#AEC2020 or Bust: Entries Now Open for USEA American Eventing Championships

Julia Spatt & 501 Macintosh, winners of the Bates Preliminary Rider division at the 2019 American Eventing Championships. Photo by Leslie Wylie.

Opening day of the 2020 USEA American Eventing Championships is officially upon us, and we’re looking forward to the first pandemic championship (that sounds quite Hunger Games-esque) heading our way August 25-30 at Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Ky. #AEC2020 is sure to be the eventer’s Super Bowl as it always is, though new protocols and considerations are at hand for this year’s event.

If you’ve qualified to run at AEC this year, many congratulations! Qualifying certainly is not always easy, and your hard work should be recognized. It’s advisable to submit your entry as soon as possible (note: AEC is only accepting electronic entries this year), as entry numbers are currently limited to 1,000. There are a few other changes and updates to bear in mind as you prepare for the trek to Kentucky — we’ve hammered them out below. We’ll keep you abreast of any changes the USEA makes to the event or its format in the coming weeks, as the pandemic and states’ procedures for containing it are ever-changing.

What will be different about the American Eventing Championships this year? 

  • No spectators are allowed
  • Competitors are asked to only bring essential people along — parents, coach, groom, etc.
  • Only electronic entries are accepted
  • Double entries are not accepted
  • COVID-19 protocol and procedures will be followed — for a refresher, click here
  • Entries are currently limited to 1,000.

What are some things to consider before entering?

  • Your home state’s current COVID-19 status — is your area a hot spot or experiencing a strong surge in cases?
  • Your current health — are you immunocompromised? Have you traveled recently or had exposure to anyone ill?
  • Those around you — if you travel, will there be anyone who might be at risk by coming in contact with you once you return home?

What are some ways to ensure smooth sailing at #AEC2020?

  • Follow COVID-19 protocol laid out by US Equestrian, the USEA, and show organizers
  • Wear a mask, stay six feet apart from others, and regularly wash/sanitize your hands
  • If you’re feeling ill, please stay home!

As uncomfortable and mildly infuriating as these new guidelines can be, the reality is that it is thanks to those guidelines that events were able to resume in any capacity. We are as thrilled as you are that competitions are back — but as we’ve all learned in 2020, the situation can change by the hour. Through the collective efforts of our community, we can beat this! And we’ll see you in Kentucky at #AEC2020.

To get the full scoop on #AEC2020, click here.