The USEF Eventing High Performance Program is now accepting applications for the 2019 USEF/USET Foundation North American Futures Team Challenge, a new initiative established to simulate competing in a team environment.
Established with the USET Foundation and administered by USEF, the North American Futures Team Challenge is designed to complement the Eventing High Performance Program, which recently rolled out the new U.S. Eventing Pathway Program.
Two teams of four combinations will contest an unofficial simulated team competition at both Carolina International in the CCI3*-S or CCI4*-S and at Bromont in the CCI3*-L. The teams will undergo training prior to each competition.
“I’m super excited about this project because it gives riders who haven’t had the experience to learn what it means to be in a team and operate in a team environment,” Erik Duvander, U.S. Performance Director for Eventing, told EN.
“This is an area where the European riders have the opportunity to compete in Nations Cups, and now that we have it as well that’s another box we’re ticking. The program is in its infancy, and we will continuously review it to see how we can develop and grow it to meet our needs and get the most out of it.”
Selection to the team under this challenge does not represent selection to a recognized U.S. team. Rather, the program is designed to replicate the experience of competing on a team and within a team environment by offering a training opportunity embedded within an existing competition.
Riders can apply for one or both competitions and do not need to be listed on the Emerging or Development Program to apply. Selection will follow the criteria used for Nations Cups as a guideline and will be based on results, potential to contribute to successful results on future teams, willingness to learn, and commitment to developing into a future team athlete — the ultimate aim of the Emerging and Developing Programs.
A two-day educational training program will take place for the teams prior to the start of the competition at Carolina International and Bromont, with a focus on the expectations of being a team rider, preparation for a team event, and how to operate at a team event. The training will also include dressage test ride reviews and show jumping practice. Erik Duvander and Leslie Law will coach and serve as Chefs d’Equipe for the two teams.
Depending on the number of applicants, teams may be run at either the CCI3*-S or CCI4*-S level at Carolina International. Bromont will use the CCI3*-L for this program. Riders can apply for one or both competitions. Applications are due on Feb. 19 and can be accessed at https://athletes.usef.org.
EN will bring you coverage of the North American Futures Team Challenge at both Carolina International and Bromont as the USEF Eventing High Performance Program seeks to “create a culture of competitiveness.”
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