January 29, 2014 — Approximately three years ago, the Federation launched the Young Horse Championship (YHC) initiative to showcase young horse development pipeline programs within each of the disciplines under the Federation umbrella by uniting their efforts in a premier single-venue championship event.
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.
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 to 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.