The 2023 United States Eventing Association (USEA) American Eventing Championships (AEC) presented by Nutrena Feeds is just a few months away, which means it is time to start planning a trip to Lexington, Kentucky! This year, the AEC will return to the iconic Kentucky Horse Park from Aug. 29 through Sept. 3, 2023. Coined as the “Horse Capital of the World,” Lexington had countless attractions and activities to explore! The AEC will offer up to 24 divisions this year covering all levels from Beginner Novice to Advanced, including the $60,000 Adequan USEA Advanced Final. The AEC will also host the 2023 USEA Adult Team Championships (ATC) at the Beginner Novice, Novice, Training and Preliminary levels, as well as the new Modified Adult Team Championship.
Entries & Qualifications
Entries for the 2023 AEC will open on Tuesday, July 18. The USEA anticipates significant interest for this year’s event, so it is strongly recommended to enter on opening day. Entries will close on Tuesday, August 15, 2023.
The 2023 AEC qualification period is May 23, 2022, through Aug. 15, 2023, and both horse and rider must be qualified for the AEC at the level they wish to compete. For more information, please visit the AEC qualification page, and view the lists of Qualified Riders and Qualified Horses.
The Venue: Kentucky Horse Park
The Kentucky Horse Park (KHP) is owned and operated by the Commonwealth of Kentucky and covers 1,229 acres of famous Bluegrass off Iron Works Parkway in Lexington. Most well known as the host venue of the annual Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event and the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, the Kentucky Horse Park boasts state-of-the-art facilities like the Alltech Arena and the Rolex Stadium, along with a number of ancillary training facilities and stabling, that provide every competitor with a world-class experience from the time they arrive. Coupled with the abundant expertise of the Equestrian Events, Inc. staff, the AEC at KHP is sure to be an unforgettable competition experience.
While at the park, consider checking out one of the many attractions available at KHP. Visit one of four museums on the property, including the International Museum of the Horse, a Smithsonian Affiliate, or take a tour through the Hall of Champions to meet several horse racing legends.
The City: “Horse Capital of the World”
From famous Thoroughbred farms and racetracks to world-renowned veterinary clinics, Lexington is home to some of the most iconic equestrian destinations. The Bluegrass region has more than 450 horse farms, and many open their doors to visitors for guided tours. Visit Horse Country offers the unique opportunity to tour well-known destinations like: Coolmore at Ashford Stud, home to Triple Crown winners American Pharoah and Justify; Spy Coast Farm, an elite sport horse breeding and training facility; Hagyard Equine Medical Institute, one of the oldest and largest equine hospitals in the world; and more!
Get outdoors in Lexington! Whether it is hiking, canoeing or a leisurely picnic, there are plenty of opportunities to connect with nature in one of over 90 parks and green spaces in the area. Visit Red River Gorge in Daniel Boone National Forest to explore more than 60 miles of dedicated hiking trails, or enjoy a stroll through The Arboretum, the State Botanical Garden of Kentucky, to see plants and trees from all seven physiographic regions of the state.
For Adult Riders and eventing parents looking for a break from the non-stop equine action, Lexington is also the city for bourbon lovers. With over 15 nearby bourbon distilleries, visitors can get a firsthand look at the history and craft of America’s Native Spirit. Popular local distillers include Woodford Reserve, Buffalo Trace, and more. Consider booking a bourbon tour from one of several local tour companies to get the most out of the experience.
For those traveling to the AEC from out of town, there are several ways to get to Lexington. Three airports are within approximately one hour of the venue: Blue Grass Airport (LEX), Louisville Muhammad Ali International Airport (SDF), and Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG). These airports offer nonstop service through various carriers from several major U.S. cities and have the option to utilize rental cars or public transportation on the ground. For traveling around town, visitors can easily access taxis and ride share services, like Uber or Lyft, or take advantage of public bus service in downtown Lexington provided by LexTran. For those that plan to drive to the AEC, the Kentucky Horse Park is accessible from Interstate 75 north or southbound. When utilizing GPS or phone mapping functions, be sure to use “4089 Iron Works Pike” (not “parkway”) as the street address, as these services may not accurately direct to the park otherwise. For a full list of driving directions, click here.
The USEA and EEI have secured discounted room rates at several local hotels that competitors are encouraged to take advantage of. Accommodation options in Lexington include the Marriott Griffin Gate Hotel and the Clarion Hotel. To book a room at the Marriott Griffin Gate Hotel for $139.00 per night plus a $20 resort fee, please call 1-800-228-9290 or 859-231-5100 and reference the “Equestrian Events Room Block” prior to Aug. 2, 2023. To book at the Clarion Hotel for $129.00 per night, call 859-233-0512 and reference the “2023 American Eventing Championship” prior to Aug. 10, 2023. To make a reservation online at the Clarion Hotel, please click here. The Clarion Hotel room rate includes complimentary hot breakfast buffet, Wi-Fi, and parking.
For those traveling with RV’s or campers, the Kentucky Horse Park has limited RV camping slots available for 2023 USEA AEC competitors. To reserve a camping slot, please call 859-259-4257, select option "2" and ask for Dawn. Additional accommodations will be announced as the event approaches, so continue to check the AEC Competitor Information page for updates.
For general questions about the AEC, please contact Kate Lokey. For questions regarding AEC qualifications, contact Sharon Gallagher. To confirm qualifications, visit the AEC Qualified Riders and AEC Qualified Horses lists throughout the year.
About the USEA American Eventing Championships (AEC)
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 combinations 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 2023 USEA American Eventing Championships presented by Nutrena Feeds will be held Aug. 29—Sept. 3 at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky. 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: Capital Square, Horse & Country, Parker Equine Insurance, Smartpak, Standlee; Silver Level Sponsors: Auburn Labs, Ecogold, Kerrits, The Jockey Club; Bronze Level Sponsors: 70 Degrees, Athletux, Black Petticoat, The Chronicle of the Horse, Devoucoux, D.G. Stackhouse and Ellis, Dubarry of Ireland, Equestrian Team Apparel, Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation, Horseware Ireland, Majyk Equipe, Retired Racehorse Project, Ride EquiSafe; Contributing Level Sponsor: CrossCountry App, Georgetown – Scott County Tourism, Lexmark, L.V. Harkness, Mountain Horse, Mrs. Pastures Cookies, #WeRideTogether; Prize Level Sponsors: Coach Daniel Stewart, EquiFit, Equilab, Equiluxe Tack, Equine Essentials, Equine Pulse Performance, FarmVet, Achieve Equine/FLAIR Equine Nasal Strips, Horses 4 Your Consideration, Hound & Hare, I Love My Horse Eventing Boutique, Jack’s Favorites, Jane Heart Jewelry, Kinetic Equine Services, LeMieux, Levade Kentucky, Mare Modern Goods, OneTouch Fly Spray, Parkmore Supplements, Practical Horseman, Sidelines Magazine, Spy Coast Farm, Strides for Equality Equestrians, and VTO Saddlery.
About the $60,000 Adequan USEA Advanced Final
The $60,000 Adequan® USEA Advanced Final will take place at the 2023 USEA American Eventing Championships presented by Nutrena Feeds at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky, Aug. 29—Sept. 3, 2023. Thanks to Adequan’s amazing support, the Adequan® USEA Advanced Final will bring together the country’s top riders to vie for $60,000 in prize money and the title of Adequan® Champion. To qualify for the $60,000 Adequan® USEA Advanced Final at the AEC in 2023, competitors will need to complete a minimum of two events without cross-country jump penalties at any USEA recognized Advanced horse trials, CCI4*-S, CCI4*-L , CCI5*-L, World Championships or Olympic Games. Click here to learn more about the $60,000 Adequan® USEA Advanced Final.
About the USEA Adult Team Championships
The USEA Adult Team Championships, which debuted in 2014, is the capstone event for the USEA Area Adult Team Challenges, providing adults the chance to compete as a team and represent their Area of the country in a friendly and fun environment. Historically, adult riders had three regional Team Challenges in which to compete with fellow adults in a team environment, with the locations changing each year. In 2013, the USEA Adult Rider Coordinators voted to move to support Adult Team Challenges taking place in all 10 Areas across the country, with the finale being the ATC at the USEA American Eventing Championships presented by Nutrena Feeds. Each Area can send up to eight teams from Beginner Novice through Preliminary level to the ATC. Adult Riders know how to have a good time, and there is no doubt that they bring an increased level of excitement and camaraderie to the AEC! Click here to learn more about the Adult Team Championships.
The USEA would like to thank Bates Saddles, The Chronicle of the Horse, Achieve Equine/FLAIR Equine Nasal Strips, Kinetic Equine Services, Horse & Country, Equilab, Kerrits, Nutrena Feeds, Sidelines Magazine, SmartPak and #WeRideTogether for sponsoring the USEA Adult Team Championships.
As Tropical Storm Ophelia brought soaking rains to the region today, the Plantation Field International continued its four days of competition with CCI3*-S and CCI4*-S show jumping and cross-country for CCI1*-S, CCII2*-S, and CCI3*-S divisions.
The USEA Area IX Championships took place during two different horse trials this summer, with the Modified Championships as part of the The Event at Archer (Cheyenne, Wymoming) in August and the Preliminary, Training, Novice, and Beginner Novice Championships taking place during The Event at Skyline (Mount Pleasant, Utah) in September. In addition, Area IX offered additional championship tests at the Starter and Tadpole levels at Skyline.
The CCI4*-S division at the 2023 Plantation Field International Horse Trials kicked off today with 39 horses headed down centerline. Local rider Boyd Martin of Coatesville, Pennsylvania, topped the leaderboard riding Luke 140, owned by the Luke 140 Syndicate, and is also tied for third (28.8) with the Annie Goodwin Syndicate’s Fedarman B. Martin is also placed 23rd with Contessa, owned by the Turner family.
The United States Eventing Association, Inc. (USEA) is humbled to announce the return of long-time partner The Dutta Corporation as the “Title Sponsor of the 2023 USEA Young Event Horse (YEH) Championships,” which include the East Coast Championships at the Maryland 5 Star at Fair Hill in Elkton, Maryland, on Oct. 19-20 and the West Coast Championships at Twin Rivers Ranch in Paso Robles, California, on Oct. 27-28.