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.

May 16, 2022 Association News

USEA Job Opportunity: Advertising & Marketing Role

The United States Eventing Association (USEA) is hiring an Advertising and Marketing Assistant, Coordinator, or Manager. Title dependent on experience. Please read on for details of the job.

May 16, 2022 Competitions

Saying Goodbye to the Copper Meadows Horse Trials

After 22 years of hosting and organizing the Copper Meadows Horse Trials on the outskirts of Ramona, California, the Hoffos family has announced the official retirement of their recognized competitions on their 65-acre farm.

May 16, 2022 Intercollegiate

USEA Podcast #309: The 2022 USEA Intercollegiate Eventing Championships Preview Show

Get your banners and mascot costumes ready, it is USEA Intercollegiate Championships week! USEA Podcast Host Nicole Brown chats with Leslie Threlkeld, Chair of the USEA Intercollegiate Committee as well as Hugh Lochore, Organizer of the Chattahoochee Hills Horse Trials which is the host of the 2022 USEA Intercollegiate Eventing Championships. Riders of all levels will gather in Georgia this coming weekend donning their collegiate colors to battle it out in hopes of coming home with the coveted title of champion. Hear what all you can expect from this weekend's spectacular lineup of activities on this week's episode of the USEA Official Podcast!

May 15, 2022 Competitions

Boyd Martin and Fedarman B Master the CCI 4*-L Division at Tryon Spring International Three-Day Event

Boyd Martin claimed the win aboard Fedarman B on a final score of 29.0 in the CCI4*-L division to claim the CCI4*-L USET Foundation National Championship, adding nothing to their dressage score after two double-clear jumping rounds. In reserve, and the highest-ranked international rider, Colleen Loach and Vermont, the 10-year-old Hanoverian gelding (Van Helsing x Heraldik XX) owned by Peter Barry, also completed their weekend without adding any points, ending on a score of 29.3. Clinching third place honors via double-clear stadium round for a total of 31.0 points was Leslie Law and Lady Chatterley, the 11-year-old Holsteiner mare (Connor 48 x Mytens XX) owned by Lesley Grant-Law, Jackie Brown and Steve Brown.

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