Approximately three years ago, the U.S. Equestrian Federation launched the Young Horse Championship initiative with the intent of showcasing young horse development pipeline programs within each of the disciplines under the Federation umbrella by uniting their efforts in a single-venue championship event. A USEF Young Horse Championship and Festival was planned for the fall of 2014 at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington.
The USEF released a statement Jan. 29 addressing the postponement of that program and the cancelation of the 2014 competition:
“Prior to this initiative’s creation, each discipline varied in the extent to which it had created and implemented young horse development programs. Some disciplines had full programs; some had partially-developed programs, while others had no program of any kind in place. As a result of the YHC efforts, the disciplines have focused their efforts to make certain that young horse development programs were created, further developed or refined. This is a major accomplishment in the quest to provide for the future of equestrian sport,” the release stated.
“As with any major undertaking, there are hurdles which make one reassess the approach and identify additional opportunities for achieving the end goal. Federation leadership, working in concert with the Young Horse Championship Steering Committee, has come to the conclusion that emerging programs and additions to existing programs within each specific discipline should be allowed adequate time to develop and be refined.
“As a result, the USEF multi-discipline Young Horse Championship will not be held in 2014. Instead, the Federation’s efforts will be focused toward creating educational opportunities for breeders, young horse trainers and owners and facilitating the development of the different discipline-specific young horse pipeline programs. The YHC Steering Committee has tasked the Breeders Committee with taking the lead in collaboration with the Federation Education Department to implement this program.
“The USEF multi-discipline Young Horse Championship concept is not gone; rather it has been paused to allow time for new and existing programs to take root and ultimately flourish, for our members to be educated and engaged, and for the sport to expand and grow.”