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How to Recognize Your Competition with the USEA

The first step towards having your competition approved by the USEA is to complete the USEA Competition Approval Application and submit the completed application to the USEA Director of Competitions Sharon Gallagher at or fax (703) 779-0550. The application will be forwarded to the applicable Area Chair for consideration by the Area Council. The names and addresses of the Area Chairs for your location are found on the website (a map is provided to determine your area). This information can also be obtained from the USEA office, 525 Old Waterford, NW, Leesburg, Va., 20176, (703) 779-0440.

The Area Council will assist you in scheduling a suitable date compatible with other local competitions and help you plan a competition that meets USEA standards. Once approved, the Area Chair will forward the signed application to the USEA office and the competition added to the calendar of USEA recognized competitions.

The most important part of an eventing competition is the cross-country phase. It’s the majority of a rider's final score and, by its very nature, requires the most work, personnel, and supervision. A USEF Licensed Eventing Course Designer is mandatory for Modified level and above. A certified Eventing Course Designer is required for Training, Novice, and Beginner Novice. A roster of licensed course designers and certified designers is available from the USEA office.

We recommend volunteering at an established recognized competition near you. The experience is invaluable and will give you a better understanding of what is involved with hosting a recognized competition. Also, contact the Area’s Organizers Representative - organizers know firsthand every detail needed for a successful competition; the names may be obtained on the website or by contacting the USEA office. 

The dates of all registered competitions must first be cleared through the appropriate Area Council. Organizers of all registered competitions are strongly encouraged to participate in the area organizers' meeting where, among other things, the area's schedule of competitions is mapped out. All Advanced level horse trials, international competitions (CIs), and Classic Series Three-Day Events (Training and Preliminary) require additional approval from the USEF Eventing Sport Committee and USEF International Disciplines Council.

Any eventing competition, after their date is approved by the Area Council, must register with the USEA office and compose an omnibus page (prize list) for posting on the USEA website. The $300.00 fee includes the event registration ($175), and an omnibus (prize list) page ($125), as well as being listed on the provisional calendar on the USEA website. If offering Preliminary level or above, a USEF (US Equestrian) license must be obtained: 4047 Iron Works Pkwy, Lexington, Ky., 40511, (859) 258-2472,

In addition to meeting the conditions in accordance with the applicable USEF General Regulations, Rules for Eventing, and USEA Policies, the competitions must have an Organizer or Organizing Committee that includes or appoints, but is not limited to, the following: Chairman, Secretary, Dressage Steward, Cross-Country Steward, Jumping Steward, Safety Coordinator, Program Coordinator, and Publicity Coordinator.

New events approved for recognition: A USEF Eventing Technical Delegate (TD) must be hired. The TD makes two visits, the first a planning assistance visit four to six weeks prior to the competition, then attends the competition itself, arriving a day early for final approval of courses and arenas. The first visit allows time for any adjustments, if necessary. Remember, the first impression riders have of a competition is crucial for its continued success. Note: In accordance with USEF Rules, the same TD may not be hired more than twice, consecutively.

A USEF Eventing Judge must be hired as President of the Ground Jury. Additional judges may be selected from the USEF roster of Dressage Judges or Eventing Judges. The USEA will assist the first held new event offering only national levels with Technical Delegate expenses. Please contact the USEA for details. A new competition consists of the following: a) an entirely new event, with new organizational staff and over new cross-country courses; or b) an experienced organizational staff at a new facility developing all new cross-country courses (Note: an existing event adding a new level or an additional date to the calendar is not considered a new event; or c) An all new organizational staff (organizer and secretary) taking over an existing cross-country site that has not been used for two or more years.

The following fees must be collected from the competitor on behalf of the USEA and forwarded to the USEA office within 10 days of the competition: The starter fee for all levels, including FEI, is $21.00 per starter (a starter being defined as a competitor who starts the first phase of a competition: the dressage test at a horse trials and the first horse inspection at a CCI/Three-Day Event). 

If your competition is licensed with the USEF, an $8.00 Federation Admin fee is to be collected for each horse entered in USEF divisions (Preliminary level and above) and a Federation Show Pass fee of $45.00 for each rider, trainer, lessee, coach (if applicable), owner, or agent who is not a current USEF member. FEI levels have additional USEF fees itemized on the entry form. Note: USEF Endorsed horse trial levels (Beginner Novice, Novice and Training) are exempt from Federation membership/non-membership and Federation Admin fee.

Each registered competition must email their list of entries at least a week prior to the start of the competition to the USEA Membership Department for verification. The Membership Department will upload the list to verify USEA membership/horse registration, USEF membership, and competition qualifications. Upon completion of the verification report, the secretary will receive a chart of riders/horses who are not current members/or properly registered. The entry list for verification is sent to

Each registered competition must email the complete results for all riders (including HC riders) in the required template, with the required information to within 10 days upon conclusion of the competition. Both EventEntries and StartBox (the two online scoring programs currently available) have the required format for both the entry list and results programmed into their system for easy remittance to the USEA.

A post-competition report with the USEA fees collected, copy of the event program, and any USEA memberships and/or horse registration completed at the competition is due to the USEA office within 10 days upon conclusion of the competition.


  1. 1. The competition must be conducted in accordance with the USEF Rules for Eventing, the USEA Policies or Recognized Competitions, and the following observed:
    (a) The current dressage tests and the correct size arenas must be used. Warm-up areas must be adequate.
    (b) The cross-country course must meet the standards of the level offered, well designed, well-built, and marked in accordance with the Rules for Eventing. It must have proper warm-up facilities and starting box in compliance with the Rules for Eventing.
    (c) The show jumping course must be at the standard of the level offered. It must be well designed and marked in accordance with the Rules for Eventing.
    (d) USEA membership and horse registration is required at all levels of horse trials and Classic Series Three-Day Event levels.
  2. For Preliminary level or higher, the competition must also be licensed with USEF.
  3. The personnel conducting the competition must be of the requisite number and experience and the following observed:
    (a) The ground jury must be selected from USEF roster of Eventing Judges, and any additional dressage judges must be selected from USEF roster of Eventing Judges or Dressage Judges. Additional show jumping judges must be selected from the USEF roster of Eventing Judges, Eventing Technical Delegates, or Jumper Judges.
    (b) The technical delegate must be chosen from the USEF roster of Technical Delegates.
    *The above-mentioned rosters are available on the US Equestrian website or you may contact the USEA office.
    (c) Must follow Article EV113 of USEF Rules for Eventing concerning qualified medical personnel who must be at the event during all stages of the competition.
    (d) A veterinarian must be on the grounds of an event during all cross-country and jumping tests.
    (e) Enough scorers and timers, each thoroughly familiar with his/her duties and responsibilities and properly equipped, must be appointed to ensure the efficient, proper conduct of the competition.
  4. The competition must have a program (paper or digital) that includes a current USEA advertisement or USEA membership page (both forms are located on the website), and the following:
    (a) List of judges, officials, and the organizing committee.
    (b) Timetable of divisions and tests.
    (c) List of entries.
    (d) Specifications of each test (plan of the cross-country course, distance, and speed).
    (e) Disclaimer of liability.
    (f) Organizer's reservation of rights.
    (g) USEF current association page.
  5. The USEA insurance program upon registration automatically provides liability coverage for the competition in accordance with the USEF General Regulations. Details of this program can be found here.

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