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  • press release

USHJA Board of Directors Vote on Rule Changes

Concord, N.C.—Dec. 7, 2023—The U.S. Hunter Jumper Association Annual Meeting culminated with the Board of Directors voting on rule change proposals for the 2025 competition year on Thursday, December 8. The Board's recommendations will be submitted to the US Equestrian Board of Directors for final approval at their mid-year meeting.

Key rule change proposals discussed and approved include:

  • allowing mules to compete in Hunter, Hunter Seat Equitation and Jumper Seat Equitation classes 

  • clarifying the rules on the isolation of a sick horse on competition grounds and biosecurity requirements, including temperature checks

  • clarifying how and when to arrange an appointment for a competitor to meet with the judge 

  • limiting the number of refusals in the USHJA International Hunter Derby Championship to two 

  • allowing ponies to have a second green year, subsequently eliminating the need for green reinstatements

  • prohibiting horse eye coverings in the Jumpers except in certain circumstances with a veterinary certificate

  • prohibiting Jumper classes held below .90m that are restricted to ponies, Junior and/or Amateurs from being scored under Table II, Sec .1 or Table III and prohibiting combinations 

  • giving USEF jurisdiction over conduct violations that occur outside of a competition environment 

  • prohibiting the use of draw reins and German martingales in classes restricted to Juniors and Amateurs and at any time on a pony ridden by a Junior

Proposed rule changes tabled for further discussion or amending include:

  • clarifying the use of video footage when making field-of-play decisions 

  • clarifying the language and process regarding competition license applications 

  • requiring reporting of all horses with a temperature above 101.5°F to the competition veterinarian to determine if isolation and/or further treatment or testing is necessary 

  • allowing adults to show a pony at the same competition as a Junior competing in the Pony Hunters

Rule change proposals discussed and disapproved include:

  • reclassifying Amateurs based on horse and rider ability and show record

  • reclassifying Hunter/Jumper and Equitation competitions

  • dissolving the Horse of the Year Awards

  • removing the competition mileage rules

To view all the rule change proposals discussed, click here. Per the US Equestrian rule change process, the USHJA Board of Directors will have until March 1, 2024, to finalize any tabled rule change proposals and submit recommendations to USEF for voting at their mid-year meeting in the summer of 2024. Only the USEF Board of Directors may enact a rule change for USEF-licensed competitions.


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