Breaking Down the Basics: Eventing at Rebecca Farm
Paulina Crum, Kalispell Summer Assistant
The Event at Rebecca Farm is returning to the Flathead Valley July 24 - 28. Residents might think of the event as a local staple, but the event is highly regarded globally in the equestrian community, with competitors traveling from across the country and across the world.
This level of competition might be hard to recognize for someone who is not familiar with the sport of “eventing.” Eventing includes dressage, cross-country and show jumping. That said, The Event is not new to me.
At the age of six, I began riding horses and started competing in the discipline of western riding. A few years later, I switched over to eventing and trained under a North American Young Rider Champion and USEA World Cup competitor, Natalie Rooney.
I absolutely fell in love with all three eventing ‘events’: cross-country, dressage, and show jumping. From the age of 9 to today, at the age of 19, I have competed in this sport all over the west coast and am so grateful that The Event at Rebecca Farm is in my hometown.
It took me a few years to learn eventing lingo and fully understand why a label applied to one event and not another, so I can relate to any confusion because I have been there. I am happy to share a little bit of my eventing knowledge that I have gained over the years and how it applies to The Event at Rebecca Farm.
There are so many different acronyms and confusing abbreviations thrown around at events: CCI3*, FEI, USEA, USEF, and NYAC, to name a few. I will define those for you, which should help you understand the level of at this world-class taking place in your backyard.
1. CCI3* or CCI***
“CCI” is the abbreviation of the French phrase “Concours Complet International”, which translates to “International Full Contest”. The three stars that accompany the term designate or identify an event with Intermediate to Advanced riders and horses with previous international experience. Rebecca Farm offers CCI3* entries and is especially appreciated by high profile west coast eventers who have limited access to qualifying events in comparison to their east coast counterparts.
FEI stands for “Federation Equestre Internationale,” which translates from French to English as the “International Federation for Equestrian Sports.” This organization sets international, universal standards for equestrian sports such as eventing. FEI guidelines outline how competitors must qualify for FEI approved and monitored events such as FEI World Cups, The World Equestrian Games, and the Summer Olympic Games. Rebecca Farm is widely known for being a FEI World Cup qualifying event, which draws a new level of national and international competitors.
3. USEA and USEF
USEA is the United States Eventing Association. USEF is the United States Equestrian Federation. These two organizations work together to host and regulate eventing in the United States, from beginner to championship. Rebecca Farm is considered a USEA and USEF gold cup series event, meaning that Rebecca Farm is a stepping-stone to a final USEA and USEF Championship.
NAYC, or the FEI North American Youth Championships, for eventing are being held at Rebecca Farm this year. NAYC is the premier equestrian competition for riders ages 12 to 21 throughout the nation. The championship at Rebecca is the only FEI championship held in the United States.
Rebecca Farm not only attracts rising stars through the NAYC, but also hosts seasoned veterans who are essentially celebrities in the eventing world. One yearly attendee and avid fan of the Rebecca Farm Event is Buck Davidson, a Team USA competitor and USEA Gold Cup winner. He travels to the event from his home base in the Pennsylvania and is among several former Olympians and eventing champions who travel to Rebecca Farm each year to compete at some of the highest levels of equestrian sport.
Now that you know what these abbreviations mean, it will be hard to miss this competition that is only a short drive away from your home. If there were Olympic trials for track, swimming, skiing, or any other sport right in Kalispell, wouldn’t you want to attend? This is the equivalent in the equestrian world!
Watch a six-foot tall horse and rider leap through the Jurassic Park-themed cross-country course, glide across a crystal-clear dressage arena, and fly over rails at the show-jumping course on their way to national and international championships. I'll see you July 24 - 28 at Rebecca Farm!