A Recognized National Affiliate

Equestrian competitors, leisure riders, coaches, fans and enthusiasts each share a personal bond with the horse. This commonality defines the membership of the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) which serves as the National Governing Body for Equestrian Sport.

US Equestrian is dedicated to uniting the equestrian community, honoring achievement, and serving as guardians of equestrian sport. Since its inception, US Equestrian has been dedicated to pursuing excellence and promoting growth, all while providing and maintaining a safe and level playing field for both its equine and human athletes.

US Equestrian trains, selects, and funds our United States Equestrian Team, which consistently wins medals at the highest level of international competition, including the Olympic Games. US Equestrian also licenses equestrian competitions of all levels across the United States each year.

Fostering growth among newcomers as well as the coming generation is paramount to US Equestrian’s continued success. Our young equestrians continually raise the bar both at home and abroad, pushing themselves to be better and strive for excellence, all while fostering and strengthening the connection between themselves and their horses.

US Equestrian contributes to the greater good of horses by assisting with their protection and welfare in crisis situations and natural disasters, as well as in daily competition. As part of this pledge to protect equine welfare, US Equestrian continues to help support federal and state governments and works closely with other national equine organizations.


As detailed in the USEF Committee Charter, each USEF National Breed and Non-FEI Discipline Committee shall consist of seven (7) to fifteen (15) Senior Active Members of the Federation; 33.33% of the Committee shall be appointed by the Recognized Affiliate (ACPS), and 33.33% shall be appointed by the USEF President.

The current USOPC requirement has increased the number of Athletes on USEF committees to 33.33% of total committee members. (A Connemara Athlete is defined as an exhibitor who has competed at a USEF or Affiliate National Championship competition within the preceding 24 months.)

Selection is based on a diverse structure to optimize the best possible combination to represent the entire Connemara horse industry. USEF Connemara Committee members serve terms of 2 years.

Recommendations are made via joint review and
proposal by the current US Equestrian Connemara Committee Chair, the ACPS President and the ACPS Secretary.

Additional information is located in the USEF Bylaws, here.

Current US Equestrian Connemara Committee can viewed here.

All ACPS Board of Governors, Region chairs, and Inspectors are to take Safe Sport Training and stay current throughout their tenure.

Competitors in USEF competitions are also required to have current Safe Sport certificates.

Everything is available on the USEF website. You can join USEF with a free Fan Membership and sign in.

More Safe Sport information here.

USEF Background

The United States Equestrian Federation (USEF or US Equestrian) is the national governing body for most equestrian sports in the United States. It began on January 20, 1917, as the Association of American Horse Shows, later changed to the American Horse Shows Association (AHSA). In 2001, the organization changed its name to USA Equestrian (USAE) and, in 2003 it merged with the United States Equestrian Team (USET). In 2017, USEF rebranded as US Equestrian. In 2019, USEF outsourced its laboratory services to the University of Kentucky.

Competitions governed by US Equestrian include dressagedrivingendurance ridingeventinghunt seat equitationhunterjumper, para-equestrian, reining, roadster, saddle seat equitationvaulting, and western riding competition including equitationwestern pleasurereiningtrailwestern dressage, and related events.

ACPS and USEF work together to promulgate rules and regulations that apply to “recognized” Connemara competitions. Connemara judges are licensed by USEF with help from ACPS.

USEF also governs recognized breed shows held in the United States for the Andalusian, Lusitano, Arabian, Half-Arabian, Anglo-Arabian, Friesian, Hackney, Morgan, American Saddlebred, National Show Horse, Paso Fino, Shetland, and Welsh, as well as the Connemara. 

US Equestrian keeps track of yearly points accumulated at recognized individual horse shows throughout the year and gives awards based on these points at the end of the year. Horse shows governed under the USEF are given an AA, A, B, or C rating. Shows with an AA rating are the most prestigious and often offer the most prize money, whereas shows with a C rating are more local, usually awarding less prize money. Competitions recognized by the USEF must follow its rules and bylaws.

Governing bodies working under the USEF include:

US Equestrian Athlete Lettering Program started by the United States Equestrian Foundation offers an incredible opportunity for junior-high and high-school equestrian athletes to receive a varsity letter, just like any other varsity high-school athlete. The Program allows young equestrian athletes to be honored and recognized for their hard work and dedication to the equestrian sport.

Juniors Note:

The Interscholastic Athlete Program started by the United States Equestrian Foundation offers an incredible opportunity for junior high and high school equestrian athletes to receive a varsity letter, just like any other varsity high-school athlete. The Program allows young equestrian athletes to be honored and recognized for their hard work and dedication to the equestrian sport.

Equine & Human Athlete Clean Sport

The American Connemara Pony Society is committed to providing a safe and fair competition environment and is dedicated to ensuring the safety and welfare of all members and their horses and ponies. The links below are provided to ensure your  awareness of the resources and reporting processes available to you.

USEF’s Equine & Human Clean Sport Programs

Safe Sport

The USEF Safe Sport Policy governs conduct at all USEF-licensed competitions. The U.S. Center for Safe Sport was created to address the issue of abuse in sports. The Center works with National Governing Bodies, including USEF, to enforce the SafeSport Code and the Federal Safe Sport Act. The policies in both the Code and Federal Law are aimed at protecting athletes from harm and abuse and apply to all amateur sporting disciplines.

How to Report Misconduct & Abuse

Non-Sexual Misconduct

Part of the USEF Safe Sport Policy involves specific policies aimed at recognizing, reducing, and responding to abuse in sport. Non-sexual misconduct includes harassment, bullying, physical or emotional, or a violation of the MAAPP policies.

Minor Athlete Abuse Prevention Policies (MAAPP) are a guide to assist sports organizations in meeting their obligations under the federal law and provide policies that address training requirements and limit one-on-one interactions between adults and minor athletes 

Free Mental Health Resources

The nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization. National Sexual Assault Confidential Hotline:

A national network of 160 local crisis centers with free and confidential emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress.

McLaughin Young Group

Free mental health first aid provided to USEF members.