General Rules for Year-End Awards

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The following rules apply to these year-end awards:

  • Junior/Young Rider Awards
  • Vintage Cup Awards
  • Adult Amateur Awards
  • Para-Dressage Rider of the Year Awards
  • Dressage Horse of the Year Awards
  • Dressage Sport Horse Breeding Horse of the Year Awards
  • Materiale Horse of the Year Awards
  • USEF Four-Year Old Awards
  • FEI Five-Year Old Awards
  • FEI Six-Year Old Awards
  • All-Breeds Awards
  • Musical Freestyle Awards
  • Musical Freestyle Challenge
  • Breeder of the Year Awards

Award Year

  • The award year is October 1 through September 30.
  • For USDF official year-end results or award standings, no corrections will be accepted after 5:00 pm EST on October 15 of the award year.
  • Current owner of record on file with USDF on September 30 will be published as such in year-end award materials.
  • Scores are recorded directly from official competition results submitted by competition management.
  • Scores can be checked on USDFScores.com.
  • Scores must be from FEI, USEF, or USDF tests or scoresheets that are current at the time of competition and earned at USEF-licensed/USDF-recognized competitions.
  • Eligible scores earned at USEF Special Competitions held in the U.S. are also applicable.
  • Hors de concours scores, USEF Rider Test scores, and scores earned in opportunity classes do not count for any awards. Freestyle scores only count for freestyle awards.
  • If two or more judges are scoring one ride, the average of their scores will count as one score, regardless of whether judges evaluate on the same or separate score sheets.
  • Judge Panel: A judge panel will be considered different if at least one member of the panel is changed.
  • All eligible scores are recorded, however, only the top two scores from each individual judge will count towards the median score calculation. Each ride will be recorded only once.
  • Mules are eligible for most awards.
  • Median score: When there is an odd number of eligible scores, the median is the middle score. When there is an even number of scores, the median is the average of the two middle scores.
  • For all year-end award purposes once a horse has met the minimum award criteria and at least one additional eligible score the lowest score will be dropped from the median score calculation.

Competitions

  • Scores from dressage tests at USEF-licensed/USDF-recognized competitions will be recorded for USDF awards only when all judges who officiate the test are:
    • USEF-licensed dressage or dressage sport horse breeding (DSHB) judges officiating at levels or classes (i.e., dressage sport horse breeding) for which they are licensed.
    • FEI licensed dressage judges,
    • Individuals who have “senior” status in dressage with another nation and for whom a USEF guest card has been issued, or
    • A judge guest-carded by USEF for DSHB classes.
  • A USEF-licensed dressage technical delegate must officiate during USDF/USEF dressage or DSHB competitions and all “open” dressage classes at USEF-licensed/USDF-recognized competitions, classified as USEF Regular or Local competitions, in order for scores from those classes to be counted for USDF year-end awards with the exception of the all-breeds awards.
  • Scores earned from in-hand classes at Regular and Local competitions may only be applied towards USDF year-end award calculations if the applicable USEF division rules state that the in-hand classes will follow all rules in USEF Sub-Chapter DR-2 Dressage Sport Horse Breeding.
  • Scores earned from in-hand classes restricted to ponies will only count towards all-breeds awards.
  • Tests not listed as equivalencies in the current USDF Member Guide will not be eligible to be applied towards USDF awards.
  • Scores earned in dressage classes at USEF-licensed/USDF-recognized Regular or Local competitions where the dressage classes are restricted to certain breeds, or a USEF licensed dressage technical delegate does not officiate during all non-breed restricted dressage classes, will be recorded only for all-breeds awards.

Classes

Scores may be from open, junior/young rider, FEI junior, FEI young rider, adult amateur, Great American Insurance Group/USDF qualifying or championship classes, and most restricted classes. Scores obtained from breed restricted classes will only count towards all-breeds awards.

  • Open Class: A class that is open to all. There are no restrictions based on the horse (age, breed, sex, size, residence, or membership of owner) or rider (age, experience, qualifications, sex, residence, or membership).
  • Adult Amateur Class: A class that is open to amateurs who meet the USEF dressage definition of adult. For the purpose of Adequan®/USDF Adult Amateur Awards if the rider is a USEF adult amateur as of September 30 of the award year, all scores earned during the USDF competition year will count towards adult amateur awards.
  • Junior/Young Rider Class: A class that is open to juniors and young riders who meet the USEF dressage definition of junior or young rider. (A competitor is a junior rider until the end of the calendar year in which he or she reaches age eighteen, and a young rider until the end of the calendar year in which he or she reaches age 21.) For the purpose of the Adequan®/USDF Junior/Young Rider Awards, if the rider is a junior/young rider as of September 30 of the award year all scores earned during the USDF competition year will count towards junior/young rider awards.
  • Restricted Class: A class that is not open to all. There may be restrictions on the horse (age, sex, size, residence or membership of owner) or rider (age, experience, qualifications, sex, residence, etc.).

Membership Requirements and Horse Registrations

  • Memberships and horse registrations may vary per award.
  • Memberships and horse registrations begin when all application forms and fees are received by USDF. If joining USDF (including changing membership to PM status) or registering a horse at a competition, membership and registration begin the date of application. This date must be in accordance with USEF dressage division rules.