“Since 1983 the first Sunday in November means one thing, the ASPCA Maclay Finals. As a rider, trainer and judge of this prestigious class, the ASPCA Finals is the pinnacle moment of many junior equestrians. I am very proud to be part of the historic class that has marked the careers of so many riders.”

-Archibald Cox III


The National Horsemanship Championship for the ASPCA Alfred B. Maclay Trophy has a rich history that reaches back to 1933. The contenders were judged on their seat and control of their mounts both on the flat and over a course of fences. The “Horsemanship Cup” was donated by the late Alfred B. Maclay, an officer of the ASPCA and President of the National Horse Show from 1922-1924.

The Horsemanship Championship is one of the most prestigious competitions for Junior riders in the United States. Its winners are some of the biggest names in equestrian sport. Previous winners include: William Steinkraus (1941), Frank Chapot (1948), George Morris (1952), Leslie Burr Howard (1972), Peter Wylde (1982), Stacia Klein Madden (1987), Nicole Shahinian Simpson (1992) and Jessica Springsteen (2008).

Since that time, the Horsemanship Championship has been a significant presence in the equestrian world and cherished by those who have had the honor of competing for the trophy.

Each year, hundreds of the top Junior riders (18 years of age and under) across the country compete to qualify for the National Horsemanship Championship for the Alfred B. Maclay Trophy at thou- sands of shows to qualify for the Regional Championships and ultimately for the honor to compete at the finals at National Horse Show in Lexington, Kentucky to compete for the Maclay Champion ships honor, a stepping-stone toward greatness in equestrian sport.

Alfred B. Maclay

Alfred Barmore Maclay was born into an illustrious NYC family in 1871. He enlisted in the US infantry to fight the Spanish American War eventually obtaining the rank of 2nd Lieutenant. He grew up foxhunting, show jumping and steeple chasing until an injury re-directed his interest to Hackney horses and Fine Harness horses. As the owner of Killearn Farm, Maclay became a highly successful competitor with Fine Harness horses, all of whom had “Killearn” in their name. He served as president of the National Horse Show from 1922-1924 after which time he was elected president of the American Horse Shows Association (the predecessor to USEF,) a position he held for twelve years. Mr. Maclay believed horse shows were important as disseminators of knowledge about the horse.

The Beginning

The “Maclay” as most call it, was the very first of the “big equitation” finals to be established in the United States. Initiated in 1933, four years prior to the AHSA (USEF) Medal Finals, Alfred B. Maclay conceived of a trophy that would inspire young riders to develop the best horsemanship skills and instill in them respect and compassion for their equine partners. It was, and still is, considered a “horsemanship” class. The initial class specifications stated: “This contest has for its purpose the development of skill in jumping, combined with kindness and gentleness in handling the reins.” The first Maclay Class held in 1933 was called the “Horsemanship Cup, presented by the ASPCA and donated by Alfred B. Maclay, Esquire.” Only 29 riders competed in that first final, which was won by Audrey Hasler Chesney


Every year, hundreds of junior riders seek to qualify for the ASPCA Maclay Finals held at the National Horse Show in November of each year. To reach the Finals, riders must first begin by becoming members of the ASPCA and the NHSAA (National Horse Show Association of America.) Juniors all over the country enter the ASPCA Horsemanship Class, which is held at hundreds of USEF sanctioned horse shows, in order to qualify for the ASPCA Maclay Regional Finals. The Maclay class is unique in its format of qualifying for the Championship through eight regional competitions in September. The format of 50% jumping performance and 50% flat performance is grounded in Mr. Maclay’s original objective of improving the overall ride.


Junior riders compete for a chance to qualify for the Regionals by participating in Maclay classes at USEF Sanctioned horse shows throughout the qualifying year. The qualifying journey  comes to a close August 31st of the same year. The Regional events are located in ten different states to give riders from all across the country a chance to compete in these top-level competitions. Riders will via for top placings in each of the Regional classes for a chance to advance onto the ASPCA Maclay Finals.

The Finals

Each fall, the series of “Big Eq” Finals culminates at the National Horse Show with the coveted ASPCA Maclay Final Championships. Since 2015, the finals have been held over the course of two days. The finals begin with an initial first round over fences after which the judges select a smaller number of entries to proceed to the next phase, equitation on the flat. Another “cut” is made following the flat phase, and the remaining riders are asked back to ride over a second course over fences. It is up to the discretion of the judges whether there will be further testing after the second round. The list of former ASPCA Maclay Finals Champions reads like a “who’s who” of equestrian superstars. 

Regional Winners & Information

Regional Winners & Information


September 8, 2024
Northeast (CT, MA, ME, NH, RI, VT)
Fieldstone, Halifax, MA
(781) 910-6793


September 14, 2024
East (DE, NJ, NY, PA)
Old Salem Farm, North Salem, NY
(914) 669-5610

Region III

September 14, 2024
Mideast (DC, MD, NC, SC, VA, WV)
Maryland Horse & Pony, Upper Marlboro, MD
(410) 596-2051


September 14, 2024
Midwest (IL, IN, KY, MI, OH, TN)
American Gold Cup, Williamsburg, MI
(941) 527-6602

September 21, 2024
Midwest (IL, IN, KY, MI, OH, TN)
Kentucky National, Lexington, KY
(352) 274-1950, (828) 894-2721
derek@splitrockjumpingtour.com, Lewispack1@aol.com


September 15, 2024
Central (IA, KS, MO, MN, ND, NE, SD, WI)
St. Louis National Charity, Lake St. Luis, MO
(314) 308-1162

Region VI

September 14, 2024
Mountain (AZ, CO, NM, UT)
Autumn in the Rockies II, Parker, CO
(818) 563-3250 x2 


September 14, 2024
Northwest (AK, ID, MT, OR, WA, WY)
NorthWest Autumn Classic, Monroe, WA
(541) 954-5312


September 15, 2024
West (CA, HI, NV)
Blenheim Fall Tournament, San Juan Capistrano, CA
(949) 443-1841

Region IX

September 21, 2024
Southwest (AR, LA, MS, OK, TX)
Southwest Showdown, Katy, TX
(940) 367-1217

Region X

September 22, 2024
Southeast (AL, FL, GA)
Equestrian Sport Productions LLC,
Wellington, FL
(561) 239-5270