Jun 01, 2018

The AEC is 90 Days Away! Preview the Colorado Horse Park and Local Area

By Kate Lokey - USEA Staff
White Fence Equine Photography Photo.

The United States Eventing Association (USEA) American Eventing Championships (AEC) are sneaking up and are now just 90 days away! The AEC will be celebrating its 15th year while moving to the Colorado Horse Park in Parker, Colorado in 2018.

The 2018 AEC will be run across Labor Day weekend from Thursday, August 30 to Sunday, September 2. Entries open July 17, and the closing date for entries is August 14. Visit the Omnibus listing here.

The Colorado Horse Park is located just 30 miles outside Denver in Parker, Colorado. The Horse Park is home to a number of equestrian events including prestigious hunter/jumper, dressage, western dressage, combined driving, and eventing competitions.

White Fence Equine Photography Photo.

Eventing at CHP began in the early 1990’s when it was known as High Prairie Farms, and Helen Krieble’s purchase of the property began the first High Prairie Farms Horse Trials. CHP entered into a new era in 2006 as David O’Connor transformed eventing at CHP by upgrading the cross-country course and footing. Over the next nine years, leading up to the purchase of CHP in December 2014 by Mark Bellissimo and the Colorado Equestrian Partners, CHP evolved into the premier eventing competition facility in the Rocky Mountains.

No stranger to hosting championships for eventing, CHP hosted the Adequan®/FEI North American Junior/Young Rider Championships (NAJYRC) in 2008 and then again in 2016, bringing together the best of the next generation of equestrian talent ages 14 to 21 amongst dressage, show jumping, and eventing.

Fences on the 2016 NAJYRC cross-country courses. USEA/Leslie Mintz Photo.

The Colorado Horse Park is equipped with over 300 acres of equestrian property and leased Douglas County open space, making it one of the largest equestrian competition venues west of the Mississippi. During the year, they maintain a 100-stall boarding facility with two indoor arenas, seven outdoor rings of various sizes and all-weather footing, as well as cross-country courses equipped with all the latest in eventing technology through the Advanced level. The property backs up to the county’s open space allowing access to over 52 miles of trail. 

During the AEC, CHP will offer 300 permanent stalls, 108 ClearSpan stalls, and the capability to bring on 600+ more temporary stalls. CHP will also offer up to 60 camping/RV spots, along with some dry camping availability. Click on the image below to view the facility map.

Explore the Local Area

If competitors find themselves with extra free time, Parker is a city suburb of Denver, boasting various attractions and entertainment around, including adventure sports, arts and culture, fabulous dining options, great craft beer, and other enticements nearby.

Parker’s Main Street is just minutes from CHP, offering several dining and lodging facilities. Whether it be caffeine or craft beers, attendees can get their ‘fix’ at the award-winning coffee shops and breweries in town. Top recreation spots near Parker include the Cherry Creek State Park and the Cherry Creek Trail, which begins in Denver, runs through Parker, and continues to Castlewood Canyon State Park. The State Park offers an 880-surface acre reservoir with opportunities for boating, fishing, and other water sports.

White Fence Equine Photography Photo.

Phillip S. Miller Park is just north of Parker, offering options for those seeking more of an adrenaline rush. Eventers can head to the peak for a 40-foot climbing wall, a zipline adventure, or test their bravery with a 70-foot freefall!

Denver is a great vacation add-on to any AEC competitor’s itinerary. The city is ranked as the fourth most walkable downtown in the nation and offers free tours of the Colorado State Capitol on weekdays. Famous for its restaurant and foodie scene, craft beer scene, and local art scene, Denver has plenty to keep visitors full and entertained.

Boasting the Denver Art Museum, the Colorado Railroad Museum, Botanical Gardens, the Denver Zoo, Coors brewery tours, many infamous sporting stadiums, and the Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre, Denver has something to offer everyone. Then of course the Rocky Mountains are nearby, presenting an array of resorts, adventures, and spectacular sightseeing. The mountains also present a pretty fabulous backdrop for the Horse Park and a great place to kick back and watch the sunrise and sunset!

Please click here to see how to qualify for the AEC. For more information, please visit the AEC website.

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

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 30-September 2, 2018 at the Colorado Horse Park in Parker, Colorado. Click here to learn more about the USEA American Eventing Championships.

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