The United States Eventing Association (USEA) Board of Governors have voted to enter into contract negotiations with Equestrian Events Inc. (EEI) and Mary Fike to host the 2023 and 2024 USEA American Eventing Championships (AEC) at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky.
The USEA sent out a request for expressions of interest in June 2021 to host the AEC in 2023 and 2024. Several venues presented attractive proposals, and from those the USEA Board of Governors voted to select the Kentucky Horse Park as the 2023 and 2024 host site pending contract negotiations. The USEA has begun negotiating final terms with the organizing group of EEI and Mary Fike for the 2023 and 2024 AEC and hopes to complete that process within the next few months.
The 2022 AEC will be held at Rebecca Farm in Kalispell, Montana from August 30 – September 4, 2022. The proposed date for the 2023 AEC in Kentucky is August 29 – September 3, 2023, followed by the 2024 AEC from August 27 – September 1, 2024.
“EEI and Mary Fike are excited to partner with the USEA and welcome the AEC back to Kentucky in 2023 and 2024. The Kentucky Horse Park is a special place and hosting the AEC at this iconic venue creates memories that will last a lifetime. We are beyond thrilled to host this championship and the amazing competitors who will attend,” said EEI Executive Director Lee Carter.
Among the interested venues for the 2023 and 2024 AEC, there was a strong bid from Stable View in Aiken, South Carolina. Ultimately, the Board made it clear through its deliberations that the popularity of the Kentucky Horse Park and their trust in the management team of EEI and Mary Fike were central to their decision. EEI and Mary Fike first organized the AEC at the Kentucky Horse Park in 2019, which recorded 925 starters making it the largest event in North American history. Due to COVID-19, the 2020 AEC was canceled but the event returned to the Kentucky Horse Park in 2021. The 2021 AEC garnered over 1,200 entries and ran 939 starters, which broke the 2019 record as the largest event in North American history.
“We are truly elated for the AEC to return to the Kentucky Horse Park,” said USEA CEO Rob Burk. “Our partners at EEI and Mary Fike have developed a strong working connection with our staff over the previous three years. The USEA Board of Governors had a difficult decision to make and I want to thank all of our bidders including Barry Olliff, Molly Bull, and the entire team from Stable View. We received an overwhelming amount of feedback from the membership about their desire to return the AEC to Kentucky, and we are happy to deliver this news to the USEA members.”
The Kentucky Horse Park maintains 600 acres of cross-country courses, 1,200 permanent stalls with accessibility to additional temporary stalls, and world-class arenas including the iconic Rolex Stadium. The Kentucky Horse Park was home to the 2010 World Equestrian Games and hosts the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event every year in April, which is also organized by EEI.
About the USEA American Eventing Championships
The USEA American Eventing Championships (AEC) 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.
Temecula, Calif.—March 31—Sunshine was Friday's first star at Galway Downs International after Thursday's long afternoon of heavy rain, and Tamie Smith ended the day in her same starring role with the first, second, and third spots in the CCI4*-S after show jumping.
Myakka City, Fla.—March 30—At the end of the second dressage session in The Estates at TerraNova CCI4*-S, Will Coleman (USA) took the morning lead with a whopping 19.6 with the stunning Chin Tonic HS (Chin Champ x Wildera/Quinar Z). Coleman and the Hyperion Stud LLC-owned Holsteiner gelding won the Carolina International CCI4*-S two weeks ago.
Temecula, Calif.—March 30— "World class." That's what Galway Downs Spring International dressage judges Helen Brettell and Robyn Fisher said in unison of the two rides that put Tamie Smith in the one and two spots in the CCI4*-S after dressage.
Myakka City, Fla.—March 30—In the third year of hosting FEI three-day events and recognized horse trials, TerraNova Equestrian Center welcomes an eventing date to their busy spring competition schedule. Riders from all walks of life, Olympians to young eventers, flocked to TerraNova to experience the previous two fall three-day events. The addition of the spring date gives riders an opportunity to run an FEI event and horse trials before heading home after the winter season.