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Saturday, June 15, 2024

NARG announces reorganized Top 25 as Murray Kessler announces he will not run for a 2nd term as US Equestrian President

LEXINGTON, Ky.--The North American Riders Group was organized by Chris Kappler and McLain Ward to give a voice to exhibitors as they strove to improve horse shows, and under their leadership NARG brought about huge improvements in a large number of shows, mainly through its Top 25 Shows program.

Murray KesslerMurray KesslerWhen one of its most prominent members, Murray Kessler, became president of US Equestrian, the directors of NARG felt that with Kessler serving as the leader of the organization that oversees horse shows, NARG could step back a little, as Kessler would continue to make improvements to shows.

Kessler recently announced that upon completion of his term next year that he would not seek another term.

NARG also announced an updating to its Top 25 Shows.

Follows a Statement from USEF President Murray Kessler


DEAR US Equestrian Members,

After much thought, I have decided that I will not run for a second term as US Equestrian President. The reason is simple: my professional circumstances have changed. While I am confident that I can successfully balance my leadership positions at both USEF and at Perrigo, a multi-national company, as its President and Chief Executive Officer for my final year as USEF President, I believe this would be difficult to sustain for the long term.

Over the last three years, we have brought about significant changes to USEF through implementation of our Strategic Plan including growing membership, sponsorship and advertising, revamping leadership, bringing on new coaches, relocating our headquarters, outsourcing the laboratory, implementing Safe Sport, regaining our place as a global powerhouse in international high performance, winning our first Para-Medals in years, and much, much more.

I won’t say my goodbyes yet. I will save that for this time next year when my term ends. In the meantime, we have a lot to do to keep the great momentum we have created together for USEF over the last three years!


Murray S. Kessler



ON JAN. 15  the North American Riders Group (NARG) announced new conditions for evaluations of the Top 25.

NARG announced that, as it rolls into a new decade, it would also roll up its sleeves to kick off evaluations for the NARG Top 25 of 2020.

The first key aspect to note is how the pendulum has swung in regards to FEI events in North America:

The number of FEI events of any star rating in 2015 was 17, but the number of FEI events of any star rating in 2020 has risen to 100 plus.

Due to this significant change, for this initial year of bringing back this third-party evaluation of the continent's top-rated equestrian events in the show jumping niche, NARG will be rating FEI 3*, 4*, and 5* events only.

This alone will be close to 80 events over the next 12 months.

The organization said that it is fully aware that there are key pathways to reaching this level of elite competition, from young horses to Young Riders, as well as that there are a host of quality FEI 2* shows, National horse shows, and special events on the calendar.

NARG intends to consider this in the future, as it creates a strategic plan that spans multiple years, initiatives, programs, and pathways.

With that in mind, in order to begin evaluating, NARG felt it was important to get feedback from organizers, owners, and riders.

Taking that feedback, NARG is finalizing the new evaluation form that will include subjective and objective scores.

The anonymous subjective position from the riders is a key aspect to the NARG Top 25.

However, NARG  also would like to give the organizers an opportunity to provide facts and feedback, plus it will conduct research on the details of each event.

As the organization sets off on this journey to evaluate and report on the top events, it looks forward to the support of riders, owners, trainers, organizers, media, and sponsors.

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