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2013 Show Managers Manual
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2013 MDA Schooling Show Manager’s Guide

Secretary’s Basic Duties:

1.         Receive and process entries, schedule ride times on the prepared Google Doc, and notify the Schooling Show Chairman when times are ready to post on the website

2.         Assemble Rider Packets

3.         Create Score Boards and Score Sheets

4.         Prepare tests and schedules for Judge and Gate Keeper

5.         Obtain Secretary Box and ribbons and bring to the show

6.         Keep the Judge, Gate Keeper, Organizer, and Scorers aware of any changes

7.         Finalize a neat copy of score sheet to be used for official records

8.         Work with the Organizer to make sure final show documentation is completed and                 entry money returned in the Schooling Show Binder

9.         Prepare scores for posting on the website and email to the Schooling Show Chairman (enter scores written on score sheet at show into your Google doc file)

10.          Return MDA property to appropriate people after the show

Organizer’s Basic Duties

1.                Identify the jobs you will need and recruit volunteers

2.                Contact President or Schooling Show Chairman to pick up supplies you will need                 (tables and chairs, etc.) – refer to Contacts page

3.                Set up the arena if needed and be aware if it is not regulation size - refer to Arena                 page

4.                Acquire and place a trailer/pop-up/table and chairs for the judge if needed

5.                Fill out work credits. Be sure to fill in both parts – the record and the actual credit.

6.                Provide lunch/drinks/snacks for judge and volunteers (you will be reimbursed)

7.          Work with Secretary to make sure final show documentation is completed and                 placed in the         yellow binder to be turned in to the Schooling Show Chairman.

8.                Help out where needed the day of the show.

9.          Tear down ring and clean up.

10.         Return MDA property to appropriate people after the show.

11.         Turn in the Mileage Reimbursement Form for judges who choose to calculate their                 own mileage.

New in 2013:

There is a change in management in effect: Brianne Reynolds is transitioning into the position of Schooling Show Chairman.  

Google Docs shall be our official medium for planning of shows and work credit tracking. This is to facilitate uniformity of records, as well as provide cloud storage and remote access capabilities.

Novice Rule: Based on scores, not percentages.  You’re a Novice until you get 5 scores at or above 60%.  This applies to Intro and Training Levels only.




Contact the Schooling Show Chairman when:

Contact the Judge When:

Decisions You Can Make:







We use an Automatic Score Tracker to determine some of the Year End Awards. Scores from each show will be compiled into a single spreadsheet. For this reason, all Entry Secretaries need to use the same spreadsheet format.  We use Google Docs and a spreadsheet has been created and shared with you.  Automatic Score Tracking only applies to MDA’s High Score Awards and Achievement Medals. Lifetime Achievement Medals and Scholarships will NOT be affected.  

In an effort to encourage our competitors, we have removed the Danish System in 2011.


Qualification rules changed in 2011 - riders must meet a score requirement.  This means that a given class may have multiple riders who qualify. Please see the section titled Ribbons and Qualifiers for details.

Compensation for Organizer and Secretary


Organizers and Secretaries will be issued 2 work credits and 2 free rides for a one-ring show.  Two-ring shows earn 3 work credits and 2 free rides.  In the past, these jobs earned work credits only.   The requirements of the jobs have also been updated.  In order to get the work credits and free rides, Organizers and Secretaries must:


1.        Do all of the tasks listed with minimal delegation (this includes after-show tasks).

2.        Be physically present on the day of the show for the majority of the show.


Entry Secretaries who choose to use a Day Secretary will be given work credits and one free ride voucher.

Free Ride Vouchers shall be issued by the Schooling Show Chairman upon completion of the show, return of all MDA property, and submission of and all required documentation.  Free ride vouchers expire 24 months after the date of issue.


Paying the Judges (Organizer’s Job)


Show Secretary’s Check-List


4-6 Weeks Before the Show


3 Weeks Before the Show

2 Weeks Before the Show


The Week Before the Show


3 Days Before the Show


Day of the Show

Show Organizer’s Check List


6-8 Weeks Before the Show…..


2-4 Weeks Before the Show….

o   Trailer(s) or Pop-Up Tent

o   Arena Chain                 

o   Tables and Chairs

o   Extension Cord


1-2 Weeks Before the Show….


The Week Before the Show….


The Day Before the Show….


The Day of the Show….

After the Show 

The following items must be put into the yellow Show Documentation Binder, which is located in the Secretary Box:

*The sections of the binder are clearly marked

1.         Receipts for reimbursement (ex: lunch) - should be legible/neat and attached to the         Payment Request Form from the Treasurer to fill out listing expenses - this will be       provided to you in the Show Binder.

2.         Final show schedule with scratches/fill –ins noted

3.         Final score sheet including High Score winners

4.         Entry Money and Financial Documentation Form

5.         Entry Forms (even for scratches)

6.         Stubs of work credits given out.

7.         Completed Show Worksheet (this is in the binder and must be filled out by                         the Organizer AND Secretary)

8.         Mileage Reimbursement Form for judge if applicable – located in the binder.


Organizer Duties:


Secretary Duties:

Scheduling Ride Times

The times listed below include time for the judge to talk to the competitors.  Try to schedule Freestyles to follow breaks or lunch so the riders can test the music when the ring is empty.  Feel free to add a minute or two to each test if your show does not fill.  Some judges want more or less time - see your detail page.  

Test                                                                                                Time/Large                  Time/Small

Intro A, B, C                                                                                7 minutes                       5 minutes

All Eventing Tests                                                    7 minutes                       5 minutes

Training Level Test 1                                                                  7 minutes                      

Training Level Tests 2 & 3                                                  8 minutes                      

First and Second Level (all tests)                                  9 minutes

Third Level Tests 1 and 3                                                  9 minutes

Third Level Test 2                                                                  8 minutes

Fourth Level Test 1                                                                  9 minutes

Fourth Level Test 2 and 3                                                  10 minutes

PSG, I1 and I2, GP, GP Special,                                

All Freestyles, and FEI JR/YR                                           10 minutes

Third Rides


If your show fills you need to make a decision - you can 1) decide to stay later, 2)open a second ring (grounds permitting), 3)schedule Intro and USEA tests in small arena or 4) create a wait-list.

If you decide you can stay later/add a second ring or any of the above...

If you decide to create a wait-list...


 Hors Concours (HC)


A Novice is an Adult beginner rider who has not yet earned more than 5 scores of 60% or greater.  Once 5 scores of 60% or greater have been earned, the rider shall be considered an Open competitor.

 Work Credit Guidelines (Organizer)

Issuing Credits and Maintaining a Work Credit Log

Work Credits are kept in the Work Credit Binder, which the Organizer will pick up with the show supplies or from the Schooling Show Chairman.  The credits consist of two parts – the actual credit and a stub. When issuing a credit, the Organizer fills out the credit as well as the stub. The credit is given to the volunteer and the stub is kept as a record of the credit. At the end of the show, the stubs for credits that have been issued are put into the yellow Show Documentation Binder.  The stubs serve as the Work Credit Log. As you recruit volunteers, make a list of who is signed up to help, what jobs they are going to be doing, and how long they can help. This will help you organize your day.  You DO NOT have to submit this list, only the work credit stubs.


Credits For the Volunteers (non-show management)

Coordinate with the Secretary to decide how many volunteers you need for each job (i.e. in the case of a two ring show).  Jobs can be split into AM and PM shifts if needed.  Check with the Judge regarding Scribes, as some only want one and some bring their own.   Work credits come in increments based on the amount of time someone volunteers – 1 for a full day (approx 8 hrs), ½ for 4 hours, and ¼ for 2 hours.  If your show runs over 8 hours, don’t forget to give out quarter credits or half credits (as appropriate) to your hard working helpers.


Credits For the Show Managers (Organizer, Secretary, Day Secretary)

The Secretary and Organizer will each get 2 credits for a one-ring show and 3 for a two-ring show as well as 2 free rides (to be used at future shows). Part of the job is to be present on the day of the show and pitch in as needed.  However, if a volunteer doesn’t show up and you have to do their job the entire day, assign yourself credits for that job accordingly.  When issuing credits, don’t forget to include yourself (Organizer) and the Secretary.  Free ride vouchers are issued by the Schooling Show Chairman and will be given as soon as all aspects of the show (including documentation) are completed.


Unclaimed and Unused Work Credits

                If a volunteer leaves without collecting a work credit, leave it in the Work Credit Binder. Place it in the empty page protector in the back of the binder – it is marked Unclaimed Work Credits.  If you fill out work credits ahead of the show and a volunteer does not show up, simply write “VOID” on the credit and stub.  If you do so in marker, be sure not to let the marker bleed through to the next page.

Important Considerations


Placement of the Judge

As you know, the Judge sits at C.  The Judge generally sits in a horse trailer, but some farms have a prepared spot for the Judge – a gazebo, etc.  Whatever the arrangement, please place the Judge so they will not bake or be blinded by the afternoon sun.  Set the Judge back from the ring several feet if possible.  This will allow riders to pass between the Judge and the arena as they wait for the bell/whistle indicating that their test has begun.  Setting the Judge back also allows her a better view of the corners closest to her.


If you plan to put the Judge in a trailer, please make sure it’s clean and free of bees.  Also, provide seat cushions (even if it’s just a folded beach towel or saddle pad) for the Judge and Scribe if you plan to seat them in hard chairs.



The Details page will tell you what your Judge requested.  Make sure she and the scribe have something to drink while they’re in the trailer.  The Secretary will not schedule them to be judging for a period longer that 3 hours but that can be a long time without a sip of water on a hot day.  Some Organizers have chosen to order out and let volunteers and the Judge pick what they want.  If you do that, impose a money limit (up to $10 per person) to avoid a huge bill.  The only rule on food and drinks is to keep it reasonable – MDA will reimburse you for lunch.  You can assign someone to get food if you are unable to do so (grocery store run for example) and give them ½ work credit for it.  Whatever you decide, make sure you have plenty of water (bottled or otherwise) on hand for volunteers.  It’s a good idea to let volunteers know the plan for lunch a few days in advance so they can prepare accordingly if they have special diet restrictions or want something you are not providing.  You may choose to sell concessions.  You don’t have to, but having water available for sale is a great idea.  Make sure you have enough stuff for volunteers and separate it so it doesn’t get sold accidentally.  If you need coolers, contact the President or the Schooling Show Chairman.


Creature Comforts

Make sure you have bug spray, sun block, hand sanitizer, and a first aid kit.  MDA should have these items. Before running to the store, ask the Schooling Show Chairman or President for these supplies.  If you have to buy them, submit your receipts for reimbursement. See “Reimbursement for Expenses” on the next page for details.



Watch the weather forecast in the days leading up to the show.  MDA events are generally rain or shine, but we have canceled for extreme weather.  If you feel that your show should be cancelled on account of bad weather, contact the President.  Cancellations must come from the board and will be posted on the website.  After contacting “the board”, arrangements will be made to cancel/change insurance forms and cancel/change porti potty rental.

     Consider the weather when you plan your food and drink selections.  Many of the Judges specifically request hot drinks on cold days.

Enforcing the Rules and Farm Owner Requests

MDA is here to educate.  Our goal is to teach our members the USEF rules and have fun.  If you notice someone not following the rules or attempting to show in “illegal” equipment, please explain the rules to them kindly.  Members and competitors may be new to dressage and new to showing, so help them learn and have a good time.  Show nerves can make anyone sensitive and anxious, so please be thoughtful when you address issues with riders.  Schooling shows don’t generally have Technical Delegates, so it’s up to the Show Management to make sure everyone is following the rules.

Some farm owners make special requests such as No Stallions or restrict parking or access to their barns.  MDA relies upon these donated show grounds in order to be able hold so many shows. It is well within the right of a farm owner to impose vaccination requirements on all horses entering their property.  Show Management needs to be aware of such requirements and inform riders accordingly.  It is the job of Show Management to know where to park, where to set up the Secretary stand, where to warm-up and where to get water (when available).  If you see riders violating the farm owner’s requests or requirements, kindly remind them of the farm owner’s wishes.  Most of the time, people just don’t know the rules and don’t intend to be in violation.  Farm owner’s special requests and requirements are listed on your detail page in the front pocket of this packet.  Review these – this will enable you to inform riders and volunteers accordingly.  Special requests and requirements were presented to the Schooling Show Chairman when the facility was booked.  This important information is published in the Omnibus to ensure access to all members; however, this is sometimes overlooked. Kindly remind riders of such items.


Reimbursement for Expenses

MDA will reimburse you for your reasonable expenses.  You must save all of your receipts and submit them (or copies of them) to the Treasurer.   If possible, try to put MDA items on their own receipt rather than in with your personal items Make sure you write your name and the description of the purchase on the top of the receipt.  (Ex: Sally Smith - Lunch).  All expenses (other than lunch) must be cleared with the MDA President first!  If you need something, please contact either the President or Schooling Show Chairman – what you need may be in storage somewhere. There is a form from the Treasurer to fill out listing your expenses. It is located in the Show Binder - please fill this out and submit with the other show paperwork.  


Helmet Rule 

There is a new helmet rule that was instituted by the USEF.  Please become familiar with this rule as it applies to MDA riders at schooling shows.  The rule reads as follows:

1. Riders under age 18 must wear protective headgear, as defined by DR120.5 and in compliance with GR801, at all times while mounted on the competition grounds. This includes non-competing riders as well as those competing at any level.

2. While on horses competing in national level tests (Fourth Level and below), riders must wear protective headgear as defined by DR120.5 and in compliance with GR801, at all times while mounted on the competition grounds. This includes non-competing riders on horses competing in national level tests.

3. While on horses competing in USEF or FEI Young Horse Tests, and FEI Junior Tests, riders must wear protective headgear as defined by DR120.5 and in compliance with GR801, at all times while mounted on the competition grounds.

4. All riders competing in Para-Equestrian tests must wear protective headgear at all times while mounted on the competition grounds. Riders who compete in PE tests must wear protective headgear on every horse they ride, no matter the level or test.

5. All riders of any age while on non-competing horses must wear protective headgear at all times while mounted on the competition grounds.

6. All riders under age 18 and all riders while on horses competing in national level tests, who choose to wear Armed Services or police uniform, must wear protective headgear as defined in DR120.5 and in compliance with GR801 at all times while mounted on the competition grounds. Riders age 18 and over who wear Armed Services or police uniform on horses that are competing only in FEI levels and tests at the Prix St. Georges level and above must wear either protective headgear or the appropriate military/police cap or hat for their branch of service.

7. When a horse is competing in both national and FEI levels or tests (e.g. Fourth Level and PSG), the rider must wear protective headgear at all times when mounted on that horse on the competition grounds and during all tests.

8. While on horses that are competing only in FEI levels and tests at the Prix St. Georges level and above (including FEI Young Rider Tests, the USEF Developing Prix St. Georges Test and the USEF Brentina Cup Test), riders age 18 and over are not required to wear protective headgear in warm up or during competition. However, these riders may wear protective headgear without penalty from the judge.

9. In FEI-recognized (CDI, CDI-Y, CDI-J, CDI-P, etc.) classes, FEI rules take precedence and protective headgear is permitted but not required.

10. All riders while on horses competing in national level classes such as Equitation, Materiale and DSHB Under Saddle are required to wear protective headgear at all times when mounted on the competition grounds.

Protective headgear is defined as a riding helmet which meets or exceeds ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials)/SEI (Safety Equipment Institute) standards for equestrian use and carries the SEI tag. The headgear and harness must be secured and properly fitted. Any rider violating this rule at any time must immediately be prohibited from further riding until such headgear is properly in place.

Job Duties and Instructions



Function: accurately score tests, maintain log of show scores, complete scoreboards, pin classes and hand out tests/ribbons

  1. Practice using the printing calculator or adding machine before you score your first test and make sure the scores come out to THREE DECIMAL PLACES
  2. Review rules for Scores and Ribbons
  3. Print and staple the calculator tape with the rider’s score to the outside of the test sheet
  4. Work with a partner if possible
  5. Double check each test before you assign the official score
  6. Do not release tests until the entire class is pinned
  7. Do not allow people to discuss the tests of other riders, or for competitors to view each others tests
  8. Competitors should not be hovering over the Scorers – this is annoying and increases the chance of mistakes. If this happens, politely ask everyone to step away from the Scoring table.



Function: sit with the judge to write the judges remarks and score for each movement on the tests, verify rider identity and test against provided show schedule

  1. Double check the name of the horse and rider as well as the test being ridden – ask the rider or at least verify the bridle number matches the number on the test.  Write the bridle number of the horse about to go into the arena on the inside top right corner of the test.  There is a box for competitor’s number.
  2. Write or print legibly in blue or black PEN (no pencil)
  3. You may need to work out some sort of shorthand with the Judge before you begin scribing – make sure any shorthand or symbols are easy to decipher
  4. Use only obvious abbreviations
  5. Write only what the Judge says
  6. Make no comments to the Judge about the horse or rider, regardless of their relationship to you
  7. Make sure the Judge signs the test and fills in her part (Collective Marks)


Gate Keeper

Function: keep a given ring on track according to provided schedule, interface with riders to make sure they enter the ring in the proper order

  1. Please keep yourself, others, and things (tables, chairs, etc.) at least 50 feet away from the in-gate while tests are being ridden – this is a USEF rule and makes it easier to enter at A
  2. Inform riders if they are next (on deck)
  3. Inform riders if the ring is ahead of or behind schedule – remember a rider cannot be made to go early, but must be ready to go at their assigned time unless they switch with another competitor and the Judge is aware of the change
  4. What you do for one, you must do for all – this includes checking bits, whips, or closing the gate/chain or moving an offending object (barking dog, signs, etc).  If there is something that presents a major safety risk (a loose blowing tarp) it is acceptable to address it.



Function: carry tests from judge to scorers

  1. Take the tests that have been judged from the Scribe and deliver them to the scorers
  2. Do not allow anyone to see the tests on the way to the Scorers
  3. Try to retrieve tests every few rides so as not to overwhelm the scorers
  4. Be aware of ongoing tests – don’t walk up to the ring or sneak up to the trailer while a test is going on – wait till the break between rides
  5. Take notes from Show Management to the Judge


Ring Crew

Function: set-up/take-down arena

  1. Feed the arena chain into the bucket or trashcan – do not gather it into a heap
  2. The chain is easily broken by rough handling so please be careful
  3. Place the short in-gate chain on top
  4. Pick up all trash /forgotten equipment you see laying around
  5. Stack up the letters and collect any flower decorations  

Guidelines for Scores and Ribbons



  1. Scores must be carried out to THREE DECIMAL PLACES!
  2. The calculator tape indicating the score must be attached to the test.
  3. If there is an error as noted by the judge, you must show the subtraction for the error on the tape – you can’t take the points off the movement that had the error.  For example, if the movement was a 5 but has an error (-2) you can’t just add 3 instead of 5.  You would have to add 5 for the movement then take 2 off of the total score at the end.  This is very important.
  4. Make sure you carry scores from the left hand score column over into the right side score column on the test sheet.  Pay close attention to movements with coefficients.
  5. Be sure to fill in the points and scores in two places on the test – on the front page (# of points and score %) and on the back beneath Collective Marks (there is a place for points, errors, and the resulting total points for the test).  If a rider is eliminated, write eliminated on the front of the test if the scribe has not done so already.  The rider may pick up this test if they want it.
  6. Scores must be recorded in 2 places – on the scoreboard and on the Scorer’s sheet.  At the end of the day, the Scorers need to turn in their official score sheet to the Organizer or Secretary.  This score sheet will be used to enter scores on the website and will become a permanent part of the records for the show.



  To Qualify for Training – 4th Level:

·      Be a current and eligible MDA member (see Rule 4 on Rules and Attire Page)

·      Enter the class specified on the Class List as “Open/Qualifier” in your respective level and division

·      Pay the $5 Qualifier Fee in addition to standard entry fee

·      Meet the Score Requirements (see Required Score chart below)


To Qualify at FEI, Musical Freestyle, Pas De Deux, or Quadrille:

·      Be a current and eligible MDA member (see Rule 4 on Rules and Attire Page)

·      Specify that you are Qualifying on your entry form – there is not a designated Qualifier class

·      Pay the $5 Qualifier Fee in addition to standard entry fee

·       In the case of multiple riders (i.e. Pas De Deux, each rider must pay the $5 fee as well as their own regular entry fee)

·      Meet the Score Requirements (see Required Score chart below)



Score Requirement

Training through Second

62% or higher

Third and above

58% or higher

Qualification is not based on winning the class, but meeting score requirements.  Several riders can qualify from one qualifier class provided they are eligible, have submitted a correct entry form, paid the Qualifier fee, and have met the score requirements.  Freestyle, Pas De Deux, and Quadrille Qualifiers follow the score requirements for the level being performed.


Pinning Classes


Breaking a Tie

Unclaimed Ribbons and Tests


Disputing a Score


High Score Awards

2013 MDA Show Rules

1. Entries are limited to two rides per horse/rider combination. The 2013 entry form must be used for MDA Schooling Shows.  A third ride may be requested and will be granted if possible. Third rides will be granted according to postmark if the show is not filled. (NOTE: If you are approved for your third ride, an entry fee in the amount of $20/28 will be required when you receive you number packet the day of the show.)

2. Entry fees are $20/ride for members. Non-members may enter any Open Shows for $28 per ride. MDA will assess a fee for returned checks. This fee will be determined by the current Treasurer, based on the fees MDA is charged by MDA’s bank. If a second check is returned, that person must pay any and all fees to MDA by money order for one year following the second occurrence.

3. All entries must be accompanied by a check made out to MDA, Inc. or Maryland Dressage Association, Inc. in the proper amount. The check is not to include payment for an additional third ride. A copy of a negative Coggins test (dated within one year of the show date), and a properly filled out and signed (parent/Guardian if rider is under 21) entry form must also be included. It is the competitors’ responsibility to remain informed through MDA’s Newsline and email blitzes of any new State required certificates/forms/documents for your competition horse. If the State imposes new requirements MDA will let you know through the two previous mentioned forms of communication.

4. To enter a show as a member, the membership form and fees must be received by the Membership Chairman 30 days prior to the closing date. For your scores to be eligible for MDA’s Year End Awards you must be a current member.

5. Divisions: YOUNG RIDER is for riders 21 years of age and under. NOVICE is for Adult  beginner riders who have not yet earned more than 5 scores of 60% or greater.  Once 5 scores of 60% or greater have been earned, the rider shall be considered an Open competitor.  OPEN is for riders who have won more than 5 scores of 60% or greater. Green horses ridden by OPEN riders are to enter the open division. Young Horse is for adult riders from the Open division showing young horses at Intro, Training, and First levels. The age of the horse will be verified by one of two means: 1) using the date of birth stated on his/her registration papers, or 2) if the horse is not registered we will use the age stated on his/her Coggins test. Note: if using the Coggins test as a verification for age, the test must have been drawn in the competition year.The are requirements are as follows: Intro Level: 5 years old and under, Training Level: 6 years old and under, First Level: 6 years old and under.  If you plan to show in the Young Horse division, contact the Schooling Show Chairman to submit your age verification.  This only needs to be done once per show season.

6. Riders may enter the same class twice ;HOWEVER, the second ride will automatically be ridden Hors de Concours H/C.

7. Ride times will be posted on MDA’s website on the “RIDE TIMES” link by the Wednesday before the show. If the ride times are not posted by Wednesday, then please be patient and assume we are experiencing technical difficulties. If you need your ride times mailed, please include a self-addressed stamped envelope.

8. Late entries, those postmarked after the closing date, are accepted at the discretion of the entry secretary. Riders are encouraged to contact the show secretary if they intend to send late entries. Those entries which have been approved will be assessed a $5.00 per class late fee in addition to the standard entry fees. Open and closing dates for each schooling show are included in the show descriptions in this Omnibus.

9. Work credits can be used to discount member’s entry fees. One half (0.5) days work credit equals $5.00 that can be used to discount your entry fees. One work credit equals $10.00 from the cost of your entry fees. The maximum allowed discount per horse/rider combination is $10.00 per show or one work credit. Your work credit voucher must accompany your entry. Work Credits expire 24 months after the date of issue.

10. Entries will be refunded after the closing date if the secretary can find a replacement ride/s from the waiting list, or a veterinary certificate or a doctor’s note dated within 7 days prior to the show is received. Competitors scratching for any reason are expected to inform the show secretary.

11. All MDA Schooling and Open Shows will be conducted under current USEF rules and regulations. Pas de Deux and Quadrille classes follow USDF regulations. A USEF Rule Book is available at the secretary’s stand for reference. A primary goal of MDA, Inc. is education, so feel free to ask questions or contact USEF or USDF directly.

12. MDA Schooling Show Attire: regular, formal show attire is required. Show management reserves the right to excuse coats during extreme heat. Braiding is optional. Approved protective headgear is required while mounted as per USEF DR 120.5.

13. One whip, not exceeding 47.2 inches (120 cm), including the lash, may be carried in all USEF and Introductory Level classes.

14. No competitor may compete in the competition before a judge under which he/she has received instruction, coaching, or tutoring, (with or without pay) 30 days prior to the competition. In all fairness, please abide by this rule.

15. The most current USEF Dressage Test will be used. The most current USDF tests will be used for Introductory tests, Musical Freestyles, Pas de Deux and Quadrilles.

16. The exhibitor may provide a reader.

17. Horses may not be entered in classes differing by more than one level at any show except as allowed by USDF regulations for Pas de Deux and Quadrille. A horse/rider combination dropped back more than one level to school must be entered Hors de Concours (HC). The rider/horse will be judged and given a score, but not pinned with the class.

18. Classes may be split, combined, or rearranged at the secretary’s discretion. A modified class list for the Finals Show will be made available to the membership on the website prior to the opening date of the show.

19. Classes are pinned to 6 places. Scored tests are distributed after the class is pinned. Competitors may view their tests before the class is pinned, but must return the test(s) to the scoring volunteers. If a competitor cannot remain on the grounds, the competitor may designate someone to pick up the tests. MDA will only mail High score Ribbons. Riders must make arrangements with show management regarding ribbons and/or tests not picked up by the end of the show day.

20. High score Awards are presented for High Score for Training Level through FEI for Senior and Young Rider. Introductory, Musical Freestyles, Pas de Deux, Quadrille and USEA Tests are not eligible.

21. As of 1/1/2011 MDA is no longer using the Danish System.

22. Stallions are permitted at the farm owner’s discretion. Please contact the show organizer for details.

23. Only the competitor will be allowed to ride the horse listed on their entry on the day of the show. Violators will be eliminated.

24. No foals may accompany their dams in any class at a MDA show unless the show is a MDA breed show or a breed class at an MDA show.

25. No dogs or other pets are allowed on the schooling show premises.

26. Lunging is not permitted in the warm-up area.

27. Children must be supervised under adult supervision at all times.

28. The majority of MDA schooling shows are held on donated, private farms. Please leave the premises as you found them. The MDA reserves the right to bar consistent property abusers from participating in MDA Schooling Shows. Decisions to bar any member from participation will be made by the MDA Executive board. Members must petition the Executive Board for reinstatement.

29. MDA shows are run by volunteers. Please be considerate! Competitors, spectators, parents, members, must display good sportsmanship at all times. Any discourtesy by a competitor, spectator, parent, or member towards any Maryland Dressage Association volunteer or show official , other exhibitors or spectators, whether verbal or written, may result in forfeiture of ribbons, tests, scores, placing or suspension from future MDA Shows.

30. Members are responsible to note and abide by changes and/or corrections to the Show Rules listed in this website or as printed in the MDA Newsline.

31. MDA judges hired for schooling shows must be licensed Judges through the USEF, or (L) Candidates who have graduated from the USDF program. For Intro classes only, MDA may hire potential L Candidates who are currently enrolled and attending L Candidate classes.

32. MDA is a Dressage show organization and our Liability Insurance does not cover jumping; therefore, jumping at all MDA events is prohibited.

33. Competitors have until the end of the show day to dispute any errors made when tests were calculated. By leaving with your test, you are accepting your score. If you cannot stay until your class is pinned, tests may be reviewed at the secretary booth and returned to the secretary. You may not leave the secretary stand with your tests. Also please check the scoreboard to make sure your scores on your tests matches the posted scores. MDA uses the scoreboards to verify scores for Year End Awards and to post results on web site. Competitors have 15 days from the date the scores are posted to dispute reporting errors.  Reporting errors are discrepancies between the scores posted one the scoreboard at the show and what is posted on the website.

34. MDA, Inc follows the USEF Helmet rule (DR 120.5) unless otherwise noted. Click to view this rule. Farm owners and show venues may impose more stringent rules that the USEF. Specific farm or venue requirements which exceed the USEF rule shall be posted on the MDA website.  Competitors who show in top hats or derbies are encouraged to bring an ASTM/SEI approved helmet if they are unsure as to a farm or venue’s specific rules.

35. Work Credits earned are posted on the MDA website.  The work credit log is updated frequently. Volunteers must check this log for accuracy and contact the Schooling Show Chairman if they find an error. Errors to the work credit log must be reported before November 15th.

Contacts Page

Schooling Show Chairman                                  Secretary Tubs & Ribbons

Toni Over                                                                        Jill Blackburn    

3228 Sudath Lane                                               1814 Poole Road

Jarrettsville, MD 21084                                    Darlington, MD 21034

443-243-3648                                        410-836-3559                      



Treasurer                                                                         Arena Chains/Tables/Chairs

Susan Peterson                                                            Jill Blackburn        

1114 Wheatland Ct                                               1814 Poole Rd.  

Forest Hill, MD 21050                                              Darlington, MD 21034                                                

410-690-3671                                                    410-836-3559                                                 

Transitioning Show Chairman

Brianne Reynolds

312 Creeks End Lane

Stevensville, MD 21666