Aug 28, 2023

Fast Facts: 2023 USEA American Eventing Championships presented by Nutrena Feeds

By Meagan DeLisle - USEA Staff

The long-awaited countdown to the 2023 USEA American Eventing Championships (AEC) presented by Nutrena Feeds, has finally reached its end! Tomorrow is the first day of competition at this year's championships and the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky will be packed with eventers who traveled from coast-to-coast for their shot at the title of champion. There are just over 850 entries entered across 24 divisions from Beginner Novice all the way up to those competing in the $60,000 Adequan USEA Advanced Final.

The Field

  • Of the 24 divisions, the Beginner Novice Rider and Novice Rider championships are the largest with 51 entries each.
  • There are approximately 860 horses being ridden by 670 riders.
  • The field of competitors entered represents 45 states and there are six riders representing Ontario, Canada competing as well.
  • The age range of competitors this week spans from 9 years old to 72 years young!
  • There are two 4-year-old horses competing in the Novice and Beginner Novice Championships.
  • Ema Klugman's former five-star horse Bendigo, owned by Jeni Klugman, will be returning to the Championship stage, but this time the 21-year-old Thoroughbred cross gelding by Refuse to Lose will be competing in the Training Amateur Championships with Klugman's student Julie Bigham.
  • There are two 25-year-old horses competing this week: Rachel Simms is showing her Thoroughbred mare Liberal Lady (Charlie's Luck x Rare N Wonderful) in the Training Horse Championship, and Laura Young's Thoroughbred gelding Two Out Rally (High Bright x Aspirate), who will be ridden by Stephenie Villines in the Novice Junior 15 and Under Championship.
  • Out of all of the entries, 19 trace back to Cooley Farms and 26 are sourced from Fernhill Sport Horses.
  • Leslie Law and Liz Halliday share the honors of busiest riders this week as both have five entries across various championship divisions.
  • Fifty-four teams made up of 213 riders will take part in the USEA Adult Team Championships (ATC) which are being held at the AEC for the ninth time.

The Facts

  • The AEC is co-organized by Equestrian Events, Inc. and Mary Fike
  • The technical delegates are Mary Duenow and John Williams with Assistant TD Shelley Ryan
  • Cindy Deporter is the President of the Ground Jury for the $60,000 Adequan USEA Advanced Final, and Michelle Henry is the President of the Ground Jury for the other levels.
  • Julie Congleton, Janice Holmes, Debbie Boeh, Lori Hoos, Cheryl Connell-Marsh, Lisa Anderson, Eileen Pritchard-Bryan, Susan Posner, and Wayne Quarles are the dressage judges
  • Jay Hambly is the cross-country course designer
  • Bobby Murphy is the show jumping course designer
  • Live streaming will be available through Horse & Country; please refer to the schedule below to see what phases will be offered each day. All Beginner Novice and Novice competition will be free. Other levels will be available with a H&C membership. Horse & Country provides USEA members a 15% discount on annual memberships. Login to your online services account to access the code.
All Beginner Novice and Novice competition will be free. Other levels will be available with a H&C membership. Horse & Country provides USEA members a 15% discount on annual memberships. Login to your online services account to access the code.
  • RNS Videomedia will also be onsite offering video services for Beginner Novice, Novice, Training, Modified, Preliminary Junior, and Preliminary Rider dressage divisions.
  • Erin Gilmore Photography is the official photographer
  • Be sure to visit all of the wonderful sponsors and vendors of the AEC. Access the full list and map here.
  • All cross-country maps for every level will be uploaded to the Cross-Country App and can be viewed here or on your phone via the app!

Additional Activities

Tuesday

  • Preliminary Cross-Country Course Walk with Sharon White at 5:00 p.m. Meet at the start box.
  • Modified Cross-Country Course Walk with Carol Kozlowski at 5:00 p.m. Meet at the start box.

Wednesday

  • Training Cross-Country Course Walk with Andrew McConnon at 5:00 p.m. Meet at the start box.
  • "Red, White, & Blue" Welcome Reception at The KHP Big Barn from 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. Each horse entered will receive one complimentary ticket to the reception and additional tickets can be purchased here.

Thursday

  • Novice Cross-Country Course Walk with Allison Springer at 5:00 p.m. Meet at the start box.
  • Carnival themed Adult & Young Rider Party, presented by Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation, will be hosted at the VIP Hospitality ringside tent next to Rolex Stadium at 6:30 p.m. There will be food trucks and music, as well as a dunking booth fundraiser with celebrity eventers set to take the plunge. For just a $5 donation to the USEA Adult or Young Rider program, you can get three chances to dunk your favorite eventing superstars! All USEA Adult Rider and USEA Young Rider program members will receive one ticket to attend the party. Adult Riders and Young Riders are encouraged to dress up in team spirit gear, to represent their Area program, ATC team, or IEL and Intercollegiate teams. Door prizes may be given for the most team spirit!

Friday

  • Beginner Novice Cross-Country Course Walk with Allie Knowles at 4:00 p.m. Meet at the start box.
  • "Fiesta Friday" Competitor Party at the VIP Hospitality ringside tent starting at 6:30 p.m. Watch the $60,000 Adequan USEA Advanced Final in style. Each horse entered will receive one complimentary ticket to the reception and additional tickets can be purchased here.

Saturday

  • Saturday is SEE Allyship Day at the #AEC2023 and we encourage riders to don something purple in your support of diversity, equity, and inclusion within our sport of eventing. Help us paint the Kentucky Horse Park purple!

Helpful Links

Follow the USEA event coverage on social media!

#AEC2023 | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

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 Beginner Novice 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 2023 USEA American Eventing Championships presented by Nutrena Feeds will be held Aug. 29—Sept. 3 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, Ecogold, Kerrits, The Jockey Club; Bronze Level Sponsors: 70 Degrees, Athletux, Black Petticoat, The Chronicle of the Horse, Devoucoux, D.G. Stackhouse and Ellis, Dubarry of Ireland, Equestrian Team Apparel, Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation, Horseware Ireland, Majyk Equipe, Retired Racehorse Project, Ride EquiSafe; Contributing Level Sponsor: CrossCountry App, Georgetown – Scott County Tourism, Lexmark, L.V. Harkness, Mountain Horse, Mrs. Pastures Cookies, #WeRideTogether; Prize Level Sponsors: Coach Daniel Stewart, EquiFit, Equilab, Equiluxe Tack, Equine Essentials, Equine Pulse Performance, FarmVet, Achieve Equine/FLAIR Equine Nasal Strips, Horses 4 Your Consideration, Hound & Hare, I Love My Horse Eventing Boutique, Jack’s Favorites, Jane Heart Jewelry, Kinetic Equine Services, LeMieux, Levade Kentucky, Mare Modern Goods, OneTouch Fly Spray, Parkmore Supplements, Practical Horseman, Sidelines Magazine, Spy Coast Farm, Strides for Equality Equestrians, and VTO Saddlery.

About the $60,000 Adequan USEA Advanced Final

The $60,000 Adequan® USEA Advanced Final will take place at the 2023 USEA American Eventing Championships presented by Nutrena Feeds at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky, Aug. 29—Sept. 3, 2023. 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 2023, 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 Bates Saddles, The Chronicle of the Horse, Achieve Equine/FLAIR Equine Nasal Strips, Kinetic Equine Services, Horse & Country, Equilab, Kerrits, Nutrena Feeds, Sidelines Magazine, SmartPak and #WeRideTogether for sponsoring the USEA Adult Team Championships.

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Jun 16, 2024 AEC

Be a VIP at the 2024 USEA AEC by Volunteering!

Do you have plans to attend the USEA American Eventing Championships (AEC) presented by Nutrena Feeds at the Kentucky Horse Park this Aug. 27 – Sept. 1? Make your mark on the event by signing up to volunteer! Volunteer positions are open to everyone, including competitors, trainers, owners, fans, friends, and family that are making the trip to Lexington, Kentucky, later this summer, and the USEA highly encourages its members to find the time in their busy schedules to give back. These Championships cannot run without the support of hundreds of volunteers that donate their time.

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

Official Shockwave of the USEA