Licensed Officials Program



Ease of Handling






USAWE Licensed Officials Program

If you want to know more about the USAWE Licensed Officials Program, you’ve come to the right place.  USAWE takes great pride in developing and training its Licensed Officials to ensure the highest level of expertise as Judges for the sport of Working Equitation.  We welcome experienced judges from all equine disciplines to pursue licensure as a USAWE Judge.


About our Licensed Officials Program

USAWE licenses four levels of Judges for Working Equitation competitions in the United States:


    • Learner (L) judges are eligible to officiate over Working Equitation schooling shows.
    • Recorded (r) judges are eligible to officiate over USAWE licensed competitions, up through Intermediate level classes (L1-L5).
    • Registered (R) judges are eligible to officiate at USAWE licensed and Championship competitions at all levels (L1-L7).
    • Senior (S) judges may officiate over all USAWE  competitions at all levels (L1-L7) in the United States, with no restrictions.

The Licensed Officials Program Guide defines the USAWE requirements for Judge and Technical Delegate licensure and continuing education.

The Licensed Officials Committee (LOC) is here to support you in your goal to become a licensed official.

Questions?  Email:

The First Step

Important changes effective 4/1/2024 for “L” Judge Program

Beginning April 1, 2024, the LOC will close the “L” Program until the new “L” program is ready to be released.  We anticipate that this will take several months to complete. 

Anyone who has submitted their initial application AND paid their dues prior to April 1, 2024 will be eligible to continue with their license application.

Are you interested in becoming a USAWE licensed Judge or Technical Delegate?

Please fill out the form to let us know.

You will receive information about learning opportunities and be added to the LOC mailing list for ongoing information.

To complete the process, please request to be invoiced.

You will receive a $25 invoice from USAWE, which you can pay with Apple Pay, Credit Card or bank transfer.

Once you have filled out the form and paid the $25 invoice, a member of the LOC will reach out to you by email.


Licenses must be renewed every year. Beginning in 2024, a $25 license renewal fee will be implemented. The renewal period is January 1 to January 31.

Continuing Education (CE) is tracked on a 2-year cycle based on the calendar year. Completed CE forms may be submitted at any time during the 2-year period but must be submitted no later than December 31 of the second year.

A rules test must be taken at the beginning of the competition year for each year the rulebook is revised, or at a minimum of every two years at the end of the CE cycle. Officials who do not pass the rules test on their first attempt will have the opportunity to retake the exam. If the test is failed on the second attempt, the license will be suspended, and the LOC will require further educational efforts. An inactive license for 2 years will be considered expired. Applicants must reapply.

All licensed officials must be insured through the USAWE group insurance program to maintain their licenses. The insurance program is not available to LO candidates.  USAWE Licensed Officials are covered by two insurance policies while they are officiating at a USAWE licensed show and any clinic held in conjunction with that show. The first is a professional liability policy.  The annual cost for the liability policy per licensed official is $75. USAWE is covering $50 of that premium each year; the cost to each LO therefore is $25/year. The fee is based on the calendar year, regardless of date of licensure. LO payments will start in January 2024 (USAWE is paying the entire premium for 2023).  The second policy covers accidental death ($25,000), dismemberment ($50,000), paralysis ($50,000), and medical expenses ($10,000). USAWE is carrying the entire cost of this policy (no cost to the LOs).


For Our Visiting Foreign Judges

Working Equitation judges from WAWE-recognized countries and WAWE-licensed judges may apply for a one-time Visiting Foreign Judge License. 

Continuing Education for Licensed Officials

All Licensed Officials are required to meet continuing education requirements. These requirements are detailed in the Licensed Officials Program PDF. Download and track your Continuing Education credits using the relevant forms in the Downloadable Forms and Documents section below.

Licensed Officials Continuing Education Events

Search the table on a computer by selecting the tab at the bottom, clicking anywhere in the table and then using the “search” or “find” option on your browser.

To search quickly within a web page (“Find In Page”), first open the page you’d like to search in your favorite web browser. Press Ctrl+F (on Windows PC, Chromebook, or Linux system), or Command+F (on a Mac) on the keyboard. The “F” stands for “Find,” and it works in every browser. If you’re using Google Chrome, a search bubble will appear in the upper-right corner of the window.

In-Person Judge Seminars

The LOC offers in-person seminars as an important complement to our online learning opportunities.

Information about these events will be posted here when it is available.

Silent and Shadow Judging and Judge Advancement

at the Stars and Stripes Show

at El Campeon Farms

with WAWE judge Jose Benito


Dates:  July 5, 6, 7 (One trial per day)


Where: El Campeon Farms, 999 W. Potrero Rd. Thousand Oaks, CA 91364 (guest parking use 981 W. Potrero Rd.)

Stay: Palm Garden Hotel (official horse show hotel)

(for other hotels in the area search: Thousand Oaks, Westlake Village, Agoura Hills, Newbury Park)

Airports: Burbank (closest) & LAX


CE Credits:
Remote Shadow – 4 CE/show (all trials)
Silent Judging – 8 CE/show (all trials)

Auditors Welcome – see registration form for cost

Sign up here for silent or shadow judging
Sign up here for judge license advancement
Stars & Stripes Show Flyer 2024

Calibration Seminar and Judge Advancement

– video, live rides, shadow and silent judging with WAWE judge Antonio Vicente


Dates: August 15, 16, 17, 18

Where: Oregon Horse Center, 90751 Prairie Road, Eugene, OR 97402

Stay: Holiday Inn Express (use code “Oregon Horse Center Rate”)

(for other hotels in the area, search- Springfield, Gateway)

Airport: Eugene (closest) & Portland


CE Credits:
Classroom- 5 CE/day (Thursday, Friday)
Remote Shadow- 4 CE/show (all trials)
Silent Judging- 8 CE/show (all trials)

Auditors Welcome – see registration form for cost

Trade Show Grants


USAWE designed this to facilitate educating the equestrian community about the sport of Working Equitation. It will also promote USA Working Equitation (USAWE) by helping USAWE Licensed Officials presenting at large trade shows to offset expenses associated with attending the event.

Ask a Judge

This is your opportunity to connect with a Senior Judge.  We will get an answer back to you as soon as possible.  By submitting this form you are consenting and granting permission to USAWE to use any questions submitted for informative or educational purposes.  Your personal information will be kept anonymous.

Note:  This form is not for disputing a Judge’s decision or filing a complaint against a judge, competitor, or anyone else.  

Downloadable Forms and Documents

Important WE Licensed Officials forms that can be downloaded in both PDF and Word doc when available.

Note:  If your document downloads in “Protected View” you will need to click the “Enable Editing” button located near the top menu of the document in the yellow warning strip before you can fill it out (see example below).


Type of download
Application – Learner “L” Judge PDF Word Doc
Application – Recorded “r” Judge PDF Word Doc
Application – Registered “R” Judge PDF Word Doc
Application – Senior “S” Judge PDF Word Doc
Application – Technical Delegate PDF Word Doc
Judging Assessment Form PDF Word Doc
Reference Form PDF Word Doc
Scribe Log PDF Word Doc
Shadow Log (Judge) PDF Word Doc
Shadow/Volunteer Log (TD) PDF Word Doc
Technical Delegate Handbook PDF No Word Doc

Social Media Policy – Licensed Officials

All USAWE Licensed Officials agree to adhere to the following Social Media Policy.


This Social Media Policy governs the commentary via social media by Officers, Directors, Licensed Officials, and Professional Instructors when acting as a USA Working Equitation (USAWE) official or can be perceived as acting as a USAWE official. For the purposes of this policy, social media means any tool for online publication and commentary, including but not limited to blogs, Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube, and any other new media.

This Social Media Policy does not limit a person’s right to post their opinions as an individual, when not acting as an Officer, Director, Licensed Official, or Professional Instructor.

Statement of Policy

Officers, Directors, Licensed Officials, and Professional Instructor may use social media as a conduit for conveying their activities in the WE environment. All uses of social media must follow the same ethical standards as outlined in the Code of Conduct (Officers and Directors) or Code of Ethics (Licensed Officials and Professional Instructors).

Officers, Directors, Licensed Officials, and Professional Instructors may not represent themselves as an authority for the organization on social media.

Following the Policy

Officers, Directors, Licensed Officials, and Professional Instructors must make every effort to consider all options within the context of appropriate civil behavior when responding to comments on social media, including the option of no response. It is best to err on the side of caution. When in doubt, do not post, comment, or engage. If you are unsure whether or not something is appropriate to post on social media, contact the Ethics Committee before making the post live. If you, for whatever reason, take an action that conflicts with this policy, you may be contacted by the Ethics Committee to resolve the situation and may be asked to withdraw, correct, or revise the posting. Failure to adhere to this policy or the resolution determined by the Ethics Committee may result in suspension of membership or licensure.

What You Should Do

  • Disclose your affiliation. If you talk about USAWE matters that are within your role as an Officer, Director, Licensed Official, or Professional Instructor, you must disclose your affiliation with USAWE.
  • State that it is your opinion. Unless authorized to speak for USAWE, you must state that the views are your own. No one should speak on behalf of USAWE without express permission.
  • Keep your comments respectful, professional, and helpful. Respectful discussions are a way for the sport and the organization to grow.
  • Protect yourself. Be careful about what personal information you share online.
  • Act responsibly and ethically. Do not misrepresent yourself.
  • Honor our differences. USAWE will not tolerate discriminatory comments of any kind (including age, sex, race, color, creed, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, citizenship, disability, marital status, or any other legally recognized protected basis under federal, state, or local laws, regulations, or ordinances).

What You Should Not Do

    • Do not publish, post, or release information that is considered confidential.
    • Do not discuss anything to do with a legal issue.
    • Do not use the USAWE logo unless expressly permitted.
Licensed Officials:
    • Do not use your personal cell phone, computer, tablet, or any other similar device for social media while officiating. Do not post photos of horses or riders taken during the event, including during awards, until the show has ended.
    • Do not disclose specific details of actions taken during a competition, either by you or that you are aware of by being a Licensed Official. Reference can be made in a general way to the actions of competitors or decisions by officials as long as individuals are not identified.
    • Do not share discussions regarding officiating that occurred during a competition.
    • Do not discuss specific horses, competitors, or licensed officials related to a competition on social media.

Code of Ethics – Licensed Officials

All USAWE Licensed Officials agree to adhere to the following Code of Ethics.

In providing a service to the working equitation community, I recognize the need to do so in a professional manner, interacting with the public and colleagues with the highest degree of integrity. By accepting licensing, I understand that the equine industry and clients expect the highest standard of conduct from those who hold this recognition. I agree to continually uphold my character and reputation.

I will adhere to the following creed:

  1. I will execute my duties without bias or prejudice.
  2. I will ensure that every horse present at an event where I am officiating will at all times be treated humanely, maintaining the welfare of the horse as paramount.
  3. I will adhere to all relevant policies/procedures of USA Working Equitation (USAWE) while upholding the U.S. Rules for Working Equitation.
  4. I will conduct business in a manner that will enhance the image of USAWE and the sport of working equitation.
  5. I will avoid conflicts of interest, either real or perceived, whenever possible, and disclose conflicts of interest whenever they exist and cannot be avoided.
  6. I will uphold the highest standard of professional behavior, recognizing that even the appearance of misconduct or impropriety can be very damaging to the reputation of USAWE as well as to my own reputation.

I understand and agree that USAWE has the right to investigate complaint(s) regarding a licensed official’s alleged conduct. I will participate in the due process proceedings of the Ethics Committee.  I have a right to review all information, documents, photographs, or other evidence used to evaluate my performance in my official duty. I will abide by the decision of the Ethics Committee or Appeals Committee once all avenues of due process have been exhausted.

I recognize that the licensing body has no binding relationship in the business relationship between a licensed official and show management.

I understand that in order to maintain licensure I must maintain membership with USAWE and provide proof of continuing education as outlined in the Licensed Officials Program.

I agree to abide by the Social Media Policy.

By signing this document, I agree to uphold this Code of Ethics and the Licensed Officials Program policies. I understand that failure to do so could result in suspension and/or loss of USAWE licensure.

Code of Conduct – Licensed Officials

All USAWE Licensed Officials agree to adhere to the following Code of Conduct.

I [name of LO], as a Licensed Official for USA Working Equitation (USAWE), agree to abide by this Code of Conduct in the administration of my duties on behalf of USAWE. I recognize that even the appearance of misconduct or impropriety can be
very damaging to the reputation and integrity of USAWE and the sport of Working Equitation and will act accordingly.

I agree to:

• Represent USAWE with honesty, integrity, and competence in performing my duties.

• Uphold the U.S. Rules for Working Equitation and the USAWE Competition Manual.

• Interact with show managers, show staff, competitors, and the general public in a responsible, respectful, and professional manner. Be courteous and patient, even when having to make an unpopular decision. Maintain a positive, welcoming, helpful attitude.

• Explain the rules and policies of Working Equitation whenever possible to enhance understanding, recognizing that many competitors are new to the sport and may be new to competition. I understand that education is an important component of the USAWE mission.

• Be discreet. I understand and accept that any and all discussions regarding rules, procedures, marks, or anything pertaining to how the competition is run should be discussed solely with other officials in private conversations.

• Dress professionally. No shorts, sleeveless shirts, or tank tops.

• Perform my role as an ambassador for the sport of Working Equitation as well as for USAWE, whether officiating, attending for continuing education, or as a spectator.

I understand that failure to comply with the Licensed Official’s Code of Conduct is grounds for disciplinary review and potential disciplinary action by the Licensed Official Committee.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This