Edited Press Release
Lexington, Ky.—Dec. 15, 2021—The 2021 USHJA Annual Meeting, presented by Equicore, concluded on Friday, December 10 with the Board of Directors submitting rule change proposal recommendations to the US Equestrian Board of Directors for final approval at their mid-year meeting.
Key rule change proposals discussed and approved include:
- Updated language that addresses the USHJA’s new separate database from USEF
- Changing the WIHS Pony Equitation fence height for large ponies to 2’9”-3’ to match the Large Regular Pony Hunter section and the USEF Pony Medal
- Requiring certain size competitions that utilize golf carts for staff or officials and require multiple stewards to offer stewards a safe means of motorized transportation
- Updated language to reflect the FEI’s separate requirements for the number of officials at their events
- Allowing a C1 Steward to act as a Certified Schooling Supervisor for specific Jumper warm-up areas as listed in JP103.2.e
- Inclusion of the National PHA Medal Class in the USEF Rule Book
- Allowing half points to be awarded even if fewer than three entries compete in a Conformation Model Class
- Requiring only Small Junior Hunters to have a Federation measurement card and eliminating the need for Large Junior Hunters to be measured
- Changing the threshold for splitting a Hunter class from 50 entries to 40 entries
- Lowering the minimum number of entries before combining Junior Hunter sections from six entries to four entries
- Allowing a rider whose safety vest deploys while competing to stop and remove the vest with assistance
Other rule change proposals approved with amendments include:
- Not allowing a Judge to judge and operate the electric timer simultaneously in a Jumping Seat Equitation class
- Not counting an Equitation Championship for points unless a minimum of three entries complete a minimum of two over fences classes and one flat class
- Adjusting the language in certain Equitation tests
- Eliminating a horse in Hunter Breeding and Pony Breeding classes that threatens to endanger the handler or other exhibitors
- Specifying the procedure when an exhibitor competes in a class without a number or with an incorrect number
Proposed rule changes tabled for further discussion or amending include:
- Requiring Stewards to wear a form of identification
- Changing the number of refusals in certain Equitation classes resulting in elimination
Rule change proposals discussed and disapproved include:
- Including all horse breeds in the general rules prohibiting action devices and performance packages
- Detailing the acceptable level of interaction between Certified Schooling Supervisors and their family members
- Clarifying the expectations of service for a Steward or Technical Delegate
- Allowing stallions to be ridden by a Junior in any Equitation class that has a national Final held at 3’6” or higher
- Requiring a Hunter division held on two or more days to hold the under saddle class on the first day
- Changing the required jump cups to be utilized with breakaway sleeves in Hunter and Equitation classes
- Requiring Hunter horses to compete with the same shoeing status in both the under saddle and over fences classes
Per the US Equestrian rule change process, the USHJA Board of Directors will have until March 1, 2022, to finalize any tabled rule change proposals and submit recommendations to USEF for voting at their mid-year meeting in the summer of 2022. Only the USEF Board of Directors may enact a rule change for USEF-licensed competitions.
The week-long meeting kicked off on Saturday, December 4, with Zone Committee meetings and the Evening of Equestrians, which honored this year’s Annual Awards recipients. USHJA President Mary Knowlton’s State of the Association on Sunday, December 5, highlighted growth in 2021, such as the USHJA Outreach Program’s success, and upcoming changes including the new competition licensing restructure for 2023.
On Monday, December 6, the Board of Directors elected four open Director-At-Large positions now filled by Caroline Weeden, of Lake Bluff, Illinois; Anne Kursinski, of Frenchtown, New Jersey; Cricket Stone, of Gladys, Virginia; and Andrew Philbrick, of Princeton, New Jersey. All elected and appointed members of the Board of Directors assumed their duties immediately following the close of this year’s Annual Meeting, and each position will serve a four-year term.
The USHJA extends thanks to Annual Meeting Presenting Sponsor Equicore, Sunday Daily Sponsor and Official Ribbon Supplier of the USHJA Hodges Badge Company, and USHJA Official Sponsors CWD, Nutrena, Parlanti and Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital.
Find meeting resources and learn more at ushja.org/AnnualMeeting.