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USA Equestrian (formerly AHSA) announced today that its Board of Directors enacted provisions in the Constitution for a new standing committee to be known as the Certification Committee at the July 10, 2001 Board meeting in Lexington, KY. The Certification Committee will not be empowered until rules for its conduct and scope of authority have been developed in the normal rule-making process at the January 2002 annual meeting.

The Federation officers and legal counsel were concerned that despite many open discussions beginning in 1997, and even before, the various committees and task forces which have had the responsibility of improving and modernizing the rules for scheduling recognized competitions, have not brought forward any viable proposals as yet. The adoption of the new Certification Committee in this manner, by constitutional amendment first, with rules to be developed, is intended to stimulate this process and move it forward. The officers believe that starting a new Certification Committee will focus attention on the process, and provide an incentive for action.

The Certification Committee shall be composed of five Senior Active Members who may not be affiliated in any way with any competition management. It is the duty and responsibility of the Certification Committee to act in a timely manner on any applications brought before it for recognition of competitions pursuant to the Rules.

USA Equestrian President, Alan F. Balch, said, "I am well aware of the importance of the AHSA mileage rule, and I believe that it is important that we maintain it. But we also have to keep it consistent with the times. It can be improved and refined. The rules have to change as the sport changes. They have to be reasonable. We have to provide for growth. We have to provide for improved means of minimizing conflicts in scheduling existing competitions, at the same time as we provide the means for new competitions to be scheduled, for reasonable alternatives for choice by exhibitors, and all this while we advance the excellence of the sport."

The constitutional amendments can be found on the USA Equestrian web site at :

U.S. Equestrian Inc., as the National Equestrian Federation of the U.S., is the regulatory body for the Olympic and World Championship sports of dressage, driving, endurance, eventing, reining, show jumping, and vaulting, as well as 19 other breeds and disciplines of equestrian competition. As the country's largest multi-breed organization, the Federation has over 77,000 members and recognizes more than 2,800 competitions nationwide each year. It governs all aspects of competition, including educating and licensing all judges, stewards, and technical delegates who officiate at
these shows.

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