Mid-South Eventing & Dressage Association

Rule Refresher

12/09/2023 9:11 AM | Anthony Trollope (Administrator)

by Robyn Munson

In January 2023 I started the process of obtaining my USEF Technical Delegate License.  In this process, I have been apprenticing at several different shows with several different Technical Delegates.   I have noticed as I go to these events that riders have ignored or not known the rules that could get them disqualified from the competition.  Being disqualified from the event is different than being eliminated - elimination prevents that particular horse from continuing.  Disqualification means that if you are riding multiple horses, all rides will be disqualified.  This could make for a costly weekend! 


As competitors we know that eventing involves a great deal of time, effort, and money.  We certainly do not want to end our weekend sitting on the sidelines if we can prevent it so I thought it would be a good idea to do a refresher of some of the rules that could cause a rider to be disqualified from the entire event.  

Ways to get disqualified:

·       Allowing someone to ride and school your horse after the start of the event. Schooling is considered anything other than riding at a walk on a long rein.   

·       Riding in any dressage or show jumping arena or close to the cross- country obstacles before the event.

·       Jumping any practice fences

o   that are not marked;

o   have been raised above the height or spread permitted for your level of competition;

o   that have been held; or

o   any time other than those permitted by the organizer.

·       Walking the cross-country course before it is open to competitors.

·       Walking the show jumping course before it is open to competitors.

·       Entering the jumping arena on foot after the competition has started.

·       Any abuse of a horse.

·       Exercising with improper saddlery.

·       Use of a radio or cellular phone while competing.

Please remember, it is your responsibility as a competitor to know the rules.  The rules are easily accessible, and should be reviewed regularly to ensure that you are aware of any new or amended rules.  If you do not understand a specific rule or need clarification, find an official at the competition and ask!   Do not wait until an official approaches you for an infraction and then claim you did not understand.  No official takes pleasure in disqualifying or eliminating a competitor, especially for something that could have been prevented if the rider had simply asked a question before it was too late. 

I hope this article helps to remind our membership to follow the rules that will prevent someone from getting disqualified at a competition. 

Midsouth Eventing & Dressage Association is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.

MSEDA’s mission is to promote and preserve the sports of Eventing and Dressage in the Mid-South area, by providing leadership and education to its members and the community at large. To further these goals, MSEDA will provide educational opportunities, fair and safe competitions, promote the welfare of the horse and rider and reward the pursuit of excellence from the grass roots to the FEI level.

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