New to the North American Youth Championships

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 an FEI Championship and subject to the rules and restrictions of the FEI. As an FEI Championship, it is the highest rated FEI competition specifically designated for these age groups in North America.

This competition is often the first occasion for a youth athlete to ride on a team and teaches the importance of teamwork and sportsmanship.

Qualifying to ride at this competition is an accomplishment in itself. However, many athletes have serious aspirations to make the top 12 or win a medal. Athletes who compete at NAYC, may go on to compete in Europe or on Championship teams and see this as a steppingstone to future success.

FEI Childrens/Junior/Young Rider – a Unique Group of Equestrians
The FEI defines a person as a Childrens Rider in NACh from the beginning of the calendar year he/she turns 12 through the end of the year he/she turns 14. Junior Riders are eligible for 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.

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

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


Athletes may earn qualifying scores at any CDI/Y/J/Ch 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 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.

Safe Sport Policy SafeSport Training

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.

USEF Clean Sport Athlete Letter on Clean Sport

The criteria and membership information for the rider, horse, and horse owner can be found in Page 1 of the Selection Procedures.

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.

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. Information on the qualifying process can be found on Pages 2-5 of the Selection Procedures.

Qualifying Competition Calendars

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.

Junior Score/Standings Young Rider Scores/Standings

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 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:

  • Applications and fees submitted online on or prior to TBD, at 11:59 p.m. ET, will be charged $50 per application.
  • Applications and fees submitted online between TBD and TBD, at 11:59 p.m. ET, will be charged $100 per application.
  • Applications and fees submitted online between TBD and TBD, at 11:59 p.m. ET, will be charged an application fee of $300 per application.
  • No applications will be accepted after TBD, at 11:59 p.m. ET
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, 2024.

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, 2024, 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

USDF Liability Waiver is mandatory and should be returned to the USDF Office along with the Certificate of Domicile.

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/Ch 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.

CDI Report Form
Additional Horse Form

Additional horses may be added to an already received application at no additional fee through TBD, at 11:50 p.m. ET, by submitting the Additional Horse Form to the USDF Office. Between TBD and TBD, at 11:59 p.m. ET, the rider will be required to submit a $50 fee for each added horse. No additional horses may be added to the application after TBD at 11:50 p.m. ET.

Additional Horse Form
Information on the selection process can be found on Pages 4-6 of the Selection Procedures.