Near the end of 2020, US Equestrian announced the forthcoming launch of the USEF Eventing Youth Team Challenge as part of the evolutionary pivot of the North American Youth Championships. This program is aimed to include even more riders in the opportunity to compete in a team environment, removing the constraints put on by hosting only one championship each year in favor of competitions all over the country culminating in an East and West coast championship.
USEF Development and Emerging Athlete Coach Leslie Law penned the following letter introducing the program to interested parties. If you would like to learn more about this exciting new venture, register to attend the free informational webinar on Monday, January 18 at 6:30 p.m. ET. To learn more about the Youth Team Challenge, click here.
Dear U.S. Youth Athletes and Young Rider Coordinators,
I hope this email finds everyone well and gearing up for the 2021 competition year. The challenging times of 2020 gave us the opportunity to pivot the Eventing North American Youth Championships to a new series that will open the door for more youth athletes to compete in team competitions across the country. I encourage all U.S. athletes between the ages of 14 to 25 to participate in the inaugural 2021 Adequan®/USEF Youth Team Challenge.
Why is the Adequan®/USEF Youth Team Challenge such a key next step for U.S. Eventing?
It fills a critical void in providing a vital stepping stone on the Eventing Pathway, ultimately paving the way to the Elite level of the sport. The U.S. does not currently have the opportunity to compete in FEI Pony, Junior and Young Rider Championships like in Europe, so we must continue to seek new ways to give our youth athletes more opportunities to compete in a team. The Adequan®/USEF Youth Team Challenge will give athletes up to the age of 25 the opportunity to gain this valuable team experience. This is an exciting new initiative in further strengthening the Eventing Pathway, which aims to develop athletes to one day represent the U.S. on the world stage.
The Adequan®/USEF Youth Team Challenge is modeled after the FEI Eventing Nations Cup series with multiple short format competitions during the season leading up to a long format final in the autumn on both the East and West coasts. Each USEA Area will select their team for each competition, and athletes may participate in one competition or multiple competitions throughout the season. If you are currently qualified to compete at the CCI1*, CCI2* or CCI3* levels, you are qualified to compete in the Adequan®/USEF Youth Team Challenge series.
Gaining team experience was integral in my ability to put forward the best performances to secure medals when it mattered most. We invite U.S. youth athletes to participate in the inaugural Adequan®/USEF Youth Team Challenge season and become a part of creating sustainable success on the world stage for the U.S. Every Olympic gold medalist has a story of their very first team competition. Will you join us?
Adequan®/USEF Youth Team Challenge Webinar: Monday, January 18 at 6:30 p.m. EST
Please mark your calendars for an informational webinar on Monday, January 18 at 6:30 p.m. EST to learn more about the Adequan®/USEF Youth Team Challenge and how you can get involved. Please submit any questions about the Adequan®/USEF Youth Team Challenge to [email protected] in advance so we can be sure to answer them during the webinar. You can register for the webinar by clicking here.