Know Before You Show

Rules Affecting Hunter/Jumper Competition Effective December 1, 2022

The USHJA is helping members Know Before You Show with a simple guide of rule changes taking effect for the new competition year. Click here for a comprehensive list of rule changes that were approved in 2022 for the 2023 competition year and here for the complete 2023 USEF Rulebook.

The following are important rule changes effective December 1, 2022, for the 2023 competition year that affect Hunter/Jumper competition.

 Summary of Rule Change Rule Number

Competition Rating and the Channel System: This rule change puts the new channel system into effect. Under the new system, Channel I competitions include National "A" and Premier "AA" Hunter shows as well as Level 1-6 Jumper competitions. Channel II competitions include the "B" rating and Level 1-3 Jumper competitions.

The mileage between competitions will update to 50 miles between Channel II competitions and 0 miles between Channel I and Channel II competitions. Mileage between Channel I competitions remains the same. The mileage boundaries for Jumper level competitions are unchanged.

The change also updates the Hunter prize money requirements. Regional competitions must offer $0-$24,999 in rated and miscellaneous Hunter sections and classes, National competitions must offer $5,000-$74,999 in rated Hunter sections, and Premier competitions must offer $75,000+.

In addition, there is a new Hunter point chart based on the number of exhibitors competing regardless of competition rating. It is important to note that points earned in each channel are exclusive to that channel.

For a more detailed overview of the new Hunter/Jumper Channel System and how it works, click here.



Membership Requirements: This rule change requires non-USEF member participants in the role of riders, lungers, owners, lessees and agents to pay a Show Pass fee at Licensed Competitions and are limited to obtaining no more than one Show Pass per competition year. Coaches, trainers and legal guardians signing as coaches or trainers on behalf of their minors must be Senior Active Members in good standing.

Note: USHJA is still offering multiple Show Passes to non-USHJA members.



Hunter Judging: This rule change allows ‘r’ judges to officiate certain Hunter sections alone or independently.


Steward and Technical Delegate Identification: This rule change requires competition stewards and technical delegates to wear some form of discernable


Equitation Refusals: This rule change clarifies that two refusals result in elimination in USHJA 3’3” Jumping Seat Medal Classes and Finals and USHJA 3’3” Adult Jumping Seat Medal Classes and Finals.


Equitation Tests: This rule change clarifies and updates the Hunter/Jumping Seat Equitation tests.


Jump Cup Requirements: This rule change updates the jump cup requirements to require safety cups on the back rail of all spread obstacles/oxers.

HU Appendix A.6 

Jogging: This rule change requires competition management to state in the competition prize list which method of jogging will be used. Additionally, it states that a junior must jog the pony for soundness in classes restricted to ponies.


Hunter Breeding Elimination: This rule change states that in Hunter Breeding and Pony Breeding classes, a horse or pony whose actions threaten to endanger any humans or equines in the ring will be eliminated.


Conformation Hunter Model Points: This rule change states that points will be awarded in Conformation Hunter Model classes even if less than three entries compete.


Low Hunter Sections: This rule change adds Low Adult Amateur Hunter, Low Children’s Hunter Horse and Low Children’s Hunter Pony sections to the list of rated Hunter Sections. These rules also state that horses are not required to jog for soundness.


Junior Hunter Measurement: This rule change requires only Small Junior Hunters to have a Federation measurement card and eliminates the need for Large Junior Hunters to be measured. Any unmeasured horse, regardless of size, will automatically be considered a Large Junior Hunter.


Junior Hunter Sections: This rule change lowers the minimum number of entries before combining Junior Hunter sections from six entries to four entries.


Draw Rein and German Martingale Use: This rule change clarifies that draw reins and German Martingales may only be used in a conventional manner.

Note: this rule went into effect September 1, 2022.


Back Numbers: This rule change outlines the procedure when an exhibitor competes in a class without a number or with an incorrect number.


Helmets: This rule change clarifies that a rider who loses their helmet or whose harness becomes unfastened during their round must replace it and/or refasten it, but the clock will not be stopped. A rider who jumps or attempts to jump an obstacle without a correctly fastened helmet correctly will be eliminated.

Note: this rule went into effect September 1, 2022.


Ranking List Course Diagrams: Course diagrams for the USEF Show Jumping Ranking List must now be submitted to Ryegate by the Course Designer. This can be done electronically including the Senior Judge’s ‘sign off’ on the diagram by copying the applicable judge.

JP 123.7

Please note this listing is not a comprehensive list of all rule changes effective December 1, 2022. All rule changes can be viewed here. For more information about rules, visit the Rules and Proposals Overview page.