In January, the US Equestrian Board of Directors approved a resolution authorizing a contemporaneous review of all Hunter, Jumper, and Hunter/Jumper Licensed Competitions in California for the 2023 competition year to create a more balanced, equitable, and sustainable competition environment for competitors and organizers alike.
The process was initiated by vacating the state’s 2023 Hunter, Jumper, and Hunter/Jumper competition calendar. This was followed by conducting meetings between US Equestrian and relevant stakeholders, including athletes, trainers, and competition organizers, to work collaboratively to find solutions to existing challenges, develop opportunities, and build a new 2023 competition calendar.
US Equestrian appreciates the tremendous amount of feedback provided by stakeholders since the start of this project. This feedback has been considered in the development of the 2023 calendar and informed the principles underpinning this project, which include:
Points of Focus
- The Competition Calendar must be adaptable and flexible when needed
- Recognizing organizer commitment to investment in facilities to create a robust year-round calendar
- Diversity of competition products and venues is vital to creating a robust competition environment
- Increasing FEI offerings in California
- Heritage Type competitions that meet the applicable standards are valuable to the sport
- Major Championship and Finals events are needed on the West Coast
- Competition viability and sustainability
- Competition quality over quantity
- Address venue fatigue
- Increase and uphold competition standards and increase Compliance inspections
- Require organizers to host the levels and ratings they apply for, including FEI, so competitors can plan ahead, and the calendar is stabilized
- Hold events accountable to their Facility Performance Improvement Plans which were submitted as part of the application process
- Performance must affect calendar placement
- Manage expectations of participants
- Celebrate the sport
- Include new organizers in the calendar as priority date holders to provide diversity of venues, strengthen the calendar, and encourage venue investment
- Horse and athlete density and venue capacity limitations throughout the state
- Increasing the total number of Regional (B) and National (A) rated hunter competitions
- Resolving the volume of clashes between events and venues to balance the calendar and increase the variety of competitive experiences
- Strengthening the winter circuit, which was identified as the anchor of the California Competition Calendar
- Improving relationships between organizers and competitors to increase communication and improve the competitor experience
Changes Announced Soon
At the end of April, the Competitions Department began communicating with competition applicants to advise them of the competition dates, venues and ratings, and levels being offered by USEF to the organizers and requesting confirmation of their commitment to conduct these competitions. Upon receipt of confirmation, USEF will be sending competition licenses to the organizers for their completion.
In accordance with USEF rules, organizers are permitted to announce competition dates, venues, ratings, and levels “pending USEF approval.” We expect that organizers will begin to make these announcements shortly. USEF will be posting a draft 2023 competition calendar next week, which will be finalized once all the competition licenses are fully executed.
Should you have any questions regarding the 2023 California Competition Calendar, please contact USEF Senior Director of Competition Licensing, Evaluation and Safety Katlynn Wilbers at firstname.lastname@example.org.