These revisions replace the terms “whip” and “spurs” with the terms “artificial aides (riding crop and spurs).” The interpretation provides guidance for players and Umpires about how the Rule should be applied and states that the rule applies before, during and after a game to players and members of a team organization who are located anywhere on the field or in close proximity to the field.

*Changes are designated with bold type*


a. A mount is a horse or pony of any breed or size.
b. A mount blind in one or both eyes may not be played.
c. A mount showing vice, or not under proper control, shall be removed from the game.
d. No mount shall be played in ay USPA Event for more than one team. Unlike manyother penalties which the Umpire(s) may elect not to exact, the penalty for violationof this rule, which is forfeiture, must be exacted if a Referee, an Umpire, or a member of the Host Tournament Committee is notified of or otherwise becomes aware of the violation prior to 24 hours after the violation took place.
e. A mount may be removed from the game if there is blood in its mouth, or on its flanks, or anywhere on its body. If, in the opinion of the Umpire(s), a mount is deemed physically unfit from exhaustion, distress, lameness, excessive sweating, and/or laboring breathing, the Umpire(s) may remove the mount for the remainder of the period or the entire game.
f. A mount found to be not in compliance in accordance with the Henneke Body Conditioning Score guidelines (See page 311) shall be removed from the game.
g. Artificial aids (i.e., riding crops and spurs) may not be used unnecessarily or excessively. A player may not:
(1) Use artificial aids other than in exceptional circumstances when the ball is out of play or dead. For this offense the Umpire should award as a minimum a Penalty 5.b and/or other disciplinary sanctions as described in Rule 33 (Unsportsmanlike Conduct).
(2) Use artificial aids unnecessarily or in excess at any time.
(3) Intentionally strike another player or another player’s mount with his riding crop.
h. No player may intentionally strike a mount with any part of the mallet.

5. MOUNTS , g, h….INTERPRETATIONS: Umpires are to take positive action to protect players and the sport from the perception of animal abuse. The Umpires must award a penalty which not only penalizes the fouling side but recognizes any advantage the fouled side lost when the play was stopped.

If any player abuses a mount, play should be stopped immediately and the appropriate penalty awarded. In the case of visible blood, time should be called when play is next stopped. The player may have up to 5 minutes to clean up the mount or change mounts. If the wound continues to bleed, the mount shall be ordered off the field. The mount may return to the game later if its condition permits.

For purposes of enforcing the excessive artificial aids rule, the Umpires shall consider the force applied when using the riding crop even once to be as significant as the number of times the riding crop is used. A single use of the riding crop that makes a noise loud enough for a spectator to hear it may be penalized, even if there are no spectators present. The Umpires shall also consider whether the artificial aid is used in order to assist the player in reaching a play or making a play, which is allowable if not excessive, or the artificial aid is used away from the play, in frustration, or on a horse that is laboring, which are excessive by definition and thus not allowable uses. Umpires may penalize violations of the excessive artificial aids rule by awarding a Penalty 5.a or 5.b at a minimum, and they may also issue the offending player one or more yellow cards. The excessive artificial aids rule applies before, during and after a game to players and members of a team organization who are located anywhere on the field or in close proximity to the field.

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