Sep 02, 2023

Six Novice Champions Crowned On Saturday at the AEC

By Samantha Clark - USEA | Press Release
Allison Icenogle and Fernhill Revelation. USEA/Lindsay Berreth photo

Lexington, Ky.—September 2—The competition and the temperature heated up on Saturday as six Novice divisions came to a conclusion at the USEA American Eventing Championships (AEC) presented by Nutrena Feeds.

USEA Novice Amateur Championship

The giant Novice Amateur division saw the most drama in the final phase. In the end Allison Icenogle and her own Fernhill Revelation climbed from fourth place overnight to be crowned Champions, finishing on their dressage score of 27.9. “I was not expecting this at all,” she exclaimed afterwards. “This is my first time here so I was shocked even after the dressage results!”

By first time here Icenogle means both the Horse Park and the AEC, but her horse is decidedly more seasoned; the 17-year-old Irish Sport Horse was campaigned up to the four-star level by Phillip Dutton, and Icenogle has been riding him for about two and a half years. “He's just been amazing; everything I do with him he does amazingly. I've got my silver medal in dressage on him, and I ride him in Pony Club, and it's been awesome every step of the way.”

Where some riders might struggle taking over an established ride from a top professional, that has not been Icenogle's experience, “Really, it’s just a dream come true. I went out and looked at him, rode him for the first time and fell in love with him," she said.

Although she insists it has been pretty much smooth sailing all the way, Icenogle will admit that it’s taken some time to adjust to Fernhill Revelation’s size; he’s 17.1-hands. Her family has a Fjord farm in Southwest Wisconsin so she’s used to riding small Norwegian ponies.

Supreme confidence in her relationship with her horse didn’t preclude her getting nervous before her cross-country rounds. “Terribly so, and he does too actually so we both are nervous wrecks going into the start box,” she said. But as it turned out, “It was a really fun course, and he did amazing with it; we didn't have any issues. So that was my favorite part.”

Walking down the chute into the Rolex Arena before the final phase was a bit nerve-wracking for Icenogle. “I've seen Rolex over the years," she said. "I've been watching it since like 2008 so getting to ride in this arena is amazing!”

Lauren Harris and FE Clapton.

Lauren Harris and her own FE Clapton (Chaman x Tara) moved up to the Reserve Champion spot from fifth place after the first two phases, and she said it was completely unexpected. “I honestly was nervous that we might move down and not up just because I've had some struggles with the horse in the past, but I'm just really proud of him for coming out and doing his best.”

FE Clapton, an 8-year-old Holsteiner gelding is strong and powerful, Harris elaborated, and has been difficult to produce but “we're finally clicking this year, and it's been really great.” Their last event was Champagne Run here at the Horse Park and when they finished second, subsequently qualifying for the AEC, so Harris said she decided to send her entry in. A local rider who’s familiar with competing here at the Horse Park, she said riding at the Championships is a whole different ball game. “The atmosphere is definitely a lot bigger than it is at a normal event. It definitely feels like a different place when there's a big show like this going on.”

Harris took full advantage and stayed late Friday night to watch the Advanced division finale, but one of her personal eventing heros, she says, was actually riding alongside her in the Novice Horse division, “My idol at the moment is definitely one of my coaches, Madison Temkin," she said. "She is the same age as me, and she has just done so much. She's competed up to the four-star level, and she has just helped me on my horse so much in such a short amount of time. I've only been riding with her for a few months but she's been really great.”

Amanda Walker and Runaway Romeo.

The third spot also stayed in Kentucky, going to Lexington, Kentucky’s Amanda Walker on her own Runaway Romeo who moved up from sixth place overnight and finished on her dressage score. Amanda found Romeo, a 10-year-old Thoroughbred, at an auction rescue and originally was going to sell him “because he wasn’t supposed to be my long term partner, he was going to be a resale project.”

This weekend is the fairytale ending to what’s been a long journey, if not geographically then certainly in patience and perseverance. “Sometime in our second year together I really started falling in love with him,” Walker reminisced. "It quickly became obvious that he is my heart horse, and I haven't been able to sell him since!”

They came to the Championships after a year concentrating on dressage due to some SI issues preventing them from eventing but since starting as a working student for Megan Moore, Smith has noticed a turnaround. “I found somebody who really sees his potential, and she's really encouraged us to get back into it, she’s been amazing and super-helpful," she said.

Jennifer Jantz's Forty Proof, a 13-year-old mare (Gators N Bears x Dema Dema Dancer) won the TIP Champion award as the highest-placed Thoroughbred in 15th place. Rachel Parrot's Mr. Barron, a 15-year-old gelding (Shaniko x Runs Like A Benz) earned the Reserve TIP Championship.

USEA Novice Rider Championship

Madeline Bletzacker and Landtino S.


A double-clear round in the Rolex Arena saw Madeline Bletzacker (Galena, Ohio) move up one place to take the Novice Rider Championship on her own Danish Warmblood gelding Landtino S (Solos Lantinus x Chess S), “a failed dressage horse” but a former hunter derby winner, USEA Horse of the Year and now AEC Champion.

At 23 years young, it’s taken Landtino S a while to get here and to step out of the shadow of Bletzacker's other horse. At 67 years equally young Bletzacker admits she might be nearing the sunset of her competitive career too. “He’s just been a really great horse but it did take a long time to get him to acclimate to the dressage. He has squealed and kicked out more than five times in dressage over the years! I am so excited because I'm like, almost at the end of my career. Like every day I feel like ‘Am I done?’ My horses are 23 and 15, I just feel like this is a great pinnacle for my career.”

Bletzacker honed her horsemanship skills on the racecourse and gained valuable experience retraining Thoroughbreds, “I have worked at the track for 25 years. 18 hours a day, seven days a week," she said. "So I was a slave to horses all that time.”

It was a helpful hunter/jumper judge, "back in the ‘80s,” she said, who suggested to her that one of her off-track Thoroughbreds might be better suited to the eventing scene than the show ring, and Bletzacker's been hooked ever since.

Kalie Beckers and Calla GBF.

Louisiana’s Kalie Beckers also jumped clear within the time on her own Calla GBF, an 8-year-old Palomino American Warmblood by Carush, but couldn’t make up the achingly close 0.1 penalty deficit and was nevertheless delighted to settle for the Reserve Novice Rider Champion title.

Beckers admitting show jumping is normally their weakest phase. “I was a little nervous, but honestly, I was more nervous for the dressage and cross-country. I kind of felt like, we're here. We just had to get it done by the time we got to stadium.”

Some hard work on this phase with trainer Jenny Harrison also paid off. “I’ve been working on riding to the stadium jumps," she said. "We've been riding with a few different show jumpers to really work on counting our strides and getting the distances right and not just praying as we go round the course!”

Kalie wasn’t sure if she would make it to the Championships as she finished her DVM PhD in the spring and started her clinical year straight away. Calla is a horse that “needs to go out a lot and be out showing a lot or she gets really stressed and nervous and spooky.”

Although they haven’t’ been able to get to a show since May, Calla rallied, “I was a little worried coming into this one that she was going to be a little hot, and she was, but she kept it together where she needed to," said Beckers.

Ellie Teasley and Quintessential.

During her nine-year partnership with her distinctive sorrel Paint gelding Quintessential, Ellie Teasley has weathered some ups and downs, but here at the Championships a faultless performance marked a solid return to form.

“This was our redemption weekend!” Teasley beamed. “He had a fantastic double-clear yesterday, he had a fantastic double-clear today; this is probably our most rideable and fluid show jumping round we've had to date, and he just he feels fantastic.”

Quintessential just turned 18 in June; they came to the AEC in 2021 but fell on the cross-country so to return, and to finish on the podium, “this is just very validating for all the work that we've put in and how great he has been feeling!”

Jocelyn Brooks and her own Perpetual Optimism, an 11-year-old gelding (First Defence x Splendid Honor) won the TIP Championship for the top-placing Thoroughbred in 13th. Katy Cline and her own 15-year-old gelding Curiosity (Out Of Place x Kate's Comment) were Reserve TIP Champion in 16th place.

USEA Novice Junior Championship

Emerson Padgett and MSH Giant Jac’ka.

Emerson Padgett (Akron, Ohio) has only been riding her 7-year-old Selle Français MSH Giant Jac’ka (Quebracho Semilly x Loupaline Du Haul) since December, but they’ve established enough of a partnership to clinch the win in the Novice Junior Championship, leading from start to finish and adding nothing to their dressage score. “It's really exciting!” Emerson said after her victory gallop, “He was just so good, and it was a really fun weekend, and this is just like the cherry on top for it to be so successful.”

The win was a lovely surprise even though Emerson knew her horse was capable of putting three good scores on the board, “I mean, I don't think anybody ever expects it to happen!" she said. "It was still very exciting. And I don't think it's even hit me yet. I don't think I've taken it in yet. I think doing the victory lap was like, ‘Oh wow, this has actually happened!’”

Emerson said she’s received a lot of help from her trainers Robin Walker and Kara Andrew who were here this weekend, “I wouldn’t be here without them; they’ve helped me so much. They helped me find ‘Jack,’ and they’ve helped us the entire way.” A big group from her barn were also at the Horse Park this weekend, as well as her naturally proud mother and grandmother.

Emerson didn’t have a rail in hand over second-placed Caroline Burkhardt and Stonehaven’s Dream who had jumped clear, but she kept a cool head and duly delivered the goods. “I was focusing on my warm up and just was more focused on the atmosphere that we're going into and just thinking about my course, and I was trying to kind of focus on myself and then just see what happened.”

She did allow herself a moment to appreciate her surroundings right before she entered the Rolex Arena. “Oh, gosh,” she gasped. “It's so cool! I mean, you watch so many big people ride here that it's just so amazing to be here in such a big atmosphere, and all the horses jumped so much better in there; it was so much fun!”

Future plans this year include “probably some more events in the fall and just to really practice all of our skills, some jumper shows and just enjoy him!”

Plus, she added, “He’s just so fun to be around, and it's a plus that he's so talented, and he's just such a good horse. It's fun to do whatever with him.”

Caroline Burkhardt and Stonehavens Dream.

Caroline Burkhardt (Dallas, Texas) kept the pressure on the leaders with a beautiful double-clear stadium round on Stonehavens Dream but ultimately will go home as the newly crowned Novice Junior Reserve Champion. Caroline has only been riding “Pippa” since November when they bought her from Buck Davidson. “I just fell in love with her when I rode her” she recalled. “She had been going Advanced, and she had a pretty rough record at that level so we ended up going for it and buying her.”

Owned by her mother Erika, “Pippa” is a 14-year-old Holsteiner mare by Caricello.

A winter spent getting to know one another, and “lots of tears” later and, “we've gotten to a really good place, and she's just amazing, she’s incredible!”

Burkhardt credits her trainers Rebecca Brown and Bethany Stevens with helping her find the keys to their success. “She goes around, she knows what she wants to do, and she just jumps everything the best she can. She knows she’s special, and she wants to prove that.”

Although Caroline rode here at the Kentucky Horse Park in the Beginner Novice a couple of years ago, she said walking into the Rolex Arena will never get old. “It’s so big! Just standing in the tunnel with Pippa, she was looking at the stand, and you could tell she was getting a sense for how cool of an opportunity this was for the both of us. It’s just a really special place to ride.”

Adelyn Rinehart and Wexford Cruise.

Adelyn Rinehart (Stillwater, Minnesota) and her own 10-year-old Irish Sport Horse Wexford Cruise (Loch Cruise x Glebe Cream) moved up from fifth place after the first two phases to eventual third place thanks to a double-clear round. “My horse is a very consistent jumper,” Rinehart said. “I would say sometimes we can have a rail but he has had really good results in the show jump ring so I was really happy.”

RInehart also competed in the Training Division and says Wexford Cruise, who is actually her mother’s horse, is “kind of my back up horse that I’m just learning and having fun on!” She’s been competing him for two seasons now and as for whether she’ll even give the ride back to her mom, “We’ll see…!”

Wexford Cruise, she shared, is more like a mare than many mares. “He's got a lot of attitude! And you can really tell what he likes and what he doesn't like but it was a blast riding him throughout the weekend. He’s got a lot of different personalities!”

Together they competed at a Training level event in August and then moved back down to Novice before the Championships. “He’s a very consistent horse at this level so I was thinking I’d have a better chance!”

Katie Johnson and her own Darth Raider, a 14-year-old gelding (Gray Raider x Amy's Starr) were the TIP Champions for the top-placed Thoroughbred, while Janey Jones and her own 15-year-old gelding Star Shrek (Chelsey Cat x Dawn Deal) were the Reserve Champions.

Also awarded in this division was the Captain Mark Phillips Pony Rider Award, presented to the highest placed Pony Rider in the Beginner Novice, Novice, and Training Junior divisions at the American Eventing Championships. Junior competitors are eligible for the award if they are competing a pony (registered in the USEA database as 14.2 and under) who is at least 4 years old. This year’s USEA Novice Junior Captain Mark Phillips Pony Rider Award recipient is Natalie Koch riding her 11-year-old mustang gelding Captain Jack Sparrow.

USEA Novice Master Amateur Championship

Jane Musselman and Engapore.

Jane Musselman (Loiusville, Kentucky) has twice gone into the final phase of the AEC in the lead, twice at the Horse Park, and both times it didn’t go her way. Today, the third time was a charm: Engapore (Singapore x Orize), a 14-year-old Dutch Warmblood jumped a beautiful clear round that would have won an equitation class, and they were crowned Novice Master Amateur Champions.

“I think talking to all my friends, just trying to relax and trust my horse, trust that he can go there and do this” was what made the difference this time, Jane opined, “and he was so rideable today so that made it easier!”

Musselman trains with Martha Lambert and sometimes with Phillip Dutton who gave her a little advice and wished her luck, “He’s been busy too so Martha mostly helped me this weekend!” she said.

To finally make it onto the podium feels “So good! It's so nice that it's here at home!” Musselman’s parents live in Lexington, and it was her mother’s 70th birthday so there’ll be a double celebration at dinner in Lexington tonight.

Megan Beachler and Cooley Sligo.

Megan Beachler (Portola, California) moved up one spot from third after the cross-country to eventual Reserve Champion thanks to a double-clear round in the stadium on her own Cooley Sligo (Sligo Candy Boy x Townland Pride), an 11-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding that she only bought in February.

The trip from California and acclimatizing to the Kentucky heat didn’t phase him much, Beachler shared. “He’s kind of been there, done that, seen it! He just rolled with it.”

Indeed Cooley Sligo was born in Ireland, was imported to the East Coast where he competed up the levels, found himself in Washington State with an amateur rider who then bought a vineyard and after a year off, he was for sale again, “I got on him and immediately I knew, ‘This is the horse for me’” Beachler shared. “It was the ride, the feel. He obviously came with a good record which was important but I had tried a lot of horses, and you know when you get on. He’s a special guy and we clicked.”

Beachler rides with Tommy Greengard but his barn is about an hour and a half from her home, so she makes the trip once a week and stays a night or two in her trailer so that she can ride as much as possible. After a four event winning streak in the spring, they went to Aspen Farm (Yelm, Washington) specifically to get a run on grass in preparation for Kentucky. This was Beachler’s first time riding here although she did visit for the 2010 World Equestrian Games and a few Land Rover Kentucky CCI5*-L shows and loved riding on the same land, “It was fun to be able to run in the same places where I’ve been standing as a spectator, to go through the Hollow,” she smiled and admitted that she was nervous all week, but that now it’s over she can relax and appreciate what she’s done.

Cindy Buchanan and Upper Charlize.

Cindy Buchanan capitalized on two good jumping phases and moved up into third place on Upper Charlize (Adios Charlie x Upper Gulch), her own 7-year-old mare. “Charlie” is a Thoroughbred that Cindy got off the track less than two years ago, “She was tucked up, crazed, running around the field like an idiot!” Buchanan chuckled. “But then one day she just took a deep breath and settled down.”

The atmosphere of a show like the AEC at the Kentucky Horse Park presents new challenges though. “This is her first big venue,” she said. “She’s never been anywhere overnight for two or three days or anything so we've kicked in a few walls, and she's had her opinions.”

When it mattered though, “You know when it came to it, she did her job so I was really pleased with her,” she said. “I'm excited and looking forward to moving on with her.”

Buchanan has three off-track Thoroughbreds currently including her “Covid mare,” a gift horse during the Pandemic, who finished 16th in the Training division. She also has two foals on the ground from a Clydesdale-Thoroughbred mare that she bred and raised and won at the AEC in Tryon (Mill Spring, North Carolina) in 2017.

In addition to third place, Buchanan and Upper Charlize were also named TIP Champions of the USEA Novice Master Amateur division. In Reserve was Robin King and her 11-year-old mare Splash of Sass (Langfuhr x Seattle Splash), who placed 8th overall.

USEA Novice Junior 15 & Under Championship

Kendal Fansler and Delilah's Boy.

The top 3 in this division remained the same throughout the weekend as all three combinations aced their tests each day. Maybe overnight leader, 12-year-old Kendal Fansler (Clarkesville, Maryland) manifested her win, but she had predicted the day before that show jumping should be a breeze for her Connemara-cross Delilah’s Boy, and indeed it was. “It was so much fun!” Fansler beamed after her win. “He definitely saved my butt on some of the fences but he was awesome!”

Making time has not been a problem for this pair in either of the jumping phases, in fact sometimes they’ve had to struggle with the opposite, “My coach [John Secan] told me to not cut any of the turns because if I'm slicing them I’ll probably get a rail, and to make sure I keep my rhythm the whole time," she said. Kendal did both, and the trophy was hers!

Phillip Dutton, Sharon White, and Liz Halliday are Fansler’s eventing heroes, and she watched all three show jump in the Advanced Championship finale Friday evening. “They were awesome!” Perhaps she got a taste for what it might feel like to ride in the higher divisions, or even Land Rover Kentucky one day as she waited her turn in the chute to the big arena, “It felt very professional”, she agreed.

Delilah’s Boy, a hand-me-down from Fansler’s cousin, Emma Whitaker after she outgrew him, can look forward to a short vacation, “I will make sure he's very cooled off today, and I'll give him probably a week off because he worked very hard. And then we'll just continue showing.”

From Maryland, Fansler has another ride Sunday, and when I ask if she’ll be first in line for Whitaker’s current horse, HSH Golden Boy, currently lying third in the Beginner Novice Championship she chuckles, “I don’t think she’s going to outgrow that one!”

Riley Mueller and Gemily.

Riley Mueller and Wendy Mueller’s Gemily nearly didn’t come to the Championships “because I wasn’t having a good year, I’ve struggled a lot, but my trainer [Elizabeth Schumann] told me we should do it.”

Sometimes trainers know best! Riley’s goal coming into the weekend was just to do well so to finish as Reserve Champion? “It’s surreal!”

The answer to the puzzle, Riley said, has been to concentrate on show-jumping, “because that’s my biggest weakness” and to make sure she kept her mare conditioned well.

Ashby Hunt and Riot's Fabulous.

Ashby Hunt and Brighton Craig’s Riot’s Fabulous (A Fine Romance x Simplicity) rounded out the top 3, finishing on their dressage score of 30.1. She’s leased the mare for three years now “and we’ve just been working really hard at Pony Club, foxhunting, eventing. She’s been incredible and taught me so much.”

Hunt has been to the Horse Park before to watch Land Rover Kentucky but has never ridden here so the whole weekend has been a thrill, “It was incredible, I still have chills!” she said.

The USEA Novice Junior 15 & Under TIP Champion was Stephanie Villines and Laura Young’s 25-year-old gelding Two Out Rally (High Bright x Aspirate). Jaeli Uselding and her 7-year-old gelding My Fair Prince (Congrats x Black Oak) were award Reserve TIP Champion honors.

Fansler and Delilah’s Boy were also honored as this year’s USEA Novice Junior 15 & Under Captain Mark Phillips Pony Rider Award recipients.

USEA Novice Horse Championship

Elissa Gibbs and Cooley Valentine.

The newly crowned USEA Novice Horse Champion found his way to local rider Elissa Gibbs’ barn as a 4-year-old without her having ridden him; she bought him on the recommendation of Liz Halliday, but she discovered pretty quickly that her new purchase could jump. “The first day he came I put him in the round pen, and he just trotted out over the eight-foot wall and found a friend in a paddock and started grazing. He just trotted straight over it!”

Scope is clearly not an issue for this stunning gray horse but the win today is bittersweet for Gibbs whose business is “finding very good quality young horses and bringing them up and and then sending them to their forever person.” Unsurprisingly there is already a buyer lined up for this one, but Gibbs says she gets a lot of joy watching them thrive in their new homes and following them at competitions.

“I don't think at this point I'm going to run Advanced again, but I like to ride really top class horses,” she elaborated, “and I like to keep them for a couple of years so you really really know who they are and where they're meant to be.”

However, her other ride in this division, the ex-racehorse Enjoy The Journey who finished 21st is rather special, she shares, and rather less valuable than the winner, and she thinks he’s probably a keeper. After a castration and a slow start because “he did not understand show-jumping, he was terrified of it,” she said with a laugh, something clicked, “I left the start box for the first time on cross-country on him and whew….the way just galloped and jumped the first fence, I knew then this horse was just never leaving!”

Once she’d made that decision she asked Avery Whisman’s family for permission, an emotional Gibbs remembers, and then changed the horse’s name to memorialize “a very special student of mine who switched from eventing to being a jockey and passed away earlier this year."

Gibbs has competed at the AEC every time they’ve been in Lexington but this is her first win. “I think it's special to win at home because your peers are around, and your business is here. It’s good for business to do well, it makes your clients believe in you and that you know what they're doing. And they can come and watch you. I’ve got a whole big group up there,” she gestures into the Rolex Arena grandstands, “all watching, cheering, getting drunk, and having a great time!”

Booli Selmayr and Uptown Girl.

Sometimes trusting a gut feeling can pay dividends and Booli Selmayr’s second place in this division is testament to that. She bought her mare Uptown Girl off video at the Holsteiner auction two years ago on a whim. Since then, she’s never had any doubt that she made the right call. “So far she's giving me all the feelings that she can be a horse that goes all the way. She’s all business, all class, has all the jump, and her mentality is pretty impressive. She's incredible. You’d think she was 10 years old. She’s never seen anything like this and just marches down down there and goes in there and does it.”

It wasn’t a completely uneducated guess. Selmayr already has an older mare at three-star level by the same stallion “and I was able to watch her go on the Auction promotional video, and there’s quite a few similarities to the other mare who I think a lot of as well, and they are kind of the spitting image of each other other. They have the same markings, the only thing that's different is the front sock.”

The breeding was good enough that Selmayr calculated that even if she was wrong about her future event horse, she’d be able to sell her on fairly easily without losing money. Obviously Selmayr has some impressive history here at the Horse Park and would have a good idea of what it takes. “I bring along most of my own horses from a young age, and as I've gone through producing them, you start to get an idea, ‘Okay, this one's gonna be a really nice amateur horse’ or ‘this one's got a spark’ and she just, she does have a spark. She's got some flash to her, and her jump is unreal. She's so trainable so I think that even when things start to get a little bit more complicated as the levels go up, I think she'll be able to have the wits about her to receive my aid and teaching or what to do.”

Katarzyna Jachymczyk and Sock Monkey.

Katarzyna Jachymczyk not only placed third in this division with her own Sock Monkey (Van Nistelrooy x Candy Cane Delight), they also won the TIP Thoroughbred award. Jachymczyk has had Sock Monkey for 8 years now, “I got him from a friend of mine who picked him up out of a field, and he was almost starved to death. She got him for her 12-year-old daughter to do hunters. And when they got him healthy and started jumping, she was like, ‘He's wild. He's crazy.’”

Jachymczyk accepted the challenge. “We have worked our way up from ground poles all the way to the AEC, and to finish third so that's kind of cool!”

This is their third attempt at a Championship but their second completion. “We were not quite ready I think, mentally or just in general. He’s been kind of a slow going horse,” she said. “He's been kind of tough, and he’s got a lot of baggage so we've been working hard to try to figure out how to make him happy and get him to work for me”

According to Jachymczyk what works is good riding, “I think he likes it correct," she said. "If you ride him perfect, he goes perfect. If you make a mistake, he does not save you, there's nothing for free.” That sounds like a lot of pressure on the rider and Jachymczyk agrees. “You have to ride really accurately and with a lot of leg; leg to hand is never ending as I like to say!”

Despite that, Jachymczyk has enjoyed her weekend immensely. “Oh my god, this is just wonderful," she said. "Just being here. The venue is amazing. The honor of just qualifying and riding you amongst the top riders of the nation is just amazing. I never thought I'd be here sitting third. I never take a moment for granted on him. I'm always like, ‘we'll see what we get today’, he's kind of a cool guy.”

Sarah Grice and Close Up Aly, a 15-year-old mare (Close Up x Don't Say A Word), earned the Reserve TIP Champion title in this division.


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About the USEA American Eventing Championships (AEC)

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 combinations 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 Aug. 29—Sept. 3 at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky. Click here to learn more about the USEA American Eventing Championships.

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Apr 15, 2024 Profile

Bec Braitling is Back at the Five-Star Level After 21 Years

Bec Braitling was 23 when she tackled her first four-star, now five-star, level competition at Adelaide in East Park Lands, Australia.

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