Lexington, Ky.—March 5, 2019—After an exceptional inaugural year, the U.S. Hunter Jumper Association is pleased that the AON/USHJA National Championships are set to return to The Las Vegas National, CSI4*-W, November 12-17, 2019, pending approval by US Equestrian. With competition offered from 2-foot Hunters to 1.40m Jumpers, horse-and-rider combinations qualify through their Affiliate or Zones, making this unique Championship a destination for competitors nationwide.
“These Championships blew everyone’s expectations out of the water last year, and we’re on track to do it again in 2019,” said Pat Boyle, competition manager for the Championships. “There is something for everyone here from educational opportunities to FEI competition at the accompanying Las Vegas National; it’s really unlike any other championship offered in the United States, and with the Zone qualifying, it’s accessible for a much broader set of members than other championships.”
As offered in 2018, the AON/USHJA National Championships will feature National Hunter Championships for Amateur Owner Hunters, Junior Hunters, Pony Hunters, Green Hunters, Adult Amateur Hunters and Children’s Hunters. They will also include the USEF/USHJA National Jumper Championships with eight sections of Jumper competition from 1.10m to 1.40m for Junior, Amateur and Open Jumper competitors. The Championships will feature the USHJA Affiliate Championships at fence heights of 2' and 2'6", and the Championships will offer the USHJA National Equitation Championships for riders 14 and under and those 15-17.
This year, the USHJA plans to add to the Championships a USHJA National Hunter Derby, a 3’3” USHJA Hunter Seat Medal class, as well as Performance Hunter 3’3” and 3’6” Championships, a Children’s Pony Hunter Championship, Adult Equitation 3’ Championship, 1.00m USEF/USHJA Low Children’s Jumper Championship, and 1.0m USEF/USHJA Low Adult Amateur Jumper Championship.
“The AON/USHJA National Championships provide members with an end-of-year championship that celebrates everything they have worked for all year,” said Mary Babick, president of the USHJA. “We are thrilled to be back in Las Vegas, and extend a special thank you to our incredible hosts Blenheim Equisports, our management team led by Pat Boyle and to our sponsors and donors for making these championships a truly rewarding and incredible experience to remember.”
Melissa Brandes, VP of Marketing for Blenheim EquiSports, host of The Las Vegas National, positively agreed. "In a joint effort, the Blenheim and USHJA teams came together to make the inaugural championship come to life. And the results exceeded our expectations! We look forward to taking what we started and making year two even bigger and better."
Members qualify largely based on Zone Horse of the Year points or Zone events. Points earned from competitions with a start date from Dec. 1, 2018, to Sept. 13, 2019, will count toward qualifying. Additionally, USHJA Affiliates are invited to send their best 2' and 2'6" horse-and-rider combinations to compete in the Affiliate Championships. Affiliates establish their own criteria for selecting Championship competitors, and all current USHJA Affiliates are invited to send members. Affiliate competitors do not have to be USHJA members.
The Championships are set to take place during The Las Vegas National, CSI4*-W, held at the South Point Hotel, Casino, & Spa's unique Arena & Equestrian Center. The Center offers an exceptional experience where riders and horses stay under one roof and exhibitors can also enjoy the spa, tables and slots, 64 bowling lanes, and nine dining establishments.
USHJA encourages riders and trainers to save the date for these championships and start earning points toward qualifying. Entries will open later this year, and only those who enter are eligible to qualify. Once approved by US Equestrian, more information on qualifying, available sections and entries will be announced.
All details of this competition are subject to US Equestrian approval, which has not yet been granted.
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About the U.S. Hunter Jumper Association
The United States Hunter Jumper Association, as the official hunter/jumper affiliate of the United States Equestrian Federation, is a competition-based sport organization that serves our members through educational programs, awards and recognition, communication and rules. We provide a wide array of programs for all hunter/jumper levels, and we are mindful of the well-being of our equine partners. Additionally, we are committed to preserving the history of our sport and through our Foundation we support charitable and benevolent services. Learn more at ushja.org.