If you are showing at a USEF-rated Morgan show, the owner, rider, and trainer of the horse will need an AMHA membership. You will also want to contact the United States Equestrian Federation at: 859/258-2472 or www.usef.org as you will be asked to hold a membership with them as well.
AMHA can furnish you with the Morgan Horse Judging Standards. This book will guide you through each of the disciplines Morgans are commonly shown, describing important characteristics, attire, position, and equipment for each. However, this book is devoid of the rules and regulations governed by the United States Equestrian Federation that may apply to the divisions described within the book. For an official USEF rulebook please contact the USEF directly at: 859/258-2472 or www.usef.org. To view the Morgan Horse Judging Standards online please click here.
Dates, locations, contacts, and other pertinent information on various Morgan shows, including Regional Shows and the Grand National, are available by clicking on their links here.
Ever been to a horse show or looked through a rulebook and wondered, "Why isn't this a rule?", or, "What were they thinking when they passed that rule?" It is important to remember that the AMHA is not the governing body for horse show rules in any division, including the Morgan division. It's true, United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) is the organization that recognizes and rates horse shows and competitions, licenses judges, stewards and other officials, and approves, publishes, and enforces the rules of competition, among many other things.
Rule change proposals are made by USEF members just like you, who have taken an interest and followed a few simple steps. After a proposal is submitted (as outlined below), it is reviewed by the appropriate USEF committees. In the case of rules for the Morgan show division, the USEF Morgan Committee will review the proposal. Although this committee is established through AMHA, and logically comprises AMHA members (including AMHA Board members), this committee actually is accountable to the USEF.
Something that is unique to AMHA is the Rules Forum. Rules Forums were begun in 1983 as a way to educate, inform, and advise members of the Morgan community on the rules change process. They are informal forums held around the country, generally in conjunction with a horse show. Morgan Committee members can be found hosting forums at each of the ten AMHA Regional Horse Shows, the Grand National & World Championship Morgan Horse Show, and at other venues throughout the year. Forums give members a chance to learn about the current rule proposals and provide feedback that the committee will later take into consideration when making final recommendations to the USEF Board of Directors.
So, do you have a proposal for a rule that will affect the Morgan Division, and you are wondering how to get it submitted? Follow these easy steps and you will be on your way to taking an active role in the development and implementation of USEF rules!
Visit the USEF website at www.usef.org and visit the "Rules Changes" section to view the "Rule Change Brochure" or contact USEF at 859/258-2472 to obtain a hard copy. This brochure will take you through the process step by step, including ideas on how to formulate your proposal to increase its chances of approval, and important deadlines.
Using the correct form that is available online or by calling the above number, you can submit your idea for a new rule or a revision directly to the USEF; however, USEF acknowledges that proposals submitted through the rules committees stand a better chance of approval. Be sure to review the most current rulebook to find the best section placement for your proposal. It is important that you type or print neatly on the form. Difficulty in reading your proposal may have negative effects on the intent of your submission.
Be sure to select the appropriate type of proposal you are making: choose "add" if this is a new rule or sub article number; choose "delete" if existing text is being deleted; choose "change to read" if a content change is being proposed for an existing rule, which could include either or both deletion or addition of text.
If you are proposing changes to existing language, strike through the words you propose to delete. Underline and type in bold the words you propose to be added.
Provide pertinent information on the form: member's name, USEF number, address, phone number, and e-mail address. Sign and date form. Submit the rule change proposal form to the AMHA office or to the Chair of the USEF Morgan Committee by January 15 of any given year. The Committee will review the proposal, present it at Rules Forums throughout the show season, and submit it to the USEF. If you have questions about this process, contact USEF.
When attending horse shows throughout the show season, be sure to find out if there is an USEF Rules Forum being offered and make it a point to attend. Every owner, trainer, breeder, and exhibitor has the responsibility to educate themselves about the rules that govern the sport in which they participate. Become familiar with the USEF Rule Book and become an active part of the rules change process.
The Morgan breed is one of only two breeds that solicit input from members for rule changes through member's forums. The USEF Morgan committee has put together a process for rule changes to help the committee ensure that all the rules forums get the same rules and the same information to consider. Following is a time line.
The Morgan world has developed its own way of making, discussing and deciding on the USEF rules that govern our competitions but the USEF is the National Governing Body for Equestrian Sport in the United States as designated by the Ted Stevens Amateur Sports Act passed by the United States Congress. As such, it has its own responsibilities and process. The USEF process permits all USEF members to submit rule change proposals directly to USEF and these can deal with any member breed or discipline. It is very important to keep the rule making process open to everyone to be completely fair to all USEF members. The USEF Morgan committee is bound by this USEF rule and respects it. We try to achieve a balance by using the following process.
This sounds very long and complicated and it is. The intention is to be as open and transparent as possible in discussing and adopting or rejecting rules as we can be. There are USEF mandated exceptions to this process that are quite restricted. Clarifications in language or grammar to make a rule clearer are permitted during the year and are posted immediately after adoption by the USEF Executive Committee on the USEF website. Inadvertent omissions can be corrected also. Changes to rules that qualify under the USEF standard for Extraordinary Rules changes can also be made during the year; these pertain to horse/exhibitor safety and welfare. 4/8/08