Jul 04, 2023

USEF Board of Directors Approves Rule Changes at Annual Mid-Year Meeting

The United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) held its annual Mid-Year Board of Directors meeting on June 19 and 20 in Lexington, Kentucky. During the meeting, the Directors heard updates from around the sport, learned from leading experts, and made several important decisions that directly impact USEF members and their horses.

Dr. Stephanie Bonin is a lifelong equestrian who is a renowned expert in the field of brain injuries and helmet protection. Dr. Bonin’s presentation focused on the history of protective headgear in sport, the current testing standards, and where helmet technology is today.

Dr. Katie Flynn is USEF’s Senior Staff Veterinarian, a role she stepped into earlier this year following a career as an equine staff veterinarian for the California Department of Food and Agriculture and, most recently, was the State Veterinarian for Kentucky. Dr. Flynn presented on her role with USEF, the recent outbreak of vesicular stomatitis (VS) in Southern California, and the importance of continuing biosecurity efforts to prevent its spread.

Finally, the Board acted on a round of rule changes at the Mid-Year meeting. Each change below, unless otherwise noted, will go into effect on Dec. 1, 2023, for the 2024 competition year.

Equine Safety & Wellbeing

GR1101.1 (036-22) - Microchipping
Beginning December 1, 2025, all horses competing in USEF licensed or endorsed competitions must be microchipped with a 15-digit ISO compliant 11784/11785 chip that is implanted in the nuchal ligament of the horse’s neck. The microchipping of horses is fundamental to equine well-being, especially during times of disease outbreaks, natural disasters, in cases of theft, and to protect against fraud.
GR1215.3 (033-22) – Requiring Adequate Rest for Horses at Competitions
In the interest of health and the wellbeing of the horse, minimal lighting and noise are mandated at all licensed competitions for a minimum of six consecutive hours overnight. The USEF Human and Equine Safety & Welfare Committee proposed this rule change to assist in allowing horses adequate rest and REM sleep which are necessary to avoid undue stress and impaired performance

GR1033.5 (023-22) – Number of Stewards, TDs, and/or Certified Schooling Supervisors Required to Officiate
As the number of horses or competition rings increases, the number of instances where a Steward, Technical Delegate, or Certified Schooling Supervisor is needed also increases. In order for Stewards, Technical Delegates, and Certified Schooling Supervisors to properly complete their designated duties, the number of licensed officials required during a compeition will be increased as necessary to better align with the total number of horses competing and the number competition rings being utilized.
GR1215.5 (045-22) – Barn/Temporary Stabling Identification
All permanent barn structures and temporary stabling on competition grounds must have clearly visible identification, such as numbers, letters, or names. This rule further supports equine (and human) safety and wellbeing, as it will allow medical personnel, veterinarians, stewards, safety coordinators, etc. to respond to emergency or general stabling situations promptly.

Human Athlete/Participant Safety & Welfare

GR848.6 (032-22) – Return to Competition Protocols
Licensed Physical Assistants and Nurse Practitioners are added to the list of individuals authorized to provide medical clearance for return to competition following an individual’s suspected head injury or concussion.
GR801.2 (030-22) – Helmet Certification
The USEF Board approved the expansion of acceptable international testing standards for protective headgear at USEF licensed competitions. A full list of acceptable standards will be made available on the USEF website before Dec. 1, 2023.

Fairness/Level Playing Field

GR1304.1 (049-22) – Conflict of Interest Rules for Licensed Officials
The conflict-of-interest rules for USEF Licensed Officials will become consistent across all breeds and disciplines and the nature of conflicts of interest will be better clarified.

To view all of the rules changes, click here.

Apr 23, 2024 Competitions

Grab Your USEA Gear at the Defender Kentucky Three-Day Event!

There are so many things to love about the Defender Kentucky Three-Day Event and the opportunity to peruse the booths of so many amazing vendors is definitely one of them! Don’t forget to stop by the USEA booth, located just behind the Rolex Stadium next to the large Defender Kentucky Three-Day Event booth, to stock up on all of your favorite USEA apparel.

Apr 23, 2024 Competitions

Modified Match To Be Introduced at 2024 Woodside Spring Horse Trials

After the first competition at Modified was held at The Horse Park at Woodside in California in 2023, the level will be under an even bigger spotlight with the Modified Match that will be offered at the 2024 Woodside Spring Horse Trials that will take place from May 24-26.

Apr 23, 2024 Interscholastic

Meet the 2024 IEL Championship Teams

The inaugural USEA Interscholastic Eventing League (IEL) Championship at Stable View in Aiken, South Carolina, is just over a week away, which means it is time to meet the teams that are set to compete! A total of 43 competitors representing eight IEL Clubs will make up the 11 teams that are set to compete in the 2024 USEA IEL Championship on Saturday, May 4 and Sunday, May 5.

Apr 22, 2024 Competitions

Fast Facts: 2024 Defender Kentucky Three-Day Event

Welcome back to one of the most exciting weeks in eventing in the U.S.—Defender Kentucky Three-Day Event week! The Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky, is going to be full to the brim with eventing lovers from all over the world.

Official Corporate Sponsors of the USEA

Official Joint Therapy Treatment of the USEA

Official Feed of the USEA

Official Saddle of the USEA

Official Real Estate Partner of the USEA

Official Equine Insurance of the USEA

Official Forage of the USEA

Official Supplement Feeding System of the USEA

Official Competition & Training Apparel of the USEA

Official Horse Boot of the USEA