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.

Oct 16, 2019 Young Event Horse

Fast Facts: 2019 USEA Young Event Horse Championships

The USEA Young Event Horse (YEH) East and West Coast Championships will take place this weekend on opposite sides of the country. On Thursday and Friday, October 17 and 18, the East Coast Championships will take place at Fair Hill International in Elkton, Maryland. Then on Sunday, October 20, the West Coast Championships will run at the Fresno County Horse Park (FCHP) in Fresno, California.

Oct 16, 2019 Eventing News

Two-Time Olympic Gold Medalist Phillip Dutton Returns to Rutledge Farm Sessions Clinic Series

Rutledge Farm is thrilled to welcome back two-time Olympic gold medalist Phillip Dutton to host his second eventing clinic as a part of the Rutledge Farm Sessions clinic series. Since 2017, Rutledge Farm has been dedicated to bringing premier educational opportunities to Middleburg, Virginia to support the development of the sport at all levels and for multiple disciplines, including eventing, show jumping, dressage, and equitation.

Oct 16, 2019 Young Event Horse

Announcing the Schedule for the 2019 YEH Judging Seminars

Experience the 2019 USEA Young Event Horse (YEH) Championships through the judge's eyes! The USEA will be hosting YEH judging seminars during the 2019 USEA YEH Championships. The seminars will be led by the world-renowned judge and co-chair of the YEH Committee Marilyn Payne. All interested parties are welcome to attend.

Oct 16, 2019 Eventing News

Waredaca Celebrates 40 Years of Eventing

Over the past 40 years, Waredaca has expanded its USEA events from one a year with two levels to three events annually offering Beginner Novice through Intermediate levels as well as a Classic Three-day Event at the Novice through Preliminary levels.

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