The Young Rider program is offered through the USEA for riders 21 years of age and younger of all levels of riding. The purpose of the program is to encourage younger members to become involved in the sport of eventing and continue this involvement into their adult lives. The program seeks to promote a love of the sport as well as an appreciation and understanding of the horse while fostering the wonderful relationship that can develop between horse and rider. Further, involvement in this program helps to instill important moral values, such as responsibility and work ethic, as young riders grow into mature adults.
This program is divided into 10 Areas throughout the country, and each Area program is facilitated by a volunteer Young Rider Coordinator. Each coordinator oversees the program for his/her Area and sets up different educational and developmental activities their young riders to attend. Camps, clinics, and seminars are usually offered, often with Olympic athletes. Each Area Young Rider program is divided into two sub-programs or branches: the new USEF Youth Team Challenge and The Young Rider Advancement Program (YRAP). The Youth Team Challenge branch focuses on developing riders and horses for the Championships each summer. YRAP focuses on providing lower level young riders with the education and skills they need to progress through the levels and eventually into the ranks of the Youth Team Challenge. The USEA also offers a Young Rider Mentorship Program, which gives young riders the opportunity to learn from experienced professionals.
The year 2020 was certainly one full of changes, and it is during this time that the USEF will pivot the Eventing North American Youth Championships (NAYC) to the Adequan®/USEF Youth Team Challenge. The USEF and USEA are extremely grateful to all of the hosts of the NAYC over the past 40+ years. The Championships provided invaluable experience, memories and opportunities for all involved.
The new Youth Team Challenge will offer more athletes the opportunity to participate in a team environment. The Youth Team Challenge will mimic the Nations Cup Series with selected short formats leading up to a fall long format. The Team Challenge will also allow for athletes 25 and under to participate. The Youth Team Challenge will consist of four to six short format competitions and two long format competitions (one on each coast during the fall of 2021). The host competitions will be selected through a bid process.
All athletes interested in competing in a YTC competition must complete their Area Declaration by February 15, 2021. The Area Declaration form is found in an athlete's MyUSEF account under the Athlete Dashboard.
Important Dates and Links:
January 29, 2021: Area Declaration for athletes closes *Deadline extended to February 15, 2021.
Questions? Contact Your Area Young Rider Coordinator