Dressage competitors have four new tests to look forward to riding during the 2005 season, while five tests have been removed from use in affiliated competitions.

The deleted tests are novice 29, elementary 56, medium 68, advanced medium 89 and advanced 105. These tests have been axed because they have insufficient emphasis on the walk compared to the other paces, are too long, or contain movements that are too difficult for a horses working at that level.

The opening elementary test (41) has been restricted to use in the short arena only, while new tests have been introduced at prelim, novice and medium level. Prelim 12 and novice 25 are both short arena tests (20×40) while novice 38 and medium 69 are both written for the long arena (20×60).

Jane Kidd of British Dressage explains: “The aim of the new prelim and novice tests is to encourage correct training with increased emphasis on the walk so that it balances the marks against those available for trot and canter. Also to get horses working forwards with emphasis on transitions, both from pace to pace and within the pace.

“The new medium test will reward those combinations that have developed increased suppleness and sufficient engagement and balance to produce well defined transitions. Again the emphasis is on correct training.”

The new 2005 tests are now available for purchase from the British Dressage office.

Preliminary registration

Other changes for 2005 include the compulsory registration of horses competing in preliminary qualifiers. From 1 January 2005, qualification at preliminary level will require two wins at the level, which has made registration necessary.

BD has introduced a new free “preliminary horse registration” to allow riders to compete in qualifiers without the cost of full horse registration, although horses will still need to be upgraded to compete in a championship, regional or semi-final, or to compete at a higher level than preliminary.

Music membership

BD has also introduced a new music membership for non-members. The membership is aimed at riding club and unaffiliated competitors, who take part in dressage to music competitions.

The music members will be covered by BD’s music licence, allowing them to compete in dressage to music competitions legitimately. The rules for the music membership will be similar to the class ticket system, allowing the individuals to compete in affiliated dressage to music competitions as well as unaffiliated events.

Music membership will cost £15 for BRC member, £25 everyone else.

For more information contact the BD office (tel: 02476 698830) or visit: www.britishdressage.co.uk