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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
All the major contenders passed the eventing final horse inspection at the Tokyo Olympics and will carry on to contest the show jumping phase in a few hours’ time.
The ground jury (Nick Burton, GBR, Christina Klingspor, SWE, and the U.S.A.’s Jane Hamlin) and vets only failed to accept one horse - Fantastic Frieda, ridden by Poland’s Joanna Pawlak, who had completed the cross-country in 41st place with a refusal and 25.2 time-faults.
The FEI has announced that the Swiss horse Jet Set, ridden by Robin Godel has had to be euthanized after pulling up extremely lame on the Sea Forest Cross Country Course during Equestrian Eventing at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 on August 1, 2021.
In 2002, at the age of 15, I was at my Aunt and Uncle’s farm in Maine while Tremaine Cooper was there building some cross-country jumps. I helped him build a trakehner, not realizing that this day would set the course for my future. A few weeks later he called asking if I could help him at Millbrook Horse Trials. From there I helped Tremaine during most of my school vacations and throughout the summers. After graduating high school I kept at it never looking back. I lived the gypsy lifestyle for about six years going from coast to coast and event to event. In 2013 my wife Kathryn and I settled down in Lexington, Kentucky. These days I spend roughly 60-75 percent of my time on the road preparing events or building private schooling areas. I’ve had the privilege of being involved with some really great events around the states and have cultivated many friendships all over the country. In 2019 I was asked to be a part of Team Evans Olympic cross-country building crew. As I write this I am on my third trip to Tokyo. Here’s a day in Tokyo . . .
The British team cemented their gold medal position at the Tokyo Olympics with three magnificent cross-country performances, all clear inside the time. Added to that, their first rider, Oliver Townend, holds pole position individually after the dressage leader, Germany’s Michael Jung, picked up 11 penalties for triggering a frangible device.