The Adequan/FEI North American Junior and Young Rider Championships is on the hunt for a new home.
After taking place at the Kentucky Horse Park from 2009 to 2015, the NAJYRC moved to the Colorado Horse Park in Parker last year, but the U.S. Equestrian Federation will seek a new host for the 2017 and 2018 editions of the event.
“We just want to see what our options are and make sure we’re holding the best championships that we can for those athletes and that we’re doing it in a viable format,” said Mark Coley, director of membership and events for USEF. “One of the things we were looking at was all the opportunities out there, and Young Riders, in the current format and looking toward the future, there could be better ways to do it.”
Five disciplines comprise the NAJYRC: dressage, endurance, eventing, show jumping and para-dressage. Traditionally, all the championships have taken place in one location, but Coley said that could change, as prospective venues may apply to host one, a few, or all of the championships.
“We had meetings with different affiliate leaders, and we got feedback from individuals involved at Young Riders—chefs, coaches, people who have done it for years, and people who were doing it for the first time—and looked at the event as a whole,” Coley said. “We decided to open it up to make sure that we can keep the competition at a level that is still valuable to the youth athletes and that it can fulfill the needs of each of the disciplines to help the riders develop.”
This could lead to the championships occurring on different dates throughout a season of finals at different sites.
“Each of the disciplines have different ideal timeframes, so it depends on what bids we get and what those look like, and once we receive those, we’re going to have a dialogue with those organizers to see how we can make it work,” Coley said. “We do want it to be great for them, but we also need to make sure that, for each of these championships, it’s as special as it can be.”
The NAJYRC began in 1974 as an eventing competition between the United States and Canada. Dressage and show jumping championships were added in 1981 and 1982 for young riders, and the junior championships were added in 2006. Endurance was added in 2011, and para-dressage, the newest event at NAJYRC, joined the lineup last year. As the event has grown, accommodating all the disciplines’ individual needs and schedules has made for increasing logistical challenges.
“We would give preference to keeping them together,” Coley said. “We do think that it’s wonderful holding it in that format, but if there are factors, whether it be dates or scheduling issues, we would look past that aspect if we needed to. We realize that, as times have changed from when Young Riders first started to where we are now, there are so many opportunities that we don’t want this championship to have to feel like it’s not evolving with the current format of the sport.”
USEF is accepting applications from potential host sites through Oct. 11. Interested parties would host for 2017 and 2018.
“Beyond that, we’ll look at the success of the event and feedback from competitors, coaches and leadership and see if that’s something we want to continue with, or if we need to change the path again,” Coley said.
Interested parties may contact Coley at firstname.lastname@example.org for a copy of the bid packet.