First order of business: a shout-out to the final round of national champions crowned on Sunday at the American Eventing Championships!
Adequan Gold Cup Advanced Final: Matt Brown and BCF Belicoso (33.5)
Boehringer Ingelheim Open Intermediate: Jennie Brannigan and FE Lifestyle (30.3)
Master Beg. Novice Amateur: Carrie Griffen and Feuertanzer ES (23.3)
Beg. Novice Amateur: Leah Backus and Diamond of Truth (29.3)
Beg. Novice Horse: Holly Payne Caravella and Benjamin Button (25.8)
Beg. Novice Rider: Kathleen Bertuna and Millye’s Mojave (27.0)
Jr. Beg. Novice: Brynn Hershbine and Cadenza Aria (24.3)
Jr. Beg. Novice 14 and Under: Ashley Stout and Deo Volente (19.8)
Congrats to the winners, and to all competitors at large! From riders and their crews to spectators and officials, everyone who attended the 2017 AEC left with the feeling that they’d witnessed something special.
“It’s hard to explain the feeling of the American Eventing Championships when you’re not here, but I think when you watch the smiles of the kids and the pros, and everybody across the board, it’s a really special experience, and I think the word is getting out,” says USEA CEO Rob Burk. “With 755 starters, that’s almost a hundred more than we had last year, and last year was the largest horse trials in the United States by starters in history.”
Showcasing Advanced show jumping as TIEC’s “Saturday Night Lights” feature was a brilliant move.
“Last night under the lights, that for me, for the upper level division, was kind of a dream come to reality, so that was pretty amazing, and at the same time, watching the Novice division finishing up right before that with the stands packed and roaring – it’s kind of that dichotomy of the upcoming rider and at the same time these professionals and upper level amateurs that we want to put in a position of success,” Rob says.
The event also allowed us all a behind-the-scenes sneak peak at the venue of next year’s World Equestrian Games.
“We just love our partnership with the USEA, and hosting the AECs for the second year now is just a real honor,” said Sharon Decker, COO of Tryon Resort and Tryon International Equestrian Center. “This is one of our most special weeks of the entire season. We love eventing and to see our Advanced group today on our FEI WEG course is very exciting. I was standing out there today and thinking about a year from now, we’ll have some of the same riders out there along with many from around the world.”
“We’re thrilled with how the course held up, even in the midst of a tremendous amount of rain, and very pleased with how it was prepared for today’s competition, as well as how the field held up and how the course performed over the last two days in the middle of all the rain,” she says. “So we’re just grateful for a magnificent team here that makes things happen, but so thankful for the relationship we have with USEA and our partnership going forward. I want to thank Allyn (Mann) and the good folks at Adequan and our friends at Land Rover and Nutrena who have made this event possible.”
A big thank-you, once again, to everyone who made this thing possible: the heroes of USEA for putting it all together, TIEC for being such an incredible host, the event’s generous sponsors who showered competitors with prizes, and all the other myriad turning wheels that made 2017’s “feel-good event of the year” the best feeling event in recent history.
As we head back into our daily lives (hopefully with a little cushion — thanks, Labor Day!), let’s enjoy a parting glimpse at the week that was:
We can’t thing of anything better than the nation’s top event riders, talented horses, a beautiful venue, and the lovely NC mountains!! The 2017 American Eventing Championships at the beautiful @tryonresort was an incredible experience!! We loved supporting our incredible friends and already cannot wait for the 2018 American Eventing Championships!! @tryonresort @useventingteam @usequestrian @nutrena_aec
WHAT A FREAKING WEEKEND YOU GUYS…. The Tryon International Equestrian Center is the most immaculate venue I’ve ever been to… it was perfect for the AEC’s. It’s like a whole ‘nother world! I have more pictures than I know what to do with but here are a couple from my phone.. I seriously can’t wait to share with you the beautiful moments from my Nikon. I’m so exhausted from being here for the last 5 days working for my friends but man! Was it worth it! So dang proud of @rusticator for her spectacular rides in all 3 phases. If there was anyone out there who deserved that ribbon, it was you! I feel so lucky to be able to work for someone so talented and giving! Now let’s practice our diagonals so we can bring home the blues!!!! It was so cool to be around so many people from our horse community here in Georgia, and professionals from all over the country. Despite the INSANE amount of Chardonnay involved, this was definitely a trip I will never forget! I can’t wait to sleep the next two days. #tryoninternationalequestriancenter #tryon #AEC #Americaneventingchampionships #americaneventingchampionships2017 #weg2018 #reservechampion #3dayeventing #eventing #eventingnation #crosscountry #dressage #showjumping #trakehner #trakehnersofinstagram #usea #equestrian #horsecrazy #shithorsepeopledo
And … a cat on a leash, just to keep it real: