Getting Paperwork Organized for an FEI Competition: Registrations and Entries

You’re excited to participate in your upcoming Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) designated competition, whether that be as a rider, groom, manager, or owner, and you’ve been charged with making sure the paperwork is organized. The horse’s passport is ready to go, so what do you need to do now to actually enter the show? Entering an FEI show is a bit more complicated than a national-level competition, so it requires a little organization and some advanced planning of your team’s show schedule. Read the first part of our FEI Paperwork blog HERE.


Rider USEF:

Similar to national competitions, it’s important to make sure the rider’s US Equestrian (USEF) membership is up to date. You should also be sure that they have completed their annual SafeSport training. Both items can be handled through USEF’s website.

Rider FEI:

If the rider has never competed in an FEI designated show, they will need to apply for an FEI registration number. This usually takes a few business days to process but is an important step to handle well in advance of the show in order to accomplish the other parts of the entry process. A rider’s initial FEI registration and annual renewal can be completed through the USEF portal’s Membership Dashboard. Be sure to look out for the confirmation email, so you can be certain everything is in order.

Horse USEF:

Horses with U.S. ownership must have lifetime USEF memberships (not just annual recordings) in order to be eligible for FEI competitions. You should make sure to confirm this status on USEF’s website.

Horse FEI:

Horses also need to be registered annually with the FEI. Like rider registrations and renewals, this can be handled through the rider’s Membership Dashboard on USEF’s website. Once a horse is registered, you will need to add it to the “Commonly Ridden Horses” list through the rider’s Athlete Dashboard in order to be able to enter it in any competitions.


Horse Show Entry:

Just as for any national competition, horses and riders competing in FEI classes must fill out the show’s entry form. This can be done either by paper or online. In addition, FEI entries must be accepted by both the rider’s National Federation and the show’s Organizing Committee.

USEF Portal Entry System:

In order to be accepted by the National Federation to compete at any FEI designated show, riders need to declare their intention to show with their chosen horse(s) through USEF’s Athlete Dashboard. There, you can select nationally and internationally hosted shows to enter. The submitted entry request then must be approved by USEF. If the request is accepted, the National Federation submits all horse and rider entries to the FEI.

If the level of competition being entered is interpreted by the USEF representatives as too advanced for the rider, they will not permit the intended entry. While a trainer’s note of explanation can help overturn an initial rejection, the USEF representatives ultimately make the final decision. An entry for a rider that is not in good standing also will not be permitted.

FEI Wish List:

The FEI invitation system, or “wish list” as it’s referred to, is only used for show jumping, but is an important step for those events. When a rider places in FEI competition, they earn ranking points in the Longines Global Ranking. Once a rider has a high enough rank, they are required to express their intention to compete in desired shows through the FEI SportsManager application or the FEI online portal. While all riders can view the entry system, only riders with ranking status can submit wishes. This is to allow a show’s Organizing Committee to accept higher-ranked athletes first and then see how many available spots there are to include lower-ranked and unranked athletes. Riders can be automatically accepted based on ranking if there is no entry limit to the show. However, if there is a limit, the show’s Organizing Committee can issue an acceptance manually based on the rider’s ranking and how many entries they receive overall.

With these “wishes,” riders specify which shows they would like to enter and with how many horses. As plans develop, they can change the selected horses at a later date if they so choose. Adding more than one horse to a wish reflects how many horses the rider wants to compete at the show. Wishes are made during the four-week period taking place eight to five weeks before the week of the competition. For this reason, you need to have your intended schedule planned out ahead of time.

Entry Acceptance:

It’s always good to have a backup plan in mind in the event your FEI entry is rejected by the Organizing Committee or National Federation. Your team might decide to enter national level classes at the same competition instead, or a different show altogether. For show jumping, the wish list helps enable riders to rank multiple wishes for competitions occurring during the same week in order of preference. Therefore, if the rider does not get accepted to a particular FEI competition, they might be admitted to a different FEI show taking place at another venue during the same week.

Entry Withdrawals:

Once the rider’s entry is accepted, it is important to remember that should anything change necessitating an entry scratch, there is a deadline to withdraw an FEI entry without financial consequence. Typically, this is the week before the veterinary inspection jog–which signifies the beginning of the competition–but it is always good to double-check for deadline dates in order to avoid an unnecessary fee. If the entry has already been accepted by both USEF and the horse show organizers, you must contact both parties to completely withdraw your entry.

Planning ahead and organizing your show schedule will help you keep track of which competitions you want to attend at the FEI level. Although it may seem overwhelming, creating a detailed calendar with deadlines will help. Having a system in place will ensure that you arrive at the veterinary inspection jog ready for competition!

(Did you know? BarnManager has a calendar feature with reminders so you do not have to worry about missing important dates!)

Handy Links:

Have questions about utilizing BarnManager or want to give it a try for yourself? Request a live demo here!

BarnManager is designed to be a part of your team, with the compatibility and credentials necessary to improve communication, simplify the management of horses, and get you out of the office, off the phone calls, and into the barn with the horses you care about! Click here to get a free demo and find out more!

Getting Paperwork Organized for an FEI Competition: The Passport

Making the step from national to international- level competition is always exciting! Of course, participating in shows governed by the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) comes with its own set of rules and paperwork. If you travel internationally, you need a passport, and similarly, your horse needs one to compete in designated international shows. If you’re thinking of competing in an FEI show, it’s important to make sure your horse’s passport is ready to go.

Many changes and updates to a passport must be completed at the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) office in Kentucky. It is important to allow enough time for the passport to be mailed in, processed, and mailed back. Planning your competition schedule in advance will enable you to have enough time to make sure everything is in order.


Like human passports, horse passports are valid for a fixed number of years. The FEI requires a passport renewal every four years. The first step is to check to make sure your horse’s passport is current. Usually, you can find the expiration date on the front cover of the passport. Some passports have a more recent revalidation sticker on the back cover. If you only need to renew your horse’s passport you can submit a “Passport Service Application” to USEF. They will send you a revalidation sticker in the mail. You will have to send the passport in to USEF along with the application if there is anything else that needs to be updated. If your horse has never had a passport, or an old passport is lost, you can submit the “Passport Service Application” to the USEF for a new one.


When you revalidate a passport, USEF will check that the ownership in the passport matches the ownership in its database. If the information does not match, USEF will require an ownership transfer to be recorded to correct the discrepancy. Any time a passport shows a new owner listed inside the front cover, the owner must physically sign the passport to make it official. Allow time to get this step completed as well.


Equine passports have a section dedicated to the horse’s vaccination record. Horses are required to be vaccinated against Equine Influenza Virus in order to participate in FEI events. Each time your horse receives an Equine Influenza Virus booster vaccine, it should be recorded in the passport by the administering veterinarian. The vet must include the vaccine serial number sticker as well as their official stamp and signature in order to make the vaccination recording complete.

When a horse’s vaccines are recorded consecutively, it’s referred to as a series. Check to make sure your horse’s vaccine series is continuous and correct. That means each vaccination recording is “complete,” and each booster is within seven months of the previous booster. If there is a previous booster in your horse’s vaccine series that is not “complete,” it makes the entire series invalid. This means your vet must start a new series. Your vet will also need to start a new series if your horse’s vaccine series has not been recently updated, creating an extended lapse between boosters.

Within the seven-month booster intervals, there is a window of time in which horses must have received their vaccine in order to enter FEI-designated stabling at the show. Horses need to be boosted within six months and 21 days of entering the FEI compound. They cannot enter if they have been vaccinated within the past seven days. Horses also cannot travel internationally if they have been vaccinated too recently. Therefore, it is necessary to be aware of this timing. Schedule your horse’s vaccines with your desired show and travel schedule in mind.


Equine passports also include a section where Coggins can and should be recorded. A Coggins test is a blood test for Equine Infectious Anemia (EIA) typically taken annually by your veterinarian. All horses need proof of a negative Coggins test to show at both the national level and in FEI competition. A Coggins test is also necessary for your vet to generate a Health Certificate. This is necessary for your horse to be able to pass agricultural inspections while traveling across the country. While an annual coggins is sufficient for domestic travel, if you are traveling abroad for an FEI show, such as in Canada or Europe, you may need a more recent Coggins test.

What might seem like a lot to organize at first becomes less complicated as you maintain the passport over time. After you have all the logistics settled, you’ll be able to focus on the excitement of your first FEI competition!

Have questions about utilizing BarnManager or want to give it a try for yourself? Request a live demo here!

BarnManager is designed to be a part of your team, with the compatibility and credentials necessary to improve communication, simplify the management of horses, and get you out of the office, off the phone calls, and into the barn with the horses you care about! Click here to get a free demo and find out more!

Winterizing the Barn

10 Tips for Winterizing the Barn from US Equestrian

From US Equestrian

Even if you and your horses live in an area where the climate is balmy year ‘round, the changing of the season from fall to winter marks a good time to take care of important annual or semi-annual tasks. This includes cleaning out the dust of summer, changing lightbulbs, inspecting stall and gate latches and more. But many equestrians are located in a place that Jack Frost regularly visits between now and spring. For cold-weather folks, getting battened down for the winter takes on an extra urgency.

Dr. Bob Coleman, who managed horse operations in his native Manitoba, Canada, before becoming an associate extension professor in the University of Kentucky’s Department of Animal & Food Sciences, knows better than most that pre-winter preparation can make the season easier on both horses and humans. Coleman and his University of Kentucky colleague, assistant extension professor Morgan Hayes, say it’s important to plan in advance. That way, when the weather turns bitter and conditions might deteriorate, you’re already prepared.

Winterizing the Barn

Photo by Leslie Potter.

Read more in the US Equestrian Magazine Winter 2020 edition.