Overview of Eventing Rules for Dressage Judges

This is pretty handy I think. But it’s curious for some things they say permitted and others they say not prohibited.


That’s a great resource!

Clarification here (from a comment on facebook)

For the items “not prohibited,” the direction I received from the ELOC to label them is as follows:

“There is no rule AGAINST those items in EV but there is no wording that “allows” it like there is for neck straps, etc.”

So it is simply a wording thing tying back to the rules.


I have a question regarding “Glitter (or other decoration” on Horse- Not Prohibited” - does this mean quarter marks/designs aren’t allowed? Or it is only referring to glitter gel or other versions of bedazzling the coat?

“Not Prohibited” means allowed. So glitter, quarter marks, all of the above are allowed under current wording (aka, no wording in the rule book).

Bare in mind that this was developed for straight Dressage judges, hired as additional officials at an event. It focuses on differences between the USEF Dressage rules and USEF Eventing rules so that riders are not penalized for something which is not permitted under the Dressage rules.


wait… so NOW french links with plates are permitted? after I had to replace them all w/ lozenges?

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:woman_facepalming: oh man… I feel dumb :joy: I did indeed know “Not Prohibited” meant “allowed” but in the context I totally swapped the meaning. Thank you!

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No worries, I saw a lot of others having the same brain fart.

French links (with plates) have been permitted in EVENTING dressage since at least 1981.
It is only STRAIGHT dressage that didn’t like them.


Didn’t the FEI Eventing rules change as well to prohibit French links, but they are allowed at National level? I remember this discussion last year. ETA - that’s how it worked in Canada.


Question for those of you in the US: the chart says fall of rider is NOT cause for elimination in the dressage test, just has an effect on the movement score and the collectives??? So, if the rider was only partway through the test and falls, they can get back on and finish the test as long as the horse didn’t leave the ring? This is very weird.

Under Canadian rules, a fall of horse or rider in dressage is elimination and they can’t continue on to finish the test. The rider also must be examined by the medic before leaving the show grounds (or vet to inspect the horse if the horse fell).

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Yes this is true under USEF Eventing rules. Used to be true under USEF Dressage rules too, until a few years ago.
Of course, if the rider is “apparently injured” then they can’t continue.

Does the medic still have to exam a rider after a fall in dressage?

Under USEF Eventing rules, in particular if the “Athlete may be injured or concussed, they must be examined by designated medical personnel to determine if they may take part in another phase, ride another Horse, or if they are capable of leaving the grounds.”

So, if they “may be injured”, they need to be checked by the EMT. That is true whether it happens during a judged phase, in warmup, or at the stables or trailers.

The GJ can say that they need to be checked by the EMT.

But if you just fall off in dressage, without any evidence of injury, no, you do not need to be checked by the EMT before the next phase.

I think the question is more: If the rider falls off during the stretchy walk, and feels ok to get back on, can they hop back on right then and continue? Or do they get zero for the rest of their scores?

Yes, they can hop back on and ride the rest of the test. They will get a low score, possibly 0, for the stretchy walk. The remaining movements will be scored on their own merits.

As someone who has been there done that (a letter from the next ring blew into my horse’s legs and he freaked) the judge let me ride the movement again and didn’t even really mark me down. I’m sure if the horse bucks you off or rears it would be a different story lol.