With less than 20 days remaining until the United States Eventing Association American Eventing Championships (AEC) presented by Nutrena Feeds at Rebecca Farm, to date over five hundred entries have been received. Entries for the event close on August 16, 2022. Those entrants in the AEC championship divisions this year are qualifying under the requirements that have been in place for the last several years. However, for those intending to compete at the 2023 AEC in Kentucky, the USEA Board of Governors have approved a strengthening to the qualification requirements.
On Wednesday, the USEA Board of Governors voted to alter the placing requirements for the Beginner Novice through Preliminary levels for the AEC. Entrants will continue to need both a placing requirement, as well as clear completion requirements to show proficiency at the level. The placing requirements will now only include first and second placings at any qualifying competition. This removes the previous allowance of third place finishes as a possible qualification, and placings lower than second place at Area Championships and FEI levels. In reviewing the data on those that qualified for the championships in past years, it was shown that approximately 89% of previous AEC competitors would have still qualified under these standards.
“With the growth of the AEC the Board of Governors have made it clear that they are committed to raising the bar to make sure it is a true national championship” said USEA CEO Rob Burk. “The AEC is a championship competition that features a championship level cross-country course, and we believe this will help to ensure that the riders and horses who reach it are properly prepared. The most important part about getting to the AEC is preparing at qualifying competitions and fully taking advantage of the educational experiences they provide.”
In an additional move, the Board approved requesting a Presidential Modification from the United States Equestrian Federation to align the qualifying period for the AEC with the closing date of the competition. Currently the qualifying period extends beyond the closing date, which often causes confusion and entry issues.
About the USEA American Eventing Championships
The USEA American Eventing Championships (AEC) presented by Nutrena Feeds is the pinnacle of the sport at 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. In fact, the 2021 AEC garnered over 1,000 entries and now stands as the largest eventing competition in North American history. The 2022 USEA American Eventing Championships presented by Nutrena Feeds will be held August 31 – September 4 at the beautiful Rebecca Farm in Kalispell, Montana. Click here to learn more about the USEA American Eventing Championships.
The USEA would like to thank presenting sponsor Nutrena Feeds, Advanced Final Title sponsor, Adequan, Platinum level sponsor Bates Saddles, Gold level sponsors Parker Equine Insurance, SmartPak, Standlee, Capital Square, Silver level sponsors Auburn Laboratories, Mountain Horse, Kerrits and The Jockey Club. The USEA would like to thank all other sponsors supporting the 2022 AEC as well.
There were surprisingly few shakeups to the top of the leaderboards Friday at the MARS Bromont CCI, but the incredibly close scores leave no margin for error heading into Saturday’s exciting cross-country phase across all five levels.
Tomorrow, the first of five regional clinics for the USEA Emerging Athletes U21 (EA21) Program kicks off in the central region of the country in Benton, Louisiana, at Holly Hill Farm. Throughout the summer, the remaining clinics on the East and West Coast will follow. At each clinic, 12 hand-selected riders will participate in a two-day clinic led by USEA Eventing Coaches Program (ECP) coaches. The purpose of the EA21 program is to create a pipeline for potential team riders by identifying and developing young talent, improving horsemanship and riding skills, and training and improving skills and consistency. The intention is to provide young athletes with access to an added level of horsemanship and riding skills to further their training and skill development with greater consistency.
After the first day of competition, Canadian Olympian Colleen Loach and her horse FE Golden Eye lead an international field in the CCI4*-L division of the MARS Bromont CCI.