first published in the March 2021 Equiery

Coexist Launches Colonial Classic Qualifying Series
Coexist Stables in Mt. Airy is hosting a series this year specifically pointed towards the Colonial Classic. The owners of Coexist stated that they created the series because there were no venues offering qualifying classes that were within a reasonable drive to their area. “We wanted to accommodate the people who would like to qualify, and help the people at the lower levels gain the show experience they need in order to be competitive at this level,” Elizabeth Tonti of Coexist said.

To qualify to attend the Colonial Classic, riders must attend three of the series shows to earn points. The shows at Coexist will offer 16 divisions, including jumper classes.

New Young Jumper Championships
The US Hunter Jumper Association has announced that the new USHJA Young Jumper Championships is set to begin with the 2021 season. The finale will be held at the Traverse City Fall Horse Show on September 8-12 in Michigan and will hold separate championships for 4- through 8-year-old horses. Prize money will be given through 15th place for each age group with bonus prize money offered for U.S. breeders and American-bred horses.

Four-year-old horses do not have to qualify ahead of time, however they must meet the eligibility requirements listed at Five-, six- and seven-year-old horses qualify through USHJA Young Jumper Championships Qualifying classes at USEF-licensed competitions. Eight-year-old horses qualify with one clear round in classes at 1.30 meter or higher held at USEF-licensed competitions. The qualifying period ends August 15.

For more details and a qualifying competition schedule, see

USHJA Creates Diversity and Inclusion Advocacy Plan
On December 4, 2020, during the US Hunter Jumper Association virtual annual meeting, the newly formed USHJA Diversity and Inclusion Advocacy Committee held a free webinar to discuss fostering an inclusive and open culture in equestrian sport. In addition, the webinar attendees helped identify opportunities for betterment and created an action plan. Below is the committee’s action plan.

1. Provide unconscious bias and diversity awareness training for USHJA Staff, Board and Committee members.

2. Develop and include unconscious bias and diversity awareness content for inclusion as part of the USHJA Licensed Officials Education and Instructor Credential.

3. Identify solutions to reduce obstacles to equine sport faced by marginalized populations, and to increase the popularity of equine sport in marginalized communities.

4. Work with competition managers to implement multilingual signage at shows.

5. Create a directory of BIPOC and LGBTQ-owned or operated equine facilities and businesses as a reference for all members to use to connect with, encourage and support equestrians from underrepresented backgrounds.

6. Work with USHJA resources to establish marketing and messaging strategies that riding facilities, show managers and others can use to attract and encourage the participation of historically marginalized individuals in equestrian sports.

7. Establish a leadership and mentorship program which identifies and connects equestrians from traditionally underrepresented groups with opportunities to:
a. Audit clinics
b. Visit and tour barns and equestrian facilities
c. Intern or be a working student at a riding establishment
d. Shadow or intern with a show manager and/or show staff
e. Shadow licensed officials

USHJA Approves Various Rule Changes
The US Hunter Jumper Association published a list of key rule changes that were discussed and approved at its annual meeting, held December 11, 2020. The rule changes that were approved and are in effect for the 2021 season:

1. Mules are now allowed to compete in Jumper divisions.

2. Earbuds are now prohibited in any area designated for schooling and exercise.

3. Jumper classes will be limited per section per day in the interest of horse welfare.

4. A new Jumper and Equitation English and corresponding metric fence height chart for Hunter class cross entry and eligibility was created.

5. Amateur Owners have been removed from the Jumper sections leaving only Amateurs. A separate year-end award will still be available for recorded owners.

For more information and a complete 2021 rulebook, please visit

USHJA Outreach Program Updates
The US Hunter Jumper Association announced last December several changes to its USHJA Outreach program for the 2021 calendar year. The USHJA Outreach program was created to provide members an opportunity to earn national recognition and awards for competing at the local and unrecognized events.

For this season, Outreach classes have been broken into three categories: Outreach classes held within an unrecognized show, Outreach classes held as a standalone competition, and Outreach classes held in conjunction with a USEF-rated competition.

There is now an added point tracking for horses and trainers in addition to an adjusted flat point scale. Competitors can also trade points in towards year-end awards including ribbons, stall signs and other USHJA merchandise. In addition, members can earn Certificates of Merit throughout the year. The highest placed Gold Level Certificate of Merit rider from each Zone will earn a Golden Backstage Pass for 2021, which gives them the opportunity to attend the USHJA National Championships and compete in the Affiliate Championships.

The program has also added a High Point Trainer award for 2021. The Jumper section has been expanded to include O.60m to 1.20m fence heights. A Hunter Walk/Trot Poles class has been added to the Hunter class offerings.