The United States’ governing body for horse sport released new guidelines earlier this summer which are intended to ensure that horse welfare and safety is the number one priority for all disciplines, shows, owners, and competitors. These guidelines are intended to guide the governing body’s Hearing Panels when cases are brought before them and assist them in determining the appropriate penalty for a conviction.
They will be instituted beginning September 1 of this year.
The guidelines range from cases of over-spurring to intentional death of an animal for financial gain. While the new recommendations are most definitely harsher than the previous iteration, they are not meant to be “mandatory minimums” or maximums, but rather a starting point for the Hearing Panels.
Since then, USEF members have had numerous questions about when these guidelines apply and how much they might impact everyday competitors and horses who find themselves in unforeseen circumstances.
To address these questions, US Equestrian has released an FAQ guide on the new policies so riders know what to expect.
What do you think, JN? Are the new guidelines going to protect horses better from the few rare predators in the sport, or will it just be hours of new red tape and bureaucracy for everyday competitors? (Or both?)