USHJA State of the Association Shines Light on New Strategic Direction

Lexington, Kentucky—Dec. 10, 2019—Today, U.S. Hunter Jumper Association President Mary Babick and fellow USHJA Board and Volunteer Committee members Katie Benson, Pat Boyle, DiAnn Langer, Britt McCormick, Andrew Philbrick and Cheryl Rubenstein presented on the Association’s new strategic direction and changes coming to the governance structure in 2020 and beyond, at the 2019 USHJA Annual Meeting, presented by World Equestrian Center, in Denver, Colorado.

Opening the presentation, Babick recapped goals and accomplishments during her tenure as president including enhancing the Association’s governance system and creating an alliance with the unrecognized side of the industry. She also highlighted the work of the new USHJA Planning Committee that began their work in February 2019 to create a new strategic direction for the Association beginning in 2020.

Unveiling the new mission, vision and value proposition of the USHJA was Board and Planning Committee member Sissy Wickes. The values of inclusion, accessibility and representation were incorporated into the new direction while keeping in mind the goal of the Association to unify and represent the Hunter and Jumper disciplines.

USHJA Board Members Britt McCormick and Cheryl Rubenstein presented on the new governance structure of the USHJA, as envisioned by the new Governance Committee, and the shift in structural cornerstones that form the essential elements of the USHJA and are the basis for the structure of a sport organization.

Changes to governance structures include reducing the size of the Board of Directors so that it is more nimble and better able to serve members. Two dedicated seats on the Board for an amateur and competition manager will start the process in 2020. In addition to the presidential election in 2021, the Board will repurpose two Jumper Working Group and two Hunter Working Group seats to create new seats for a Hunter athlete, a Jumper athlete, a Zone representative and an Affiliate representative. By 2022, the Secretary and Treasurer positions will be combined and remaining Working Group seats will expire, reducing the size of the Board to 17 members.

Also being reintroduced in 2020 will be the addition of the Zone Council and the Affiliates Council. The two councils will enhance communication between the Zones, Affiliates and the Board, as well as with the members.

Andrew Philbrick and McCormick also presented on the topic of sport growth and developing our sport for the future, especially bringing in new members. Increasing member engagement and shifting the Association’s marketing and advertising approach from focusing primarily on current members to supporting efforts to develop new members and sport growth was also touched on.

Additionally, the two-hour presentation provided an overview of the Association’s 2020 budgeted revenue and expenses, an introduction of USHJA staff members and staff values, program updates for Affiliates, Outreach competitions, Recognized Riding Academy program, the Emerging Jumper Rider Program, Trainer Certification Program, the Emerging Athletes Program, Horsemanship Quiz Challenge and the success of the second annual AON/USHJA National Championships. The presentation concluded with a question and answer session that brought in many new ideas and feedback from members in attendance.

To view the presentation, click here. For more details and insights from the 2019 USHJA Annual Meeting, presented by World Equestrian Center, be sure to check out the special digital January issue of USHJA In Stride.  

About the U.S. Hunter Jumper Association

The United States Hunter Jumper Association, as the official hunter/jumper affiliate of the United States Equestrian Federation, is a competition-based sport organization that serves our members through educational programs, awards and recognition, communication and rules. We provide a wide array of programs for all hunter/jumper levels, and we are mindful of the well-being of our equine partners. Additionally, we are committed to preserving the history of our sport and through our Foundation we support charitable and benevolent services. Learn more at