“We are continuing to monitor the ever-changing COVID-19 pandemic and are committed to hosting a safe and healthy competition for all AEC competitors,” said EEI Executive Director Lee Carter. “Along with Mary Fike and the team at the USEA, we will be implementing the appropriate safety measures as recommended by the USEF, CDC, state, and local authorities. At the same time, we are focused on making the 2020 AEC a memorable experience for all our human and equine athletes.”
The United States Eventing Association (USEA) and US Equestrian (USEF) extended the suspension of events due to COVID-19 through May 31, 2020 with the hopes of returning to competition in June. The 2020 USEA American Eventing Championships (AEC) presented by Nutrena Feeds is scheduled to take place 99 days from now, August 25-30 at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky. The USEA, Equestrian Events, Inc. (EEI), and Mary Fike are working hard to develop best practices moving forward to safely host the Championships, but understand that this year’s AEC will be a new normal.
“We are lucky to have an outstanding organizing team including EEI and Mary Fike and I am incredibly confident in their ability to reduce risk as much as is possible,” said USEA CEO Rob Burk. “We have already begun planning how we can host the AEC while carefully following local, state, CDC, and WHO guidance. We have studied the USEF COVID-19 Licensed Competition Action Plan and are incorporating it, and we are applying the WHO risk assessment tool to better prepare over the next several months. This AEC is going to be one for the record books, and it will have its own unique feel. The entire team is sensitive to the fact that this needs to be no less special than every other AEC while at the same time implementing new cautionary measures related to COVID-19.”
The USEA Board of Governors has requested data from the USEA’s I.T. Department to evaluate all the options to alter qualifying criteria for the AEC in lieu of the current competition shut down. The USEA is looking at how many horses and riders have lost the opportunity to qualify for 2020 in order to develop the best available options.
“Maintaining the safety of the riders and horses remains paramount, followed by ensuring the highest level of competition,” said Burk. “We are analyzing options to maintain a similar size pool of qualified competitors as in previous years. Currently, over 2,200 riders and 2,500 horses are already qualified to compete. The options on the table to alter qualification include, but aren’t limited to, easing placing requirements, allowing those that qualified in 2019 special dispensation, and/or extending the qualifying period earlier in 2019.”
The qualifying period for the 2020 AEC is currently May 27, 2019 - August 18, 2020. Other options are being looked at as well, and the USEA Board of Governors will make these decisions in the coming weeks, and those decisions will be announced to the membership as soon as possible.
The USEA staff continues to be available for our members. Please contact us with any questions. For questions about the USEA’s decisions please contact [email protected]. For specific questions regarding the AEC, please contact [email protected].
For more COVID-19 resources, visit here.
The USEA American Eventing Championships (AEC) presented by Nutrena Feeds is the pinnacle of the sport for the national levels. Held annually, the best junior, adult amateur, and professional competitors gather to vie for national championship titles at every level from Beginner Novice to Advanced. This ultimate test of horse and rider draws hundreds of horses and riders from around the country to compete for fabulous prizes, a piece of the substantial prize money, and the chance to be named the National Champion at their respective levels. The 2020 USEA American Eventing Championships presented by Nutrena Feeds will be held August 25-August 30, 2020 at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky. Click here to learn more about the USEA American Eventing Championships.
US Equestrian is pleased to announce the dates and location for the 2022 USEF Young Rider Eventing Championship. This championship will take place at the Tryon International Three-Day Event November 10-13 in Mill Spring, N.C.
Sidnee Milner and My Valentine did not become partners out of sheer coincidence. The pony and rider combination that took home the 2021 SmartPak USEA Pony of the Year award were a product of the thoughtfulness and generosity of family friend and trainer Tawn Edwards. Milner was, at the time, a young and inexperienced child rider looking for a partner to teach her the ropes of eventing; My Valentine was a well-seasoned eventing pony who knew the job of advancing young riders well and was looking for her next partner. Over their three-year relationship, the duo have accumulated various ribbons and accolades together with 2021 being the most impressive of their seasons thus far.
Updated January 18, 2022: The 2023 Eventing Calendar webinar, originally scheduled to be held on Wednesday, January 19, 2022 at 4:00 p.m. EST, has been postponed and will be rescheduled with an additional commmunication in the coming weeks.