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How to Recognize Your Competition with the USEA

The first step towards having your competition approved by the USEA is to complete the USEA Competition Approval Application and submit the completed application to the USEA Director of Competitions, Sharon Gallagher at [email protected] or fax (703) 779-0550. The application will be forwarded to the applicable area chair for consideration by the area council. The names and addresses of the area chairs for your location are found in the USEA Omnibus and website (a map is provided to determine your area), and on the second page of the approval application. This information can also be obtained from the USEA Office, 525 Old Waterford, NW, Leesburg, VA 20176, (703) 779-0440.

The Area Council will assist you in scheduling a suitable date compatible with other local competitions and help you plan a competition that meets USEA standards. Once approved, the Area Chair will forward the signed application to the USEA office and the competition will be added to the calendar of USEA recognized competitions. Secondly, the most important part of an eventing competition is the cross-country phase. It is the majority of a rider's final score and by its nature requires the most work, personnel and supervision. A USEA official (area chair or someone they appoint, technical delegate or judge) or other knowledgeable person should come walk your course making suggestions and also approving your course for USEA standards. 

We recommend volunteering at an established recognized competition near you. The experience is invaluable and will give you a better understanding on what is involved with hosting a recognized event. Also, contact the Area’s Organizers Representative, organizers know firsthand every detail needed for a successful competition; the names may be obtained on the website or by contacting the USEA office. 

The dates of all registered competitions must first be cleared through the appropriate Area Council. Organizers of all registered competitions are strongly encouraged to participate in area organizers' meetings usually held in the summer where, among other things, the area's schedule of competitions is mapped out.

Any eventing competition (two-day or three-day event, horse trial or combined test) seeking registration with and support from the USEA, after getting their date approved by the area chair, must register with the USEA office.  All competitions must purchase a USEA Omnibus listing for posting to the USEA website (, the deadlines for registration vary depending upon the season in which the competition will be held. These change annually and are available from the USEA office. The $300.00 fee includes event registration ($175), and an Omnibus listing ($125) as well as a listing in the Provisional Calendar on If you are offering a Preliminary level or above or a three-day event, you must license the event with the USEF, 4047 Iron Works Pkwy, Lexington, KY 40511, (859) 258-2472.

New Events approved for recognition: The USEA, in conjunction with the Area Chair, will approve the new organizer’s choice of Technical Delegate and assist with the expenses. Please contact the USEA for details. USEF Eventing Judge must be hired as President of the Ground Jury. Additional judges may be selected from the USEF roster of Dressage Judges or Eventing Judges. A new competition consists of the following: a) All new horse trials; b) All new organizing committee running a competition on an old or existing course; c) An experienced organizing committee developing an all new cross-country site; d) A new combined test that offers a cross-country phase. After the first year, competitions may invite any TD in accordance with the USEF Rules; though the same TD may not be used more than twice in a row. The technical delegate makes two visits, the first a planning assistance visit four to six weeks prior to the competition, then attends the competition itself, arriving a day early for final approval of course and arenas.

Each registered competition must email the complete results for all riders (including HC riders) in an Excel spreadsheet that includes the USEA ID number for both rider and horse to ([email protected]).

Send an update copy of the program and beginner novice non-member credit vouchers.

The following fees must be collected from the competitor on behalf of the USEA and forwarded to the USEA office within 10 working days of the competition: The starter fee for all levels, including FEI is $21.00 per starter (a starter being defined as a competitor who starts the first phase of a competition: the dressage test at a horse trials and the first horse inspection at a three-day event). 

If your competition is licensed with the USEF, an $8.00 Federation fee is to be collected for each horse entered in USEF divisions (Preliminary level and above), a Federation Show Pass fee of $30.00 for each rider, trainer, lessee, coach (if applicable), owner or agent who is not a current USEF member. Note: USEF Endorsed levels (beginner novice, novice and training) are exempt from Federation membership/non-membership and discipline fees.


1. The competition must be conducted, without exception, in accordance with the USEF Rules for Eventing and the USEA Policies and Guidelines for Recognized Competitions and the following observed:

(a) The current dressage tests and the correct size arenas must be used. Warm-up areas must be adequate.

(b) The cross-country course, in the opinion of the area chair (or representative) and the technical delegate must meet the standards of the level offered. It must be well designed, well built and marked in accordance with the rules. It must have proper warm-up facilities and starting box.

(c) The show jumping course, in the opinion of the technical delegate, must be at the standard of the level offered. It must be well designed and marked in accordance with the rules.

(d) All competitors at the Beginner Novice level and above must be current members of the USEA.

All horses at the Beginner Novice level and above must be registered with the USEA

2. Preliminary level or higher the competition must also be licensed with USEF.

3. The personnel conducting the competition must be of the requisite number and experience and the following observed:

(a) The ground jury and any additional dressage judges must be chosen from USEF list of Eventing Judges and Dressage Judges, or be specifically approved for the competition by USEF Eventing Technical Committee.

(b) The Technical Delegate must be chosen from the USEF list of Technical Delegates.

Both of the above-mentioned lists are available from the USEA office.

(c) Must follow Article EV113 of USEF Rules for Eventing concerning qualified medical personnel who must be at the event during all stages of the competition.

(d) A veterinarian must be on the grounds of an event during all cross-country and jumping tests.

(e) Enough scorers and timers, each thoroughly familiar with his duties and responsibilities and each properly equipped, must be appointed to ensure the efficient proper conduct of the event.

4. Must have a program that includes a current USEA membership page or USEA Advertisement (both forms are located on

5. The USEA insurance program upon registration automatically covers the competition. Details of this program are available from the USEA Office.

All Advanced horse trials, international horse trials (CIC), and three-day events (Preliminary and above) must request approval in writing from the USEF Eventing Technical Committee. In addition to meeting the conditions laid down for a licensed competition, these competitions must:

1. Run as a registered horse trial for at least a year (at the discretion of the USEF Eventing Technical Committee).

2. Have an Organizing Committee that includes or appoints, but is not limited to, the following: Chairman, Secretary, Dressage Steward, Cross-country Steward, Jumping Steward, Safety Coordinator, Program Coordinator and Publicity Coordinator.

3. Have a program that includes, though is not limited to, the following:

(a) Timetable of divisions and tests.

(b) Statement: "{event name} is operated in accordance with the current rules of USEF, of which body it is an Eventing Competition Member." (Available camera ready from USEF)

(c) List of judges, officials and the organizing committee.

(d) List of entries.

(e) Disclaimer of liability.

(f) Organizer's reservation of rights.

(g) USEF and USEA membership pages or USEA advertisement.

(h) Specifications of each test.

(i) Plan of the cross-country course, including the length and speed.

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