USHJA Launches Blue Ribbon Commission to Address Equine Welfare and Social License to Operate

Lexington, Ky.—Feb. 8, 2024—The U.S. Hunter Jumper Association is proud to announce the establishment of the Blue Ribbon Commission, a groundbreaking initiative aimed at addressing critical issues surrounding equine welfare and the sport's social license to operate.

USHJA President Mary Knowlton spearheaded the formation of this commission after taking feedback from members during the 2023 USHJA Annual Meeting. Functioning as a source of unbiased counsel, aid, strategic insight, and guidance, the commission's mission is to foster a culture of responsible horsemanship and integrity while being a resource for our sport.

"At the heart of our mission lies a steadfast commitment to the welfare of our equine partners and the preservation of our sport's integrity," said Knowlton. "The establishment of the Blue Ribbon Commission underscores our dedication to addressing these crucial issues head-on and ensuring a sustainable future for the Hunter/Jumper community."

Central to the commission's mandate is enhancing transparency, accountability, and ethical stewardship. By fostering open dialogue and proactive engagement, the commission seeks to bolster trust and confidence in the sport, while championing the principles of fair play and sportsmanship.

"The establishment of the Blue Ribbon Commission marks USHJA's renewed commitment to addressing critical issues surrounding horse welfare within our industry," said Kevin Price, Executive Director of USHJA. "In 2017, USHJA launched the Sport Integrity Initiative to tackle issues related to horse welfare within our industry. While our initial efforts faced challenges, we remain steadfast in our dedication to improving the well-being of horses. As an equestrian community, we need to do better if we want a future with horses and horse sports. As a community, we must strive for progress in our sport and improve horse welfare. We believe the commission's findings will serve as a valuable resource in fostering positive change."

The Blue Ribbon Commission will report its findings and recommendations directly to the USHJA Board of Directors. The commission aims to chart a course toward a more sustainable, equitable, and ethically driven future, ensuring that its insights inform strategic decision-making processes at the highest levels of governance through ongoing collaboration and stakeholder engagement.

For more information about the USHJA Blue Ribbon Commission and its initiatives, please email