USHJA Annual Meeting: Metric System Conversion and Jump Cup Depth Rule Change Proposals

Photo © Lauren Mauldin


The USHJA Annual Meeting began on December 8th in Denver, Colorado, and yesterday’s joint Hunter and Jumper working groups conversed about the idea of future propositions that would change all labeling of hunter, jumper, and equitation classes to the metric system. In addition, they discussed the idea of creating a standard for the depth of jump cups among jumpers and equitation in an attempt to create a more level playing field. 

Proposal EQ109.17 #162-19

This USHJA proponent suggests the idea of equally defining heights across disciplines. It intends to create an accurate multi-discipline height equivalency chart for classes held over a minimum of six obstacles beginning at 2’3”. The chart is proposed as follows:

  • 2’3”- .70 meters
  • 2’6”- .80 meters
  • 2’9”- .85 meters
  • 3’0”- .95 meters
  • 3’3”- 1.00 meters
  • 3’6”- 1.10 meters
  • 3’9”- 1.15 meters
  • 3’11”- 1.20 meters
  • 4’1”- 1.25 meters
  • 4’3”- 1.30 meters
  • 4’7”- 1.40 meters
The Hunter and Jumper Working Groups joined forces for a further discussion on rule change proposals for 2020.

Proposal EQ109.13 #153-19

The second draft of this proposal hopes to create a standard across all zones to standardize the depth of jump cups used in both jumpers and equitation. As stated, “Equitation classes that use jumper courses should not require riders to compete with cups that are as shallow as those used in jumper rings with FEI cups.” As explained by Zone 10’s Jim Hagman, often times when riders show on the East Coast, a ring is set specifically for the equitation. On the contrary, West Coast equitation classes tend to run more frequently in rings concurrently used for the jumpers, therefore the cups are FEI approved and more shallow. This means rails in West Coast equitation classes may potentially fall easier than those on the East Coast. 

Photo © Lauren Mauldin

Both of these rules were discussed with a high level of contrary opinions, and therefore were withdrawn for a later vote. If passed by the USHJA committee, these proposals will continue on to the USEF annual meeting in January for an official vote in order to become an official rule effective in the 2020 competition year. Check back to for more updates from the USHJA Annual Meeting throughout the week.

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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