Many of our customers and fans have asked us to clarify the new USEF rule regarding black stirrups in equitation competition. We went right to USEF to help clear things up! Here’s their answer:
“The Equitation rule change regarding black stirrups will be in effect for the 2014 competition year beginning December 1, 2013. The intent listed on the rule change proposal is, ‘Black stirrups are not part of traditional attire and hide rider position flaws, making it difficult for the judges to clearly see the rider’s leg position.’
The USHJA Equitation Task Force is in the process of adding language to the rule change in advance of the 12/1/2013 effective date that will clarify the style of black stirrups that are prohibited. The rule will apply to stirrups that are entirely black, such as the composite stirrups sometimes used in show jumping. Stirrups with black rubber on the branches that cover a portion of the stainless steel will still be allowed for use in equitation when the new rule takes effect.” – Lauren Fahey, Director of Hunter Affiliates, USEF
To clarify further, this rule will ONLY apply to equitation classes. It does not apply to riders competing in hunter or jumper classes at USEF competitions.