USEF Passes Extraordinary Rule Changes Regarding Safety And Horse Welfare

Dec 2, 2021 - 3:10 PM

The U.S. Equestrian Federation board of directors met Nov. 22 and approved a series of extraordinary rule changes that went into effect Dec. 1. In addition, the board made changes to the USEF’s so-called “amateur rule.”

Safety And Horse Welfare

  • A change to GR849 will require that any human injury occurring at a licensed competition of which competition management is made aware must also be reported to the federation on the applicable accident/injury form, including injuries to non-competitors such as grooms, spectators, owners, etc.
  • A change to GR702.1 that violations of the 2021 updated USEF code of conduct are now included in the list of violations against which penalties may be imposed.
  • A change to DR 133.5 that removes “riding without stirrups” from the list of additional movements and exercises that may be requested in dressage seat equitation classes. This is a safety issue, as it impacts young children, some new to dressage, and those who compete on borrowed horses.
  • A change to AR221.15 adds lameness to the list of penalties in Arabian ranch horse riding and ranch horse rail pleasure classes, thereby providing judges the ability to disqualify an entry if warranted.
  • A change to EV153.4 which states that for safety reasons an eventing competitor who receives a compulsory retirement penalty at training level or above, will not be given permission to ride the cross-country course.
  • A change to EV108 prohibiting placement poles for jumps at national horse trials in eventing.

Tweaking Hunter/Jumper Rules
In addition, several Competition Task Force-proposed rule changes specific to the hunter/jumper competition environment were approved that will take effect Dec. 1, 2022, for the 2023 competition year. These rule changes were necessary to support the 2023 hunter/jumper competition restructure approved by the USEF board earlier this year.

USEF and the U.S. Hunter Jumper Association have been working collaboratively to initiate these rule changes in order to address the needs and priorities identified through member and competitor feedback that include:

  • Safety, fairness and enjoyment
  • Accessibility based on location, cost and offerings
  • Opportunities to attend well-organized, appropriate quality competitions at all levels that comply with standards
  • Meaningful recognition for horses and athletes at all levels
  • Simplification of the sport

The rule changes include revamping USEF hunter/jumper Horse of the Year awards, updating the prize money requirements in rated hunter sections at each regional, national and premier competitions and updating the charts that dictate the mileage protection around each horse show.

You can read more about some of the changes here.

The Competition Task Force will be hosting a member webinar in the coming weeks and providing additional resources to assist competition organizers and members in better understanding the updated competition structure.

A comprehensive list of the rule changes approved by the board of directors at the Nov. 22 meeting can be seen here.


Category: News

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