For Immediate Release: Crowds gathered ringside on Friday afternoon for the pinnacle event of the USEA American Eventing Championships (AEC) presented by Nutrena Feeds: the final phase of the $60,000 Adequan® USEA Advanced Final. Friendly wagers were made amongst spectators: would an Alliston (who claimed each of the top three spots on the leaderboard) take home the win and if so– which one? Husband and wife duo James and Helen Alliston, based out of San Ramon, California, made the trek to Rebecca Farm for the second time this summer with one goal in mind: to win. For Helen, the hope was to win and schedule a much-needed vacation, but James had his sights set on investing in a new horse to add to their very successful string. With three Alliston-owned horses at the top of the leaderboard (and one more who sat in fifth following cross-country), the odds were in the Alliston’s favor.
Heading into show jumping, it was James’ mount gelding Paper Jam (Paparazzo x Reely Jammin XX) who was leading the division. Hot on the 13-year-old Hanoverian gelding’s heels, however, sat Helen’s longtime partner Ebay (Escudo x Contessa), a 13-year-old Oldenburg gelding who was just fractions of a point off of Paper Jam’s score. One rail would cost James the win (and potentially a new horse too!), but there wasn’t as much rivalry going on between the couple as there was amongst the crowd.
“I was rooting for him to jump clear because it is our horse and I knew he would sulk a lot, and that’s no good,” said Helen with a laugh. “But really, I just wanted to jump a clear round. My show jumping has been pretty poor this year, and he is a really careful jumper so I have been a little bit down on myself about that. So that is all I cared about.”
Helen went in and did just that, making what she calls a “strange decision” at the last fence, but it worked out in her favor. That double-clear round would ultimately push her back to the top of the podium after James and Paper Jam had a rail down, giving Helen and Ebay the edge they needed.
“Helen will say I choked a little bit on Paper Jam,” said James jokingly after his round, “but I think I rode it really well and just had a rail down. It happens. I can’t complain.”
While the glory wasn’t his, James was beyond thrilled for his wife, especially when reflecting on the adversity that Helen has had to overcome recently. “She had a really horrible fall 15 months ago and it was very scary. She was in the hospital and had to have surgery, so it was really awesome that she is back at this level and winning at this level. She is amazing and I am really happy for her.”
James’ double-clear effort on the 8-year-old Canadian Warmblood gelding Nemesis (by Novalis) was good enough to secure the final spot on the podium. But that wasn’t the end of the Alliston’s reign on the division. James also placed fourth aboard the 10-year-old Holsteiner gelding RevitaVet Calaro (Camiros x Tanner). Not a bad way to wrap up a national championship.
With two riders taking home the top three spots, there was an empty chair in the press center at Rebecca Farm, which was happily filled by James’ mother Petey Alliston. She shared her overall impression of Rebecca Farm: “Phenomenal venue. We were grazing the horses last night and it was a beautiful evening. The scenery was amazing. We thought ‘jeepers creepers, we will remember this for the rest of our life.’”
It was evident that Petey was elated for both Helen and James, although she secretly admitted that her money had been on Helen the whole time. “I go with my gut and it was her time. I know nothing about horses, it is all gut.”
“I couldn’t be more proud of them if they had won or not won,” Petey continued. “They are a remarkable couple, a match made in heaven. I love them both.”
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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 2022 USEA American Eventing Championships presented by Nutrena Feeds will be held August 31 – September 4 at the beautiful Rebecca Farm in Kalispell, Montana. 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: Parker Equine Insurance, Smartpak, Capital Square, Standlee; Silver Level Sponsors: Auburn Labs, Mountain Horse, The Jockey Club, Kerrits; Bronze Level Sponsors: Athletux, The Chronicle of the Horse, Dubarry of Ireland, FITS Riding, Equilume, Devoucoux, Fifth Third Bank, Gallops Saddlery, D.G. Stackhouse & Ellis, Clark Nissan; Contributing Level Sponsors: CrossCountry App, WeRideTogether, Haygain, First Interstate Bank, Schellinger Construction, Glacier Bank, Animal Health Solutions Inc., Discover Kalispell; Prize Level Sponsors: Vet Blue, Practical Horseman, Hound & Hare, Strides of Equality Equestrians, Horse & Country TV, Bemer Independent Distributors, Freelance Design, Achieve Equine/FLAIR, Flexible Fit Equestrian USA, and more! ATC Sponsors: The Chronicle of the Horse, FITS Riding, Nutrena Feeds, SmartPak, Achieve Equine/FLAIR, Kerrits, and Horse & Country TV
About the $60,000 Adequan® USEA Advanced Final
The $60,000 Adequan® USEA Advanced Final will take place at the 2022 USEA American Eventing Championships presented by Nutrena Feeds at Rebecca Farm in Kalispell, Montana, August 31 – September 4, 2022. 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 2022, 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 , or CCI5*-L . Click here to learn more about the $60,000 Adequan® USEA Advanced Final.
About American Regent Animal Health
American Regent Animal Health, a division of American Regent, Inc., is committed to advancing animal health with proven FDA-approved products like Adequan® (polysulfated glycosaminoglycan). The company’s portfolio is anchored by the only FDA-approved polysulfated glycosaminoglycan products for horses and dogs, which have been relied on for nearly three decades by veterinarians. American Regent, Inc., a Daiichi Sankyo Group Company, manufactures and distributes human and veterinary pharmaceutical products and is committed to providing the ever-changing U.S. healthcare marketplace with a growing and diversified American Regent portfolio. For more information on American Regent Animal Health, visit ARAnimalHealth.com
If you have been involved at a higher level with the USEA, you probably recognize the names of the two ladies that spearhead all of the efforts of the USEA’s Programs, Partnerships, and Marketing department: Kate Lokey, Director of Programs and Marketing, and Kaleigh Collett, Marketing Coordinator, but a new member of this team has also joined the USEA staff in Heather Johnson, Programs and Inventory Assistant. If you have considered advertising with the USEA or are involved in the USEA’s Young Event Horse, Emerging Athletes U21, New Event Horse, Adult Riders, Young Riders, Classic Series, or Grooms programs, you probably have or most likely will interact with one of these staff members.
The countdown to competition is on as 13 colleges and universities converge on the Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) in Mill Spring, North Carolina, for the 2023 USEA Intercollegiate Eventing Championship! This Friday, May 26, through Sunday, May 28, a total of 89 entries and 24 teams will go head-to-head to compete for the Intercollegiate Eventing Championship title and the coveted Spirit Award.
Are you following along with the action from home this weekend? Or maybe you're competing at an event and need information fast. Either way, we’ve got you covered! Check out the USEA’s Weekend Quick Links for links to information including the prize list, ride times, live scores, and more for all the events running this weekend.
The U.S. Eventing Association (USEA) Board of Governors (BOG) recently approved a change to the USEA Eventing Coaches Program (ECP) levels.
In 2021, the ECP, then known as the Instructors Certification Program, changed levels to align with FEI competition levels. Since then, the ECP Committee has learned that having certification levels that included more than one competition level was making it difficult for coaches to achieve eligibility to obtain certification at Level I and II due to the requirement that a coach have at least three students competing at the top level of certification.