The United States Eventing Association (USEA) and Equestrian Events, Inc. (EEI) have made the extremely difficult decision to cancel the 2020 edition of the USEA American Eventing Championships (AEC) presented by Nutrena Feeds. The USEA Board of Governors weighed every option, but ultimately voted not to proceed to host the national championships due to the health and safety concerns of holding a national competition during the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Canceling the AEC is devastating for so many who have worked so hard to get to this point," said USEA CEO Rob Burk. "With riders coming from 41 states we could not ignore the geographic pull of this event and the implications of that. The immense amount of uncertainty caused by recent cancellations of similar-sized events at the Kentucky Horse Park weighed heavily on the USEA leadership.”
“If the AEC had moved forward I am confident that our team led by EEI, Mary Fike, and the USEA Staff would have put on a spectacular competition in as safe an atmosphere as is possible. Ultimately though the inability to guarantee that the event wouldn't be canceled by regional governments or other authorities left too much uncertainty. By canceling before the closing date for entries we are hopeful that riders can reroute to their local events which desperately need their support and are working incredibly hard to hold safe events. Over the next month, the USEA Board of Governors will look into the qualifications for the 2021 AEC to see what can be done for those that worked so hard to qualify in 2020."
“The USEA Board of Governors held a lengthy discussion tonight and it was not an easy decision,” added USEA President Max Corcoran. “We have full faith in EEI, the Kentucky Horse Park, and the competitors themselves that we could run a safe competition, but ultimately we voted not to proceed. It’s the horrible decision of what we want and what is right. The AEC is a national championships with competitors coming from 41 different states, and it is not in the best interest of our members to host such a geographically diverse competition during a global pandemic. I am very sad that we are not having the AEC this year, but in these uncertain times, we wanted to make the decision as far out as possible in order for people to plan accordingly. Not hosting the AEC will be a financial hit for both the USEA and EEI, but in the end, it is the right decision ethically for the staff, volunteers, officials, and competitors. I look forward to cheering you all on in Kentucky in 2021!”
“While canceling the 2020 AEC was a difficult decision, we know that the health and safety of our competitors far outweigh any event,” said EEI Executive Director Lee Carter. “USEA, EEI, and Mary Fike recognize that 2020 has created challenges for many organizations. Our hope and expectation are that in 2021 we will be stronger than ever. Until then . . . on we go!”
Please direct any questions concerning entries or stabling to Anna Robinson at [email protected].
The USEA American Eventing Championships (AEC) presented by Nutrena Feeds 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 at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky. Click here to learn more about the USEA American Eventing Championships.
The 2020 USEA American Eventing Championships presented by Nutrena Feeds thanks our wonderful sponsors for their valuable support. This cancellation will be devastating for all of our sponsors, so please show your support to the following sponsors: 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, Auburn Laboratories, 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: Ariat, Amazon, Big Ass Fans, GLC Direct, Cross Country App, FarmVet, Georgetown Tourism, Haygain, John Deere, L.V. Harkness, Santa Cruz Animal Health, WeatherBeeta; Prize Level Sponsors: Active Interest Media, 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, Astrid’s Oil.
Following yesterday’s downpour, the temperatures for the final jog this morning were brisk but the CCI5*-L horses remained professional for the last horse inspection leading into show jumping later today. Of the 35 pairs set to move forward with the final phase of competition, only 34 presented to judges Angela Tucker (GBR), Martin Plewa (GER), and Mark Weissbecker after Lisa Marie Fergusson opted not to bring forward her own 15-year-old Welsh/Thoroughbred gelding (Brynarian Brennin x Dream Contessa) Honor Me.
After a jam-packed week, the final day of competition at the Maryland 5 Star is upon us. Riders have shown off their style in the horse inspection, danced their way down the centerline in dressage, and contested some serious obstacles in cross-country up until this point. Now it's time to demonstrate the fitness and accuracy that each horse possesses in the final phase: show jumping.
It was a great day of cross-country riding at the Maryland 5 Star. There were 35 horses who crossed the finish and 11 of those finished double clear. With British, French, New Zealand, Canadian, and American riders coming through the finish flags – it was a true world class competition. The USEA was at the finish to see what the riders thought of the very first Maryland 5 Star cross-country track designed by Ian Stark.
Weren’t able to spend your morning glued to the livestream of the 2021 Maryland 5 Star cross-country? Couldn’t be there in person to trek up the hills? We have you covered with a play-by-play of what happened on Ian Stark’s cross-country course which gave both the designer and the riders many sleepless nights, but ended up riding quite well for the majority of the field.