The U.S. Eventing Association board of governors has voted to enter into contract negotiations with Galway Downs Equestrian to host the 2025 USEA American Eventing Championships at Galway Downs in Temecula, California, with an option for another one-year term in 2029.
The board also approved the entering of contract negotiations with Equestrian Events Inc. and Kentucky Classique to host the AEC at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington for the years 2026, 2027 and 2028.
The USEA sent out a request for expressions of interest in October 2023 to host the AEC for the years 2025-2028 with a preference of locating a western venue for the 2025 championships and a more central location for the years 2026-2028. Upon review, the team at Galway Downs and the conjoined teams of EEI and Kentucky Classique checked all the boxes to enter contract negotiations. The USEA has begun negotiating final terms with the organizing groups at both locations for the 2025-2028 AEC and hopes to complete that process within the next few months.
The dates for the 2025-2028 AEC are planned to be as follows:
- 2025: Tuesday, Aug. 26—Sunday, Aug. 31, at Galway Downs in Temecula, California.
- 2026: Tuesday, Aug. 25—Sunday, Aug. 30, at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington.
- 2027: Tuesday, Aug. 31—Sunday, Sep. 5, at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington.
- 2028: Tuesday, Aug. 22—Sunday, Sep. 3, at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington.
“Galway Downs is excited to bring the 2025 USEA American Eventing Championships to the West Coast,” said Robert Kellerhouse, Galway Downs equestrian facility manager. “We wish to thank to the USEA for the opportunity and are looking forward to working together with them in furtherance of a successful event.”
Galway Downs is a premier multi-purpose equestrian facility. Spanning over 240 acres, Galway Downs boasts 400 permanent stalls, a 1-mile race track, a 5/8 mile training track, 14 arenas for training and competition, 15 miles of trails, 49 RV hook-ups, and numerous other amenities that make it a destination for equestrians of every discipline from across the country. Galway Downs successfully hosts competitions for multiple disciplines throughout the year, including hunter/jumper, dressage and eventing. Galway Downs was the host of the 2023 USEF CCI2*-L and USEF CCI4*-L Eventing National Championships and the 2023 USEF Eventing Young Rider National Championships.
“We are beyond excited for the AEC to make its debut at Galway Downs in 2025,” said USEA CEO Rob Burk. “The USEA board of governors continue to make it very clear that they want all of our members across the country to have access to the AEC. Robert Kellerhouse and his team at Galway Downs Equestrian are committed to creating an AEC experience unlike any other, and we have full faith that they will truly make this a destination event for eventers of all levels. We look forward to working collaboratively with their team to put on another great championship for our members.”
After several successful years of having the AEC at the Kentucky Horse Park, the USEA is thrilled to enter negotiations for the championships to return there for a three-year term.
“EEI is grateful for the trust that the USEA places in EEI and Kentucky Classique to consistently deliver top-notch championships,” said Erin Woodall, Executive Director of EEI. ”We eagerly anticipate providing competitors across all levels of competition with a unique and unforgettable experience.”
“We at Kentucky Classique value our partnership with USEA and EEI,” said Mary Fike with Kentucky Classique. “The cooperation between these three entities has proven a seamless experience for all involved, and we look forward to seeing the AEC flourish during this next phase of our partnership.”
“Returning to the Kentucky Horse Park for the AEC was an easy decision for the USEA board of governors,” Burk said. “Our partners at EEI and Mary Fike have a wonderful working relationship with the USEA staff and have had clear examples of success in hosting these championships in previous years with record entry numbers. We look forward to working with their teams, once again, to provide an outstanding championship experience for the years 2026, 2027 and 2028.”
The Kentucky Horse Park maintains 600 acres of cross-country courses, 1,200 permanent stalls with accessibility to additional temporary stalls, and world-class arenas including the iconic Rolex Stadium. The Kentucky Horse Park was home to the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games and hosts the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event every year in April, which is also organized by EEI. The Kentucky Horse Park was the host site for the AEC in 2019, 2021 and 2023 and will also host the 2024 championships.
About The USEA American Eventing Championships
The USEA American Eventing Championships is the pinnacle of the sport at the national levels. Held annually, the best junior, adult amateur and professional competitors gather to vie for national championship titles from beginner novice to advanced. This ultimate test of horse and rider draws hundreds of combinations from around the country to compete for fabulous prizes, a piece of the substantial prize money, and the chance to be named the national champion at their respective levels. The 2021 AEC garnered over 1,000 entries and now stands as the largest eventing competition in North American history. The 2024 USEA American Eventing Championships will be held Aug. 27—Sept. 1 at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington. Click here to learn more about the USEA American Eventing Championships.