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Part of a series of emails to our exhibitors in an effort to provide helpful information about their interaction with the show office and other staff at the show.  If you have a particular question you would like addressed, please feel free to make a suggestion.   Please note that every effort is made to ensure that all rule citations are current and correct as of the publishing date, however, USEF and other organizations continuously make rule changes throughout the year and with each new year. 

July 2011 Newsletter
Measurement Rules 101

We have had several exhibitors (at RMI shows and elsewhere) ask us about the measuring rules, especially about the new protest rule HU179.  The new protest rule is a great improvement from the past but still has “bugs,” particularly the inconsistent result for an animal with a temporary (under age 6) card versus an animal with a permanent card.  So here are the basics; if in doubt, ask someone with LOTS OF EXPERIENCE before taking your animal to be measured.

^An animal showing in a rated pony division (including the USEF Pony Equitation) or in the junior hunter division must be measured each competition year until it reaches the age of six. HU171.1

Those animals which are measured in the month of December, immediately preceding the calendar year in which they turn 6 years of age, will be issued a measurement card that does not have to be renewed.  HU 171.1.a

This subsection addressed the “twilight zone” created by the Competition Year commencing December 1 yet a horse’s age being established as of January 1 (see GR  102.1).

^To be eligible for measurement, the horse must have (or have applied for) an USEF ID#. HU101.1   The owner must be a current USEF member. HU172   The horse must be entered in the show at which it is being entered with a completed entry blank, and the measurement is valid whether or not the animal actually competes (HU170.8).  In addition, the horse is subject to drug testing .  HU170.3

^The measurement form must be filled out completely.  The form must be signed by the person furnishing the information AND the person furnishing the information must be 18 years or older.  HU173.1.1b/c.  If a measurement form is signed by a person under the age of 18, the measurement will be invalid.  HU173.1.c

^The measurement surface must be level.  For ponies it must be a concrete slab or paved surface.  For horses a sheet of plywood in good condition is acceptable.  HU175.1  Why the difference?  Your guess is as good as any.

Unless you are positive that you have an “easy measure” be sure your animal is absolutely, positively, properly prepared.  Doing it right the first time is a lot easier than having to get a new measurement.



An owner or trainer who questions the accuracy of an initial measurement  (or an owner or trainer of an animal declared ineligible for a division or section on account of height) may appeal a measurement.   HU180.1

The appeal must be made to the Federation office, IN WRITING, within fourteen days of the measurement.  See HU180 in its entirety for the complex and expensive procedure. 


New for 2011 is a revised protest rule for animals with a permanent card (horses under the age of 6 can look forward to a revised/complimentary rule, but for now, protesting an animal under the age of 6 results in that horse being disqualified from competition for the remainder of the year). 

^For animals 6 years of age and over, if a protest measurement is NOT within the heights for the section  all points accumulated to date are nullified.  BUT the animal can immediately commence competing at its new height section and accumulate points going forward in its new/correct section.

This rule can be used offensively to challenge an animal that you feel is unfairly in a height section (e.g. it is really bigger than stated on its measurement card).  But it can also be used defensively to correct a poor measurement and get an animal in its correct  division.

In either case, here are the steps:

An owner or trainer of ONE animal COMPETING (not just entered) may protest ONE animal in a class in which he/she is also competing.  HU179.1

The Protest  must be filed in accordance with GR603, including the protesting party must provide a bond ($200) payable to the USEF.  This amount is forfeited if the protest in unsuccessful or returned if the protest is successful.

The protest must be filed with the Show Steward at least one hour prior to the end of the competition day on which the animal is showing in Pony Hunter, Children’s Hunter Pony or Junior Hunter.  HU179.2

The animal may be presented for measurement WITH or WITHOUT shoes, regardless of how shown.   HU179.34  The protest must be filed within one hour of the completion of the show.  HU 179.2 The animal must be presented for measurement within one hour of the completion of its last scheduled class (which may or not be the class in which it was protested).  HU179.3

HERE IS AN IMPORTANT FACT:  Currently in zones where Small/Medium Children’s Hunter Pony jump the same height, a pony being protested between a small and medium designation will not be accepted.

If an animal is entered but never competes in a class, there is no valid protest.  Competing DOES include an under saddle, a model, or a jumping class , whether or not the exhibitor completes the course.

If an animal is protested and found to be within its height section, the animal’s height cannot be protested again for the remainder of the competition year.

Though a measurement card is not required to enter the USEF Pony Equitation class, an animal that competes in the class can be protested if it is believed to be jumping at a fence height inconsistent with its body height.  [Staff Memo 7/7/11]

So make sure your knowledge of the rule measures up; if you are not sure, ask a VERY EXPERIENCED STEWARD WHO IS UP ON THE NEW RULES.