Aug 19, 2019

Bring on the Bluegrass! The AEC is 8 Days Away

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

The 2019 USEA American Eventing Championships (AEC) is only eight days away! The much-anticipated event will officially begin on Tuesday, August 27 and end on Sunday, September 1 at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky. Entries closed on August 13 and the entry count is over 1,000 entries, which makes this AEC the biggest event in U.S. history.

A big competition with big names, big prizes, big parties, and big courses - the word ‘big’ can only be used when referencing the 2019 AEC. The cross-country courses were built by Mick Costello and designed by Derek di Grazia. Di Grazia’s courses are true championship-level courses where every course has a minimum of two water jumps and some variation of a coffin combination. Bobby Murphy is the show jumping course designer and all his courses will be in the iconic Rolex Stadium. All warm-up and competition arenas will boast world-class German Geo Textile (GGT) footing. Di Grazia, Costello, Murphy, Equestrian Events Inc (EEI), Mary Fike, and the Kentucky Horse Park staff have worked year-round to ensure world-class footing across all levels.

With top course designers, experienced show organizers, and a list of prestigious officials, the 2019 AEC is in good hands.

USEA/Leslie Mintz Photo.

Before arriving on grounds, please note several stabling and safety hazards. For any fans in the stabling area, the Kentucky Fire Marshal strongly urges everyone to only bring three-pronged fans. Any electric cords with duct tape or frayed wires will not be allowed. A group of security guards AND a group of experienced horse professionals will be on night watch every night. Please review the Kentucky Horse Park Rules before arriving.

For the sixth year in a row, the USEA Adult Team Championships (ATC) will take place at the AEC. The ATC will have their own prizes, prize money, and awards ceremony for the top three teams. ATC competitors must attend their ATC award ceremonies in order to receive their prize money and prizes. Find out who can compete, how to qualify, and how teams are formed by reading Everything You Should Know About the 2019 USEA Adult Team Championships.

USEA/Jessica Duffy Photo.

There will be an exclusive VIP Hospitality tent at the arena with premium seating and delicious food and drinks Tuesday through Sunday. Breakfast will be offered from 7:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. and lunch will be offered from 11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. A cash bar will be open until 5:00 p.m. Individual day passes are available for purchase on-site. Click here to purchase VIP tickets.

The parties will kick off with the ‘Superheroes and Snow Cones Welcome Reception’ on Wednesday night. Thursday night will be the Sponsor and Owner Reception. Friday night will be the Young Rider and Adult Rider parties. The week will wrap up with the ‘80s themed Competitor’s party on Saturday night in the VIP tent overlooking the Advanced show jumping. Following the Advanced show jumping, the live band, Top Tier, will play. Competitors receive one ticket per horse to both Welcome Reception and Competitor’s Party. Click here to purchase additional tickets.

RedBayStock.com Photo.

The USEA Event College at the AEC presented by LandSafe will have a variety of free educational activities throughout the week. The LandSafe tent located in the AEC Trade Fair will have educational seminars led by eventing professionals Tuesday through Saturday at 12:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. The seminars will cover a different topic each day – dressage on Tuesday, cross-country on Wednesday, show jumping on Thursday, after competition care on Friday, and horse and rider fitness on Saturday.

The Mick Costello frangible device clinic will be held on Thursday, August 29 at 11:00 a.m. Attendees should meet on the Preliminary cross-country course at 14AB close to the Normandy Bank. Costello will answer any questions related to frangible devices, from proper installation to the number of devices allowed on course. The clinic will be free to USEF licensed officials, certified course designers, and anyone attending the AEC.

The cross-country course walks will be led by USEA ICP certified instructors. The course walks for Advanced, Intermediate, Preliminary, and Training level will be at the beginning of the week (Monday – Wednesday). The course walks for Novice and Beginner Novice level will be later in the week (Thursday or Friday). Each course walk will meet at the designated start boxes and specific times will be announced next week.

  • Beginner Novice: Amy Nichols (Level II) & Emily Hansen-Palmus (Level II)
  • Novice: Jackie Smith (Level II) & Jennifer Rousseau (Level III)
  • Training: Susan Harris (Level III) & Bernard Morauw (Level II)
  • Preliminary: Angela Bowles (Level III) & Laura Backus (Level III)
  • Intermediate: Dorothy Crowell (Level IV) & Bill Hoos (Level IV)
  • Advanced: Sharon White (Level IV)

Stay tuned for more details next week. The USEA wishes everyone safe travels to Kentucky!

KHP Facility Map. Equestrian Events, Inc. photo.

The 2019 USEA American Eventing Championships would not be possible without our wonderful sponsors! The USEA would like to thank the following sponsors for their support of the USEA American Eventing Championships: Advanced Final Title Sponsor: Adequan; Platinum Level Sponsors: Bates Saddles, Equistro; Gold Level Sponsors: Charles Owen, Standlee Hay, Parker Equine Insurance; Silver Level Sponsors: Mountain Horse; The Jockey Club, Park Equine; Bronze Level Sponsors: Arnall’s Naturals, State Line Tack, Black Petticoat, Devoucoux, Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation, Horseware Ireland, LandSafe SmartPak, Dubarry, The Chronicle of the Horse, Stackhouse and Ellis Saddles, Auburn Laboratories, FITS Riding, Ovation, Lanier Sand and Soil, Event Cooling Solutions, Farm House Tack; Contributing Level Sponsors: Ariat, Meanwhile Back on the Farm, L.V. Harkness, Lexmark, GLC Direct, Georgetown Tourism, FarmVet, FLAIR Nasal Strips, Nunn Finer, RevitaVet, Resvantage Equine, CrossCountry App; Prize Level Sponsors: GumBits, Ride Heels Down, C4 Belts, I Love My Horse, Mare Modern Goods, Bluegrass Vibershield, Bluegrass Animal Products, Caracol, Active Interest Media, Astrid’s Oil, Baekgaard, On The Bit Horse Supplies, Luxe EQ, EQ AM Magazine, Jetti Spa, Great British Equinery, Foxden Equine, The Scoring Chix, Pure Form Equine; Competitor’s Party Sponsors: Jacqueline Mars, Kat and Roberto Cuca, United States Hunter Jumper Association, and United States Dressage Federation.

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. This year, the USEA American Eventing Championships will be held August 27 – September 1 at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky. Click here to learn more about the USEA American Eventing Championships.

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