West Meadow Stables has a new equestrian team, it is called the West Meadow AEL Team. AEL stands for Athletic Equestrian League and is a new organization of 4th – 12th grade equestrian athletes who compete in practical horsemanship. Riders in the AEL are judged against a set of standards, both on the flat and over fences, and receive a score on their ride. In addition, each athlete completes an un-mounted practicum, and that score is added to their mounted score. Each rider receives a flat score, a fences score, and a practicum score, and all three scores are added together for their score for the day.
Riders in the AEL ride the “host” team’s horses, they do not bring their own mounts. This gives many riders who do not own a horse a chance to show and compete much like you would in a college setting.
For each class in the AEL, a group of six riders or less, all competing at the same level, ride as a group for their flat phase, then proceed directly to their fences phase, then proceed directly to their practicum phase. Spectators, as well as families and friends, are familiar with the judging standards, and have a good understanding of how the rider places and what the rider needs to work on in order to improve their score.
Levels in the AEL include Beginner, Advanced Beginner, Novice, Intermediate and Open. In the Flat phase, all riders are asked for five tasks in each direction, for a total of ten tasks, and are scored from zero to ten on each task. For the Fences phase, each rider is required to complete ten tests, and is scored from zero to ten on each test. For the Practicum phase, each rider scores between 1-100 points.
The West Meadow AEL Team currently has 15 riders enrolled, ages 9 to 18 years old. In the spring of 2014 West Meadow Stables hosted the AEL Nationals at their facility. This season a fall show was hosted with another one to come in the spring.If you are interested in joining the team please contact Kendra Messer or visit the AEL website. You do not have to be a student of West Meadow Stables to be able to join AEL, you are only required to take one lesson before each show with your coach.