Over 211 Thoroughbreds traveled to the Kentucky Horse Park to compete at the 2021 USEA American Eventing Championships (AEC) presented by Nutrena Feeds on August 31 – September 5. There were four T.I.P. registered horses competing in the $60,000 Adequan USEA Advanced Final, four in the Intermediate Championship, 20 in the Bates Preliminary divisions, 11 in the Vetoquinol Modified Championship, 51 in the Training divisions, 64 in the Novice divisions, and 57 in the Beginner Novice divisions.
The USEA Adult Team Championships (ATC) were a huge success this year, garnering a record-breaking 58 ATC teams at the USEA American Eventing Championships presented by Nutrena Feeds. The ATC provides USEA Adult Rider program members with the chance to compete as a team and represent their Area in a friendly and fun environment at the Beginner Novice, Novice, Training, and Preliminary levels.
Perhaps one of the best reasons to be a member of USEA is the opportunity to qualify for and participate in the USEA American Eventing Championships (AEC) presented by Nutrena Feeds. This year there was a record 1,178 entries and a waitlist of over 150. There were 1,009 pinnies handed out and 939 horses started the competition. All combined it made for the largest horse trials in USEA history. Competitions ran in all USEA divisions and additional prizes were given for teams, incentive programs, amateur, and young rider divisions.
“Hey, quick question,” Jane Mortensen asked the USEA team at the media tent of the 2021 USEA American Eventing Championships (AEC) presented by Nutrena Feeds. “Do you happen to know how old the oldest horse competing here this week is?”
Nicole is joined by Boyd Martin and Gerlinde Beckers to relive the 2021 USEA American Eventing Championships presented by Nutrena Feeds! Nicole and Boyd talk about On Cue and their experience in the $60,000 Adequan USEA Advanced Final, while she and Gerlinde chat about her fairytale finish in the Beginner Novice Master Amateur division.
The championships will take place over the Labor Day weekend and the tourist season in Montana will still be in full swing. As a result, it is essential that riders make hotel and car rental reservations immediately. This year, due to a massive influx of visitors, hotels were fully booked months ahead and there was not a car to be rented within a hundred-mile radius. You can always cancel in the event you are unable to travel to Montana next year, but we want to alert you to the need to make your reservations early to avoid disappointment and stress.
Volunteering is an essential part of the sport of eventing. With fences to be judged, scores to be tallied, rings to be stewarded and countless more tasks to be accomplished throughout each day, event organizers rely on the invaluable help of event volunteers to keep events running smoothly. These efforts are monumental at any regular horse trial but are magnified exponentially when it comes to the production of the USEA American Eventing Championships presented by Nutrena Feeds (AEC).
On the final day of competition for the Preliminary Rider division at the 2021 USEA American Eventing Championships (AEC) presented by Nutrena Feeds, Sallie Johnson and her Irish Sport Horse gelding, Fernhill DiCaprio (Finnanloon Flight x Finnan Scarlet) were named the reserve champion combination after an intense three-day event period in which the pair managed to come in only 0.3 points behind the winner. In March of 2021, Johnson was making an impossible decision – whether or not it was in his best interest to put the gelding to sleep.
The 2021 USEA American Eventing Championships (AEC) presented by Nutrena Feeds has broken all the records, now standing as the largest eventing competition in North American history. The AEC at the Kentucky Horse Park garnered nearly 1,200 entries, with just under 1,000 starters and none of it would have been possible without the outstanding organization from Equestrian Events, Inc. and Mary Fike, and also thanks to the support of the many loyal sponsors. Thanks to their generous support, the USEA was able to provide AEC competitors with over $100,000 in prize money, and hundreds of thousands of dollars in prizes and in-kind donations. Whether an AEC competitor placed 6th or won their division, they walked away with prize money and a plethora of prizes donated by the wonderful sponsors.
The final competitors of the 2021 USEA American Eventing Championships (AEC) presented by Nutrena Feeds geared up for the last day. Taking place in the Kentucky Horse Park’s iconic Rolex Stadium, riders from all six Beginner Novice divisions put their best foot forward in the show jumping phase. Endless prizes were handed out, the champions were decorated with tri-color ribbons, the Adult Team Champions were named, and several special awards were distributed throughout the day.
It is hard to believe the final day of an epic week of competition has arrived! The 2021 USEA American Eventing Championships (AEC) presented by Nutrena Feeds is going out with a bang with a full day of Beginner Novice show jumping. There is nothing better than watching every pair at the AEC get their turn to ride in the Rolex Stadium.