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French equestrian sport regulations and competition divisions

French equestrian sport is organised and based on two different circuits: the equestrian sports circuit on one hand and, the agricultural circuit, on the other hand.

The French National Equestrian Federation oversees organising and regulating equestrian sports for amateurs and professionals through three main competition divisions:

  • Club level division: competitions are organised by the French federation and the main objective is to teach young riders. Any rider wishing to participate in a club level competition must have a Club licence.
  • Amateur level division: The amateur division of competition is open to amateur riders aiming for increased exigences, animation and conviviality. Riders must have Amateur licences but are open both the amateur and professional riders.
  • Professional level division: This category is reserved for professional riders and is used when aiming to be selected and participate in high level performance competitions. Riders must have a professional licence to participate at this level.

Given the considerable number of professional riders participating in amateur division competition, discussions are on-going in relation to the possible creation of different divisions.

Each equestrian sport is regulated by specific regulation per discipline.

Disciplinary actions can be initiated based on a general disciplinary regulation which applies to all riders in the same way, whatever the division, whatever the discipline.

The French equestrian sport breeding association, Société Hippique Française (SHF) (https://www.shf.eu/), oversees breeding policies in France to develop and promote French breeding in France and overseas. The SHF is attached to the agricultural ministry and considered to be an exclusively professional circuit, used mainly for promoting French breeding and commercialising young horses.

The has created and implemented several circuits in show jumping, eventing, dressage, endurance, and driving:

  • Gennglo-ArabsSHF , purebred Arabs, and all pure breed ponies (all breeds combined) and concerns pureral breeding circuit which is limited to French warm-bloods, Aely showing activities; based on characteristics and gaits.
  • 4 -6-year-old competitions in which all officially registered young horses and ponies can participate. The circuit is organised on various levels depending on age and difficulty and enables breeders to benefit from increased visibility.

The SHF also provides several regulations per discipline as well as disciplinary rules which are enforced by internal commissions and disciplinary actions.

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