Virginia Horse Center to Host First FEI North American Junior Championships for Dressage along with FEI North American Young Riders' Championships

For Immediate Release
Friday, January 6, 2006

Lexington, KY - The United States Equestrian Federation (USEF), in conjunction with the United States Dressage Federation (USDF), is pleased to announce that the Virginia Horse Center in Lexington, Virginia, will host the inaugural FEI North American Junior Championships for Dressage in 2006, along with the traditional FEI North American Young Riders' Championships, August 1-6, 2006.

The 2006 FEI North American Young Riders' Championships will continue to honor its tradition as the premier competition for young riders, ages 16-21, in the three equestrian disciplines of eventing, dressage, and show jumping. In addition, the recently approved 2006 FEI North American Junior Championships for Dressage will take place, allowing junior dressage competitors the same thrills of competition in an FEI-team format as the young riders. This new event provides a second competitive opportunity for juniors in 2006, and follows the USEF Junior Dressage Team Championship which will be held in Pebble Beach, California, July 6-9, 2006.  (For more information on this event, sponsored by Collecting Gaits Farm, the Dutta Corporation, and Performance Sales International visit

The two FEI dressage championships are comprised of dressage young riders competing at the FEI Young Rider Level (equivalent to Prix St. Georges), and juniors competing at the FEI Junior Level (equivalent to Fourth Level).  Each USDF region will be given an opportunity to field a team of up to four juniors and a team of up to four young riders.  Riders must qualify throughout a designated qualifying period according to criteria jointly approved by USDF and USEF, in order to be named to his/her respective regional teams.  Only the top thirty-six young riders and top thirty-six juniors in the country are invited to compete for the United States in these FEI dressage championships.

In addition to dressage riders from the nine USDF regions, this event also includes riders from United States Equestrian Federation zones (for show jumping), and United States Eventing Association areas (for eventing), as well as riders from all provinces of Canada, Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean Islands, and Bermuda. Teams and individuals are invited to compete via each country's national equestrian federation. The broad range of competitors attending the championships produces an atmosphere much like our High Performance riders experience on the international scene.

The United States Dressage Federation will field teams for both of these dressage championships, and will make qualifying criteria and selection procedures available in January 2006. For further information, please visit the USDF website at, or contact Sheila Forbes, USDF Director of Programs at (859) 271-7879, or at .

Founded in 1973, the United States Dressage Federation is a nonprofit membership organization dedicated to education, recognition of achievement, and promotion of dressage. For more information about USDF membership or programs, visit, email, or call (859) 971-2277.