ANRC National Equitation Championships

April 14 – 16, 2023

Highfields Event Center, Aiken, SC

Championships Overview

The ANRC National Equitation Championships are an invitational competition for collegiate and junior teams that pay an annual ANRC team membership fee. There is no need to qualify.

The ANRC National Equitation Championships are traditionally held on the second or third week in April. The championship for each group is held on the same weekend and judged separately. In each championship, teams may compete in a 3′ National Division or a 2’6″ Novice Division. Participants may compete on a school-owned horse, a leased horse, or a privately owned horse. NEW THIS YEAR! Colleges and High Schools may now field multiple teams in each division.


College or High School/Organization Team Membership

A college or high school/organization can join ANRC by paying a membership fee of $250. Each college or high school/organization member may field multiple teams in each division. For example: Shady Oak Farm Gold National or Novice Team; Shady Oak Farm Silver National or Novice Team. Each team can have a minimum of two riders or a maximum of three riders. (when there is a team of three riders, the lowest score is dropped in each competition phase). If a college or high school/organization cannot field a team of two riders, they pay a membership fee of $125 for an individual entry. ANRC reserves the right to limit entries based on maximum capacity of host facility. (Note: a recent change allows Junior Novice teams at 2’6″ to do simple changes in their medal and derby course).

Championship Format:

The competition is judged and scored on equitation skills and sound horsemanship practices. The highest score in each phase will be awarded to the rider who demonstrates excellence in equitation and produces a smooth, cooperative performance exemplifying quality hunter movement both on the flat and over fences. The scores are added to produce an both individual and team standings. The four phases are described below with a sample video of each mounted phase.

  • A Written test based on riding theory and a selected stable management topic worth 5% of the total score
  • A Flat Phase (includes USEF Hunter Equitation Tests) worth 35% of the total score
  • An Equitation Derby Course (natural jumps in a field) worth 30% of the total score
  • A Hunter Seat Equitation Medal Course worth 30% of the total score

Throughout the year, coaches are encouraged to incorporate forward riding theory and sound stable management practices to improve the rider’s mounted and unmounted horsemanship skills. Students are encouraged to set personal goals as well as team goals, study ANRC materials, practice fundamentals, and apply knowledge.

The primary goal of ANRC is to promote the American System of Forward Riding. This system is based on the idea that the rider’s position or seat, control, and schooling of the horse are integral parts. The training objectives seek to develop the horse’s agility and strength under the weight of the rider, and achieve balance of the horse independently of the rider’s aids. Emphasis is placed on the rider’s ability to achieve a cooperative performance, allowing the horse to move forward freely with connected movement, while remaining calm and alert.