Hello Working Equitation enthusiasts!
We are excited to bring you the new rules for the 2017 competition season. At Andalusian World Cup in Las Vegas this past September, a meeting was held for competitors to voice ideas, concerns, etc. It was obvious the majority of the body of Working Equitation want some unity in the United States. It was agreed in Las Vegas that the three associations would work together to consolidate rules and dressage test. It was agreed a rules committee would be appointed. Two representatives from each association were appointed that each had one vote. A judge carded with all three associations was brought in to consult but had no vote. In Las Vegas, all associations acknowledged that the competition year started December 1st and every effort needed to be made to have this unified set of rules by December 1st.
The rules are being released slightly late. We apologize for the delay. Trying to consolidate many rule books both domestic and international takes time. Controversial issues were researched and voted on with the majority carrying the vote. It does not mean that a rule won’t be changed in the future. It means this committee voted the way they thought was best for the sport nationally, best for the largest number competitors, best for safety and best for growth with where we are in this country right now. As with all rules, these are not set in stone. They will be revisited every year by a rules committee and all rule changes submitted will be considered and voted on. Problem areas that are found throughout the competition season will be addressed yearly and adjustments made by the appointed rules committee for that competition season. All working equitation enthusiasts are encouraged to submit their rule changes and a rule change form can be found in the rule book.
USFWE and WEIAUSA began the consolidation process in mid-October spent multiple weeks doing all the initial leg work. WE United was invited and encouraged to join, they opted to abstain from the initial process and asked that they be sent a rule book to review mid-November. The appointed WE United representatives received the rule book November 16th and submitted their suggestions November 28th. Beginning November 28th, communication with WE United representatives began over the phone. Issues were compromised on, adopted, and when no compromise could be reached the issue was voted on with majority carrying. Many suggestions were accepted with no objection.
The rule book was presented to the WE United board members on December 5th, for review and vote. Unfortunately, the WE United board disagrees with the outcome of some votes within the rules committee and WE United has opted not to adopt the rules as voted on, presented and prepared but the rules committee at this time. The good news is WEIAUSA and USFWE have agreed to adopt the rules as presented by the rules committee. While there are rules that USFWE and WEIAUSA may not be 100% happy with, they respect the process and votes of the appointed representatives. Good compromises mean that everyone has to give up something and everyone will not be completely happy.
The largest area of debate and concern was allowing bilaterally blind horses to compete. This issue had multiple hours and votes devoted to it. The outcome of multiple votes within the rules committee was not to allow bilaterally blind horses to compete in Working Equitation. A lot of research was devoted to this rule. The committee researched rules both domestically and internationally. There was not a precedent in any association that governed a sport that incorporated obstacles, speed, herding of other animals, and/ or jumping that allowed bilaterally blind horses to compete. All horses were required to be sighted in one eye. This is due to many factors including horse welfare, safety of the horse, safety of the rider, liability for the event venue, liability for the show sponsor/organizer, etc. This is one of the many rules that can continue to be researched and reevaluated in the future by the appointed rules committee at that time.
USFWE and WEIAUSA would like to extend much appreciation to those on the rule committee who volunteered a countless number of hours to this mountainous endeavor. At the end of the day, these two associations feel this is a great set of rules for where the sport is today.
The Rules Committee (Carmen Franco, Rob, Moyar Jeanne Bond, Amy Star and Tarrin Warrin)
USFWE and WEIAUSA