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Many events hold only “Open” divisions where professionals and amateurs compete in one division. As a service to our amateur members, the USEA has established a system to recognize amateurs who are not always able to earn qualifications for the American Eventing Championships (AEC) or earn enough points for the USEA Year-End Award Leaderboards. While we have many amateurs who are competitive in the Open divisions, our hope is that more of our amateurs will receive an opportunity to qualify for the designated Amateur or Junior divisions at the AEC.
For divisions that are not designated as Amateur or Junior, the USEA will 'pull out' the professionals and upgrade the amateurs, Young Adult amateurs, and Juniors in placing. For example, if an amateur rider who has declared their amateur status on their USEA membership and a 13 year-old Junior rider place 4th and 5th respectively behind three professional riders, they will be upgraded to 1st and 2nd respectively and receive leaderboard points for 1st and 2nd. They will also have the opportunity to use their 1st and 2nd placings to qualify for the AEC.
This is for leaderboard and AEC qualifying purposes only, and will not change the official results of an event. Any riders that are 19 and older and have not declared amateur status will still receive the original points and placings they have earned.
Everyone deserves a chance to compete equally with their peers, and event organizers do their best to place riders into fair divisions. To make this easier for organizers, please remember to designate your preferred divisions (Amateur, Rider, Horse, Young horse, Open, or Championship) on the “Eligible Section” at the top of the USEA Entry Form.
This upgrade to placings does not guarantee AEC qualification, riders and horses must still meet all of the qualifying criteria. Please check the List of AEC Qualified Horses and List of AEC Qualified Riders if you are unsure of your qualification status.
If you have questions about your amateur declaration, please check your status by logging into the USEA Online Services or contact the USEA Membership Department at 703-779-0440 (1).
The USEA Amateur & Junior Upgrade Placing/Points formula is not applied toward the Overall Leader Board or to any Horse Leaderboard category.
Junior Upgrade Placing/Points (JR)
• Applies only to those 18 (to the end of the calendar year turning 18) and younger, participating in non-Junior/Young Rider designated divisions.
• Points apply only toward the “Junior” Leaderboard, having met all other eligibility requirements.
• Placings will apply toward AEC Junior division qualifications, having met all other eligibility requirements.
• Upgrade placing/points is determined by the placing of non-amateurs in the division, not age of the rider.
Amateur Upgrade Points (AM)
• Applies to those who have declared Amateur Status with the USEA for the current competition year.
• Points apply only toward the “Amateur” Leaderboard, having met all other eligibility requirements.
• Placings will apply toward AEC Amateur division qualifications, having met all other eligibility requirements.
Young Adult Rider Upgrade Points/Placings (YA)
• Applies only to those from the beginning of the calendar year turning 19 to the end of the calendar year turning 21and have declared Amateur Status during the current competition year, participating in non-Young Rider designated divisions.
• Points do NOT apply to any leaderboard category at any level because the Young Adult Rider Leaderboards are based solely on a rider’s age, not amateur status.
• Placings apply toward AEC “Amateur” or “Junior/Young Rider” division qualifications, having met all other eligibility requirements.