Tack checks, new tests and eligibility changes: British Dressage 2019 rules revealed

  • New tests, noseband checks and changes to eligibility are on the cards for British Dressage (BD) members from December.

    The 2019 BD rule book, published on 25 October, comes into force on 1 December 2018.

    The new tests include advanced 101, the return of elementary 55 as well as a new elementary freestyle — which both feature shoulder-in — plus a new novice freestyle, which features compulsory medium canter strides.

    There is change to the tack check protocol — competitors’ horses may now have a physical noseband check before they warm up.

    This will involve a BD-approved steward inserting one finger into the side of the noseband in front of the cheek piece.

    “If nosebands are considered too tight, the steward will ensure they are loosened,” states the rule.

    “If the finger(s) cannot be inserted or it is very tight, this will be deemed to be unsatisfactory. A full tack and horse welfare inspection will be conducted on conclusion of the test. If nosebands are found to be too tight or equipment which is not permitted has been used, the combination will be eliminated.”

    Riders must obtain permission from organisers in advance if they would like to bring a horse to use the warm-up arena at BD competition purely for experience, rather than to compete.

    The horse and rider must also both be BD-registered.

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    As mentioned at the BD AGM in September (news, H&H magazine, 27 September), eligibility rules have been tightened up, meaning a rider who has competed at a senior CDI or CDN at middle or big tour is only eligible to ride in the gold section with any horse at any level.

    A rider who has competed at a senior CDI or CDN at small tour, or gained points at grand prix (not including pick-your-own or music tests) at premier league or championships can only ride in gold sections up to and including advanced medium.

    The points limit for riders wishing to compete in bronze sections will be increased from 15 to 25 points at the level above the class they wish to enter. Quest will remain at 15 points, allowing riders to progress to bronze without them being forced into silver sections.

    Eventer riders and event horses who have competed at intermediate or above will also be allocated more points at various levels than in the past — rising from 15 to 25 points.

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