USEF Updates Eventing Qualifications

Important changes were made to qualification and establishment rules at the USEF/USEA Safety Summit.

August 4, 2008 — One of the most pressing issues raised at the U.S. Equestrian Federation/U.S. Eventing Association Safety Summit held in Lexington, Ky. June 7-8, 2008, was the need to tighten qualifications for horse and riders to move up and remain at levels of recognized competition.

The most important changes were to USEF rule EV105, which will become effective December 1, 2008. The rule redefines the establishment of qualifications at preliminary and above and ensures that horses and riders are consistently qualified and competent to compete at the level at which they are established.

Once a rider achieves a qualifying result at a level, horse and rider are established (qualified to compete at the level) for the remainder of that calendar year and the following year. Re-qualification will be required when the time period has expired.

The establishment may be extended by obtaining qualifying results at other events at the same level within the time period. If establishment is not extended within that time period, the qualification expires. Establishment can be re-acquired by achieving two more qualifying results at the next lower level within 12 months of loss of qualification.

Loss of establishment for a horse will occur if any of the below occur:

  • A horse is eliminated twice, for non-technical reasons within any six-month period.
  • A horse falls twice in competition within a six-month period.
  • A rider falls twice from the same horse during competition within a 12-month period.

Having lost qualification, a horse may be re-qualified by achieving two qualifying results at the next lower level within a six-month period following the loss of qualification.

Eventing competitors, coaches and officials should make sure that rule EV141, the new “One Fall Rule,” is clearly understood. The One Fall Rule only applies to rider falls as defined by EV142. EV142 defines a rider fall as being clearly connected to jumping or attempting to jump a numbered obstacle.

For the complete rule changes and more information, see the USEF Rule Book at

Read Nancy Jaffer’s coverage from the safety summit on Final Postcard: 2008 Eventing Safety Summit

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