The window of eligibility to participate in the USEA Young Rider program has been increased to age 25, effective immediately.
“The USEA Young Rider program has traditionally been available to those aged 21 and under, but the USEA Young Rider Coordinators and Committee put forward a proposal to the USEA Board of Governors, requesting the age eligibility be increased to 25 in order to fully utilize training programs and youth series that are available. The new age requirements now enable all USEA Area teams participating in the USEF Youth Team Challenge to compete for their USEA Areas and utilize the Area Young Rider funding. This will also be more inclusive to youth riders wishing to participate in the USEA Young Rider Advancement Program (YRAP) in their Areas, which may help provide additional young riders competing at the lower levels with the education and skills they need to progress through the levels of the sport.
“The USEA membership database is now accepting membership updates for those members 25 and under who wish to upgrade their membership to include the Young Rider program. For USEA members aged 22-25 who are currently enrolled in the USEA Adult Rider program, those members may pay an upgrade fee to join the USEA Young Rider program additionally. Members aged 22-25 may choose to enroll in either the USEA Adult Rider Program, or the USEA Young Rider program, or both. The age eligibility for the Adult Rider program remains the same, available to any USEA members aged 22 or older.”
The shape of Young Rider eventing has transformed dramatically over the past year, with the focus pivoting from a North American Youth Championships being the be-all end-all goal to a broader reaching, two-pronged program that opens the door for more athletes to compete in a team environment and fosters an immersion in the sport that has, too often, been halted abruptly when Young Riders age out and no longer have access to the program’s support and resources.
The two prongs:
- The USEF Youth Team Challenge, focused on developing riders and horses for the Championships and gaining experience in a team environment. The Team Challenge format (you can view all the 2021 dates and locations here) culminates in two bi-coastal championships:
- West Coast Final: Adequan/USEF Eventing Youth Team Challenge Temecula – Nov. 3-7, 2021 – Levels: CCI2*-L, CCI3*-L – Temecula, Calif.
- East Coast Final: Adequan/USEF Eventing Youth Team Challenge Tryon – November 10-14, 2021 – Levels: CCI1*, CCI2*-L, CCI3*-L – Tryon, N.C.
2. The Young Rider Advancement Program (YRAP), focused on developing riders and horses for the Championships each summer. YRAP focuses on providing lower level young riders with the education and skills they need to progress through the levels and eventually into the ranks of the Youth Team Challenge. The USEA also offers a Young Rider Mentorship Program, which gives young riders the opportunity to learn from experienced professionals.
To enroll in the USEA Young Rider program, please find the Young Rider membership application form here. Call the USEA office at 703-779-0440 should you need help with your program upgrade.