Jan 27, 2023

Introducing the New Modified Rider Division at the 2023 AEC

By Kate Lokey - USEA Staff
2022 Open Modified AEC champions Madison Langerak and Normandy Kivalo. USEA/ Meagan DeLisle photo

The United States Eventing Association (USEA) is pleased to announce the addition of the Modified Rider division beginning at the 2023 USEA American Eventing Championships (AEC), presented by Nutrena Feeds. The USEA AEC will move back to the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky, August 29–September 3, 2023.

The USEA implemented an Open Modified Division at the USEA AEC in 2021 after doing a trial run of a Modified/Training division in 2019. During the USEA Board of Governors (BOG) meeting at the 2022 USEA Annual Meeting and Convention in Savannah, Georgia, the Board voted to add a Modified Rider division, additionally to the Open Modified division.

“While the entries have not yet been large in the Open Modified division at the AEC, the membership asked for the addition of the Rider division, and the Board answered, in hopes to encourage more folks to participate at this great level at the AEC,” said USEA CEO Rob Burk.

The addition of the Modified Rider division to the AEC also offers the opportunity for the Adult Team Championships (ATC) to be held at the Modified level. The ATC has traditionally been held at the Beginner Novice, Novice, Training, and Preliminary levels for competitors in the Amateur and Rider divisions only.

With the Modified level now offering a Rider division, ATC riders may enter the Modified Rider Championship to be on a Modified ATC team. 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, 2023.

Each Area may have up to eight teams with a maximum of 35 riders at the ATC across the Beginner Novice through Preliminary levels, pulled only from the Rider and Amateur divisions. To learn more about the Adult Team Championships, visit the ATC webpage, or contact your Area Adult Rider Coordinator.

"How cool is that,” noted USEA President Louise Leslie, who has been a long-time champion of the USEA Adult Rider program and the ATC. “The Modified division is growing up with the addition of the Modified Rider Division to the USEA American Eventing Championships. By offering this division, USEA will be able to offer an additional Adult Team Championship level to the already exciting Adult Rider program team experience held this year at the Kentucky Horse Park."

The USEA looks forward to cheering everyone on at the 2023 AEC, and hopes to see a competitive field in both the Open Modified and Modified Rider Championships. For more information about the AEC, visit the AEC webpage. For questions about the AEC, please contact [email protected].

About the USEA American Eventing Championships

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 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. 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 August 29–September 3 at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky. Click here to learn more about the USEA American Eventing Championships.

About the Adult Team Championships

The USEA Adult Team Challenges have given adult riders a chance to compete in a friendly team competition. For many years, the Challenges were held annually in different locations (Eastern, Central, and Western) around the United States, but in an effort to re-energize the program, the membership of the USEA voted to change the overall model of the program. Starting in 2014, every Area was encouraged to hold Adult Team Challenges to offer adult riders the opportunity to compete in team competitions leading up to the USEA Adult Team Championships held at the USEA American Eventing Championships. As a result, Adult Team Challenges were no longer isolated to the three challenges around the country. Instead, there may be as many as 10 opportunities to compete in a Challenge, with a final occurring at the Adult Team Championships at the AEC! The ATC is now offered at the Beginner Novice, Novice, Training, Modified, and Preliminary levels at the AEC.

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