Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Eventing Explained: USEA Membership

In this series I go over various aspects of the sport of Eventing: everything from the basics to the finer points, including rules and traditions. If you have a specific topic you'd like me to cover, please leave a comment or email me!

Our current topic: Membership in the US Eventing Association (USEA)

There are so many organizations for horse owners and riders to join. From breed associations to local trail riding groups to national and even international bodies. So, here's the scoop on membership in the USEA, the US national organization for the sport of eventing, for both horses and humans.

What is USEA?
The USEA is a registered 501 C(3) non-profit educational organization. They have an office in Leesburg, Virginia, and have about 15 staff members. Led by a governing board of 20 people, they sanction registered competitions and implement a number of educational, safety, and award initiatives as well as development programs. Their mission is to advance the sport of eventing. Find more info at USEventing.com/about.

USEA is a "Recognized International Discipline Association" of the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF), the national governing body for equestrian sports. The USEA works in conjunction with the USEF to establish and implement policies and rules that govern eventing.

Types of Membership (Human)
  • Full membership - $85 per year (discounts for juniors age 18 or younger, and collegiate riders), grants eligibility to compete at registered events, participate in clinics and other USEA programs, and ability to earn points towards awards, leaderboards, and championships.
  • Life membership - $1,500 one-time payment, same benefits as full membership.
  • Supporting membership - $35 per year. For non-competitors, this is a way to support the organization.
  • Plus there's a magazine, newsletter, decal sticker, discounts at stores, etc. Find more info at USEventing.com/membership.
  • You can get a USEA ID number without being a member. This is used for the USEA online portal to do things such as register a horse.

Membership Card

Types of Registration (Horse)
  • Restricted Status - Free, required for TEST and BN levels only. Horses registered this level will not earn any points towards awards, leaderboards, or championships. 
  • Limited Status - $40 one-time fee, required for Novice and Training levels, and Young Event Horse. Needed for BN level in order to earn points towards awards, leaderboards, etc.
  • Full Status - $150 one-time fee, or $100 to upgrade a horse from Limited Status, required to compete at Preliminary level and above. 
  • Future Event Horse Status - $25 one-time fee, for horses age 3 and younger in the Future Event Horse program. 
  • Find more info at USEventing.com/resource/horse-registration-policy.

Do I have to join USEA to compete in eventing?
To compete in un-rated competitions, no. How do you know if the competition is USEA sanctioned? Check the premium, contact the organizer, or search the omnibus of USEA-sanctioned events. Certain venues offer only un-rated competitions, and many venues host both un-rated and registered events. 

To compete in registered events at Beginner Novice level, no; the rider does not need to be a member. However, there is a $25 fee per each competition, and you are not eligible for points towards awards, leaderboards, or championships. The horse does need to be registered at least Restricted Status. 

To compete in registered events at Novice level or aboveyes; the rider needs to be a full member and the horse needs Limited Status registration.

Pros & Cons of Membership
Pros: all the membership benefits & perks + the warm-fuzzies from supporting a non-profit dedicated to a sport you enjoy.
Cons: it costs money. 

I am currently a USEA member and plan on continuing membership as long as I plan on doing registered events.  If you have any questions about membership, please comment and I'll do my best to answer, or direct you to an official person at USEA. 

Previous Eventing Explained posts:


  1. Great post! I should take the time and do something similar for the H/J memberships! It can get confusing!

  2. One of the pros for me is getting that fun little magnet for my car! It's the little things in life :)

  3. Do you also join USEF? For dressage, I keep my USEF membership active so that I have an AA card and avoid paying non-USEF fees at USDF shows.

    1. Great question! No, you do not need to join USEF. There are no extra fees for non-USEF members, and most competitions have Horse and Rider divisions instead of AA. However, to compete at FEI levels (international), your horse must be registered ("recorded") with USEF.

  4. My coach is on the USEA board and actually also on the membership committee, so I'm happy to pass along any questions that Sarah can't answer, although you're doing a great job, girl!

    1. Thanks Jess! It is super neat you get the inside scoop, especially on those proposed rule changes a while back.