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2013 US Festival of Champions, NAJYR Championships go to Lexington, Kentucky

LEXINGTON, Kentucky, Nov. 28–The 2013 Festival of Champions that encompasses six United States national championships from Grand Prix to Pony Riders will be held at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington Oct. 10-13, the U.S. Equestrian Federation announced Wednesday.

The 2013 North American Junior & Young Rider Championships will again be held at the Kentucky Horse Park, July 17-21. The USEF said it has received preliminary approval and is awaiting final allocation from the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) Bureau for the NAJYR championships of dressage, eventing and jumping as well as the Western discipline of reining in both Junior and Young Rider divisions and Endurance for Young Riders.

The Kentucky Dressage Association’s bid to host the first Festival of Champions at the Horse Park was accepted subject to approval by the High Performance Working Group and the Executive Committee.

The Festival comprises national championships for Grand Prix, Intermediaire I, “Brentina Cup” Young Adult, Young Rider, Junior and Pony Rider divisions.

The Festival has been held at the U.S. Equestrian Team Foundation headquarters in Gladstone, New Jersey, in recent years. An effort to find a West Coast venue for 2013 failed to attract a bid.

The USEF also announced a new sponsor, AGCO, for the Junior and Young Rider national championships. AGCO is an agricultural equipment manufacturer based in Atlanta with more than 20,000 employees in 20 countries. AGCO products are sold through five core brands–Challenger, Fendt, GSI, Massey Ferguson and Valtra.

Martin Richenhagen is chairman, president and chief executive officer of AGCO, believed to the only German heading up a Fortune 500 company.

The former equestrian trainer from Cologne is an International Equestrian Federation 4* judge and has been chef d’equipe of German championship teams.

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