USEF Update Regarding USEF Dressage Performance Standards Proposal

For Immediate Release
Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Results of an USEF online survey conducted in May and June 2008 concerning the USEF Dressage Performance Standards Proposal showed that 65% of the over 1250 respondents feel that there should be a proficiency requirement in order to advance through the levels in dressage competition. In addition, 56% of respondents indicate that the levels of proficiency identified in the draft proposal were appropriate.

Important concerns about the USEF Dressage Performance Standards Proposal were expressed from survey respondents regarding costs to USEF, USDF, and members; access for riders in parts of the U.S. offering few shows; and recognition of good riding on modest horses. In consideration of these concerns, and as a result of ongoing work on the proposal, the USEF Dressage Committee has made several modifications to the proposal, including the inclusion of a "Rider Test" option. This test would provide another method of qualifying in order to compete at USEF-licensed dressage competitions at Fourth Level and Prix St. Georges. The Rider Test, using the movements of the current USEF Third Level Test 3, would replace traditional scoring with general scores for evaluation of rider competency. A draft sample of this test is now available on the USEF web site.  To find it, go to, then click on Breeds and Disciplines, then click on Disciplines, then click on Dressage, then click on National Dressage, then click on Performance Standards.  At the bottom, please click on Draft of USEF "Rider Test" to view the draft of this test.

The current USEF Dressage Performance Standards Proposal is now in the form of official rule change proposals, which are available for review on the USEF website. The relevant tracking numbers are #302-08 and #329-08. USEF members may submit comments regarding the rule change proposals via the website, and all feedback is welcomed and will be considered by the Dressage Committee.

USEF and USDF members will have the opportunity to discuss the USEF Dressage Performance Standards Proposal in person at an open forum conducted by the USEF Dressage Committee at the USDF Annual Convention in Denver, Colorado. This open forum is scheduled for Thursday, December 4 from 1:30 to 2:30 local time.

Founded in 1973, the United States Dressage Federation is a nonprofit membership organization dedicated to education, recognition of achievement, and promotion of dressage. For more information about USDF membership or programs, visit, email, or call (859) 971-2277.