Aug 09, 2019

The Road to AEC: When the Stars Align

John Borys Photography courtesy of Debra Simon.

Do you believe in fate or karma? Well, I don’t think I did before, but that has changed.

In August of 2017, my horse Harlequin underwent colic surgery. Recovery went perfectly, so we started to bring him back into work only to discover he had severe knee arthritis and had to be retired. I went home that day – angry, sad, defeated – and started to look for retirement homes for Quinn.

After a few hours of searching for homes, I needed a break and went to mindlessly scroll through Facebook (isn’t that what everyone does?), and there he was. The first thing that popped up was an ad for a 5-year-old chestnut Thoroughbred gelding that was located a little over an hour away from me. I really didn’t want to start looking for a new horse, but something about him made me contact his owner, Laura. The following weekend I went to try him and fell in love! A couple of weeks later I brought Leo home.

With the help of my outstanding trainer Sara McGowan – who made me work slowly, correctly, and form a relationship with Leo before jumping in the show ring - we attended our first event, the Silverwood Farm Horse Trials in September of 2018. Much to my surprise, we finished in second place. This is when I set my sights on the AEC. Now of course, whenever you make plans things tend to go wrong! Our next event was supposed to be the Sundance Horse Trials a few weeks after, but that week Leo decided to throw the same hind shoe twice in one day (how is that even possible?) and then ended up with a hot nail which concluded the 2018 season.

Winter came and went and looking forward to the spring show season we entered IEA Horse Trials in May. Well apparently, Leo had other plans and scraped his knee the day before we were supposed to leave. Friday morning it was swollen so I needed to scratch him from the event. Now it’s crunch time - only a few more months to qualify and limited time and events. Fortunately, Leo was in top form for his next two outings, placing fourth at Fox River Valley Pony Club and winning at Silverwood Farm with clear cross-country rounds, earning us the qualifications we needed to compete at the AEC!

I’m excited to say we have managed to qualify for the AEC at Beginner Novice in just three events with an average score of 30.3. Leo grows and improves with every outing and I‘m excited to see what he can accomplish in Kentucky!

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 14, 2021 Interscholastic

Announcing the IEL Team Spotlight Series

The USEA would like to feature your IEL team! The USEA Interscholastic Eventing League (IEL) is in its first year and currently has 82 registered teams from every USEA area and 46 events hosting an interscholastic team challenge.

May 13, 2021 Sponsor

FITS Returns to Sponsor AEC, ATC, Intercollegiate, and Classic Series

The United States Eventing Association (USEA) is thrilled to welcome back longtime sponsor, FITS Riding, Ltd. for 2021. They are returning as a Bronze Level Sponsor of the 2021 USEA American Eventing Championships presented by Nutrena Feeds, a Contributing Level Sponsor of the 2021 USEA Adult Team Championships, a Contributing Level Sponsor of the 2021 USEA Classic Series, and a Contributing Level Sponsor of the 2021 USEA Intercollegiate Eventing Championships. As a sponsor of these USEA programs, FITS Riding will generously provide gift certificates as prizes for the Intercollegiate championship competitors, AEC and ATC competitors, and Classic Series winners.

May 13, 2021 Classic Series

Memories from the Vet Box with Kerry Millikin

“I wouldn’t trade it for anything, it was an amazing experience.” Twenty-five years ago, Kerry Millikin and her off-the-track Thoroughbred gelding, Out and About (who was only 8 years old at the time) won the individual Olympic bronze medal at the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games, making her one of five females to have earned an individual Olympic medal for the U.S.

May 12, 2021 Competitions

Maryland 5 Star at Fair Hill Announces $300,000 Prize Money for Inaugural Event

The Fair Hill Organizing Committee (FHOC), an affiliate of the Sport and Entertainment Corporation of Maryland (The Sport Corp.), today announced athletes and horses in the inaugural Maryland 5 Star at Fair Hill (CCI5*-L) will be competing for $300,000 in prize money. Additionally, the US Equestrian Federation (USEF) Eventing National Championship (CCI3*-L), running in conjunction with the 5 Star, will award $25,000 in prize money. Both events, as well as the United States Eventing Association (USEA) Young Event Horse East Coast Championships, will take place this October 14-17 at the new Fair Hill Special Event Zone in Cecil County, Maryland.

Official Corporate Sponsors of the USEA

Official Outerwear of the USEA

Official Supplement Feeding System of the USEA

Official Forage of the USEA

Official Feed of the USEA

Official Saddle of the USEA

Official Joint Therapy Treatment of the USEA

Official Equine Insurance of the USEA

Official Horse Clothing of the USEA