Jul 27, 2020

30 Days to AEC: COVID-19 Measures in Effect During the Event

By Claire Kelley - USEA Staff
USEA/Leslie Mintz Photo.

The 2020 USEA American Eventing Championships presented by Nutrena Feeds (AEC) is just one month away! This year, the AEC is on August 25-30 at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky. For anyone looking forward to competing at the 2020 AEC, please review the safety measures below that will be in place during the event.

The AEC will be following the USEF COVID-19 Action Plan and it is extremely important for everyone to comply with these regulations. Please note the specific plan is subject to revision, but some points to note are:

  • All staff, volunteers, and officials will have their temperatures taken daily and may not enter the facility if they have any COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Competitors and support staff must take their temperatures daily and may not enter the facility if they have a fever or any COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Everyone must wear a mask at all times while on competition grounds except while mounted on their horse.
  • Competitors should only bring essential help to keep the number of attendees down.
  • No spectators will be allowed on grounds.
  • All competitors, volunteers, officials, and staff will receive a personal hand sanitizer.
  • Sanitizing stations will be situated throughout the Kentucky Horse Park in accessible areas including by warm-up fences.
  • Bit check will be visual. Competitors will be encouraged to bring a halter in case they need to remove the bridle after they ride dressage.
  • Competitors may be asked to remove ear bonnets.
  • The Kentucky Horse Park will be ensuring all restrooms are cleaned and sanitized multiple times per day.
  • The Kentucky Horse Park will be reminding and enforcing these policies such as mask-wearing.
  • The AEC competition organizers have assigned a COVID-19 Compliance Officer that will be roaming the Kentucky Horse Park to ensure all supplies are available and to assist in ensuring that everyone is following the rules.
  • All food vendors will be following state guidelines for food services.
  • There will be ample signage.
  • Competitor packets will be organized for pick-up with as little contact as possible.
  • Dressage tests will also be handled like the packets with one volunteer to pass them out.

*Please remember that the competition organizers – Equestrian Events Inc. (EEI), Mary Fike, and the USEA – have the authority to remove from the facility any person who does not comply with the regulations in effect during the event.

USEA/Leslie Mintz Photo.

Access to the 2020 AEC

Following the USEF COVID-19 Action Plan anyone with a temperature of 99.5° F (37.5° C) or higher may not enter the facility. Also, anyone who exhibits COVID-19 symptoms, has tested positive for COVID-19 within the last two weeks, or has been in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 within the last two weeks may not enter the facility.

Face Masks

Everyone on grounds will be required to wear a mask at all times unless they are mounted. As stated in the USEF COVID-19 Action Plan, any reference to face masks includes cloth face coverings, N-95, KN-95, and surgical masks. Face masks and face coverings must fully cover the nose and the mouth while being worn. All competitors will be required to bring their own masks.

Hand Sanitizer

Thanks to the donation made by Santa Cruz Animal Health, the AEC will have small hand sanitizer bottles that will be given out to all competitors, volunteers, and officials. Hand sanitizer will also be available throughout the Kentucky Horse Park as well as sanitization stations.


Competitor packets will be organized for contactless pickup. Cross-country course maps can be found online or competitors can take a picture of the maps that will be displayed by the show office. In addition, there will also be digital welcome bags sent out in an email. This email will include relevant information, redeemable coupons, and sponsor promotions. Competitors can redeem their coupons during the week at each vendor booth. Make sure your email is up to date on USEA Online Services.


To ensure the safety of competitors, grooms, volunteers, and officials, no spectators will be allowed on grounds this year. Competitors should plan on bringing only essential people and/or help such as a coach, groom(s) and parent(s) of juniors.

Still want to watch the event? Supporters can still participate in the event through volunteering. Volunteers are needed from Monday, August 24 to Sunday, August 30. To volunteer, sign up here. The organizing committee is also working to secure live streaming of the AEC so that family and friends can watch you compete from the comfort of their own homes.

Awards Ceremonies

Every competitor will end their AEC weekend with show jumping in the Rolex Stadium. Following each division, the award ceremonies will be held. The 2020 AEC will have a wonderful range of prizes, and in order to limit contact, every prize will be in the form of a gift certificate or check. The competitor will be given a sanitized plastic bag containing their prizes after they finish their victory canter. Competitors will need to make sure they receive their prizes at the award ceremonies as no prizes will be held at the show office.

All AEC Champions will win an embroidered show cooler (in a sanitized plastic bag), and if they want to wear it for pictures, they must bring a groom, a coach, or a family member to assist in putting on the cooler for the awards ceremony. The USEA staff, the EEI staff, and the volunteers will not be able to assist.

The USEA staff and the EEI staff will be the only ones in contact with the perpetual trophies. These trophies will be used for picture purposes only.

If a competitor finishes within the top three, they will be asked to return to the media tent for an interview. The interviews will be held one person at a time. Competitors and media personnel must wear a mask at all times while participating in the interviews.

Evening Functions

There will be no parties or hospitality tent this year. Due to the circumstances surrounding COVID-19, the AEC organizing committee is no longer able to offer a welcome dinner or competitor party meal.

Additional Information

For additional details about the COVID-19 Preparedness Plan for the 2020 AEC, please click here.

Entries and Qualifications

Entries are now open and competitors can enter through Xentry. Entries opened on July 14 and will close on August 11. Any and all paperwork must be submitted electronically, including updated waivers and Coggins. All payments must be made by credit card. Please direct any questions concerning entries or stabling to Anna Robinson at [email protected].

The qualifying period for the 2020 AEC is now March 1, 2019 – August 18, 2020. This was adjusted and approved by the USEA Board of Governors to capture the season that was lost in 2020.

Hoping to qualify for the 2020 AEC after August 11? If you’re not fully qualified, you can still enter the AEC before the closing date. Your entry will be accepted if qualifications are obtained before August 18.

Check the list of qualified riders here. Check the list of qualified horses here.

Click here for the prize list. For any questions, email [email protected].

About the USEA American Eventing Championships

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.

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