May 20, 2019

The Countdown to AEC is On! 100 Days to Go!

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

The United States Eventing Association (USEA) American Eventing Championships (AEC) are now 100 days away! The 2019 AEC at the Kentucky Horse Park kicks off on Tuesday, August 27 and wraps up on Sunday, September 1.

For the last 15 years, the AEC has offered qualified USEA members of all ages and levels the chance to compete in the only national championship of its kind in the United States. The USEA, in partnership with Equestrian Events, Inc. and Mary Fike, will host a competition for the best juniors, adult amateurs, and professionals to come together to vie for national championship titles at every level from Beginner Novice to Advanced, and there is no better place to do so than the Kentucky Horse Park.

The Kentucky Horse Park

The iconic Rolex Stadium. RedBayStock.com Photo.

The Kentucky Horse Park is one of a kind and truly an iconic venue for the sport of eventing. Legends have left their mark on the terrain, paving the way for the champions to come at the AEC.

Situated on over 1,200 pristine acres, the Kentucky Horse Park is widely known as the state’s leading tourist attraction, serving nearly one million visitors annually. It features various museums, memorials, and priceless equine artifacts and exhibits from around the world, including life-size statues and sculptures of many infamous equine champions. The Park maintains world-class competition facilities, many of which were built for the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games (WEG).

The USEA has guaranteed that every AEC competitor will get to complete their three-phase competition with show jumping in the impressive Rolex Stadium - giving every rider the opportunity to follow in the footsteps of many legendary horsemen and world champions, and canter around a show jumping course inside the iconic stadium.

Founded in 1978, the Park is owned and operated by the Commonwealth of Kentucky and its mission is to celebrate the history of the relationship between horse and man throughout education, exhibition, engagement, and competition. The AEC will bring a new flavor to the Park, with a championship competition for juniors, amateurs, and professionals in one setting.

The Competition Highlights

USEA/Jessica Duffy Photo.

Beginner Novice, Novice, Training, Preliminary, Intermediate, and Advanced levels will all have championship divisions, and for the first time, the AEC will offer an open Modified/Training championship division. This new M/T division will offer a championship class with Modified level dressage and show jumping and Training level cross-country test. The intention is to offer a full Modified division moving forward in 2020, but 2019 should serve as a good entry for Modified level riders at the AEC.

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, and the ATC teams will receive cash and prizes from the USEA sponsors at the AEC awards ceremonies.

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 whopping $30,000 personalized check. The other $30,000 will be distributed as purse money through 10th place in the Adequan® USEA Advanced Final.

In total, the USEA will be rewarding several hundred thousand dollars in prizes and prize money across all AEC Championship divisions, thanks to the generous USEA partners and AEC sponsors. Each AEC division is anticipated to receive prize bags through sixth place, and beautiful ribbons will be provided across all levels and divisions.

Out to Set Records

USEA/Jessica Duffy Photo.

In 2017, the AEC at the Tryon International Equestrian Center boasted 753 starters, standing as the largest eventing competition in the country’s history. As competitors gather for the AEC at the Kentucky Horse Park, all records are set to be broken once again, as the USEA expects upwards of 800 horses. This will be the AEC nobody wants to miss, and the USEA looks forward to cheering on everyone! Go out and get qualified!

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, and members may find the prize list here. The provisional schedule may be found here.

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 27 – September 1 at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky. Click here to learn more about the USEA American Eventing Championships.

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