In April 2023, the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) announced that beginning September 1 of this year, foreign participants will no longer be permitted to participate in USEF national competitions unless they join USEF as Competing Members. As well, individuals 18 and older must take SafeSport Training to be eligible to participate in national USEF shows.

This news was understandably met with a barrage of questions from Canadian readers and competitors; HorseSport asked for clarification of the following points of concern from Vicki Lowell, Chief Marketing and Content Officer at US Equestrian, who dug up the answers for us:

How long do foreign riders have to complete the Safe Sport training?
New members have 14 days to complete the SafeSport training. USEF encourages participants to compete the training as soon as possible.

“For those participating in FEI events only, this requirement does not apply.” We assume this means events like the World Cup Finals, but does it also cover USEF-sanctioned shows that include FEI divisions? For example, if you go to Wellington but only jump in FEI classes, are you exempt?
Participants in FEI divisions are not required to obtain a USEF membership. In other words, a foreign participant in good standing with their National Federation can compete in FEI divisions without a USEF membership. Those participants would need to obtain a membership, or Show Pass if applicable, to compete in the non-FEI sections of the USEF licensed competition.

What has happened to the reciprocal agreement between Equestrian Canada and USEF? Does that no longer exist? It was supposed to be in effect until Nov. 30, 2023.
Some aspects of the reciprocal agreement are in effect. USEF and Equestrian Canada have discussed a desire to execute the 2024 reciprocal agreement this summer. The details of that agreement are to be determined by agreement of the parties.

What about foreign riders’ horses? Do they need USEF numbers too?
The change does not affect horses competing in USEF licensed competitions. It only applies to the human participant.

In the past, Canadians could compete in the US with either an EC license or a USEF number. What was the advantage to having the latter? Did it make you eligible for year-end awards or other considerations?
Under the current reciprocal agreement, while a person in good standing with their respective NF is permitted to compete in the other country’s events without being a member of the other country, a USEF member or EC Sport Licence holder wishing to participate in the specific awards/recognition programs of either NF must be a member in good standing of the governing NF delivering the program.