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.

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 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 also 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. We strongly encourage everyone involved in the sport to complete the Safe Sport Training Module.

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. Scores earned while any of these memberships are missing or expired, will not count as qualifying scores for NAYC.

FEI Registrations and Passport must be complete and validated by the end of the qualifying period. Completing your FEI Passport can be time consuming, so be sure to start this process early. If the registrations and passport are not complete by the end of the qualifying period, it will jeopardize your opportunity to move forward in the selection process. NO EXCEPTIONS.

Membership Requirements Passport Information

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

If you have talked with your Regional Coordinator and 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, 2017 – June 18, 2018.

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.
  • Designated CDI/Y/J competitions and USEF National Young Rider Dressage Championships within the qualifying period. These scores are not automatically recorded. These scores will only be computed into the athlete/horse’s overall average upon receipt of a CDI Report Form within the specified deadline stated on the form. Forms submitted late will not be accepted.
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, 2018 – June 11, 2018):

  • Three FEI (Junior or Young Rider) Individual test scores for an average of 62% or above
  • Three FEI (Junior or Young Rider) Team test scores for an average of 62% or above
  • One FEI (Junior or Young Rider) Freestyle test score at 62% 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 62.000% 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.

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:

  • Initial Deadline: Applications submitted on or before May 1, 2018 will be charged $50 per application.
  • Final Deadline: Applications submitted after May 1, 2018 and on or before May 15, 2018 will be charged $300 per application.
Apply Here

The following forms are MANDATORY and must be received by the USDF Office by the end of the qualifying period:

  • USDF Waiver and Liability Release
  • USEF Code of Conduct
  • Certificate of Capability – This is submitted electronically once 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 62.000% in the FEI Freestyle.

The following forms will be submitted if necessary:

  • Additional Horse Form – additional horses may be added to an application for free until May 1, 2018. Between May 2 and June 1, additional horses may be added for a $50 fee per horse. No additional horses may be added to the application after June 1, 2018.
  • Change of Region Request – must be submitted if an athlete changes permanent residence. No changes will be accepted after May 1, 2018.
  • CDI Report Form – used to submit scores from CDI/Y/J events.

By the FEI Nominated Entry deadline (date TBD), each Region will submit a ranked list of up to eight applicant athlete/horse combinations for each event (8 for NAYRC and 8 for NAJC). Ties in overall averages will be broken according to the athlete/horse combination with the highest average FEI Team Test score.

By the FEI Definite Entry deadline (date TBD), each Region will submit their Definite Entries in order of the Region’s final ranking. Definite Entries for NAJC and NAYRC will consist of the four athlete/horse combinations named to the Region’s “Team.” There are no reserve athlete/horse combinations.

For withdraw and substitution procedures please refer to the Selection Procedures.

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