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USA Equestrian Acts on Rule Change Proposals

Following open rule change forums and committee meetings, the USA Equestrian Board of Directors acted on over 300 rule change proposals at the Sunday morning Board meeting held during the 2003 Annual Meeting in Lexington, KY. Complete results of the Board meeting will be available on the USA Equestrian website in the near future. A few of the rule changes that will be in effect as of December 1, 2003, are listed below.

After considerable debate and the cooperative efforts of more than one committee, a system has been approved that will allow a steward or technical delegate in consultation with another official to issue a Warning Card for improper conduct or rule infractions that are not, in the opinion of the steward or TD, deemed severe enough to warrant issuance of a Charge.

Horses competing in the Roadster division must be Standardbreds registered with the US Trotting Horse Association or the Canadian Trotting Horse Association. Exception: horses that have competed in any Roadster division class at a USA Equestrian recognized competition prior to December 1, 2003.

A new training program and requirements to become a steward have been developed that will include experience in competition management as a requirement for entrance into the training program.

The entire Jumper division rules have been rearranged and revised.

New Jersey, being a land-locked state within a zone, will be treated as a part of either New York or Pennsylvania for the purposes of awarding zone points in a contiguous state.

The following changes are only a few of the many changes that will go into effect prior to December 1, 2003:

Competitions may email certificates of insurance to our office; effective immediately. Whether or not stabling is provided, a minimum of one sharps container per competition is required to be placed at competitions; effective March 1, 2003.

Category 2 and Combined Category stewards will be able to officiate at Morgan only Dressage classes at a recognized Morgan show through Fourth Level, as of March 1, 2003.

Memberships completed at a competition must be forwarded to the Federation office within 2 days of the close of the competition. The member's copy is valid for 45 days or until his/her membership card is received.

Speed and Distance specifications for Eventing Horse Trials have been changed. There are also changes in the calculation of scores, how refusals are scored, faults at obstacles, and resistance time at combination jumps. All of these changes are effective March 1, 2003.

In the Dressage division, a third error will result in elimination. The time allowed to enter the arena after the bell has been rung has been reduced to 45 seconds. Both changes are effective January 30, 2003.

Competition management must provide new disposable surgical gloves for use by bit inspectors at Dressage competitions, effective January 30, 2003.

There is a change in the qualifying period for the USA Equestrian Pony Jumper National Championship. For the 2003 Championship, the qualifying period will be from June 2, 2002 to June 1, 2003.

The qualifying period for the USA Equestrian Junior Hunter National Championship will be between July 2, 2002, and July 1, 2003; for the 2003 Championship.

In the National Show Horse Division, junior horses are to be considered five years of age and under; effective March 1, 2003.

The full text of all the rule changes approved by the Board of Directors at the 2003 Annual Meeting will soon be available on the USA Equestrian web site. A hard copy of the rule changes will also be available by contacting Marie Murphy, Director, Regulation Publications at (859) 225-6922 or via email at

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