New four-star dressage tests released: goodbye walk pirouettes and counter canter

  • New CCI4* dressage tests will be used in competition next season for the first time in eight years.

    All four-stars have been using either the 2009 FEI CCI4* A or B test for the past eight years, with the exception of the Olympics which used a slightly shortened version of the B test.

    Among the main changes in these two new 2017 tests is the introduction of flying changes from medium and extended canter.

    Counter canter is completely omitted in both new tests, as is the half walk pirouette and the canter serpentines have also gone.

    A new addition to the tests is a 20m canter circle allowing the horse to “stretch forward and down”.

    Unsurprisingly, the new tests feature many of the same movements but in a slightly different order.

    The entry in collected canter followed by halt and proceeding at collected trot remains unchanged. One of the new tests includes changing the rein in medium trot across the full long diagonal, rather than the current broken diagonal.

    From there, combinations will again go into the lateral trot work, although the order in which the half-pass and shoulder-in comes is changed in one of the new tests.

    Moving on to the canter work, in the new B test, competitors will have to show canter half-pass across three-quarters of the arena, as opposed to half the arena previously, but the angle is unchanged.

    The A test features a change the rein from S to F in medium canter, before collected canter and a flying change at F. It also has extended canter across the M-X-K long diagonal before immediately collecting and showing a flying change.

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    Meanwhile, the B test asks for flying changes while travelling straight ahead down the quarter lines directly after half-pass.

    While these are the only two new international eventing tests for the 2017 season, both 2015 one-star tests have had their wording slightly tweaked.

    Don’t miss next week’s issue of Horse & Hound (15 December) for reaction to the new tests.

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