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Unscrambling the Membership Soup of Competition Part 1. Recognized/Licensed Competition


So many letters what does it all mean? What do I even need? Do I need any of this if I want to show?

While the list above does not even come close to including all of the Membership Organizations, in this post I will cover the ones we predominantly associate with at Misty Run as they relate to our disciplines.

USEF: United States Equestrian Federation

USEF is the governing body for all national equestrian sport. USEF makes the rules.


Do not leave this to your trainer, your coach, your parents or anyone else for that matter! This is your competition, your rankings, your money and your time. Don't loose out on a technicality because you didn't know and therefore did not follow your rules.

To participate in any licensed or recognized competition in the United States you must be a Participating Member of USEF. We will cover licensed competition in another post so as not to fry your brain.

FEI: Federation Equestre Internationale

As the name sounds, the FEI is the governing body for international equestrian sport.

The following international equestrian sports fall under the FEI jurisdiction.

  1. Dressage/Para Dressage

  2. Show Jumping

  3. Eventing

  4. Driving/Para Driving

  5. Endurance

  6. Vaulting

Yep you guessed it, they have their own set of rules. Thus refer to Rule 1.

Competing at the FEI level usually means you and your horse are competing at a very high level of competition.

USDF: United States Dressage Federation

USDF is the licensed governing body for Dressage.

USDF is governed by USEF.

USDF has it's own chapter in the USEF Rule book. So remember to always refer to Rule 1.

To participate in licensed dressage shows you must be a participating member of USDF or have a GMO membership from one of our local organizations.

It is important to keep in mind that a GMO will not cover all types of entries or points.

USEA: United States Eventing Association

USEA is the licensed governing body for Eventing and is governed by that's right; USEF. Does it have it's own set of rules you ask? Why yes it also has it's own chapter in the USEF rule book. Thus should you wish to compete at licensed eventing shows refer back to Rule 1.

USHJA: United States Hunter Jumper Association

USHJA is the governing body for hunters and show jumpers. As you have probably figured out by now it also has it's own chapter in the rule book.

You must have a membership here to participate in licensed hunter or show jumper shows.

Your horse must also have a number.

Above represents all of the governing bodies for licensed horse showing in disciplines taught at Misty Run. You do NOT need memberships to ALL of them! ONLY the ones representing the sport you wish to compete in at a licensed level. If you do not wish to compete at the licensed level you do not need to have memberships to any of the organizations mentioned above.


Join us for Part 2. Local Organizations!

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