The United States Equestrian Federation wrapped up its inaugural Show Jumping Developing Rider, Young Horse and Breeding Evaluation Clinic Pilot Program on Aug. 4, at Spy Coast Farm in Lexington, Ky.
A group of 15 developing riders, young horse professionals and breeders took part in the one-day session, held in conjunction with the farm’s BWP Keuring. The invitation-only clinic featured Belgium’s Head Stallion Judge Boudewijn Schepers and offered a unique opportunity to learn from industry experts on young horse selection and development.
“We started with the simple fact that we could develop our young riders, but they will still also need to have a parallel track for developing young horses,” explained USEF Show Jumping Development Chef d’Equipe/Technical Advisor DiAnn Langer, the architect of the program. “Our older generations have all developed their own horses; in contrast, our current generation of young riders have developed very few of their own horses. As breeders, we know that there is going to be a shortage of horses in the coming years, therefore we are trying to encourage these developing riders to have the desire to and learn how to develop young horses through educational programs such as this.”
The participants began the day with introductory discussions with clinicians Langer, Schepers, Spy Coast Farm owner Lisa Lourie, Spy Coast Farm Young Horse Trainer Willie Tynan and Executive Director of the North American Studbook Jean Yves Tola, followed by a BWP Keuring.
In the afternoon session, participants discussed pertinent topics such as pedigrees, conformation, microchipping, registration and verification of age.
“It is very important that we are able to record and track what our horses do in the sport, because then we can judge our breeding program, how successful it is, what decisions need to be made, and how we can best support the riders in the country by what we produce,” said USEF Horse Recording & ID Task Force member and breeder Summer Stoffel. “In the United States, breeding and competing are two totally separate worlds. I hear all the time from breeders that they want to make the community more aware [of the horses being bred in the U.S.].
“Programs like this bring awareness to the new generation of breeders and perhaps to people who are interested in breeding and developing young horses,” Stoffel added.
The day concluded with a Spy Coast Farm Young Horse Show demonstration with free-jumping and a session with Tynan on the early stages of starting a horse, including hands-on instruction on long-lining.
“USEF is thrilled to support this pilot program,” said Lizzy Chesson, USEF Managing Director of Show Jumping. “We look forward to developing this program further, as it is of great importance that we enhance the pipeline for sport horses in the U.S.”