AEA Event Sanctioning Guidelines


Horse Shows /  Equestrian Special Events Program



  1. Arenas and schooling corrals should be adequate in size to adequately accommodate the riders that will be using the facility. 
  2. Separate areas for parking, warm-up, competition, food service, and spectators must be designated, marked, fenced and /or roped off as appropriate and necessary. Areas where horses are being led or ridden should be off limits for casual spectators, who may have no knowledge of safe zones around horses.
  3. The number of horses in a warm-up or staging area must be controlled to avoid potential accidents.  Spectators must stay in assigned observation areas a safe distance from horse activity.
  4. Premises should be fenced with design and materials required for horse exposures.  Fence should be well constructed and in good repair.  The fence should be at least 4 feet high with " horse proof " gate latches and difficult for children to open.
  5. Rails on fencing used for riding arenas must be attached inside the posts.
  6. Dogs, if allowed at all on the grounds, must be restrained on leads at all times. If they are NOT allowed, signs should be posted on access roads and in parking areas to give owners adequate warning. If dogs are banned, this should be stated on any prize list or activity announcement.
  7. Premises owners, vendors and independent contractors must carry insurance.
  8. Motorcycles, Mopeds, All-Terrain Vehicles, Golf Carts, and Bicycles, if allowed, should be restricted on the grounds to separate them from areas where horses will be moving about, with signage to make clear where they are and are not allowed. If the organizing committee needs to use such vehicles for the running of the event, they must make certain that the drivers are thoroughly familiar with the vehicle's controls, as well as what a horse's reaction may be to the vehicle.
  9. No alcoholic beverages will be served or consumed at any AREA sanctioned event.
  10. Any horse or rider acting in a reckless, unsafe or unreasonable manner will be required to leave the premises or event.
  11. Stable rules and emergency numbers should be posted in prominent places throughout the stable area.  Most states have equine liability laws.  Most of those laws have specific wording for warning postings and contracts.
  12. Management must plan for the logistics of emergency medical and veterinary support in case of accident or illness. If the support people are on call rather than on the grounds, access to the emergency site must be kept clear and someone provided to guide them from the facility entrance to where they are needed.
  13. Smoking must be banned from bedding storage and stabling areas; for show or activity areas fire and local government codes and laws must be observed.
  14. Any temporary electrical lines must be checked and approved by a qualified electrician. Public address and other communication equipment should also be checked for safety, and should be able to be heard throughout the grounds.


  1. All participants must sign an acknowledgement of risk and liability release in a form approved by AEEA and state in which activity takes place.  A copy of the release must be filed with AREA before the event date.  Failure to comply will void any insurance afforded through the American Equestrian Alliance.
  2. Injury to athletic participants are excluded from any insurance coverage.  All participants ride or participate at their own risk!
  3. ALL exhibitors in over fences classes and hunter classes must wear protective head gear passing testing standards. All junior exhibitors riding anywhere on the grounds must wear protective head gear with harnesses buckled or they will be prohibited from riding anywhere other than the show ring.  Proper shoes with heels should also be required.  No loose clothing permitted.
  4. Volunteers for the event must be thoroughly briefed about the nature of their jobs, and how to provide help to participants and spectators in case of an emergency.


  1. Spectators must be separated from all event activity at all time.  Safety barriers must be in place to prevent spectators from entering event staging areas and arenas.
  2. Spectators who enter areas of equine activities are considered participants and excluded from any form of coverage.
  3. An adult must closely supervise small children at all times. Signs to this effect should be posted at entry points and in parking areas, and particularly at all stabling entrances


Failure to comply with any American Entertainment & Recreation Alliance safety group rules will automatically and immediately void event sanctioning and any associated endorsements or insurance.  Failure to immediately report any accident, injury or incident will void any insurance protection extended under any AEA program.  In the event coverage is voided by Member's failure to comply with sanctioning requirements the maximum liability of AEA will be the sanctioning fee paid by member


P.O. Box 6230  Scottsdale, AZ 85261
800.874.9191  FAX  602.992.8327