USEF Lite was developed as an accessible competition product for organizers and participants who wish to “test drive” hosting and participating in a USEF Licensed Competition. This program provides access to equestrians who are interested in competing under the framework of organized equestrian sport, involving rules and policies that support the safety and welfare of equestrians and their horses and offer a fair and level playing field.

The purpose of USEF Lite is to promote and grow the competition environment. It will provide organizers of new, smaller, or formerly unlicensed competitions across the national breeds and disciplines with an entry point to the Licensed Competition environment by offering discounted fees and fewer barriers to entry. The program allows them to establish and grow their competitions under the USEF framework of organized sport with a goal of transitioning those to Regular competitions after three consecutive years of use. A summary of the USEF Lite structure is provided below:

USEF Lite Competition Eligibility 

Competitions for breeds or disciplines that are eligible for a Local License may apply to host a USEF Lite competition if it:

1) has never been previously licensed by the Federation;

2) has not been licensed by the Federation in the past three years;

3) has operated exclusively as a USEF Lite competition in any of the past three years; or

4) does not meet any of the three prior eligibility requirements, and it is granted an exemption at the sole discretion of the Federation’s Chief Executive Officer.

USEF Lite competitions may operate for a maximum of three consecutive years. 

**(EXCEPTION: GR310.7(1)(a)(4) "A competition that meets the criteria listed on the Federation website" - Horse Entry Thresholds)** 

Important Note - All previously licensed USEF Lite competitions, prior to 2023, will be considered new USEF Lite competitions and will be able to operate for three consecutive years. 

Competition Management Savings
  • Discounted application fee: The USEF Lite license application fee is $50 (a $50 savings from the Regular license application fee) and the $1.50 per horse fee is waived for USEF Lite licensed competitions. 

**Note: USEF has waived the application fee for the 2024 & 2025 competition years**

  • Licensed Officials: Management has more flexibility regarding who they can hire as officials:
    • Either a fully licensed Steward/TD OR 
    • Someone enrolled and currently pursuing a USEF Steward/TD license who has completed the Designated Applicant Training

**USEF Lite Organizer Grant: There is a grant program in place to assist competition organizers who choose to utilize an Applicant Steward or Applicant TD to officiate at their competition. Click here for more information and to access the grant application**

  • Financial support: Additional financial support is provided through access to Competition Manager Perks which provides discounts on products and services, such as Electronic Vet, Horseshoe Greetings, Big Ass Fans, and Office Depot.
Savings for Exhibitors
  • Exhibitors do not pay USEF participation fees such as: Administrative, Drugs & Medication fees, etc.; however, drug testing may still occur, and all participants are subject to the applicable D&M rules.
  • Exhibitors are not required to be USEF or breed/discipline affiliate members, unless siging the entry blank as Trainer/Coach, nor pay show pass fees.
    • Membership is required for those seeking HOTY points.
Additional Benefits for USEF Lite Competitions
  • USEF Safe Sport: Participants in a USEF Lite competition will be under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Center for Safe Sport and will be subject to the U.S. Center for SafeSport Code and USEF Safe Sport Policy and afforded all related protections. For more information, click here.
  • Regulatory function: A USEF Lite competition will be granted access to the Federation’s regulatory functions at no additional cost, which can assist organizers in enforcing rules and dealing with non-payment of competition fees (i.e., collection of bounced checks and declined credit cards).
  • Mileage boundary: There is a 50-mile boundary protection to ensure a competition is not competing for exhibitors with another nearby licensed competition.
  • Staff support: USEF staff support is always a call or email away to assist when questions arise before, during, and/or after a show.


For more information about USEF Lite, please see below for additional resources. For other questions and general inquiries, please email the USEF Lite Information contact: [email protected].

Additional Resources

Forms and Publications

USEF Lite Quick Guide

Quick Guide for competition managers to host USEF Lite licensed competitions.

Lite Organizer Steward Grant

USEF Lite Organizer Grant Application for competitions using an Applicant Steward/TD

USEF Lite "How To Guide"

This "How To Guide" will aid in helping you understand what a Lite licensed competition has to offer.

USEF Lite Entry Agreement

Link to the Federation USEF Lite Entry Agreement document

USEF Lite Competition Description

Summary description of the USEF Lite Competition program effective December 1, 2022.

Horse Entry Thresholds for Certain USEF Lite License Maintenance

A listing of horse entry thresholds for USEF Lite Competitions with a Morgan, Arabian, Saddlebred/Hackney/Roadster/Harness, or Multi-Breed Sub-Type License that allow competitions to retain a USEF Lite licensed for more than three years.

Modification to USEF Lite rules GR310.1, GR310.7.6, AR162.1.k-.m, HJ127.1-.2, HK103.2, HK134.3, RD101.2, SB145.1.b, SB204.2, SP107.2, and WL102.2.a-.c

Effective August 15, 2023 to November 30, 2024

USEF Lite Prize List FAQ

FAQ for USEF Lite prize lists.

Prize List Checklist for USEF Lite

Link to the Prize List checklist for USEF Lite

2024 USEF Lite Report

To be completed by the Steward or Technical Delegate