The Stable Secretary Blog

New Year, New Rules: What to Expect in the 2022 Show Season

A new year brings updates to the rules that regulate equestrian competition in the United States. These changes could impact your show season, so understanding new rules and regulations is important before planning for your year! We’ve gathered a few significant rule changes based on discipline, but a list of all approved changes for the 2022 show season can be found here.



  • Amateur riders are now allowed to accept remuneration for barn duties on and off competition grounds and accept
    • non-monetary token gifts of appreciation valued less than $1,000 annually,
    • remuneration for teaching or training disabled riders for therapeutic purposes,
    • remuneration for serving as camp counselors when not hired in the exclusive capacity as an equestrian instructor, and
    • remuneration as a Social Media Influencer or Social Media Brand Ambassador.
  • Amateurs 25 and under who have engaged in Professional activities can reapply for Amateur status utilizing a three-month waiting period, for one-time use. Subsequent applications for amateur status will have a twelve-month waiting period. 
  • Mules are now permitted to compete in Jumper classes. 
  • Earphones and earbuds are prohibited in all areas designated for schooling and exercise. 
  • There are new Equitation tests available for judges to choose from for competition. 
  • The 2020 Presidential Modification of trotting a circle on a loose rein at the end of each over-fences performance is now allowed so a show may run with either the original jog format or the modified format.
  • The Low Adult Amateur Hunter and Low Children’s Hunter Horse sections will now become rated in the 2023 competition year.
  • The Amateur-Owner Jumper section has been removed, leaving only the Amateur Jumper section in place without an owner requirement. Amateurs may compete up to two horses per height section of Amateur Jumpers per competition.


  • Judges must be given at least a 30-minute lunch break and at least a 10-minute break every 2 hours. A prior agreement should be met between the judge and competition if a judge will be required to officiate longer than 8 hours in one day or be required to be on the show grounds longer than 10 hours.
  • Officials are required at nationally rated horse trials and three-day events for all levels Beginner Novice-Advanced.
  • Family members of the cross-country course designer or show jumping course designer are not allowed to serve as the Ground Jury at any event.
  • If the cross-country course designer and show jumping course designer are different individuals, that the show jumping course designer may serve as an additional judge if they are licensed to do so.


  • Competitors can provide freestyle music to shows in digital formats. 
  • Riders may wear colored breeches and any single-color tailcoat or jacket. 
  • Foreign judges will only be allowed to officiate at USEF shows if they are current FEI 4* or 5* judges.

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