Lexington, KY - In response to feedback from its membership, the United States Equestrian Federation Board of Directors took the following actions on Monday, February 23 in order to improve the process, procedures, and fairness of competition licensing.
The first action that the Board adopted toward these improvements will take effect immediately. The Federation office will no longer issue competition licenses extending beyond a one-year term, allowing the Board time to evaluate the mileage rules and the criteria for issuing and renewing competition license agreements. Existing multi-year license agreements will be honored.
Second, the Board requested an immediate assessment regarding the enforcement of show standards, safety standards, and reliable reporting from licensed officials.
Next, the Board considered and adopted a recommendation from the Competition Classification Task Force introduced at the 2015 USEF Annual Meeting to remove the application of the mileage rule from FEI 5* Jumper competitions, with no national classes as it believes this is consistent with the Federation's goal of growing the visibility of the sport. These competitions will be classified as Special Competitions under the Federation rules, which are subject to Board approval.
The Board also considered, but did not adopt the other recommendation of the Competition Classification Task Force that would lift mileage protection against a Jumper Level 6 competition each sixth week of a series as it did not believe it went far enough to meet the goal of improved fairness in competition licensing. Instead, the Federation will draft a proposal to amend the current mileage rules consistent with the directive of the Board. In furtherance of this effort, a mileage rule revision task force, which will be co-chaired by Federation Vice-President Elisabeth Goth and United States Hunter Jumper Association President Bill Moroney, has been appointed to evaluate all aspects of competition licensing.
In the interim, any organizer interested in hosting a Level 6 Jumper competition against an existing competition should utilize the existing mileage exemption process, which does not limit such requests to particular weeks.
All of these efforts are aimed at ensuring that the growth of the sport is consistent with the Federation's mission and vision.