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Register Your Show with ESDCTA

Dressage Show Requirements

Email the Calendar & Omnibus Chair

  • To register dates for shows and list them in the online Calendar
  • To publish show prize lists in our Omnibus
  • To find out about the cost to list in the Calendar and the cost to publish prize lists
  • To arrange for an ESDCTA Advisor to review your facility and review show procedures


  • Must be 20m x 40m for small arena and 20m x 60m for large arena
  • Size and footing must be printed in Calendar and on prize list
  • Footing should be suitable to the season
  • All USDF Intro, Training Level and eventing tests may be ridden in a small arena
  • All other tests must be in a large arena
  • Fence enclosing arena should be about 12″ high
  • Letters should be clearly marked and visible to the rider
  • Arena should have adequate space to ride around the perimeter

Warm-up Area and Parking

  • Warm-up area footing must be suitable to the season, area must be of adequate size and safe
  • Parking must be of adequate size and safe


  • Must be qualified USEF licensed judges (dressage or eventing) or USDF “L” graduates
  • USDF “L” graduates or USEF “r” eventing judges may judge through second level at schooling shows only
  • USEF “r” may judge through fourth level at schooling shows, second level at USEF licensed shows
  • USEF “R” may judge through FEI levels at schooling shows, fourth level at USEF licensed shows
  • USEF “S” may judge through FEI levels at licensed shows

Bits and Tack

  • May be spot-checked by area steward either before or after ride and must comply with the USEF rules for allowed and required bits and tack. Rule #DR121: Saddlery and Equipment

Manager and Secretary of Show

  • Either manager or secretary MUST be an ESDCTA member
  • For USEF licensed dressage competitions, the manager and the secretary must also be a Senior Active USEF member and a USDF PM or GMO member
  • Manager or secretary must be a named individual
  • Manager and secretary may compete in their own show if they comply with USEF rules GR1202 and GR1203, which states: “The manager or secretary may show Hors de Concours (HC) if they designate an assistant to be in charge while they are showing”.

Schooling and Scheduling

  • Schooling may be allowed in and/or around the show ring(s) before the show starts and during lunch as allowed by the schedule for raking/watering, but not while any class is in progress.
  • Judges are encouraged to talk with the riders briefly after their tests. Use USEF Rule DR126(d) regarding length of judge’s day, plus suggested ride times printed on test score sheets as a guide to use when setting up the ride schedule for a show. Extra time should be scheduled between tests if discussion is planned.
  • Time interval between rides: DR 126.1 (b,5) ESDCTA exception: “In order to facilitate show scheduling considerations, management reserves the right to shorten the time interval between competitor rides for those competitors entering multiple classes or riding multiple horses”. However, management must give the competitor adequate notice regarding a shortened interval between rides.


  • All dressage results are to be calculated to three decimal places.
  • All results are to be sent to [email protected] as soon as possible, but no later than four weeks after each show.


  • All shows are to be run according to USEF rules with the exceptions noted in this section of ESDCTA’s Omnibus and unless stated in the show prize list.

Horse Trial and Combined Test Requirements


  • Must follow USEF rules and regulations.


  • Must obtain USEF licensed judges and technical delegates.
  • Ground jury must include a USEF licensed Combined Training judge.


  • All final results are to be calculated to two decimal places.
  • Must be sent to [email protected] within four weeks of show.

General Rules for All Competitions

  • Registered dates cannot be changed without contacting the Calendar/Omnibus Chair.
  • All dates must be cleared with the Calendar/Omnibus Chair.
  • The Calendar/Omnibus Chair must be informed if a show is cancelled.
  • Shows of the same type held on the same day must be at least 50 miles away from each other.
  • All tests offered must be USEF, USDF or FEI only.
  • All shows are encouraged to offer classes for green (starter) horses, that is, classes for horses who are in their first season of competition.
  • Schooling shows are for educational purposes. Organizers should consider adding at least three minutes to the time normally allowed for each dressage ride to provide time for the judge to speak with the rider following the test.
  • Judges MUST have a minimum of one ten-minute break every two hours plus a minimum lunch break of 45 minutes. More than the minimum time is recommended.


A participant and/or spectator are deemed to assume the inherent risks of equine animal activities created by equine animals, weather conditions, conditions of trails, riding rings, training tracks, equestrians, and all other inherent conditions. Each participant is assumed to know the range of his ability and it shall be the duty of each participant to conduct himself within the limits of such ability to maintain control of his equine animal and to refrain from acting in a manner which may cause or contribute to the injury of himself or others, loss or damage to person or property, or death which results from participation in an equine animal activity.

Furthermore: Neither the Organizing Committee, the landowners, nor the Eastern States Dressage and Combined Training Association accept any liability for any accident, injury, or illness to horses, riders, owners, attendants, spectators, or any person or property whatsoever.

All Show Managers and Entry Secretaries are encouraged to obtain a copy of the USEF and/or USEA Rule Books or access the Rule Books online at or, to ensure that shows are run according to current USEF/USEA rules and standards.