USEF Announces Formation of Two New Task Forces to Address Major Industry Challenges

In response to repeated requests by its membership, the United States Equestrian Federation (US Equestrian) has formed two new task forces to conduct comprehensive assessments of both equine transaction transparency and the competition environment, including calendar management. These task forces will present their findings to the Board of Directors, including any policies and/or rules that need to be amended or developed to improve the issues raised by the membership.

Photo by Alissa King / JN

“Clearly, equine transactions are an area of our sport that needs attention. Bad business deals chase people away from our sport, stifle growth, and undermine the integrity of our industry,” said US Equestrian President Murray Kessler.

“US Equestrian does not need to be involved in the details of a transaction or be a party to a transaction. Nor does it intend to try to regulate prices or commissions. However, US Equestrian can provide our members with the resources needed to make an informed decision when buying or leasing a horse, including the right to disclosure of the details between the parties to a transaction. This will be the primary focus of the Equine Transaction Transparency Task Force.”

US Equestrian Vice President and Chair of the Equine Transaction Transparency Task Force Elisabeth Goth stated, “US Equestrian continues to hear from its members about the lack of transparency involving the sale or lease of horses. We recognize a distinct need for greater educational resources for our members to provide a better understanding of the relationship between seller and buyer and the reasons that commissions are a responsible component of equine transactions. There is also a need to educate people about the state and federal laws already in place that help protect our membership, including buyers, seller, and agents.”

Equally important is our need to regularly conduct a thorough assessment of our competition licensing and calendar management processes. “It is good governance and in the best interest of our sport for US Equestrian to regularly review the administration of our competition calendar to make certain we are utilizing the best methods for managing the competition environment,” said Kessler.

US Equestrian CEO Bill Moroney added, “As the National Governing Body for equestrian sport in the United States, US Equestrian is charged by the Ted Stevens Act with administering the competition calendar in a manner that we believe best serves the developmental and competition needs of our human and equine athletes. The dramatic changes to the competition calendar over the past five years dictates this re-assessment.”

There are regions of the country that are experiencing calendar management challenges across a variety of factors. These issues must be examined and solutions need to be identified and implemented. In giving consideration to the management tools that support US Equestrian’s goals for effectively administering the competition calendar, the Task Force will be charged with analyzing several focal points related to competitions, such as competitor density, diversity of competition venues, competition sustainability, diversity of competition levels/ratings, major events, and accessibility to competitions at all economic levels.

Calendar management encompasses the breadth of breeds and disciplines under US Equestrian’s governance structure. The Task Force will be interacting with the various constituencies of the membership, including Recognized Affiliates, athletes, owners, and competition organizers during the course of their analysis. The chair of the competition calendar task force will be named in the coming days.

US Equestrian invites its members to participate in the discussion on both topics by submitting comments or recommendations through the following e-mail addresses. For Equine Transactions, please e-mail and include “Equine Transactions” in the subject line. For Competitions, e-mail US Equestrian members can watch Bill Moroney’s six steps to buying or leasing a horse, including the bill of sale, pre-purchase exam, and more in a video in the US Equestrian Learning Center.