New to NAYC

The process may be bewildering for those qualifying and competing for the first time. The following information may help as you navigate through the process.

NAYC is subject to the rules and restrictions of the FEI and is rated as a CDIOJY, which means it is one of the highest rated FEI competitions specifically designated for these age groups.

This competition is often the first occasion for a young competitor to ride on a team and teaches how to achieve a common goal through cooperation. The importance of teamwork and sportsmanship cannot be over emphasized.

Qualifying to ride at this competition is an accomplishment in itself. However, many riders have serious aspirations to make the top 12, or maybe win a medal. Some riders have a goal to someday compete on an international level, and the results of this competition may help them toward that goal. Although this should be a fun and rewarding experience for all riders, the serious nature of this competition needs to be realized.

FEI Junior/Young Rider – a Unique Group of Equestrians:
The FEI defines a person as a Junior Rider in NAJC from the beginning of the calendar year he/she turns 14 through the end of the year he/she turns 18. Young Riders are eligible for NAYRC from the beginning of the calendar year he/she turns 16 through the end of the calendar year he/she turns 21.

Region:
For FEI purposes for this competition, every USDF Region within the United States is considered a "country." FEI requires there be at least one other international team entered (i.e. Canada or Mexico) in order for the competition to be considered an International Championship. Each "country" may enter one Junior and one Young Rider team with a maximum of four athletes at each level.

Regional Coordinator/Chef d’Equipe – Two Key Players as Team Leaders and Managers:
Each USDF Region has a Regional Coordinator who may or may not also serve as the Chef d’Equipe. Find yours here. The coordinator is your first line of communication. They can answer any questions about the application and qualifying process, the competitions, and how to prepare for your trip. Working together, the Regional Coordinator and the Chef will:

  • Prior to the competition: Handle all entries for the region’s teams, assist teams in coordinating fund raising and team uniforms, arrange for horse transportation and stabling needs, arrange for athlete housing and many other things.
  • During the competition: Represent and be present with the team and/or individuals throughout all aspects of the event, represent the team at meetings, draws and all dealings with FEI officials and many other things.

The Role of USDF:
USDF is the national affiliate for dressage. For NAYC, USDF serves in a managing role for all the teams that will represent each of the nine regions. USDF accepts applications, communicates with athletes, tracks qualifying scores, works with all regional coordinators and chefs, submits "approved" entries to USEF, and works with USEF to gather needed information, among other things. Any questions should be directed to nayc@usdf.org.

The Role of USEF:
USEF (United States Equestrian Federation) is the governing body for our sport. For NAYC, USEF serves as the event organizer.

CDI/Y/J:
Athletes may earn qualifying scores at any CDI/Y/J event held within the qualifying period. CDI scores are not automatically counted; riders must report their scores by submitting a CDI Report Form within the designated time period.

Fundraising:
Fundraising activities and sponsorships help to defray the cost of travel and competing at NAYC. All NAYC applicants are expected to participate in the fundraising efforts of the region in support of the team. Each region will have different activities and athletes should contact their Regional Coordinator for fundraising and sponsorship ideas and questions. Money raised may not be designated for any one individual, but must go into the region's fund to be used by all team members.

If you are interested in qualifying for NAYC, the first thing you need to do is contact your Regional Coordinator and inform them of your interest. They are your first line of communication. They cannot help you or answer your questions if they do not know you are interested in the NAYC event.

Find Your Regional Coordinator

Athletes, coaches, and parents should read through this document carefully. This is your guide. If you have any questions about the information found in the selection procedures, please contact your Regional Coordinator or the USDF.

Selection Procedures

All athletes, coaches, and parents should review the Safe Sport Policy. The intent of this initiative is to ensure a safe and positive environment for the equestrian community by preserving the safety and well-being of the athletes. As of January 1, 2019 every USEF adult member (18 years of age or older) with a Competing Membership must complete USEF's Safe Sport Training. Those who do not complete the training will be ineligible to participate in USEF activities, including competitions. The Parents Training Course is free for equestrian athletes of all ages and helps parents ensure their children have a positive and safe sport experience.

All athletes should review the Clean Sport Policy. When you are competing under FEI rules, you (the human athlete) are subject to random, in-competition and out-of-competition drug testing. It is your responsibility to know if you are taking any medications on the FEI Prohibited Substance List. All horses that are registered with the FEI or USEF shall be subject to in-competition testing as well.

The following information details the type of memberships necessary for the rider, horse, and owner. USDF and USEF Memberships for the rider, horse, and owner, must be in place and current in order to earn a qualifying score.

FEI Registrations and Passport must be complete and FEI validated in accordance with FEI rules. It is strongly encouraged for athletes to complete and FEI validate horse passports in the beginning of the qualifying process. Completing your FEI Passport can be time consuming and can take six weeks or longer to complete, so be sure to start this process early. Please be reminded that FEI Passports may take at least two business days for processing after they are received by the Federation. The Federation strongly urges all individuals to send the FEI passport with tracking. If membership and passport requirements are not met, this will jeopardize your opportunity to move forward in the selection process. NO EXCEPTIONS.

Rider Membership
  • USDF:Must be a Participating Member in good standing in order to earn a qualifying score, and from the time of application through the conclusion of the Event.
  • USEF:Must be an active competing member in good standing in order to earn a qualifying score, and from the time of application through the conclusion of the Event.
  • FEI Registration:Must be completed in accordance with FEI rules. The Federation strongly encourages the registrations are complete by the end of the Qualifying period.
Horse Registration
  • USDF:Must be Lifetime Registered in order to earn a qualifying score, and from time of application through the conclusion of the Event.
  • USEF:Must be recorded with USEF pursuant to USEF GR1102 and in good standing under USEF rules from the first day of their first qualifying competition, and from the time of application through the conclusion of the Event.
  • FEI Registration:Must be completed in accordance with FEI rules. The Federation strongly encourages the registrations are complete by the end of the Qualifying period.
  • FEI Passport:Must be completed and FEI validated in accordance with FEI rules. It is strongly encouraged for athletes to complete and FEI validate horse passports in the beginning of the qualifying process. Please be reminded that FEI Passports may take at least two business days for processing after they are received by the Federation. The Federation strongly urges all individuals to send the FEI passport with tracking.
Owner Membership
  • USDF:Must be a Participating Member or Business Member in good standing at the time of application through the conclusion of the Event, in order for the horse to earn a qualifying score.
  • USEF:Must be a member in good standing for the horse to earn a qualifying score, and from the time of application through the conclusion of the Event.
NAJC Age
  • Rider: Born on or between 1/1/2002 and 12/31/2006
  • Horse: Must be a minimum of six years old
NAYRC Age
  • Rider: Born on or between 1/1/1999 and 12/31/2004
  • Horse: Must be a minimum of seven years old
Passport Information

Note: ponies and mules are ineligible. Horses must be over 149 cm with shoes (FEI Rules for Dressage Events, Article 422.1)

Once you have talked with your Regional Coordinator and thoroughly read through the selection procedures and you have decided to pursue qualifying for NAYC, you should begin planning your competition year. Athletes may compete in qualifying competitions in any region. An athlete/horse combination is limited to competing in one qualifier in the same location in a seven day period. CDI-Y/Js are exempt from this requirement.

Qualifying Period: August 1, 2019 – June 22, 2020 unless otherwise determined by February 1, 2020.

Qualifying scores may be earned at:

  • Designated USEF/NAYC Qualifying Competitions within the qualifying period. Check the qualifying calendar link below for a list of shows in your region.
  • Any CDI/Y/J, held within the United States or any other country that offers the FEI Young Rider Tests and FEI Junior Tests within the designated qualifying period. CDI/Y/J scores are calculable at the option of the athlete and will only be computed into the athlete/horse’s overall average upon receipt of a USEF CDI & Championship Report Form within the specified deadline stated on the form. Scores submitted late will not be accepted. It is the sole responsibility of the athlete to ensure that qualifying CDI scores for this program are accurately presented to USEF and on time. All athletes competing in CDI/Y/J competitions and/or the NAYC will be required to pay International High Performance (IHP) fees per USEF GR207 at the time of entry.
    • Scores earned at the USEF Young Rider Dressage National Championship or USEF Junior Dressage National Championship can be used as optional qualifying scores and are reportable under the same rules as a CDI/Y/J if within the qualifying period
  • FEI Junior and FEI Young Riders may also earn qualifying scores in their FEI division USEF/USDF Regional Championship classes in the FEI Team Test. This is only applicable for those qualified to compete in the Regional Championship classes. Qualifying information for Regional Championships can be found on the USDF website. In order for these scores to count, scores must be reported by athletes via the CDI & Championship Report Form by the deadlines as indicated on the form.
    • In cases where the USDF Regional Championship is already a designated NAYC/USEF Qualifying Competition, scores earned in FEI Junior and FEI Young Rider Qualifying classes are automatically recorded. This means that an athlete may report their score from the Regional Championship Jr and/or YR Team Championship class(es) as an additional (second) team score.
Qualifying Competition Calendars

The required scores needed to qualify are as follows. One set of qualifying scores (one team and one individual) must be earned during the spring season (January 1, 2020 – June 22, 2020):

  • Three FEI (Junior or Young Rider) Individual test scores
  • Three FEI (Junior or Young Rider) Team test scores
    • A minimum overall average of 62% in the FEI Individual and Team test scores must be attained.
  • One FEI (Junior or Young Rider) Freestyle test score at 65% or above

Certificate of Capability: Once the above score requirements have been earned, the athlete will be notified via email that they are now eligible to submit the Certificate of Capability. This certificate certifies that the athlete/horse combination has earned a minimum overall average of 62.000% attributed by a panel of two (2) or more USEF ‘S’ or FEI Judges, in the FEI Team Test and FEI Individual Test at three different designated USEF/NAYC qualifying competitions. In addition, they must earn, at least one (1) score of 65.000% in the FEI Freestyle.

  • This certificate is submitted online. The athlete can still earn additional qualifying scores after submitting the certificate. We recommend submitting the certificate as soon as you earn it, even if you are not done competing in qualifying events.

Dropped Scores: If an athlete/horse combination competes in more than three designated USEF/NAYC Qualifying Competitions, the lowest team score and the lowest individual score will be dropped (regardless of whether or not these scores were earned in the same competition).

  • Only ONE team and ONE individual score will be dropped. For example, if you compete in five qualifying competitions, the highest four team and four individual scores will count. If you compete in six qualifying competitions, the highest five team and five individual scores will count.

Please refer to USEF Rules pertaining to dress, saddlery, schooling, and warm-up at qualifying events.

Scores and standings will be posted to the USDF website. It is the athlete’s responsibility to verify the accuracy of these standings. Errors must be reported no less than five business days prior to the NAYC nominated entry deadline. Your scores will not be visible on the USDF website until your application has been submitted and processed.

Percentages are carried out to the third decimal point with numbers of five (5) and above rounded up (63.4555%=63.456%). It is the responsibility of the athlete to verify the accuracy of the standings posted on the USDF website. USDF is not responsible for inaccurately reported or illegible scores. If any errors are detected, athletes are encouraged to contact the USDF office immediately at (859) 971-2277 or nayc@usdf.org. Errors must be reported no less than five (5) business days prior to the NAYC nominated entry deadline. At the end of the qualifying period, any ties in overall averages on the final ranking list will be broken according to the athlete/horse combination that achieved the highest average of the FEI Team Test scores.

NAYC Application: Participants must submit an electronic application to USDF, with the appropriate fee per application. This application may be submitted before or after qualifying scores have been earned. Application deadlines and fees are:

  • First Deadline: Applications and fees submitted online on or prior to March 17, 2020 will be charged $50 per application.
  • Second Deadline: Applications and fees submitted online between March 18, 2020 and April 28, 2020 will be charged $100 per application.
  • Final Deadline: Applications and fees submitted online between April 29, 2020 and May 12, 2020 will be charged an application fee of $300 per application.
  • NO APPLICATIONS WILL BE ACCEPTED AFTER MAY 12, 2020.
Apply Here

Certificate of Domicile: Within five (5) business days of submitting your online application, you must submit a Certificate of Domicile. If a rider or legal guardian if the rider is a minor is found to have submitted inaccurate or misinformation or failed to submit the Certificate of Domicile within five (5) business days, the rider may be subject to disqualification from participating in the Event.

  • What is a domicile? A rider may have only one domicile, which is where the rider has his permanent home and where, whenever he is absent, intends to return. A minor’s domicile follows that of the parent or guardian who has lawful custody of the minor (unless the minor is emancipated from their parent/guardian). For purposes of these selection procedures, a minor is any rider that has not yet reached his 18th birthday as of January 1, 2020.
  • What region do I declare for? The Region of each athlete/horse combination is determined by where the athlete is domiciled in the U.S. beginning January 1, 2020, regardless of multiple temporary residences (See domicile definition above. This address must be recorded on the Certificate of Domicile). If a rider’s domicile changes between January 1 and April 1, the rider may submit a request to change his Region, which must be received by the USEF, with a copy sent to USDF no later than 5:00PM Eastern Time on April 1. USEF will issue a decision on the change in Region within a reasonable time of the submission of the request. No requests for changes in Region will be accepted after this date.
Certificate of Domicile USDF Liability Waiver and USEF Code of Conduct: These two forms are mandatory and should be returned to the USDF Office along with the Certificate of Domicile. Liability Waiver Code of Conduct

CDI Report Form: This form is used in order to have your CDI scores count toward NAYC qualifying. Use this form for designated CDI/Y/J competitions and USEF National Young Rider Dressage Championships within the qualifying period. Scores from these competitions are not automatically recorded. These scores will only be computed into the athlete/horse’s overall average upon receipt of the CDI Report Form within the specified deadline stated on the form. Forms submitted late will not be accepted and scores will not count.

  • Between August 1, 2018 and June 4, 2019 this form must be submitted within 10 days of the conclusion of the CDI.
  • Between June 4, 2019 and June 23, 2019 this form must be submitted within 24 hours after the conclusion of the CDI.
CDI Report Form

Additional Horse Form: Additional horses may be added to an already received application at no additional fee through April 30, 2020 by submitting the Additional Horse Form to the USDF Office. Between May 1, 2020 and May 31, 2020 the rider will be required to submit a $50 fee for each added horse. No additional horses may be added to the application after May 31, 2020.

Additional Horse Form

Selection Process: 

  1. USDF will automatically track scores for athlete/horse combinations that are earned at designated USEF/NAYC Qualifying Competitions. CDI/Y/J scores and scores earned in Championships will NOT be automatically calculated into the athlete/horse’s overall average without receipt of a CDI/Y/J & Championship Report Form within the specified deadline stated on the form.
    • Percentages are carried out to the third decimal point with numbers of five (5) and above rounded up (63.4555%=63.456%). It is the responsibility of the athlete to verify the accuracy of the standings posted on the USDF website. USDF is not responsible for inaccurately reported or illegible scores. If any errors are detected, athletes are encouraged to contact the USDF office immediately at (859) 971-2277 or nayc@usdf.org. Errors must be reported no less than five (5) business days prior to the NAYC nominated entry deadline.
    • At the end of the qualifying period, any ties in overall averages on the final ranking list will be broken according to the athlete/horse combination that achieved the highest average of the FEI Team Test scores.
  2. Nominated Entry: By no later than TBD, each Region shall submit a ranked list of applicant athlete/horse combinations, up to eight (8) athletes and horses for each Event (eight (8) for the Young Rider division and eight (8) for the Junior division), to USDF. It is anticipated that the Nominated Entry date will be set a minimum of seven (7) days following the end of the qualifying period.
  3. Definite Entries: After submission of the Nominated Entry but no later than the closing date for the Definite Entries, each Region shall submit their Definite Entries for both the Young Rider and the Junior divisions to USDF in order of the Region’s Final Ranking for each Event. Each Region’s Definite Entries for the Young Rider and the Junior divisions will consist of the three (3) or four (4) applicant athlete/horse combinations named to the “Team.”
    • Reserve athlete/horse combinations are not allowed. In the case of a Region unable to field a complete team for either the Young Rider or the Junior divisions, the Region may send a maximum of two (2) athlete/horse combinations that will compete as Individuals. Regions may not submit individuals in additions to the Team.
    • ANY ATHLETES WHO ARE LISTED ON BOTH THE JUNIOR AND YOUNG RIDER NOMINATED ENTRY OF A REGION MUST DECLARE IN WHICH EVENT THEY WILL PARTICIPATE BY THE DEFINITE ENTRY DEADLINE.
  4. Combining of Regions to Form Teams: If a Region is unable to field a team of at least three (3) athlete/horse combinations, USDF may submit a request to USEF to combine Regions to complete a Team no later than five (5) business days after submission of all U.S. Definite Entries. Once all Definite Entries have been submitted, USEF will make the final decision to combine athlete/horse combinations no later than the Declaration of Starters (FEI Dressage Article 424.1).
  5. Declaration of Starters: Once at the Event site, and after the horse inspection, each Region’s Chef d’Equipe will declare the starting order of the athlete/horse combinations on the Team of three (3) or four (4) athlete/horse combinations in the Team Test for each of the Young Rider and the Junior divisions, as well as the Individuals (maximum of two (2) per Region unable to field a complete team) in accordance with FEI Dressage Article 424.1.

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