USA Federation Raises Horse Welfare & Safety Penalty Guidelines

3 years ago StraightArrow Comments Off on USA Federation Raises Horse Welfare & Safety Penalty Guidelines

LEXINGTON, Kentucky, Aug. 18, 2017–The United States Equestria Federation announced increased horse welfare and safety penalty guidelines to better “reflect the severity of the violation.”

The guidelines for the USEF hearing committee to come into effect Sept. 1 start at six months’ suspension and $6,000 fine for the first offensive of excessive use of whip or spurs and improper use of bits.

The guidelines increase up to 60 months’ suspension and $60,000 fine for death and maiming of a horse to lifetime bans.

The new guidelines came after a review that the federation said concluded: “While the suspensions and fines imposed may have been appropriate at the time that they were imposed, the suspensions and fines are too light to be useful as guidelines for matters brought to the Hearing Committee today.”

Categories of Rule Violations

I. Excessive or intentional use of whip or spurs or improper use of a bit to cause harm or pain to a horse/pony.

  • First Offense – Suspension of 6 months and $6,000 fine
  • Second Offense – Suspension of 12 months and $12,000 fine
  • Third Offense – Suspension of 24 months and $24,000 fine
  • If multiple horses involved, the penalty should apply to each horse and run consecutively

II. Use of illegal equipment

With no intent to cause harm or pain to a horse/pony or which doesn’t cause harm or pain to a horse/pony

  • Discretion of Hearing Panel

Intentional use of illegal equipment to cause harm or pain to a horse/pony

  • First Offense – Suspension of 12 months and $12,000.00 fine
  • Second Offense – Suspension of 18 months and $18,000.00 fine
  • Third Offense – Suspension of 36 months and fine of $36,000 and must appear before the Hearing Panel and provide proof of rehabilitation before being eligible to regain membership
  • If multiple horses involved, the penalty should apply to each horse and run consecutively

III. Cruelty/Abuse/Neglect – Includes excessive riding, lunging, training and showing, deprivation of water and feed, striking with an object, unintentional death, and violations of the 12-hour injection rule involving forbidden substances for purpose of competition.

  • First Offense – Suspension of 12 months and $12,000 fine
  • Second Offense – Suspension of 24 months and $24,000 fine and must appear before the Hearing Panel and provide proof of rehabilitation before being eligible to regain membership
  • Third Offense – Suspension of 60 months and fine of $60,000 and must appear before the Hearing Panel and provide proof of rehabilitation before being eligible to regain membership
  • If multiple horses involved, the penalty should apply to each horse and run consecutively

IV. Death and Maiming – Includes acts in which the death of a horse occurred, but was not intended

  • First Offense – Suspension of 36 months and $36,000 fine and must appear before the Hearing Panel and provide proof of rehabilitation before being eligible to regain membership
  • Second Offense – Suspension of 60 months and $60,000 fine and must appear before the Hearing Panel and provide proof of rehabilitation before being eligible to regain membership
  • Third Offense – Lifetime ban
  • If there are multiple horses involved, the penalty should apply to each horse and run consecutively

V. Intentional Death for Financial or Other Means

  • Lifetime ban
* Reciprocity of Criminal Charges – In cases of reciprocity of criminal charges, the minimum USEF penalty should at least mirror the criminal penalty with latitude given to impose more severe penalties.