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:
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, but it is important to note that beginning with the 2023 competition year, all previously licensed USEF Lite competitions will be considered new USEF Lite competitions and will be able to operate for three consecutive years.
Savings for competition management:
- A USEF Lite competition will have a discounted application fee of $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 is waiving the licensing fee for the 2023 and 2024 competition years.
- Management has more flexibility regarding who they can hire as officials (i.e., either a fully licensed Steward/TD, or someone enrolled and currently pursuing a USEF Steward/TD license who has completed the Designated Applicant Training).
- **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.
- 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 pay no USEF participation fees (Membership, 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 HOTY points are desired) or pay show pass fees.
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.
- 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 24/7 to assist when questions arise before, during, and/or after a show.
For more information about USEF Lite, please see below for additional resources or contact the USEF Competitions department by email at [email protected].