Apr 01, 2021

USEA to Offer Western Eventing

By USEA
Taylor Pence/US Equestrian Photo.

The United States Eventing Association (USEA) is pleased to announce a new parallel set of levels offering western eventing in the United States. To be held in conjunction with existing national levels up through Advanced, competitors will compete over the same course and tests offered at the traditional competition but will be able to do so while competing in western attire and western stock saddles.

“We have seen the success of western dressage in recent years, and we thought, why not eventing?” said USEA President Max Corcoran. “We all remember how well David O’Connor, Sinead Halpin, Allison Springer, and others have done crossing over for the Kentucky Reining Cup held during the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event, so we said why not give it a go!”

The new national levels will be introduced in 2023. Minimum Eligibility Requirements (MER) will mimic their English-style counterparts. Riders previously qualified to compete in a given level will be able to transfer to the new western levels. Additionally, the 2023 USEA American Eventing Championships will also offer the option of competing in Western or English divisions once qualified.

“Many of us dreamed of riding like cowgirls and cowboys as kids and now everyone will have the opportunity,” said USEA CEO Rob Burk. “I can’t wait to see champions like Liz Halliday-Sharp, Benjamin Noonan, Arden Wildasin, Tamie Smith, Lauren Nicholson, and others competing out there in full western attire! This has also opened up an entirely new set of potential sponsors for our events and we are in early talks with well-known brands like Wrangler apparel and Justin boots to fill the needs of our western competitors.”

Guidelines for the new attire and tack requirements are being outlined and the following rule proposals are currently in draft form awaiting USEA Board of Governors' approval:

EV190 Tack

1. Any Western type headstall without noseband in conjunction with any standard Western bit shall be allowed.

2. Bits: A standard Western bit is one that has a shank with a maximum overall length of 8 1/2 inches. The mouthpiece shall consist of a metal bar which is from 3/8 inch to 3/4 inch in diameter, varying from the straight bar to a full spade. Jointed mouthpieces are permitted. Flat leather chinstrap, other than the buckle(s), which must be at least 1/2 inch in width. Any device made of wire, metal or rawhide used in conjunction with or as part of leather chinstrap is prohibited. Curb chains are also allowed and must be at least 1/2 inch in width and lie flat against the jaw. Hackamore or snaffle bits (smooth mouth) will be permitted for use by Junior riders and Adult amateurs. Mechanical Hackamores are prohibited. Junior riders and Adult amateurs are permitted to compete in all Western levels with a snaffle bit or hackamore and riders may use two hands. Once a Junior rider or Adult amateur has shown with a standard Western bit, they may not go back and show in a snaffle bit or hackamore in the Western level. A hackamore includes a bosal rounded in shape and constructed of braided rawhide or leather and must have a flexible non-metallic core attached to a suitable headstall.

3. Split reins or closed reins with romal are equally acceptable. Only one hand may be used on reins and hands must not be changed except to negotiate an obstacle in show jumping and cross-country tests. When split reins are used and the ends fall on the side of the reining hand, one finger between the reins is permitted. When using Romal or if the split reins fall on the opposite side of the reining hand, no finger is allowed in between the reins. Rider may hold romal or ends of split reins to keep them from swinging and to adjust the position of the reins provided they are held with at least 16 inches of rein between the hands. When a hackamore is used, attached reins may be of hair, rope or leather.

4. Martingales or tie downs are prohibited.

5. Horses shall be shown with a stock saddle; silver equipment will be less preferred over a good working outfit. Sidesaddles are also permitted with proper attire.

6. Whips are not allowed other than with a sidesaddle.

EV191 Attire

1. Riders shall wear a Western hat, long-sleeved shirt with any type collar, trousers, or pants (one-piece long-sleeved equitation suit is acceptable provided it includes a collar). Chaps, shotgun chaps, and boots are required. A vest, jacket, coat, and/or sweater may also be worn. Protective headgear may be worn without penalty. (See GR801)

2. Spurs are optional.

3. For cross-country and show jumping tests rodeo/bull/bronc riding protective vests certified by the ASTM/SEI shall be worn as well as a certified helmet with a face cage.

. . . and in honor of April Fool's Day, this is just a joke. Happy April Fools!

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Weekend Quick Links: May 21-22

Are you following along with the action from home this weekend? Or maybe you're competing at an event and need information fast. Either way, we’ve got you covered! Check out the USEA’s Weekend Quick Links for links to information including the prize list, ride times, live scores, and more for all the events running this weekend.

May 19, 2022 Sponsor

FITS Returns to Sponsor Intercollegiate, AEC, ATC, and Classic Series for 2022

The United States Eventing Association (USEA) is pleased to welcome back longtime sponsor, FITS Riding, Ltd. for 2022. They are returning as a ‘Bronze Sponsor of the USEA American Eventing Championships presented by Nutrena Feeds (AEC)’, a ‘Contributing Sponsor of the USEA Adult Team Championships (ATC)’, a ‘Contributing Sponsor of the USEA Classic Series’, and a ‘Contributing Sponsor of the USEA Intercollegiate Eventing Championships.’ As a sponsor of these USEA programs, FITS will generously provide gift certificates as prizes for the Intercollegiate championship competitors, AEC and ATC competitors, and Classic Series winners.

May 19, 2022 Future Event Horse

Area IV to Host Their First YEH/FEH/NEH Qualifier at Woodloch Stable in Hugo, MN

The USEA offers many programs to help the development of upcoming event horses such as the Future Event Horse (FEH) program which focuses on yearlings, 2-year-olds, 3-year-olds, and 4-year-olds, the Young Event Horse (YEH) program which serves as an eventing talent search for 4-year-olds and 5-year-olds under saddle, and the New Event Horse program which is an adaption of the YEH program that was designed to serve as an introduction of the sport of eventing for horse and rider that provides a stepping stone to recognized eventing. For the first time ever, USEA Area IV will be hosting a competition that features all three of these programs at Woodloch Stable in Hugo, Minnesota on July 9, 2022.

May 18, 2022 Intercollegiate

Meet the Teams of the 2022 USEA Intercollegiate Eventing Championships

It’s time to meet the teams of the 2022 USEA Intercollegiate Eventing Championships! A total of 92 competitors, 12 schools, and 23 teams will be competing at the 2022 USEA Intercollegiate Eventing Championships on May 21-22 at Chattahoochee Hills H.T. in Fairburn, Georgia.

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