Proposed USHJA rule change STINKS November 27 2009, 0 Comments

Last weekend was the VHJA annual meeting, which I missed to attend a memorial service.  One interesting outcome of the meeting was a call to oppose a new USHJA proposed rule change that would effectively end equitation qualifying classes at our local VHJA “C” rated shows.

Here’s what the proposal says: “Qualifying classes for the Finals of the USEF Hunter Seat Medal, USEF Pony Medal, USEF Adult Medal, ASPCA Maclay, USEF Talent Search and WIHS Equitation may not be held at USEF Local rated competitions.”

The stated intent of the proposed rule change?
“To insure that classes qualifying for the major Hunter Seat Equitation finals are held at rated competitions. This will assist developing grass roots equitation classes that can be held at the local level.” Here’s a link to the complete proposed rule change.

Gee, that’s nice. So you want us to host and plan our own equitation classes and finals, pay dues to you, and travel hundreds of  miles so our kids can qualify for the Maclay, USEF and other national medal finals? Thanks so much! And oh, by the way, we already have outstanding local equitation classes and finals, see: New England Medal Finals. So, if I read you correctly, USHJA, you’re saying: thanks, but why don’t you just stay home and let the big kids play at the national finals?

Thank you Fran Dotoli, USEF judge, and committee member of the USEF and USHJA Licensed Officials Education, Zone 1, for alerting the VHJA board and proposing a tea party of protest.

Zazou Hoffman used local member shows to qualify for the Maclay finals, which she won on OCt. 31, 2009

Zazou Hoffman used local member shows to qualify for the Maclay finals, which she won on OCt. 31, 2009


Fran Dotoli has penned a letter to Bill Moroney, of USHJA, and proposer (is that a word?) of the rule change. She states what she assumes to be the objectives of the proposed rule change: (1) Continue to upgrade and standardize show classifications, and (2) Decrease the number of equitation exhibitors, especially at the USEF Medal at Harrisburg.

According to VHJA, the proposed rule change is seen as beneficial in the wider national perspective, but there are other proposals on the table that would accomplish these goals without having an adverse effect on Local Member shows. I’m not clear on the “wider national perspective,” but I’m all ears if anyone would like to enlighten me.

Fran Dotoli recommends  emailing Bill Moroney of USHJA (send a copy Pam Hunt, Chairwoman of the USHJA for Zone 1) before the USHJA Dec. 8 meeting on the proposed rule change. Also, mail a hard copy.

Mr. Bill Moroney: Ms. Pam Hunt:

Mr. Bill Moroney
3870 Cigar Lane
Lexington, KY  40511

Here are some ideas about what to write:

PARENTS OF A RIDER:  We will bear the brunt of cost and time burdens if our kids can’t qualify for medal finals at Local Member shows.  Send an email letting USHJA know that this is unacceptable.

RIDERS: Send anemail stating your objection to these proposed rule changes.  Tell Bill and Pam how you got to the Maclays, or were able to compete in the USEF Medal and/or the USEF Talent Search and why it would have been difficult for you to do so if you had not been able to qualify at Local Member shows.  (Driving distance?  Cost?)  As you know, it is difficult to achieve the high number of qualifying points during our short show season, when compared to Florida or California.  Local Member shows have allowed many of you to pick up those last needed points.

TRAINERS: How would this affect you?  Obviously, fewer of your riders would qualify and it would unfairly discriminate against riders short of the necessary funds for multiple out of town shows.

SHOW MANAGERS: Without qualifying equitation classes, all but a very few current Local Member shows would become unrated resulting in a considerable loss in revenue from both show management and exhibitor fees to the association.  Many out-of-state riders come to Vermont to pick up those last needed points to qualify; the winner of the ASPCA Maclay Finals at Syracuse on 11/7/09, ZaZou Hoffman, used the Local Member show system to get those last few needed points.

I’ll work on my letter and share with you soon. Please send me your letters and emails and I will post them here. Thank you to Dru Oren for getting the word out to the VHJA community.X