Aug 14, 2019

The Road to AEC: When One Door Closes, Another Opens

John Borys Photography Photo courtesy of Kailey DeMeyer.

I am a competitor from Wisconsin who grew up in the Racine County Pony Club. I bought my horse Ninjutsu in 2013 as a second horse to bring to my A level Pony Club certification. At that time, Ninja only had six months of under saddle training, but he was showing in the jumpers with a Grand Prix rider from our area. My plan was to spend the next two years getting to know him and continue his training to bring him to my USPC testing. Several things led to my decision to withdraw Ninja from the certification, and only bring my one other horse who had been eventing at Preliminary at the time.

Fast forward several years and several A circuit jumper shows later, Ninja had not done much in the way of cross-country. I planned to sell him as a jumper since he clearly had more jumping capabilities in the jumper ring than I thought I needed in an event horse. Shortly after this decision, I was signed up for an eventing clinic with Zach Brandt, when my Preliminary event horse came up sore. I decided to add Ninja into the clinic last minute, with the full intention of skipping the cross-country portion of the clinic.

Photo courtesy of Kailey DeMeyer.

After the first show jump lesson, somehow I was talked into trying the cross-country the next day. On that hot day in July 2017, Ninja had his first cross-country school, which involved banks into water, ditches, and cross-country combinations. Much to my surprise, my super careful and scopey jumper took to cross-country like an experienced horse who had been doing it his entire life. I was thrilled with how confident and happy he felt galloping down to his first solid fences. After a rough ending to my Preliminary event horse’s career, this cross-country school was such an influential part of my journey in this very difficult sport. A single cross-country school opened a brand new door of opportunities for myself and my horse.

In September of 2017 I competed Ninja in his first event, where he finished on his dressage score in the Novice. The following year, he moved up to Training level and won his first Training event, which was the start of his AEC qualifiers. A wedding, purchasing our first house, and graduation from Dental Hygiene school all added excitement to these last two years of competing. We have had an unconventional path to the AEC, but it helps me truly understand how blessed I am to have a wonderful partner to compete at the AEC for the first time!

About the 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. The 2019 USEA American Eventing Championships will be held August 27-September 1, 2019 at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky. Click here to learn more about the USEA American Eventing Championships.

Mar 01, 2021 Competitions

Weekend Quick Links: March 6-7, 2021

Are you following along with the action from home this weekend? Or maybe you're competing at an event and need information fast. Either way, we’ve got you covered! Check out the USEA’s Weekend Quick Links for links to information including the prize list, ride times, live scores, and more for all the events running this weekend.

Mar 01, 2021 Eventing News

Badminton Horse Trials Cancels 2021 Event

It is with great disappointment and regret, which we know will be shared by many, that we announce the cancellation of the 2021 Badminton Horse Trials which was due to be held “behind closed doors” between May 5 and May 9. This cancellation also includes the BE90 and BE100 Championships (May 4 and 5).

Mar 01, 2021 Association News

USEA Podcast #278: Team Talk #4

We've got another Team Talk update for you listeners this week! Nicole Brown is joined once again by USEF Eventing High Performance Director Erik Duvander and USEF Managing Director for Eventing Jenni Autry to talk about the U.S. eventing team's path forward to Tokyo.

Feb 28, 2021 Profile

Now on Course: Heartbeats and Hoofbeats

My name is Tayah Fuller and I’m 14 years old. “On course” to me is a phrase that makes my heart pump fast and my excitement go wild. There is no better feeling than galloping through a field or flying over cross-country jumps with my heart thrumming along, especially when it is with my best friend. You see, I was born with a congenital heart murmur. While it has never really affected my athletic abilities, the one time that I notice it is when I am riding through a cross-country course with my horse.

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