Jun 29, 2019

With 60 Days to Go Delve into the AEC Details

By Kate Lokey - USEA Staff
USEA/Leslie Mintz Photo.

The United States Eventing Association (USEA) American Eventing Championships (AEC) are now just two months away. The AEC at the iconic Kentucky Horse Park will kick off on Tuesday, August 27 and wrap up on Sunday, September 1.

Prizes and Purse Money

In partnership with all the wonderful AEC sponsors, the USEA will be able to offer around $130,000 in prize money across all levels and divisions at the 2019 AEC. Each AEC division is anticipated to receive prize bags through sixth place, and beautiful ribbons will be provided across all divisions for Beginner Novice, Novice, Training, Modified/Training, Preliminary, Intermediate, and Advanced levels.

This year, in partnership with Adequan®, the USEA will host the new $60,000 Adequan® USEA Advanced Final at the 2019 AEC, sending the Adequan® Champion home with a $30,000 personalized check. The other $30,000 will be distributed as purse money through 10th place in the Adequan® USEA Advanced Final.

The Adult Team Championships (ATC) will return to the AEC once again, marking the sixth year of the ATC at the AEC. The ATC is for riders 22 years of age or older, competing at the Beginner Novice, Novice, Training and Preliminary levels in the Rider and Amateur divisions at the AEC. Mixed Area teams are allowed and encouraged, but the ATC teams must attend their awards ceremonies in order to receive cash and prizes from the USEA ATC sponsors.

All riders will show jump in the Rolex Stadium. USEA/Leslie Mintz Photo.

Competition Updates

Teaming up with Equestrian Events, Inc. and Mary Fike this year, the USEA is excited to bring such a professional team to the AEC for a top-notch competition. The star-studded officials list boasts some impressive resumes, and the 2019 AEC officials may be found here. The 2019 tentative schedule of events may be found here.


Equestrian Events, Inc. and Mary Fike have hired two dressage judges for every dressage test, so each competitor will be under some very watchful eyes, no matter the level. The first two days of dressage will be run in the Rolex Stadium, and the remaining days will be held in the Walnut and Claiborne arenas. All warm-up and competition arenas will boast world-class German Geo Textile (GGT) footing.


Derek di Grazia, the world-renowned cross-country course designer, has been building courses at the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event for eight years now, and he has stepped in as the course designer for the 2019 AEC as well. He has also been named the course designer for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Kentucky Three-Day Event course builder Mick Costello has recently spent several weekends with di Grazia working on the AEC cross-country course and primping it for August. The pair have created plans for grooming and maintaining the footing, as well as developing championship caliber courses at all levels. EEI and Mary Fike have also brought in LRK3DE décor chief Sheila Woerth along with Rachel Henson to ensure the cross-country course looks its best for the AEC.

Show Jumping

Bobby Murphy has designed countless show jumping courses at the Kentucky Horse Park, and will step up as the AEC show jumping designer in 2019. The USEA has guaranteed that every rider at the 2019 AEC will get to complete their three-phase competition with show jumping in the Rolex Stadium and have the opportunity to follow in the footsteps of the world’s greatest champions by cantering around a show jumping course in the Rolex Stadium.

USEA/Jessica Duffy Photo.

Helpful Information: Qualifying, Entering, Lodging

The qualifying period for the 2019 AEC is May 28, 2018 through August 19, 2019. Please click here to see how to qualify for the AEC. The qualified rider list is available here. The qualified horse list is available here.

Entries open July 16 and close on August 13. The USEA recommends all competitors enter early. Find the calendar listing here.

To book accommodations for the AEC, click here. The Kentucky Horse Park Campground sites are almost fully booked, so it is recommended to get accommodations in place at the earliest convenience.

The USEA would like to thank all of the generous AEC Sponsors!

Mick Costello and Derek di Grazia setting the AEC cross-country course. Vanessa Coleman Photo.

About USEA American Eventing Championships

The USEA American Eventing Championships (AEC) 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. This year, the USEA American Eventing Championships will be held August 27 – September 1 at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky. Click here to learn more about the USEA American Eventing Championships.

About Equestrian Events, Inc.

EEI is a non-profit charitable Kentucky corporation that was established initially to produce the 1978 World Three-Day Event Championships at the Kentucky Horse Park. Following the success of those championships, EEI established an annual event that evolved into the world-renowned Kentucky Three-Day Event, which draws some 80,000 spectators to the Kentucky Horse Park each year. In 2018, EEI introduced the new Kentucky CSI3* Invitational Grand Prix and will be managing the 2019 and 2020 USEA American Eventing Championships. All three competitions are held at the Kentucky Horse Park. For more information, please visit www.eq-events.com.

About Mary Fike/ Kentucky Classique

The Park Equine Kentucky Classique Horse Trials are held at the Kentucky Horse Park each summer, usually over Labor Day Weekend. The event is held on the historical Fall Ha’Penny Horse Trials dates and filled a void in the Area 8 calendar when the former organizers retired in the late 1990's. Organizer Mary Fike and her team had been involved with the Ha’Penny H.T. so it was a natural evolution that they continued the event. The competition has run levels up to the CCI**, as well as the Adult Team Championships, the Area 8 Championships and recently added the USEA Classic Series Format at the Novice and Beginner Novice levels. Park Equine Hospital stepped in as Title Sponsor in 2015 and will continue as Title Sponsor in 2021, when the event returns after partnering with EEI to produce the AEC in 2019 and 2020.

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