Dear USEF Members, 


As part of our continued commitment to protecting the welfare of our equine partners, USEF has proposed rule changes to strengthen the horse abuse rule. Earlier this week, an extraordinary rule change to GR 838 was proposed to accompany the standard rule change to GR 702 currently under consideration, which, if approved, would expand USEF jurisdiction beyond competition environments. Specifically, the two rules call for:


GR 702 – The proposed change to GR 702 was submitted in early September 2023 with the intention of increasing the scope of jurisdiction of USEF to pursue investigation and disciplinary action for reported horse abuse occurring outside of the competition environment.


GR 838 – This newly presented extraordinary rule change is intended to increase the scope of jurisdiction for equine abuse, further define actions that are considered equine abuse, require mandatory reporting of equine abuse, and amplify the ability for competition management and licensed officials to impose disciplinary actions during a competition for matters of equine abuse.


The extraordinary rule change coincided with the recently surfaced allegations of abuse against horses. Upon learning of and receiving photos and videos of the alleged abuse, USEF immediately contacted the FEI, and they quickly imposed a temporary suspension while they actively investigate the matter. This was possible because FEI General Regulations Article 142 provides jurisdiction beyond competition environments. US Equestrian does not currently have such a rule in place at the national level. If passed, both GR 702 and GR 838, would allow USEF to further protect our equine partners and pursue disciplinary action for reported and documented cases of abuse outside of competition environments.


These proposed rules are available for member comments on the USEF website. We strongly encourage members to participate in the comment submission process. All member comments will be considered. The proposals will be discussed and voted on at the Mid-Year Board Meeting in June. It is important to note that these rules are not intended to be used as a means for USEF to inspect private property or implement other forms of surveillance. These rules rely on reports being received by USEF.


There is no place in our sport for horse abuse, be it on competition grounds or at the barn. These rules are a step in the right direction to ensure horse abuse is eliminated from our sport. If you have witnessed horse-related abuse, please contact USEF by texting 2USEF (28733) or by emailing As a reminder, if you witnessed or have knowledge of sexual abuse, it must be reported to law enforcement and the U.S. Center for SafeSport.


US Equestrian Federation

4001 Wing Commander Way

Lexington, KY 40511



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