The United States Eventing Association (USEA) has hosted the USEA American Eventing Championships every year since 2004. This year, the USEA and Equestrian Events, Inc (EEI) made the extremely difficult decision to cancel the 2020 edition of the AEC due to the health and safety concerns of holding a national championship during the COVID-19 pandemic. In honor of what would have been the first day of competition at the 2020 USEA American Eventing Championships presented by Nutrena Feeds, let’s look back at every AEC starting from the beginning.
In the history of the AEC, only one rider, Ashley Stout, has finished with a score in the teens. Three riders - Leslie Law, Becky Holder, and Tamra Smith - have won the Advanced division with a finishing score in the 20s. Only one division has had 89 starters, the most starters out of any other division, and one AEC holds the record for being the largest event in North American history.
*2006 was the first year Beginner Novice was offered at the AEC
*2007 was the first year the USEA Young Event Horse (YEH) Championships were held in conjunction with the AEC. The YEH Championships were held in conjunction with the AEC in 2007 and 2008.
*In 2012, Becky Holder and Courageous Comet made AEC history as they set the record for the lowest finishing score in the Advanced Championship with a 27.7.
*2013 was the first year the AEC offered both a Junior Beginner Novice division and a Junior Beginner Novice Under 14 division.
*2014 was the first year the USEA Adult Team Championships was hosted during the AEC.
*In 2015, there were three riders that won two different divisions: Tamra Smith, Heather Morris, and Arden Stephens.
*In 2016, Marilyn Little and RF Scandalous made AEC history as they set the record for the lowest finishing score in the Intermediate Championship with a 22.7.
*This was the first and only year in AEC history for a rider to finish with a score in the teens. This record was set by Ashley Stout on Deo Volente. The USEA was deeply saddened by Ashley's passing in 2019. The USEA sends its heartfelt condolences to Ashley's parents, Susan and Craig, family, friends, and connections.
*This was the first year and only year so far to offer non-championship 'festival' classes alongside the AEC.
*With 925 total starters, this was recorded as the biggest event in North American history.
While the USEA is devastated about the cancellation of the 2020 AEC, the future is bright for 2021. The 2021 AEC is scheduled to take place on August 31 – September 5 at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky.
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. The 2021 USEA American Eventing Championships presented by Nutrena Feeds will be held August 31-September 5, 2021 at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky. Click here to learn more about the USEA American Eventing Championships.
The USEA American Eventing Championships presented by Nutrena Feeds would not be possible without our wonderful sponsors! The USEA would like to thank the following sponsors for their support: Presenting Sponsor: Nutrena Feeds; Advanced Final Title Sponsor: Adequan; Platinum Level Sponsor: Bates Saddles Gold Level Sponsors: Parker Equine Insurance, Standlee Hay; Silver Level Sponsors: Park Equine, Mountain Horse, The Jockey Club; Bronze Level Sponsors: Athletux, Black Petticoat, The Chronicle of the Horse, Devoucoux, D.G. Stackhouse & Ellis, Farm House Tack, FITS Riding, Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation, LandSafe, Parks Tax & Consulting PLLC, Retired Racehorse Project SmartPak; Contributing Level Sponsors: Amazon, Big Ass Fans, GLC Direct, Cross Country App, FarmVet, Georgetown Tourism, GLC Direct, Haygain, John Deere, L.V. Harkness, Santa Cruz Animal Health, WeatherBeeta; Prize Level Sponsors: Active Interest Media, Astrid’s Oil, Dressage TestPro, EQ AM Magazine, FLAIR, Hound & Hare, I Love My Horse, Great British Equinery, Mare Modern Goods, Ride Heels Down, Tack of the Town, Weatherbeeta.
Since the USEA Intercollegiate Eventing Program was founded in 2014, it has grown in popularity and participation each year. The USEA is excited to have 23 intercollegiate team challenges on the calendar in 2021 in addition to the 2021 USEA Intercollegiate Eventing Championships, which will be held at the Virginia Horse Center in Lexington, Virginia on May 27-30.
In 2000 and with the support of Joan Iversen Goswell, the Worth the Trust Educational Scholarships were established to provide financial assistance to amateurs to pursue their education in eventing. The funds from the Worth the Trust Educational Scholarships may be used for training opportunities such as clinics, working student positions, and private or group instruction, or to learn from an official, course designer, technical delegate, judge, veterinarian, or organizer.
The Linda Moore Trophy was introduced in 1979 and awarded to the leading Young Rider in the country. After a strong showing during the 2020 season, 16-year-old Benjamin Noonan of Ballwin, Missouri was named the 2020 RevitaVet Young Rider of the Year.
The USEA is sorry to announce that there will be no USEA Educational Symposium held in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The USEA Educational Symposium is hosted annually each February as a week of learning for participants and auditors.