After undertaking a comprehensive overhaul of the California hunter/jumper calendar, the U.S. Equestrian Federation announced Tuesday that it will be releasing a draft version of the state’s 2023 competition calendar next week.
On Jan. 15, USEF announced that it would vacate the state’s calendar “to create a more balanced, equitable, and sustainable competition environment for competitors and organizers alike.” In the intervening months USEF met with stakeholders, including exhibitors, trainers and organizers, and toured competition venues to determine solutions to problems in the region and identify new opportunities. The new calendar will not be subject to the same restrictions of the federation’s mileage rule, which prohibits premier and national shows from being held on the same date within a 250-mile radius of one another.
Feedback from California stakeholders that factored heavily into the calendar redesign included ensuring competitors have showing options, by both recognizing organizers who have invested in facilities and also by allowing new organizers the opportunity to hold competitions; keeping entries robust; and keeping the calendar balanced.
Other stakeholder requests include increasing the number of Fédération Equestre Internationale jumper offerings, strengthening California’s winter circuit, holding more competitions—from regional- and national-rated hunter shows to and major championships and finals—on the West Coast. Stakeholders, many of whom previously have complained USEF’s calendar process had allowed certain organizers a monopoly over their show dates, also emphasized that the calendar must be “adaptable and flexible when needed.”
“At the end of April, the Competitions Department began communicating with competition applicants to advise them of the competition dates, venues and ratings, and levels being offered by USEF to the organizers and requesting confirmation of their commitment to conduct these competitions,” USEF said Tuesday in a statement updating progress on the calendar overhaul process. “Upon receipt of confirmation, USEF will be sending competition licenses to the organizers for their completion.”
Organizers are permitted to begin announcing dates and rating that are pending USEF approval. USEF will post a draft 2023 competition calendar next week, which then will be finalized once all competition licenses are fully executed.