USHJA Rule Help Reference Page

As part of our ongoing effort to educate members, USHJA is dedicated to making this new rules page a resource for the membership to obtain information on new rules, the rule change proposal process, the rule approval process and other helpful information regarding USEF rules affecting hunters and jumpers.

How the Rule Change Process Works

As part of the ongoing effort to educate members, the USHJA wants to make the general membership aware of how the rule change process for their sport works and also inform members how rule change proposals are submitted.

As the USEF-Recognized National Affiliate for the Hunter and Jumper disciplines, the USHJA is able to submit proposals on an annual basis for the purpose of adding new language or modifying existing language within the USEF Rule Book. These rule change proposals (RCPs) fall under three distinct categories:

  • Standard – Once approved, become effective on December 1 following their approval
  • Clarification – Once approved, become effective with the next printing of the USEF Rule Book within the year they are approved (usually quarterly).
  • Extraordinary – Once approved, become effective immediately upon approval by the USEF Board of Directors.

The majority of rule change proposals are classified as Standard RCPs, but in the instance that missing or incorrect punctuation or phrasing within an existing rule potentially causing inconsistent interpretation of the rule’s intent is detected, the rule change proposal drafted to make that correction is called a Rule Change Clarification. In rare cases, a proposal is drafted for an Extraordinary Rule Change which is defined as “one that, unless expedited, would create or continue a severe hardship or a gross unfairness to the Federation, its members or their horses, its Licensed Competitions, or its Recognized Affiliate Associations.”

The proposed rule change process begins fairly early each year. Any USEF member is eligible to submit a standard rule change proposal, but must do so by September 1 of each year. More information about submitting a rule change proposal as an individual can be obtained by contacting USEF Customer Care at (859) 810-8733. Clarification or extraordinary rule change proposals do not have a submission deadline and may be entered into the system at any point throughout the year.

Standard rule change proposals submitted by USHJA through a committee also have a June 1 initiation deadline each year (to allow time for the RCP to pass through the various necessary channels of approval before being submitted to USEF by the requisite Recognized Affiliate submission deadline).

If you need additional help submitting a rule change, contact USHJA staff or visit