USDF Executive Board Statement on Animal Welfare

For Immediate Release
Monday, November 23, 2009

In response to a recent incident at an international competition, the USDF Executive Board has issued the following official statement:

The USDF does not approve of training techniques such as hyperflexion especially when taken to an extreme. While we recognize that we can not control how riders train at home, excessive techniques should not be tolerated at competitions. The USDF feels that it is very important that as a sport we police ourselves and encourage  the USEF and FEI to call upon their licensed officials to ensure that cruel and abusive riding does not happen at our competitions. 

The USDF agrees with and strongly supports the FEI position as stated in the November 17 press release and in particular the statement: "The FEI acknowledges and welcomes public opinion and will continue to ensure that the welfare of the horse, which has been central to this debate, will remain its absolute priority."

In addition, you can read the USDF Statement on Animal Welfare or the official announcement from the FEI.

Founded in 1973, the United States Dressage Federation is a nonprofit membership organization dedicated to education, recognition of achievement, and promotion of dressage. For more information about USDF membership or programs, visit, email, or call (859) 971-2277.