Now in their tenth year, the Nutrena/U.S. Eventing Association’s American Eventing Championships are beginning a three-year stint at the Texas Rose Horse Park in Tyler, Texas.
Kathy Brunson and her daughter, Kim, have transformed the horse park from a run-down farm to a multi-discipline show facility over the last several years. This year, in addition to hosting the AECs, the Brunsons have brought advanced level eventing to Area V, hosting the first-ever advanced division at their Texas Rose Horse Park Horse Trials in March.
Tyler, located halfway between Dallas and Shreveport, La., is known as “The Rose Capital of the World” for its beautiful rose gardens and countryside. And the Brunsons strive to make the facility competitor-friendly and spare no detail. They’re hoping to bring some Texas hospitality to competitors at this year’s AECs, whether they’re local riders or have journeyed from across the country.
To read more about the Brunsons and their vision for the Texas Rose Horse Park, see the July 15 & 22, 2013, issue of The Chronicle of the Horse, and be sure to check back all weekend long at chronofhorse.com for coverage of all the action.
The 2013 AECs By The Numbers
84 –Average temperature in degrees Fahrenheit in Tyler, Texas, in September.
1,700 – Acres the Texas Rose Horse Park sits on.
4 – Olympians competing—Hawley Bennett-Awad (Canada), Leslie Law (England), Kyle Carter (Canada) and Clayton Fredericks (Australia).
15 – Championships will be awarded.
48 – New jumps were added to the Texas Rose Horse Park’s cross-country course, designed by Mark Phillips.
430 – Number of horses entered.
376 – Number of riders entered.
129 – Riders from Texas, giving it the largest representation. The next largest contingent of riders come from Colorado (30), Georgia (24), Illinois (19) and Florida (15).
121 – Number of entries in the novice division, making it the largest, followed by beginner novice (107), training (96), prelim (68), intermediate (25), and advanced (13).
2004 – The year of the first AECs, which were held in Southern Pines, N.C., at the Carolina Horse Park. There was $50,000 of prize money offered and 415 horses started. The championships stayed there for another two years before heading to Lamplight Equestrian Center in Wayne, Ill., from 2007-2009. Beginning in 2010, Chattahoochee Hills hosted the championships in Fairburn, Ga.
2006 – The year a beginner novice division was added.
2008 – The year most of the cross-country was canceled due to significant rainfall in Wayne, Ill.
2010 – The year that a mandatory outing was held in conjunction with the advanced division for all short listed horses and riders hoping for a spot on the Land Rover U.S. Eventing Team for the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games (Ky.).