First answer


Site of the Young Horse Show Final 2015. Tryon Equestrian Center

As promised, the adventure of the Young Horse Show (…the greatest answer to the future of young horses in our country continues. Any horse, whether bred in the U.S. or elsewhere is welcome. We need this series. We want this series. The vision of catching up to Europe can happen, and as long as Americans understand the benefits without getting bored of the little things, we might figure out how to develop the young horse. I’m not holding my breath but I can be darn sure to support it instead of sneering at it. The timing of the Final is ideal. November. Over 100 horses ended up competing on the Qualifying day, many of them here to just experience the jump chute for the first time. No fancy tack room set ups, no pressure to get to the in-gate or else the class will be closed, judges card signed, JY (the organizer) is COMPLETELY aware baby horses don’t always go in the proper direction at the proper time, informing his staff to wait. You need an extra schooling jump? No problem. Take four.


prizes and trophy

The format is fine, there are classes for dressage horses, or horses judged simply at the walk trot and canter, jumping classes for 4 and 5 yr olds, in hand classes, and age specific jump chute classes.


Handler Quinnten Alston holding Double Tap (De Victor/Feinbrand 2013 G) bred by Annette Kewnyan

The nice thing about watching an afternoon of horses in the jump chute, is that just as your eyes start to glaze over, a special one walks in and and blows the competition away. Everybody applauds, and we all go, yep, that is what we strive for. That special horse is going to keep people interested. Now JY Tola has the added pressure to keep the classes for these horses coming. Choosing these horse shows over the A rated ones is not an incredibly difficult decision. The cost is ridiculously low…I think my bill for the Qualifier Day was $325, only slightly more than normal because it is held at the Tryon Equestrian Center. My included stall fee is for the WHOLE weekend, not just the first day. I won $200 (in CASH) back for winning both my classes. The Final has even more prize money.  Most manes are braided, but no tails. The handlers are hired by the horse show, have experience, and their fees are included in the classes. I have said before, but do not mind to repeat, HANDLERS are invaluable. There are very few of them, we need more of them, and as if you need more incentive, there are HANDLER competitions throughout the world if you so desire to add that accomplishment to a resume. Have patience? A bit of strength? Please learn to do this. The added bonus of this weekend’s handlers? They were hot.


Jordan Bali holding Amorous (Amazing/Rapport, 2013 m) owned by Katie Ziggas, bred by Kimmy Risser

I chose to bring my hunter Westin (Under Cover). He is 5, the maximum allowed age. I entered an age appropriate flat and jumping class.  I knew the biggest challenge would be the fence height because I have been showing in the baby greens all year (2’6-2’9), keeping him eligible for the Pre-Green division this December per USEF rules. The 5 yr olds in this series are expected to jump the universal standard of 1.10m. Most of the jumps were typical jumper jumps, not hunter jumps. This series is not currently recognized by USEF.  However, they were involved, and provided a young horse clinic during the horse show to educate young USEF members as far as breeding, training, handling, and judging was concerned. #Wonderful #WIN. (Or at least one step forward). My only complaint about this opportunity to partake in a truly important, valuable clinic, was that the USEF chose to forward an email about the clinic to a small, teeny, tiny portion of it’s membership. I was too old to receive the email, apparently, and as a result I was furious. AS IF I AM INCAPABLE OF EDUCATING THE FUTURE  GENERATIONS, TOO?  The fact that USEF cannot recognize the need for people like me to know when to send forty people to an educational clinic with some of the most knowledgable, well driven speakers and breeders in the horse world is simply criminal and destructive to the entire industry as a whole. End rant…for now.


attendees to USEF clinic

Westin was a leeeetle impressed on the Qualifying day, and I am guessing the thoughts running through his head were very similar to my own, especially in the first round, and contained many, many, MANY swear words. However, the most amazing thing happened right under me after we jumped fence 9, and cleared it by more than adequate height. He grew up. I walked, let out a loud sigh of relief…looked back at the course, which was a double the height of the baby green division, and went holy crap, we just jumped a solid, universal round…and it was fun.

Westin has a high price tag. I am not going to lie, I expect him to be a pretty exceptional Am/Jr/Derby horse one day for the  circuit, and am excited to have him as a Pre-Green horse for 2016. So far, he has proven himself a winner, and based on my experience, he should continue on the right track. But, when I picked up that Kelley Farmer gallop, (even posting to the canter to try to channel that uber confidence) to the first fence, I knew I could actually skip the pre-greens and go right into the First Years. It was amazing. I could not believe the difference I was feeling in just one demanding round. Westin melted with confidence; becoming butter in my hands.  I needed virtually no effort, whatsoever to complete round 2. I never touched his mouth. The scary Spy Coast plank in the out of the double proved no issue, I stopped the nervous posting after fence one, just rode like myself, and I knew immediately I had quadrupled his confidence. The first Pre-Green division at December Hunter Classic, at McDonogh School will be pretty freaking easy after today. (Don’t worry, I would never consider skipping an entire multi-tiered division.) As a result, and I feel confirmed with his price tag.


Westin, aka Under Cover (Ustinov x Cavalier 2010 G)

Now, I am only speaking from my own experience, not everyone else’s, and there are obviously horses here that were nothing like Westin, some of them should maybe considering alternate careers, but if the better horses don’t participate, how will we be able to raise the standard in American breeding? It is one thing to hold the shows, it is quite another to understand the education that goes into holding shows and into breeding. Attending is educating. Watching is educating. Contributing is educating, and pretty much the only way it can all work for Jean Yves, his vision, and us in America. You have an idea for improving American breeding? Show me. Don’t be lazy, really, show me. Forward thinking, even if we all know it is a catch up game to the Europeans. It is not like we aren’t capable. But in general, we are lazy in comparison. Eventually I would like to see this series become exclusive for American bred horses…but that will not happen without participation. A-circuit exhibitors are really missing out by not being here…for sure, not that I want you all to rush on in, while I am winning all those Benjamins, but it is all here, right in front of you…for the taking. Some trainers will balk at not being able to make enough money by taking enough clients, and my argument is I wish primary school wasn’t twelve years long. Sacrifice a dang weekend for education.

The efforts from Aliboo Farm, Page Brook Farms, Spy Coast,  and several others is beyond tremendous. The exhibitor party (which was free) was a huge thank you to us for coming, well thought out, and we were even handed a breeding quiz to see how much knowledge we have as individuals of breeding in America. 99% of us used the Google to cheat. But the wine was plenty, food and chocolate exorbitant, and (most important) discussion real. No cliques anywhere, no insecurities. Every single person here has a very good grasp on the benefits of breeding in America, and is willing to continue the discussion.

If you are a young rider complaining about not having access to enough horses to ride…go to one of these shows and hand out your number. We have all let you down over the years by not providing a better growth system for our developing riders; here is your opportunity to help yourselves. Breeders shouldn’t have to pay a top show professional’s prices to start their young horses. It is far too expensive. You can contribute your services for gas money. You will get the mileage you need to become the best rider you can become. Why are the Irish riders seemingly so far advanced in the International circles? They ride anything. ANYTHING. And they go out looking for horses to ride. Afraid of getting bucked off a young horse? we all are. get over it or pick a different sport. wear a safety vest. Taylor Flury probably had other ideas about how her 4 yr old jumping Final was going to go when she suddenly hit the dirt in the warm up ring and woke up in an ambulance. Think that is going to stop her?? My guess is that it was very, very difficult to keep her OFF her horses the next day.


Taylor Flury showing in the 4 yr olds

This weekend was not about the business of horse showing. It also lacked greed. This particular weekend, in November, in Tryon, was about the development of young horses. I had zero obligations to be at ring 5, at roughly 6:30pm, for the Marshall and Sterling/ NAL/WIHS whatever classic for a client. I wasn’t preoccupied with multiple conflicts, or wishing the day to be over by a certain hour. I was able to bathe and braid my horse before the show started, hence, I watched a lot of classes. The ring operators were volunteers from the local hunt club, and they took genuine interest in the horses competing. Due to the special animal I brought with me, I was actually PAID to watch these classes, a special added bonus (although I have to say Westin was just being Westin, and he has no idea he contributed to furthering my own education). Dinner was sponsored and served each night on the grounds, even if this is not the norm for the qualifiers throughout the year, it was genuinely appreciated for the Final. The need for this series was so evident simply by looking around me at the healthy attendance and support for this horse show. Let’s do more. We are capable.


prizes and scorecard for winning the 5 yr jumping Final

The final round in the 5 yr Final…


Under Cover (Ustinov x Cavalier)



Special thanks to The Equine Media Project for the super fab photos. Go like them on FB.



the Young Horse Show Series

The Young Horse Show series finale is coming up in November of this year. I finally have a horse that can participate, as I have been following the progress of this series for quite some time. It was the brain child of Jean Yves Tola, an awesome French dude noting the need to bridge the gap between breeders and horse show people in America, and modeling the series after shows and approvals in Europe. There are 9 shows offered through the year, about one a month in various parts of the country,  and unfortunately for me, the one I was finally available for in Pennsylvania has been cancelled (you can imagine my EXTREME disappointment) I was truly excited for this, and hopefully I will not miss the November Final (the first day is also a qualifier) in Tryon, NC Nov 6-7, 2015, which should be a big deal.

Why is this series so cool? It provides a wealth of education on young horses for one. Watching horses free jump is almost a daily occurrence in Europe, incredibly rare in the States, yet it is vital to watch a horse in motion when you are considering how to rate athleticism for horses in sport, who to breed to, etc. Without the rider, you can see an enormous amount regarding natural ability of a young horse (jump chutes are typically for 2-4 yr olds, although many people still request older horses to demonstrate jump chutes before purchasing). Secondly it connects horseman to breeders. Bridging that gap, so to speak. I know more breeders in Germany right now than I do in the States, and I intend to change that right now, starting with the show in Tryon. You have to do things for yourself, as there is no guidebook for this horse world, and this will definitely be one move I am sure will help me.

I am not entering my horse in the jump chute class, but I am entering him in a flat and a jumping class. The entry blank asks whether your horse is considered a hunter or jumper (mine was purchased to be a hunter) so he will compete and be scored with other 5 year olds, and I guess his discipline will be taken into consideration. It looks as if athleticism is the key determinator on scoring, however, and well educated judges will be able to choose the most athletic winner. If you have a young dressage horse, there are classes available for you, too! I almost considered entering one just for fun, and may still do that in Tryon. Many people breed for certain disciplines, and promoting their stallions is really essential. All entry blanks require breeder information, and the lineage will be known for each horse entering the ring.

This is a great summary describing the content and history:

Of course, I intend to blog about the entire weekend in November, as was going to be my plan for Coopersburg (the event that has been cancelled), I have spoken with Jean Yves at great length about my support, and to beg him consider me for future help (if he doesn’t already think I am a complete and utter lunatic), because I agree his idea is the idea for the future. It can work, it can really benefit the horse industry, and the cost is minimal. My cost in PA for the weekend was going to be under $250, (Tryon may be a little pricier because of the venue) but the contacts I could have made worth loads more. Is it possible to do Hunter Breeding on the A circuit in America for this cost? Do people join the USEF/ USHJA just to do hunter breeding and get discouraged from the costs? 

I think it is crucial for American breeders to be able to showcase young horses without putting so much pressure on their pocketbooks, they already have enough to worry about just keeping foals safe from their own stupidity, so why tax them even more??

Look at the website, give feedback, ideas, criticisms, I want to know. The Young Horse show series has been around for 5 years, but is still too little known or understood in recognized show circuit circles.  There is no membership fee. It is open to horses bred here or abroad. Just remember, it is so hard to be one of the first people with an idea, and getting it off the ground often means not taking anything personally, but just going for it the Nike way. Maybe this idea of a horse show is not for you, but maybe it is of use to your neighbor. Think outside the box…….#ChangeTheHorseShowIndustry and bring on my birthday in November! I’ll supply cake if you want to tag along!!

go back and click on that link ^


This is a yearling. His sire is Asca Z, Damsire is Lupicor. The breed is Zangersheide, the breeder is Margiet Limpens, and the owner is Aliboo Farm, Inc.

Random horse photo free jumping? ok no problem I aim to please….

miralynnnov09 (3)a

Watching a young dressage horse attempt jumping in order to consider him for the hunter ring…


Maybe this is a dressage prospect? you decide…..


The horse I will hopefully take to Tryon if I can work out the conflicts.. meet baby Westin


Westin, aka “Under Cover”, 2010 gelding by Ustinov (Libero H). Damsire is Cavalier


the 2013 Young Horse Show 5 yr old champion jumping under tack?


Iago JSF, Sired by Acodetto. Damsire is Balta ‘Czar, breeder is Jump Start Farm.