US Federation Forms Task Forces to Assess Horse Deals, Shows

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Murray Kessler.

LEXINGTON, Kentucky, April 24, 2018–The United States Equestrian Federation announced formation of two task forces to look into horse deals and licensing of shows that it described as “major industry challenges.”

The federation said the task forces were created to propose changes if needed and were in response to repeated requests by members of the governing body of horse sports.

“Clearly, equine transactions are an area of our sport that needs attention,” said US Equestrian President Murray Kessler. “Bad business deals chase people away from our sport, stifle growth, and undermine the integrity of our industry.

“US Equestrian does not need to be involved in the details of a transaction or be a party to a transaction. Nor does it intend to try to regulate prices or commissions. However, US Equestrian can provide our members with the resources needed to make an informed decision when buying or leasing a horse, including the right to disclosure of the details between the parties to a transaction. This will be the primary focus of the Equine Transaction Transparency Task Force.”

The creation of the task force follows two high profile lawsuits involving dressage horse sales in Florida.

Elisabeth Goth, US Equestrian vice president and chair of the Equine Transaction Transparency Task Force, said: “US Equestrian continues to hear from its members about the lack of transparency involving the sale or lease of horses.

“We recognize a distinct need for greater educational resources for our members to provide a better understanding of the relationship between seller and buyer and the reasons that commissions are a responsible component of equine transactions. There is also a need to educate people about the state and federal laws already in place that help protect our membership, including buyers, seller, and agents.”

The federation said that equally important was the need to regularly conduct a thorough assessment of competition licensing and calendar management processes.

“It is good governance and in the best interest of our sport for US Equestrian to regularly review the administration of our competition calendar to make certain we are utilizing the best methods for managing the competition environment,” Murray Kessler said.

US Equestrian CEO Bill Moroney said that as the national governing body for equestrian sport the federation has the responsibility to administer the competition calendar “in a manner that we believe best serves the developmental and competition needs of our human and equine athletes. The dramatic changes to the competition calendar over the past five years dictates this re-assessment.”

Regions of the country he said, are experiencing calendar management challenges that had to be examined and solutions to be identified and implemented.

This task force is charged with analyzing several factors of competitions, such as competitor density, diversity of competition venues, competition sustainability, diversity of competition levels/ratings, major events, and accessibility to competitions at all economic levels.

Calendar management encompasses the breadth of breeds and disciplines under US Equestrian governance structure.