BY ANNIE BIRMINGHAM
The USHJA’s Outreach program offers members who ride at any level an opportunity to earn national recognition in a variety of classes ranging from walk-trot to 3’ hunters, jumpers, and equitation at national and locally rated horse shows.
The idea behind offering these divisions is to create an opportunity for riders to compete at a lesser cost. Outreach memberships are completely free for those wishing to participate, and do not require riders to also be USEF members. Additionally, horses are not required to be registered through either organization. By participating in the outreach program, riders save a total of $240 between horse registration and competing memberships.
Points are kept by zone from the walk trot through 3’0” hunters and equitation, in addition to an Outreach Hunter Derby; while the jumper program offers .70 meters through .95m sections. The program offers ribbons for the top six placings in all divisions, as well as Certificates of Merit throughout the year. Riders earning a minimum of 30 points receive a Bronze Level certificate. Those who receive 50 points earn a Silver certificate, and at 75 points a Gold certificate. Ribbons are received in the mail at the end of the competition year.
Another unique aspect of these divisions is that they are offered at a much more reasonable cost to horse show organizers who avoid the price tag that comes with USEF divisions. In turn, the cost is less to competitors. These classes can be offered either as standalone shows (category 1) or within a USEF competition (category 2). Both require judges, show managers, stewards, and course designers to be active USHJA members with validated SafeSport training.
Statistics presented on December 10th at the USHJA Annual Meeting offered insight to the rise of these programs across the country, which have grown in participation by 35% over the last year. Further details and specifications are available through the USHJA website here. With these programs rising at such quick rates, are USHJA Outreach programs the future of our sport?
About the Author: Annie Birmingham is an 18 year old equestrian from Long Island, New York. A freshman at Long Island University studying equine management, Annie can usually be found spending time at the barn and grooming at horse shows up and down the East Coast.
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