Next Generation of US Champion Riders Compete at USEA American Eventing Championships

Photo courtesy of Land Rover.

(MILL SPRING, NC) – September 4, 2016 – Future US champion horse and rider eventing combinations took center stage at the 2016 Nutrena USEA American Eventing Championships (AEC) presented by Land Rover, held at the stunning Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC), over four days from August 31st to September 4th, 2016.

Featuring over 600 riders from across 38 US states, competing on 690 horses, the AEC provides riders of all ages and levels, from the Beginner Novice through the Advanced level, the chance to compete in the only National Championships of its kind. Amateur and junior riders aged from just 12 years old graced the massive stage of the George H. Morris Arena for 18 divisional finals throughout the weekend, which were followed by jubilant award presentations and unrelenting smiles.

Created as a stepping stone for amateurs to get a taste of competing at the top level and experience world-class facilities, the Championship provides the perfect environment for developing the next generation of equestrian athletes. The incredible facilities of the TIEC, comprising of 12 all-weather rings, a covered arena and 1,200 stalls provided an experience that many of the competitors will treasure as lifelong memories.

Annabelle Kress aged 12 from Pennsylvania, winner of Junior Beginner Novice Under 14 Division, who was competing in her first National Championships, said: “My horse was a superstar. He didn’t question anything and I’m just really happy with him overall because he was so willing to do his job. I think even qualifying to come here is amazing. I’m so lucky that I even qualified and that I did so well is just insane.”


Ryan Wood took both first and second place honors in the Adequan Advanced AEC Gold Cup Final after three days of top eventing competition against many of the leading US eventing riders, including Buck Davidson, Lauren Kieffer, Allison Springer, Lynn Symansky and 2016 U.S. Olympic Eventing Team member Boyd Martin. Riding 10-year-old Powell, Ryan Wood completed on a score of 38.2, and 38.9 on his second-placed horse Woodstock Bennett, with Doug Payne on 41.5 in third riding Vandiver.

The Advanced Final saw 34 starters take to the Captain Mark Phillips designed cross-country course on day two of the competition, with 27 going clear jumping. Doug Payne leapt from 10th position after dressage into second place heading into the final show jumping phase, but Ryan Wood held on to his top spot.

A delighted Ryan Wood said, “It’s pretty awesome to be National Champion – I am pretty lucky to have pulled off both first and second place in the Advanced Final – it hasn’t quite sunk in yet. The organizers and Tryon have done an amazing job – I don’t think there is anyone going home from this competition disappointed.”

To learn more about the Nutrena USEA American Eventing Championships presented by Land Rover, please visit:


Deb Sandford
Nat’l PR Comms & Events Manager
Jaguar Land Rover
North America, LLC

Carly Weilminster
Press Officer

Shelby Allen
Communications Assistant

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