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USEF Futures Team Challenge Competitions Announced for 2020

by US Equestrian Communications Department | Feb 3, 2020, 10:45 AM EST

Lexington, Ky. – US Equestrian is pleased to announce the 2020 competitions for the USEF Futures Team Challenge, which will continue to offer eventing athletes the experience of competing in a team environment in the program’s second year. The USEF Futures Team Challenge will return to The Cloud 11~Gavilan North LLC Carolina International CCI and Horse Trial, held March 19-22 in Raeford, N.C., and expand to the West Coast at the Galway Downs International Three-Day Event, held October 29-November 1 in Temecula, Calif.

USEF Futures Team Challenge members walking their cross-country course together along with U.S. Performance Director Erik Duvander in 2019 (Taylor Pence/US Equestrian)

Launched in 2019, the USEF Futures Team Challenge is a key component of the new U.S. Eventing Pathway Program and gives two teams of four athletes the opportunity to compete in a simulated team competition under the guidance of U.S. Performance Director Erik Duvander and U.S. Developing and Emerging Coach Leslie Law. All eventing athletes are eligible to apply for the USEF Futures Team Challenge.

“Last year was a trial of the program and the feedback was super-positive,” explained Duvander. “I found it very valuable because it gave me the opportunity to work with athletes outside the training lists, and it gave those athletes the chance to put themselves forward for this program. We will constantly keep tweaking the program and continue improving it.”

Athletes can submit applications for consideration by the USEF Performance Advisory Team beginning on Monday, February 3. Applications must be submitted no later than Monday, February 24. Following the FEI Eventing Nations Cup™ selection criteria, athletes will be selected based on their results, potential, willingness to learn, and commitment to developing into future team athletes.

“It’s a great opportunity to expose athletes in this country to a team experience,” said Law. “In Europe, athletes get a lot of experience with the Nations Cups, and we’re limited in the U.S. by how much team experience we can give to our athletes. This program aims to give our athletes the same opportunity to get exposure to a team competition. I think it’s really valuable to give our athletes this opportunity so that when we go up against the rest of the world in team competitions, they’ve already had experience in a team environment.”

The Cloud 11~Gavilan North LLC Carolina International CCI and Horse Trial will serve as a USEF Futures Team Challenge competition for the second consecutive year, with the CCI4*-S and CCI3*-S divisions testing the teams.

“The Carolina International is excited to once again host the Futures Team Challenge,” said Jane Murray, Co-Chair of the Carolina International Organizing Committee. “At Carolina we strive to educate and prepare all of our competitors for upcoming long formats and championships; therefore, it is great to align ourselves with an essential development program such as the Futures Team Challenge. We look forward to a rewarding and developmental experience for all athletes involved."

The USEF Futures Team Challenge will expand to the West Coast in 2020 at the Galway Downs International Three-Day Event, with the CCI4*-L and CCI3*-L serving as the team competition divisons.

“The Futures Team Challenge has so many elements of excitement and team-building,” said Robert Kellerhouse, Organizer of the Galway Downs International. “We are looking forward to it paying dividends in the future for our U.S. Eventing Team, as well as providing our community with some incredible competition. All of this is only because of the USEF High Performance efforts to bring the Futures to Galway, and we are really looking forward to making it a huge success.”

For more information about the USEF Futures Team Challenge, contact Christina Vaughn, Director of Eventing Performance and Program Support, at [email protected] or at (859) 225-6917.

Stay up to date on U.S. Eventing by following USA Eventing on Facebook and US Equestrian on Twitter and Instagram. Use #USAEventing.

The 2020 USEF Futures Team Challenge is subject to funding. USEF International High Performance Programs are generously supported by the USET Foundation, USOC, and USEF sponsors and members.