Rules affecting Hunter/Jumper competition taking effect Dec. 1, 2017

Zones 1 and 2 Children's team medalists at the USHJA Zones Championship held on Sept. 23, 2017 at Princeton Show Jumping in Princeton, N.J. Credits: Jump Media LLC/USHJA Archives

LEXINGTON, Ky — The USHJA is helping members Know Before You Show with a simple guide of rule changes taking effect for the new competition year. The following are important rule changes that will be effective Dec. 1, for the 2018 competition year and affect Hunter/Jumper competition.

The new rules include:

Microchipping: These rule changes, originally approved in January 2016, set in place a requirement for some competition horses to be microchipped. The requirement will be phased in beginning Dec. 1, when horses competing in classes that require a USHJA Horse Registration will be required to be microchipped to receive points. On Dec. 1, 2018, the requirement will be extended to all horses competing in classes that require a USHJA Horse Registration in order to compete.

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Amateurs and Clinics: This rule change clarifies that amateurs may organize, manage and host clinics.

Distracted Riding: These rule changes now prohibit the use of any device with ear bud(s) while mounted in all Hunter or Jumper schooling areas in order to reduce distractions and promote safety.

International Hunter Derby and Conformation Points: This rule change prevents points from USHJA International Hunter Derby classes from counting toward Horse of the Year Awards for Conformation Hunter sections.

Adding a Junior and Amateur National Hunter Derby: With this rule change, competition management has the option to offer a second USHJA National Hunter Derby restricted to Juniors and Amateurs in addition to offering an open one. If a restricted National Hunter Derby is offered, an open National Hunter Derby must also be offered.

Junior Hunters at Zone Championships: This rule change allows USHJA Zone Championships to offer a Junior Hunter 3’3” section without necessarily also offering a Junior 3’6” section in order to accommodate Championship competitors who may not be competing at Fall Indoor competitions held during the same timeframe as the Zone Championships.

Equitation Championships by Points: This rule change defines how Equitation Championships may be awarded based on points alone, in addition to being awarded through a Championship class.

USEF HOTY Awards Ceremony: This rule change allows the USEF flexibility to host HOTY Awards at the USEF Annual Meeting or at another location or time that best suits the Federation and its members.

Judge’s Card: This rule change prevents the changing of class results after the completion of a Hunter or Hunter/Jumping Seat Equitation class unless an error is discovered on the judge’s card.

Isolation Protocol: This rule change requires that competition management have and provide to USEF an isolation protocol for horses in the event a horse with an infectious disease enters the show grounds.

Junior/Amateur Jumper Splits: This rule change requires that Jumper classes with 15 or more Junior Jumper and 15 or more Amateur Jumper entries must be divided and prize money doubled, as opposed to basing it on the first class entries only. There is an exception for special classes such as Combined Classics or the highest prize money class of the section.

Amateur Jumper (Not Owner): These rule changes allow Amateurs, regardless of whether they own the horse they are riding, to compete at a nationally recognized high level, including the following fence heights: 1.20/1.25, 1.30/1.35, 1.40/1.45. These also create a HOTY category for Amateur Jumpers.

Hunter Breeding Class Limits: This rule change limits the number of Hunter Breeding sections a competition may offer to count for National or Zone HOTY Awards to one and limits the number of Pony Hunter Breeding sections to count for Zone HOTY Awards to one.

Adults on Ponies: These rule changes provide clarity on when adults may or may not ride ponies at competitions. Adults may not ride ponies in any classes when those ponies are also competing with a Junior in a rated Pony Hunter section, USEF Pony Medal or WIHS Pony Equitation. These restrictions do not apply to Pony Jumpers or at multi-breed/discipline competitions.

Junior Hunter 3’3” Combining/Dividing: This rule change requires National and Premier competitions offering the Junior Hunter 3’3” section to offer it as two sections.

Horse Measurement Cards: This rule change allows horses to obtain a standard measurement card when the horse measures 16.2 hands or above, regardless of age.

Exercise Area Sizes: This rule change increases exercise area sizes at competitions based on the number of horses entered at the competition in order to promote safety and welfare of horses and riders.

Belly Bands in Equitation: This rule change prevents the use of belly bands and other types of bandages from being used anywhere other than on the legs in a Hunter/Jumping Seat Equitation class.

Necropsy: This rule change requires that a necropsy be performed in the event a horse or pony dies while at a licensed competition.

Judges Requirements: This rule change reduces licensing maintenance requirements for recorded judges while maintaining rigorous standards.

Schooling Supervisors in Hunters: This rule change requires that Hunter classes with $10,000 or more in prize money have their schooling areas supervised by a C1 Steward or Certified Schooling Supervisor.

USEF Farm Membership: This rule change creates a standalone “farm” membership category with USEF.

For details on these rules see

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