Sep 27, 2023

New Eventing Rule Changes Going into Effect October 1, 2023

By Meagan DeLisle - USEA Staff
USEA/Meagan DeLisle photo

The United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) has made five rule changes which will go into effect October 1, 2023. Familiarize yourself with these rule changes below to make sure you are in compliance before heading out for your next event.

Intent: To align with FEI Article 517, “NOTE: All MERs obtained in previous years will be counted according to the rules in place at that time". As MER requirements change for both FEI and National levels, the rule clarifies how MERs are counted based on the rules in place at that time the MER is obtained.

2.2.3 All MERs obtained in previous years will be counted according to the rules in place at that time.

Intent: During the Eventing Chapter re-write “width” was inadvertently replaced with “height”. The current language creates a safety concern as it does not accurately describe the intent for proper fence construction and specifications for a warm-up fence.

5. The only warmup fences Athletes may jump are marked fences provided by the Organizer. No part of the fences may be held by anyone while a Horse is jumping. These fences must not be raised more than 10 cm above the maximum height permitted for the Event in progress (or about to begin). The oxer must not exceed the maximum width permitted. Ground lines may be placed directly under, or up to 1 m in front of the fence. Ground lines may not be placed on the landing side. Placement poles are not permitted at national Horse Trials. The upper ends of crossed poles must be supported by cups. If a horizontal pole is placed above crossed poles, it must be higher than the upper ends of the crossed poles. Warmup fences must be jumped in the correct direction and only jumped at times permitted by the Organizer. Violation of any of the above rules may result in Disqualification, at the discretion of the Ground Jury.

Intent: During the re-write of the Eventing Chapter, the intent for inflatable vests was incorrectly applied. The proposed language reflects the current expectation for body protective vests and inflatable vests. In the interest of safety, inflatable vests should be permitted to be worn during every phase. The way the current language is worded, it is not clear they can be used in addition to body protecting vests during the cross-country phase. Eventing wants to provide access to whatever safety measures athletes feel necessary. Additionally, inflatable vests should be permitted for safety during the Dressage and Show Jumping phases, but not be required to be worn with a body protecting vest.

a. A body protecting vest must be worn during the warm-up for and in the Cross-Country phase. Stable, team, or club colors are permitted. Inflatable vests are permitted when worn in addition to a body protecting vest during the Cross-Country Phase. Inflatable vests are permitted to be worn without a body protecting vest during the Dressage and Show Jumping phases. The Federation recommends that the vest should pass or surpass the current ASTM standard F1937 or be certified by the Safety Equipment Institute.
b. Violation of this rule may be penalized at the discretion of the Ground Jury and may result in Elimination.

Intent: During the Eventing Chapter re-write, the language was inadvertently changed from Jumping phases to Show Jumping phases. This removed the requirement for a Federation licensed Eventing Judge for the Cross-Country phase.

LICENSED OFFICIALS AND PERSONNEL. For Tests which include Dressage and Show Jumping phases, a Federation licensed Eventing Judge is required. This Judge serves as the Ground Jury and will perform the course evaluation functions of the Technical Delegate. Other Judges may be Federation licensed Judges, participants, or graduates of the USEA Training Program, or knowledgeable horse people. A veterinarian and qualified medical personnel must be present on the grounds during any Cross-Country or Show Jumping phases.

Intent: To remove the specific reference to the version and effective date so the rule will be current as new versions are introduced.

a. Whenever possible, Obstacles for which frangible technology (e.g., frangible pins, MIM Clips, or any other load relieving device) is appropriate must be constructed or retrofitted with frangible technology for the Modified level and above.
b. The Technical Delegate must confirm with the Ground Jury and Course Designer that the frangible technology employed is consistent with the USEA Cross-Country Obstacle Design Guidelines. Frangible technology may only be installed by or under the supervision of Course Designers or course builders who have attended a USEA Seminar on frangible Obstacle construction.
c. At a minimum, frangible technology devices used at national and FEI Events must meet the FEI Updated Standard for Frangible/Deformable Cross Country Fences.

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