Lexington, Ky. – US Equestrian, in conjunction with the UPHA Board of Directors, has agreed to move the USEF Saddle Seat Adult Amateur Medal Final to the UPHA American Royal National Championship Horse Show starting in 2023. The decision was made to move this Final from the Lexington Junior League Charity Horse Show to the UPHA American Royal National Championship Horse Show to enable the adult amateur riders to have a longer qualification time frame for the 2023 competition year.
The Adult Amateur Final will join the current roster of equitation championships set to occur in 2023 at the American Royal, further highlighting the importance of the saddle seat equitation division.
“We are thrilled to have the USEF Saddle Seat Adult Amateur Medal Final become part of the UPHA American Royal, and we look forward to the growth of this championship in the years ahead,” said Jimmy Robertson, President of UPHA.
The USEF Saddle Seat Medal traces its origins to 1937, when the Van Sinderen Trophy was first awarded to the junior equitation rider who accumulated the most points in American Horse Shows Association medal classes across hunt seat, stock seat, and saddle seat. The disciplines were divided into their own medal classes in 1948, and the Saddle Seat Medal Final in its current form began in 1950.
This will be the 22nd year that the Adult Amateur Medal Final has run. US Equestrian introduced the program and launched the Saddle Seat Adult Amateur Medal Finals in 2001.
New for the 2023 competition year, the USEF Saddle Seat Medal Final and USEF Adult Amateur Medal Final specifications include qualifying criteria for Morgan and Arabian equitation riders to be eligible to compete in the Finals.
“This change will also give other breeds an opportunity to qualify and compete in equitation at the UPHA American Royal without conflicts with their National Championships. Our goal is to grow the saddle seat discipline among our affiliates by offering more opportunities for exhibitors to compete,” said Terri Dolan, USEF Director of National Breeds & Disciplines.
The Lexington Junior League Charity Horse Show will continue to run a qualifying class for both USEF Saddle Seat Medal Finals. For a list of qualifying classes and the qualifying specifications, please visit the Saddle Seat section of USEF.org.
In 2022, a scholarship opportunity was introduced for the USEF Saddle Seat Medal Final. Sally Jackson and Stephens College are proud to bring back the $20,000 scholarship awarded to the winner of the 2023 USEF Saddle Seat Medal Final. The scholarship was created to support students who are committed to continuing their involvement with the American Saddlebred and equine studies. The scholarship awards $20,000 to be used towards educational expenses at Stephens College. For more information on the scholarship, please visit the USEF Saddle Seat Medal page.