With the Nutrena USEA American Eventing Championships only one month away, three of last year’s winners are returning to the 2012 AEC to try and defend their titles. 19 year-old Logan Elliott from Mt. Airy, Maryland won the Junior Beginner Novice division last year at the AEC, aboard Cady O' Daly Michael, a Connemara gelding. She will return to the AEC this year and compete in the Novice Amateur division riding “Michael” once again.
According to Logan, her experience at Chattahoochee Hills last year could not have been better. She and Michael started out the event strong with a dressage score of 28.1. The pair then finished up with a double clear trip in both show jumping and cross-country, finishing in first place. However, the tremendous victory was not the only thing that Logan remembers about the AEC.
“My experience at the AEC last year can only be described as awesome,” Logan said. “Last year, the American Eventing Championships was the biggest show I had ever done with any of my horses. Just being able to compete at this competition was incredible.”
Chattahoochee Hills is regarded as a top notch eventing venue. With 8,000 acres of pastures and woodlands running along the Chattahoochee River, the farm is owned by Olympic event rider, Carl Bouckaert. According to Logan, Chatt Hills is “absolutely beautiful,” and the farm is kept very clean. The rings are very spacious, with plenty of room to move around, and the footing is wonderful. Logan recalls being in awe of the vastness of the farm.
“When we first pulled into Chattahoochee Hills all I could say was, ‘wow, look at this place.’” Logan said.
Seeing the venue at Chatt Hills is not the only neat thing about the AEC. Many competitors enjoy the experience of a large event with great riders from all over the country. According to Logan, part of the fun is meeting new people and learning about their experiences eventing.
“The coolest thing about the AEC that I experienced was being able to meet so many riders from different states,” Logan said. “The girls that were stabled on both sides of me were from Texas and getting to talk to them about their experiences riding was very interesting. Also, just being at an event that big and competing against some of the best horses and riders in my first year eventing was truly amazing.”
With only a few short weeks left, Logan is excited to get back to the AEC. She hopes to have a fun time on Michael and “enjoy every second of the competition.” Her goal is to give a good, consistent ride and have double clean jumping rounds.
“I decided to compete in the AEC again this year because I felt like Michael and I are ready, and because I loved being there last year,” Logan said. “It is such an incredible place and the atmosphere is amazing. I think I would like to go even if I wasn’t competing.”
Best of luck to Logan and Michael, and to all other competitors at the 2012 Nutrena USEA American Eventing Championships presented by Bit of Britain.