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US Equestrian Approves Additional COVID-19-Related Dressage Rule Modifications for 2020

by US Equestrian Communications Department | Jul 17, 2020, 2:00 PM EST

The United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) has approved additional modifications to USEF rules specific to Dressage in accordance with a resolution approved by the Board of Directors to address issues related to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. These Dressage rule modifications are briefly summarized below, and they have been added to the master Summary of Dressage Rule Modifications and Additional Information document, which can be viewed by clicking here. Additionally, a comprehensive listing of all Rule Modifications issued to USEF General and Breed/Discipline rules can be viewed in the USEF Covid-19 Rule Modifications document found here

Summary of Modifications to USEF Rules Specific to Dressage

The modifications listed below are effective immediately and remain in effect for the remainder of the 2020 competition year.

Equipment Inspections
The rule modifications approved earlier this year regarding visual equipment inspections have been expanded to include any Federation/USDF Championship classes:

Including any Federation/USDF Championship classes, all equipment inspections conducted after rides will be visual and completed at random (removed requirement for 1/3 of horses in a class). Additionally, TDs may follow the horse to a designated area for the inspection in order to provide for a safe and socially-distanced inspection. Gloves are not required, as the inspections will be visual. The above applies to Dressage Sport Horse Breeding Classes as well.

Time Schedule & Ride Times
Rule modifications approved earlier this year allow for flexibility with ride schedules, including the ability to run out of sequence and/or not run in their entirety. An exception to this has been implemented for Federation/USDF Championship Classes and Dressage Sport Horse Breeding classes:

Flexibility with ride schedules must be allowed. Classes will not be required to run in their entirety, and rides may be scheduled out of sequence, except for Federation/USDF Championship Classes. Consideration must still be given to riders entered in more than one class or riding more than one horse. Additionally, at least 50 minutes must still be scheduled between start times for a rider’s tests on different horses unless he/she has agreed, in writing, to a shorter interval between tests. Time intervals should be allowed between rides for judges' breaks and awards presentations.

All horses in the same age group in Dressage Sport Horse Breeding Classes must be shown consecutively. Classes must be run in their entirety.


DR 126 Requirements for Dressage Competition Management

Food & Beverages Spectator Services
See the most recent modifications made to the Levels Chart (found here on pages 37-40). Food/beverages services are optional for Level 1-3 competitions with the exception that bottled water must be available for Level 2 & 3 competitions (see Levels Chart) and recommended for Level 1 competitions. Additionally, spectator services are not required (per USEF Action Plan).

For Federation/USDF Championship classes (Competition Levels 4 & 5), food service is based on local health department requirements. At a minimum, pre-packaged food and water must be available; however, hours may be limited. The information must be included in the prize list and/or competition management must inform competitors prior to their arrival regarding the status of food availability on the grounds.

Arena Fence at Letter ‘A’
For Federation/USEF Championship Classes (competition Levels 4 & 5), the arena gate at the letter ‘A’ is allowed to remain open. Please review additional recommendations for this found in the
USDF Best Practices: Considerations for Dressage Competitions for USEF/USDF Regional Championships and US Dressage Finals and the USEF Dressage FAQs for U.S. Dressage Festival of Champions.

If you have any questions regarding these modifications to USEF Dressage rules, please contact a member of the US Equestrian Dressage Department at [email protected].