By Catie Staszak
On Wednesday, Aug. 3, the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) announced the approval of “hunter/jumper competitions to be added to the calendar for the first trimester of the 2023 competition year in Florida.”
The list of competitions includes “32 approved mileage exemptions set to occur over a period of 18 weeks.” A review of the approved draft of the competition calendar confirms that the World Equestrian Center – Ocala’s Winter Spectacular show circuit will have 12 weeks of USEF competition between January and March, as well as two December dates.
Exhibitors’ voices have been heard, and the Florida competition calendar is expanding.
Nearby HITS Ocala was also approved to host 12 USEF rated competitions, and in total, nine venues in Florida will have USEF shows between December 2022 and March 2023:
- Bob Thomas Equestrian Center — Tampa, FL
- Florida Horse Park — Ocala, FL*
- Fox Lea Farm — Venice, FL
- HITS Post Time Farm — Ocala, FL
- Live Oak Stud — Ocala, FL**
- Terranova Equestrian Center — Myakka City, FL
- The Ridge — Wellington, FL
- Wellington International (formerly Palm Beach International Equestrian Center) — Wellington, FL
- World Equestrian Center – Ocala — Ocala, FL
*The Florida Horse Park will not hold USEF competition until the end of March, after both HITS and WEC – Ocala have completed their winter seasons.
**Live Oak Stud typically hosts one week of FEI competition (only) in March. In 2022, the venue had CSI4*-W and CSI1* divisions.
Many of these venues will also play host to international (FEI) competition, but these still needed to be approved by the international federation. Once that process has been completed and licensing agreements have been executed, the competitions will be added to the USEF competition calendar, which can be searched by clicking here.
USEF released a statement that included the following:
“The Board of Directors approved a resolution permitting the USEF to contemporaneously review all Mileage Exemption Requests for Hunter, Jumper, and Hunter/Jumper Licensed Competitions in Florida occurring within the first trimester of the 2023 competition year, similar to the resolution which was approved and successfully implemented for the 2022 competition year. This review provided the Federation with the most universal consideration of the hunter/jumper competition landscape at that time of year in that region due to the concentration of horses in Florida during the first several months of the competition year caused by the seasonal migration of competitors.
“The mileage exemption requests received were processed in accordance with the approved resolution and USEF rules. The USEF collected and reviewed materials relevant to these requests, including applicant mileage exemption requests, recommendations of priority date holders, feedback from USEF Recognized Affiliate USHJA, feedback from the applicable USEF Department(s), the existing hunter/jumper competitions on the calendar in the first trimester in Florida, historical horse density and migration data, and applicable Federation rules and mileage exemption criteria.
“The goal at USEF is to provide a competition environment that meets members’ needs for the development of equine and human athletes, horse and human safety and welfare, athlete protection, and a fair and level field of play.”
USEF reminded and encouraged members to submit feedback about the competition evaluation process and to participate in the evaluation process for competitions they attend. Evaluation forms can be found at www.usef.org/compete/competition-evaluation/select-competition or through the “Member Tools” section of your member dashboard.
View the approved draft of the 2023 competition calendar in full here.