The Young Rider program is offered through the USEA for riders twenty-one years of age and younger of all levels of riding. The purpose of the program is to encourage our younger members to become involved in the sport of Eventing and continue this involvement into their adult lives. Our organization seeks to promote a love of the sport, as well as an appreciation and understanding of the horse while fostering the wonderful relationship that can develop between horse and rider. Further, involvement in this program helps to instill important moral values, such as responsibility and work ethic, as young riders grow into mature adults.
This program is divided into ten Areas throughout the country, and each Area program is facilitated by a volunteer Young Rider Coordinator. Each coordinator oversees the program for his/her Area and sets up different educational and developmental activities their young riders to attend. Camps, clinics and seminars are usually offered, often with Olympic athletes like Phillip Dutton, Karen O'Connor and Bobby Costello. Each Area Young Rider program is divided into two sub-programs or branches: North American Youth Championships (NAYC) and The Young Rider Advancement Program (YRAP). The NAYC branch focuses on developing and fronting 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 NAYC. The USEA also offers a Young Rider Mentorship Program, which gives young riders the opportunity to learn from experienced professionals.
The historical North American Junior & Young Rider Championship (NAJYRC) Discipline of Eventing now known as the North American Youth Chamionships (NAYC) have taken place at the Event at Rebecca Farm in Kalispell, Mont in 2017 and 2018, and will return in 2019. An athlete may compete as a junior from the beginning of the calendar year in which he reaches the age of 14 until the end of the calendar year in which he reaches the age of 18. An athlete may compete as a Young Rider from the beginning of the calendar year in which he reaches the age of 16 until the end of the calendar year in which he reaches the age of 21. The qualifying period begins January 1, 2017 and ends June 21, 2018. Please visit the NAYC Eventing Page for more information.
Also, please note that for 2018, the FEI has removed the coefficient for Dressage resulting in the following definition of a Minimum Eligibility Requirement (MER):
Dressage: No more than 45 Penalty Points
Cross-Country: 0 Jump Penalties/Time: no more than 75 seconds over the optimum time (30 Penalty Points)
Show Jumping: No more than 16 Jump Penalties
Those aiming for NAJYRC must be aware that as an FEI athlete you are subject to Clean Sport anti-doping regulations for both your horses and yourself as an athlete. You and your horses are very likely to be tested. It is your responsibility to ensure you follow these regulations and a guide can be found at https://www.usef.org/team-usa/sport-excellence-education/clean-sport
NAYC Coaching Requirements: For the CH-J*, Coaches must be certified to ICP Level II. For the CICOY**, Coaches must be certified to ICP Level III. Coaches must also be Safe Sport certified.
Click here to find your Area's Young Rider Coordinator.
USEA Young Rider Leaderboards: competitors must be registered with the USEA Young Rider program at the time of obtaining qualifications.
- To encourage and support the sport of eventing in competitors twenty-one years of age and younger.
- To make young riders aware of educational opportunities - coaching, course walks, clinics, camps, etc.
- To promote good sportsmanship and the facilitation of working as a team member.
- To develop respect for the horse, without whom the sport is not possible.
- To field a team of four intermediate level young riders to represent each area at the two-star level at the North American Junior and Young Riders Championship.
- To field a team of four preliminary level young riders to represent each area at the one-star level at the North American Junior and Young Riders Championship.
- To field teams to compete at other Young Riders national championships.
- To field a national team to represent the United States, through the NGB, at the European Young Riders Championships.
- To develop camaraderie among young riders, thus, hopefully, developing life long friendships and a commitment to the sport, which will be carried on as members of the US Team, volunteers at local events, coaches, trainers, competitors, and consumers of equine products.