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
United States Eventing Association (USEA) members from all over the country gathered on Friday night for the 2023 USEA Annual Meeting & Convention Year End Awards Ceremony. The evening’s ceremony was led by Master of Ceremonies Jim Wolf and recognized riders, horses, and game-changers in the sport of eventing with multiple awards and grants.
Hosting the Annual Meeting of Members each December has been a requirement set forth by the United States Eventing Association (USEA) by-laws (then the United States Combined Training Association) since 1959. This year, USEA members are gathering in St. Louis, Missouri, for the USEA Annual Meeting & Convention from Dec. 7 - Dec. 10 for four jam-packed days of educational seminars and open forums full of conversation surrounding our sport. Lunch on Friday, however, served as an opportunity for attendees to gather together for the USEA Meeting of Members once again.
As the 2023 competition year draws to a close and many of the high-performance and other riders are connecting at this year‘s USEA annual convention, the Great Meadow International organizers would like to update you on GMI.
United States Eventing Association (USEA) members at the USEA Annual Meeting & Convention were in for a treat on Friday as the U.S. Eventing Team was on hand to discuss their accomplishments this year at the Pan American Games in Santiago, Chile.