The U.S. Equestrian Federation has announced that as of Dec. 1, 2023, all falls of horse and falls of rider in competition must be reported in the class results. Horse falls will be reported as ‘HF’ in the competition results and rider falls will be reported as ‘RF.’ This requirement will be for all licensed breeds and disciplines, excluding eventing. For eventing competitions horse falls will continue to be reported as ‘MR’ in the competition results, and rider falls will continue to be reported as ‘RF.’
“The safety and welfare of horses and riders at U.S. Equestrian Federation-licensed competitions continues to be of paramount importance to stakeholders at all levels of equestrian sport,” read the USEF press release. “It is well known that minimizing the occurrence of horse and rider falls decreases the risk of injury to participants and our equine partners in competition. To inform change, evaluate risk, and implement risk mitigation strategies in our sport, accurate data pertaining to falls is needed.”
The requirement to report all falls in competition results is part of an effort to collect inform and actionable data across all forms of competition.
General Rule 122 defines the fall of a rider or a horse in competition. A rider is considered to have fallen when they are separated from their horse, that has not fallen, in such a way as to necessitate remounting or vaulting into the saddle. A horse is considered to have fallen when the shoulder and haunch on the same side have touched the ground or an obstacle and the ground.