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USA Equestrian
USA Equestrian Takes Legal Action To Ensure Its Rights As Governing Body Of Horse Sports

Group Asks that U.S. Olympic Committee Observe Federal Law on Sports Governance

USA Equestrian, the national governing body for equestrian sports in the United States, filed papers today in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky to ensure that its authority as national governing body is not illegally interfered with by the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC).

USA Equestrian asked for a preliminary injunction or a temporary restraining order that would require the U.S. Olympic Committee to observe the provisions of the Ted Stevens Olympic and Amateur Sports Act. USA Equestrian is asking that the USOC be prohibited from taking any steps to interfere with a binding arbitration process that is under way, as required by the Stevens Act.

Last year, the United States Equestrian Team (USET) asked the USOC to substitute the USET for USA Equestrian as the national governing body for Olympic horse sports in the U.S. After a hearing last fall, the USOC ruled against the USET's request, but held that unless USA Equestrian and USET agree to some new structure for governing the sport, the position of national governing body would be declared vacant.

USA Equestrian, after repeated unsuccessful efforts to engage in negotiations with USET, formally asked that the decision of the USOC be resolved in binding arbitration, as provided by federal law in the Stevens Act. However, the USOC announced that it may review and take actions to change the governance structure of equestrian sport before the arbitration is complete.

USA Equestrian is asking that its recognition as national governing body not be further reviewed or interfered with by the USOC while arbitration is under way, and that federal law on this issue be observed.

USA 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 80,000 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.
The vision of USA Equestrian is to provide leadership for equestrian sport in the United States of America, promoting the pursuit of excellence from the grass roots to the Olympic Games, based on a foundation of fair, safe competition and the welfare of its horses, and embracing this vision, to be the best national equestrian federation in the world.


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