Dec 14, 2019

Rule Changes for 2021 Discussed at the Rule Change Open Forum

By Jessica Duffy - USEA Staff
USEA/Jessica Duffy Photo.

Each year at the USEA Convention, the Rule Change Open Forum looks to the future to discuss changes to the USEF Rules for Eventing for the upcoming competition season. Convention attendees have the opportunity to hear which changes are coming down the pipeline and have their questions answered.

Below are summaries of the current proposed changes to the USEF Rules for Eventing. Unless otherwise stated, the rule change proposals are being considered to go into effect on December 1, 2020. All rule changes documentation can be found on the USEF website.

EV 113: Medical Requirements

The modifications to this rule mean that you are no longer required to wear a medical armband or medical bracelet if you do not have any major medical conditions that first responders need to know about. This change is designed to reduce the burden on competitors by requiring only competitors with medical conditions to wear a medical data carrier or a medical armband.

EV 115: Saddlery

Under the rules for cross-country and jumping tests, this change would expand the rule stating, “Any device which does not allow an immediate and unrestricted separation of the Athlete’s boot from the stirrup in case of a fall is forbidden. There must be no other restrictions or attachments of any kind,” to apply for both cross-country and show jumping. Wording will also be changed to simply state, “Any device which does not allow an immediate and unrestricted separation of the Athlete,” so as to expand the rule to cover any device which might prevent the rider from separating from the horse in the event of a fall. This is a modification of the USEF rules to match the existing FEI rules.

EV 141: Cross-Country Scoring

The activation of a frangible device would now incur 11 penalties. This is a modification of the USEF rules to match the existing FEI rules. This modification has not yet been put through to the USEF Rules Working Group or the Eventing Sport Committee.

EV 175: Cross-Country Course Designer

Currently, USEF Eventing Rules require a Licensed USEF Jumping Course Designers or EVJCD to design the Jumping course for Intermediate and Advanced Horse Trials. The change to this rule clarifies that Eventing Cross-Country Course Designers are not permitted to design Jumping courses for Intermediate and/or Advanced Horse Trials unless licensed accordingly. In addition, the change confirms that the responsibility for the Jumping course at the Intermediate and Advanced levels lies with the EVJCD or Jumper Course Designer, whichever is applicable.

EV 176: Eventing Jumping Course Designer

Currently, USEF Eventing Rules require Licensed USEF Jumping Course Designers or EVJCDs to design the Jumping course for Intermediate and Advanced Horse Trials. The change to this rule broadens the requirement to allow FEI Jumper Course Designers to design courses at these levels.


The FEI has provided separate MERs for “A” Athletes wishing to compete horses which have previously achieved a MER at a CCI5*-L and those which have not. This is a modification of the USEF rules to match the existing FEI rules. Note, this rule may be put into effect in 2020 as an extraordinary rule change.

The USEF Eventing Sport Committee has also provided feedback on the following rule change proposals.

EV 114: Dress

The language has been relaxed to allow a wider variety of dress options for competitors in the dressage test and jumping test including any color helmets, discreet accents on the jacket, and any dark hue boots. Members of armed and police forces will be allowed to wear service dress with gloves, regulation headgear, and spurs in accordance with EV114 at the lower levels (Beginner Novice-Preliminary). The extreme weather rule has also been clarified to include expanded dress options.

Jan 26, 2022 Instructors

Position, Balance, and Aids: Three Core Topics Covered in the USEA Eventing Handbook by the Levels

Whether you are a rider preparing for a move-up or a trainer looking to ensure your training program is well-rounded, the soon-to-be released USEA Eventing Handbook by the Levels is the go-to guide to assist you in navigating key decisions. Lucky enough, attendees of the 2022 USEA Instructors’ Certification Program (ICP) Symposium at Barnstaple South Farm in Ocala, Florida on February 8-9 will be the first people outside of the those involved in its creation to access this passion project that the ICP Committee has put two years of research and hard work into developing.

Jan 25, 2022 Volunteers

2021 USEA Volunteer of the Year: Cynthia Smith and Her Record-Breaking Year

In 2021 Cynthia Smith recorded 536 hours and 59 minutes of volunteer time, setting the standard with the most amount of volunteer hours recorded in a single year since the creation of the USEA Volunteer Incentive Program in 2016. The record-breaking number of volunteer time earned Smith the 2021 USEA Volunteer of the Year title.

Jan 24, 2022 Leaderboard

The USEA Lady Rider of 2021 is Leading the Charge in Elevating Eventing Competition on the West Coast

Tamie Smith’s year has been nothing short of action-packed as she packed up all 25 of her competition horses and made her way to the East Coast for the first part of the year before hopping on a jet to Tokyo where she served as the U.S. team reserve for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. She then stayed overseas and competed abroad for a little while before returning home to the West Coast. While this year has been full of opportunities to show, her aspirations are bigger than just competition. The 2021 Bates USEA Lady Rider of the Year has been full steam ahead chasing goals in both her riding career as well as in her impact on the sport’s future.

Jan 23, 2022 Area Resources

Meet the USEA Areas: Area I

Get to know each United States Eventing Association (USEA) Areas a little better in this new series, Meet the Areas! This month’s feature is USEA Area I which is comprised of Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont. Founded in the 1960s, Area I was the birthplace of the United States Combined Training Association (USCTA) which was founded in 1959 and would later evolve into the USEA in 2001. In 2021 just under 800 members made up the membership count in Area I.

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