Athletic Equestrian League
The Athletic Equestrian League is an 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 unmounted practicum, and that score is added to their mounted score. Each rider receives a flat score(40 points), a fences score(40 points), and a practicum score(20 points), 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.
For each class in the AEL, a group of six riders, 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. Each athlete takes home a copy of their score sheets that includes the judge's comments.
Levels in the AEL include Beginner, Advanced Beginner, Novice, Intermediate and Open. In the Flat phase, all riders are scored on eight standards, and receive a score from 1-5 on each standard. For the Fences phase, each rider is required to complete eight tests, and is scored from zero to five on each test. For the Practicum phase, each rider scores between 1-20 points.