Understanding Equestrian Show Memberships
If you’re a member of the United States Equestrian Federation or other Equestrian show organizations, chances are you’ve been getting e-mails and letters about renewing your membership. If you’re new to the world of recognized competition, you may be overwhelmed with the options and requirements for your specific discipline. Don’t worry, we here at Equiflexsleeve have got your back! We’re all about making your life easier and saving you time, so enjoy our breakdown of the major memberships you need to compete in 2016!
All USEF disciplines:
If you’re looking to compete in recognized competitions in 2016, you need to have a USEF and USDF membership for yourself and your horse. There are a few different individual membership options:
- Senior Member – This is for anyone over the age of 18, whether they be an amateur (AA) or professional rider, or if they own a horse who will be competing in USEF competitions. A one year membership costs $55 and runs from 12/1/2015-11/30/2016
- Junior Member – This is for anyone under the age of 18 who will be competing, or owns a horse who will be competing, in USEF competitions. A one year membership costs $55 and runs from 12/1/2015-11/30/2016.
- Noncompeting Member – This is for anyone who wants to support USEF but does not own a horse who will be competing, and does not plan on competing, in USEF competitions. A non-competing membership is also valid for high school equestrian varsity atheletes. A one year membership costs $25, and runs from 12/12015-11/30/2016
You will also need to be sure your horse has either a Horse ID or a Horse Record, depending on your goals. If you are just starting out and want to get a feel for USEF competition, you can request a free Horse ID number online. However, having only a horse ID number will make you ineligible for certain year end awards. Horses must be RECORDED (and incur an annual cost of $75, or $200 for a lifetime membership) in order to be eligible for USEF Awards and Championship programs, to compete in a Ranking List class, to qualify for USEF/USDF championship classes, or to acquire an FEI passport or registration number.
As with most organizations, if you choose to buy a multi-year (3) or lifetime membership, you will get a reduced yearly rate.
You can find information about Membership and Horse Recording services on the United States Equestrian Federation website.
For competing in recognized dressage competitions, you must be sure that you have a USDF membership, and that your horse is recorded with USDF as well. USDF’s membership options can be confusing, particularly if you’re already a member of a GMO, or group member organization. If you’ve been competing at schooling shows locally, chances are you know which GMO is your local club – for example, in New Jersey, we have ECRDA, EDSCTA, SGSDS and a few others. With a membership to any of these clubs, you’re automatically granted a Group Membership to USDF.
That’s great! If you’re looking to show at local USEF/USDF recognized competitions, your Group Membership may be all that you need. You’ll be able to compete in these competitions and you will be able to submit scores for USDF rider awards. However, if you dream of participating in the Great American Insurance Group/USDF Regional Championships or Breeders’ Championship Finals, or you plan to declare for an Adequan/USDF Year-End Awards, you’ll need to get yourself a full, participating USDF membership. If you’re under 21 years old, you’re still able to get a youth membership, which will cost $60 for the year. Anyone older than 21 will get a senior “PM”, for $75. There are also discounts for 5 year and lifetime memberships.
Your horse will also need a USDF membership. As with USEF, you can request a cheaper ($25) Horse ID number, and be eligible to compete, but not eligible for Year End awards or Championship shows. For full benefits, you’ll need to get your horse a lifetime registration with USDF, for $95.
If you’re an eventer, you’ll need to join the United States Eventing Association (USEA) to participate in recognized USEA Horse Trials at all levels. Your USEA membership will also allow you to compete in USEA Event Series Programs for Young, New, and Future event horses, as well as the USEA Classic Series, Adequan USEA Gold Cup Series, Charles Owen Technical Merit Award Events, and the Nutrena USEA American Eventing Championships.
A senior membership costs $85, and a junior membership is discounted to $60. If you’re a college student attending an affiliated college, you’ll continue to be eligible for a $60 membership until you graduate.
There are also scores of local organizations – again I point to ESDCTA in my neck of the woods – that support members in a smaller atmosphere than on the national stage, and host year end awards and championship shows on their own. It is absolutely worth joining these organizations, as they help you network with like-minded equestrians in your area.
To compete in any hunter, jumper, equitation or hunter breeding classes at recognized competitions you need to have an active membership of the United States Hunter Jumper Association (USHJA), unless it is a restricted breed show, or a designated “Local” competition. A one year membership for 2016 costs $85, plus an additional $2 or $7 USHJA Fee, depending on the level you compete.
You’ll need to register your horse, too. A lifetime USHJA membership for your horse costs $75. You can submit your Active registration and your horse registration along with your USEF membership forms, and your association number and horse recording numbers will be the same across both organizations.
Breed organization costs and requirements vary significantly, but most require breed papers and an annual recording fee of anywhere from $30-$75. Breed organization memberships are required if you would like to declare your horse for an All-Breeds award with USEF, or for various awards within the organization. For example, a Paint horse registered with APHA whose owner has an active membership will earn Certificate of Achievement points for scores in recognized USEF competition. Check with your horses’ breed assocation to find out what great benefits they can offer you and your horse!
A note on volunteers:
At first, these fees often give a new participant a sort of sticker shock – “it costs WHAT to join the organization?!”. But, when you think about all that these organizations do to enhance and support our sports, it’s really a great bargain. We get newsletters, Championship shows, clinics, seminars, banquets, etc. While rising entry fees are a discussion with supporters and critics, one thing is absolutely certain in the world of horse showing – none of this would be possible without wonderful show volunteers. The ring stewards, the bit-check crew, jump judges and score runners – We at Equiflexsleeve THANK YOU! We encourage every one reading this blog to go out of their way to thank a horse show volunteer this show season, and to dedicate a few hours on a weekend afternoon to helping your local show organization run a great event. Without volunteers, we would not be able to enjoy the sports that we love so much.
We’d also like to make a special note of TWO contests we at Equiflexsleeve are hosting this December. This month is your best chance to win Equiflexsleeves all year.
First, check out our “Leg Up with Equiflexsleeve” Contests: Share your Youtube, Vine, or Instagram video here for your chance to win a set of Equiflexsleeves!: http://woobox.com/hgnzwn
Then, head on over to the Equiflexsleeve online store where, for the entire month of December, we will be GIVING AWAY a free pair of Equiflexsleeves to 1 OUT OF EVERY 6 online purchasers at www.equiflexsleeve.com! Your can keep the extra pair for yourself OR have us send a Secret Santa directly to the person of your choice. This is a great way to say “Thank You” to your trainer or someone special at the barn.
We are so thankful for such a great year, we want to pass it along!!