US Dressage Federation to Launch National Championships in 2013

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LEXINGTON, Kentucky, Dec. 4–The U.S. Dressage Federation announced Sunday it will launch head-to-head championships of all levels for adult amateurs and open riders from Training through Grand Prix beginning in 2013.

The USDF said its Board of Governors approved the championship of head-to-head competition for Adult Amateur and Open riders at Training Level through Grand Prix in the Fall of 2013 at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky. U.S. national levels are at Training, 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th.

Qualification will be through the USDF Regional Dressage Championships in the nine geographic regions that make up the organization that will celebrate its 40th anniversary in the first year of the national championships.

USDF President George Williams described the decision as an “exciting day for American dressage and, in particular, out adult amateur competitors.

The first formal discussions within the USDF about a national championship began 20 years ago, he said.

Few details were released, including how the USDF national championships would fit with national championships organized by the U.S. Equestrian Federation, the governing body of horse sports in the nation, at Intermediaire and Grand Prix, as well as the North American Junior & Young Rider Championships. The USEF national championships are also typically used as the final selection competitions for U.S. teams competing at Olympics and World Equestrian Games at big tour and the Pan American Games at small tour.

The current USEF national championships are restricted to U.S. citizens while the USDF regional championships are open to competitors of all nationalities. It was not known whether the USDF national championships would also be open to all competitors.