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: North American Youth Championship (NAYC) and The Young Rider Advancement Program (YRAP). The NAYC 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 NAYC. The USEA also offers a Young Rider Mentorship Program, which gives young riders the opportunity to learn from experienced professionals.
The historical North American Junior & Young Rider Championships (NAJYRC) is now known as the North American Youth Championships (NAYC) and will take place July 23-26, 2020 at The Event at Rebecca Farm in Kalispell, Montana. An athlete may compete as a Junior from the beginning of the calendar year in which they reach the age of 14 until the end of the calendar year in which they reach the age of 18. An athlete may compete as a Young Rider from the beginning of the calendar year in which they reach the age of 16 until the end of the calendar year in which they reach the age of 21. Please visit the NAYC Eventing page on the USEF website for more information.
For more details on 2020 NAYC qualifications and selection procedures, please click here.
Those aiming for the NAYC must be aware that as an FEI athlete you are subject to clean sport anti-doping regulations for both your horses and yourself as an athlete. You and your horses are very likely to be tested. It is your responsibility to ensure you follow these regulations and a guide can be found here.
For the NAYC-J, Coaches must be certified to ICP Level II. For the CCIO-Y-S, Coaches must be certified to ICP Level III. If a team brings an assistant coach, they must be ICP Level II certified or higher.