their talents may be displayed in front of a buying audience.”

Mark Bellissimo, managing partner of the Wellington Equestrian Partners that organizes WEF and other competitions at its PBIEC, said the series was expected to be “an important contributor toward the evolution of sporthorse breeding in the U.S.

“We are honored to work together with Spy Coast Farm and the North American Studbook to help achieve their long-term vision of making breeding as prevalent in North America as it is overseas.”

The series is for horses aged one to five years and of all disciplines, including jumpers, dressage, hunters, and eventing.

NAS Board Member Lisa Lourie, who with her husband, Robert, owns Soy Coast Farm, hosted a successful inaugural event at their facility this spring.

“This whole concept was the idea of NAS President Jean Yves Tola,” Lisa said.

“He approached me about having a show at Spy Coast Farm and he asked if we could pursue this in other settings, which is where WEF came in. We are basically trying to create a template for Young Horse Shows where the standards are quite clearly set so that we are not over facing these horses. The emphasis is on style and technique more than it is the competition to win. It is the intention of this Young Horse Show to provide young horses a suitable environment to begin their first steps toward a competitive career without the pressures of the show circuit.”

To further educate other equestrians about management of breeding and young horses, Spy Coast Farm will host a seminar on the Economics of Breeding on Thursday, Feb. 10, 12:30-2:00 pm as part of the FTI WEF’s Lunch and Learn series. They will also host a clinic in the Mogavero Arena on Tuesday, Feb. 16 on How to Back a Young Horse.

The shows offer five divisions, each divided by age. Divisions include Suitability for Sport In-Hand, Jump Chute, Schooling Dressage, Suitability for Sport Under Saddle and Style Jumping Under Saddle. Horses can compete in more than one division appropriate to their age group.

Suitability for Sport In-Hand
This class will combine an in-hand phase followed by a liberty phase. Upon entering the ring, the conformation of each horse will be assessed by the two judges independently. The handler will then present the horse on the triangle at both the walk and the trot. The conclusion will be a maximum three-minute liberty phase where all three gaits will be assessed. The horses will be scored on conformation (30%), quality of all three gaits (30%), overall athleticism (30%) and overall impression (10%).

Jump Chute
Horses will jump an age appropriate chute comprised of three jumping elements: a cross rail to a small vertical to an ascending oxer. The judges initially will set the chute at an inviting height so the horse can become accustomed to the chute and will then raise the jumps accordingly. The horses will receive equally weighted scores for scope, technique, carefulness and willingness at the conclusion of their jumping effort.

Schooling Dressage
Open to horses of all disciplines, horses will demonstrate their basic rideability, harmony with their rider and willingness to perform using a Training Level Dressage test. The Training Level tests can be performed by any horse and rider pairing of any discipline that is capable of walking, trotting, cantering, and halting. No lateral movements will be required. The judge will look for balanced, smooth transitions and clear, rhythmic gaits. Each element of the test will be scored and collective marks at the end of the test are given for the horse’s gaits, impulsion and submission. Since the focus of the class is the horse, the rider will not receive a score.

Suitability for Sport Under Saddle
Open to horses of all disciplines, judges will assess the basic gaits of the horse under saddle. Two horses and riders will be in the ring at once. Horses will be paired by age and by gender and will perform in the ring together with the judge asking the riders to walk, trot, canter and lengthen the gaits. Horses will be scored on the quality of their gaits under saddle, as well as their overall impression. Horses will receive a score for walk (25%), trot (25%), canter (25%) and overall impression (25%). Each horse will be assessed by a single judge. The scores will be based on the individual horse, not on a relative basis.

Style Jumping Under Saddle
Horses will jump an age appropriate course of eight to ten fences to demonstrate their jumping skill. They will be allowed two rounds over the same course and fences. The focus of the judge will be on the horse’s style (e.g., scope, technique, carefulness and willingness) over each obstacle. The course will be designed similarly to a hunter course in structure (basic in and out lines, no bending lines, no roll-backs), but comprised of colored (jumper) fences set with young-horse friendly, straightforward strides. Time is neither set nor judged. The horse will be scored over each obstacle and each individual score will then be combined for a total score.

All prize list information and entry forms for the Spy Coast Farm Young Sporthorse Show Series can be found at www.equestriansport.com.