Mar 13, 2024

Are You Qualified to Compete at the 2024 USEA American Eventing Championships?

By Kaleigh Collett - USEA Staff | Press Release
USEA/Meagan DeLisle photo

It may still be early in the season in most of the country, but it is never too early to start thinking about your path to qualification for the 2024 USEA American Eventing Championships (AEC) presented by Nutrena Feeds! This year, the AEC will return to the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky, on Aug. 27 through Sept. 1 for another exciting week of championship-level competition for every level of the sport of eventing. With the addition of Starter to the list of USEA-recognized levels, the AEC is going to be even more jam-packed with thrilling competition!

A basic overview of the qualification requirements for the 2024 AEC are as follows. Please click here for a full listing of additional qualifications by division (i.e. Amateur, Rider, Junior, and/or Horse).

  • Qualifying Period:
    • Starter: December 1, 2023 – August 13, 2024
    • Beginner Novice through Advanced: May 22, 2023 – August 13, 2024
  • Requirements for ALL LEVELS:
    • All riders must be a current member of the USEA, holding a Junior, Collegiate, Full, or Life Membership, at the time the qualification is earned.
    • Horses at Starter, Beginner Novice, Novice, and Training must have at least a Limited Status registration.
    • Horses at Modified or above must have a Full Status registration.
    • All qualifying results must be achieved at USEA/USEF-recognized events. Results obtained at FEI-recognized events are acceptable providing all other requirements have been met.
    • All qualifiers at all levels must be without cross-country jump penalties, including the completion requirements.
    • Both rider and horse at ALL levels must achieve the required qualifications for the division, although not necessarily as a horse/rider combination. The placing requirement (where applicable) must be achieved by the rider and the horse at the level intended for the AEC, although not necessarily as a horse/rider combination. Placing requirements earned through the USEA Amateur Upgrade Policy apply only toward the amateur divisions and the open Starter and Modified divisions.
  • Starter (NEW for 2024):
    • Open Starter Championship
      • Open to any horse and rider, not necessarily as a combination, who have qualified under the AEC Starter qualification criteria.
      • Qualifying Results:
        • 1st or 2nd in any USEA-recognized Starter Horse Trials
      • Further to the above QR, horse and rider must have completed a total of three USEA-recognized horse trials during the qualifying period. The placing requirement as noted above is included in the total of three competitions. Once the placing QR has been met, the completions may be at the Starter or any higher level.
    • Junior Starter Championship
      • Rider must be 18 or under in accordance with USEF Rules for Eventing EV104.2. Rider may not have completed competitions at Novice or higher levels in the five years preceding the start of the competition.
      • Horse may have completed any level.
      • Qualifying Results
        • 1st or 2nd in any USEA-recognized Starter Horse Trials
      • Further to the above QR, horse and rider must have completed a total of three USEA-recognized horse trials during the qualifying period. The placing requirement as noted above is included in the total of three competitions. For the rider, once the placing QR has been met, the completion may be at the Starter level or the Beginner Novice level. For the horse, once the placing QR has been met, the completion may be at any higher level.
  • Beginner Novice:
    • Qualifying Results: 1st or 2nd in any USEA-recognized Beginner Novice Horse Trials (or) Beginner Novice Three-Day competition.
    • In addition, horse and rider must have completed a total of three USEA-recognized horse trials during the qualifying period.
    • Offered in Amateur, Rider, Junior, and Horse divisions.
  • Novice:
    • Qualifying Results: 1st or 2nd in any USEA-recognized Novice Horse Trials (or) Novice Three-Day competition.
    • In addition, horse and rider must have completed a total of three USEA-recognized horse trials during the qualifying period.
    • Offered in Amateur, Rider, Junior, and Horse divisions.
  • Training:
    • Qualifying Results: 1st or 2nd in any USEA-recognized Training Horse Trials (or) Training Three-Day competition.
    • In addition, horse and rider must have completed a total of three USEA-recognized horse trials during the qualifying period.
    • Offered in Amateur, Rider, Junior, and Horse divisions.
  • Modified:
    • Qualifying Results: 1st or 2nd in any USEA-recognized Modified Horse Trials (or) Modified Three-Day Event (or) CCI1*S/L
    • In addition, horse and rider must have completed a total of three USEA-recognized horse trials during the qualifying period.
    • Offered in Open and Rider divisions.
  • Preliminary:
    • Qualifying Results: 1st or 2nd in any USEA-recognized Preliminary Horse Trials (or) Preliminary Three-Day competition (or) CCI2*-S/L
    • In addition, horse and rider must have completed a total of three USEA-recognized horse trials during the qualifying period.
    • Offered in Amateur, Rider, Junior, and Horse divisions.
  • Intermediate:
    • Qualifying Results: A minimum of two of the following, in any combination, without cross-country jump penalties:
      • USEA/USEF recognized Intermediate Horse Trials (including Area Championships)
      • CCI3*-S
      • CCI3*-L
    • One of the two may be at the Advanced level.
  • Adequan USEA Advanced Final:
    • Qualifying Results: A minimum of two of the following, in any combination, without cross-country jump penalties:
      • USEA/USEF recognized Advanced Horse Trials (including Area Championships)
      • CCI4*-S
      • CCI4*-L
      • CCI5*-L
      • Olympic Games
    • For a full listing of 2024 Adequan USEA Advanced Final Qualifiers, click here.

In addition, the AEC also serves as the host of the USEA Adult Team Championships (ATC). The ATC has traditionally been held at the Beginner Novice, Novice, Training, and Preliminary levels for competitors in the Amateur and Rider divisions only. As of 2023, ATC riders can now enter the Modified Rider Championship to be on a Modified ATC team as well. At this time, the ATC does not include the newly recognized Starter level.

To be eligible for the ATC, riders must be 22 years of age or older and a member of their Area Adult Rider program by July 1, 2024. Letters of Intent will be required for consideration to be on an ATC team, and more information on the LOI will be available soon. For more information on the ATC and to view additional requirements by Area, please click here.

Don’t forget, both horse AND rider must be qualified for the AEC to compete, and they both must still be eligible for the level of competition at which they qualified. To confirm your qualification, visit the AEC Qualified Riders and AEC Qualified Horses lists throughout the year. If you have any further questions, please check the AEC Qualification page or call the office at (703) 779-0440 ext. 3008 to reach Hannah Seagle, Director of Competitions.

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 Starter 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 2024 USEA American Eventing Championships presented by Nutrena Feeds will be held Aug. 27—Sept. 1 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, The Jockey Club, Kerrits; and more!

About the $60,000 Adequan USEA Advanced Final

The $60,000 Adequan® USEA Advanced Final will take place at the 2024 USEA American Eventing Championships presented by Nutrena Feeds at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky, Aug. 27—Sept. 1, 2024. 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 2024, 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 The Chronicle of the Horse, Equilab, Kerrits, Nutrena Feeds, Shires Equestrian Products, and SmartPak for sponsoring the USEA Adult Team Championships.

May 21, 2024 Eventing News

USEA Now Accepting Coach Applications for 2025 EA21 Program

The United States Eventing Association (USEA) is excited to announce that coach applications are now being accepted for the 2025 USEA Emerging Athlete U21 Program (EA21). One additional coach will be selected and hired for a three-year term for the EA21 program, teaching one two-day summertime regional clinic annually throughout the term.

May 21, 2024 Eventing News

Now On Course: Laury Marshall and Finley Have Learned The Sport Together

Sometimes, a kind word is all it takes to make someone’s day, says Laury Marshall. Marshall and Finley, her 17-hand Thoroughbred mare, had just finished their dressage test at the 2023 USEA American Eventing Championships presented by Nutrena Feeds. They’d performed solidly, good for a 36.4 and middle-of-the-pack standing in the Beginner Novice Rider championship division at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington.

May 20, 2024 Interscholastic

USEA Podcast #361: Reliving the USEA Intercollegiate and Interscholastic Eventing Championships

We are still riding on a bit of a high after the success of the 2024 USEA Intercollegiate and Interscholastic Eventing Championships, so we loved taking the opportunity to chat about this year's event with Stable View's Barry Oliff, member of the winning Intercollegiate team Hayden Wathen, and member of the winning Interscholastic team Collins Zgutowicz. Let the countdown to the 2025 championships begin...

May 19, 2024 Eventing News

From Kalispell to Kentucky: A Trip East Proves Fruitful for Jen Moody

For eventer Jen Moody, the trek from Montana to compete at this year’s Defender Kentucky Cosequin Lexington CCI4*S was a long, chilly journey, but she had big goals for her kind-hearted Thoroughbred, Eye Of The Storm. With her 4-year-old daughter, Valkyrie, and longtime friend and supporter, Sarah Broussard, by her side, the journey to the Bluegrass State—and beyond—exceeded her expectations.

Official Corporate Sponsors of the USEA

Official Joint Therapy Treatment of the USEA

Official Feed of the USEA

Official Saddle of the USEA

Official Equine Insurance of the USEA

Official Forage of the USEA

Official Supplement Feeding System of the USEA

Official Competition & Training Apparel of the USEA

Official Horse Boot of the USEA