California Dressage Home

Awards & Programs

All active members in good standing of the California Dressage Society are eligible to earn CDS Awards. Rider AND Owner must be members in order for scores to count. The CDS Central Office automatically records scores earned by members during the current show season at CDS recognized shows. It is recommended that each competitor keep his or her own yearly show record to verify against CDS records at the end of the show year.

California Dressage Society Awards include a Year End Award with Certificates and Plates, which are are awarded on a yearly basis, October 1 to October 1.

CDS GEM Rider Award
CDS would like to recognize and reward CDS members for their accumulative achievements. CDS has created the GEM Rider Award pin.
RUBY ~ Training, First, Second Levels - 2 scores of 60% or better at each level. Total of 6 scores.
SAPPHIRE ~ Third, Fourth Levels - 2 scores of 60% or better at each level. Total of 4 scores.

DIAMOND ~ FEI Levels (Prix St Georges, Intermediaire, Grand Prix) 1 score of 60% or better at each level. Total of 3 scores.
Rider and Owner must be CDS members when scores are earned.
Rider must be a CDS member when applying for the GEM Award.
Scores may be earned on different horses, multiple years.
Scores are retroactive to 1986, earned at any CDS recognized show. If scores
     are earned before 1986 please provide documentation.
Deadline for this year's presentation is January 11, 2016. After this year the

     deadline will be October 1 of each year.
GEM Awards will be awarded once a year at the Annual Meeting Awards Banquet.
Size 1 inch, different GEM for each division. $25 per GEM division.

Adult Amateur Clinic Standing Rules
The goal of the CDS Amateur Clinics is to provide an opportunity for adult amateurs to receive instruction from eminent clinicians who might not otherwise be available to them. Every effort is made to select clinicians who can effectively teach lower level as well as upper level riders. To ensure fairness, selection of amateur clinic participants is made by random draw among interested riders from the Chapters in each of the three CDS Regions. The Clinic consists of an evening lecture followed by two full days of riding clinic. COMPLETE STANDING RULES   2018 AMATEUR CLINIC

CDS Certificates
A certificate is earned by CDS members who achieve scores of 60% or better at Introductory C Level or above in a single show season (not to exceed 4 scores).

CDS Plates
A plate is awarded to a CDS member the first time he/she earns five (5) or more scores of 60% or better at Introductory C Level or above in a single show season. Recipients will continue to receive plates every year thereafter. The plate is engraved with the horse's name, level of competition and number of scores. A personalized wall plaque is available for purchase for mounting the plates. Download order form here.

CDS Pony Award
The CDS Pony Award is a ribbon that goes to the high scoring pony at each CDS recognized show. The shows identify the high scoring pony in their results and the CDS Central Office will send out the awards to  the pony and pony rider. All pony riders must inform show management  that they would like to be eligible for the pony award and to be designated on the results cover sheet if they are the high score pony. To be eligible, all ponies must have a current USEF Pony  Measurement Card. CDS will also offer a Year End Award for the overall highest scoring pony Training and above. Download measurement stick rental agreement form here.

RAAC  - Equine Insurance / Regional Adult Amateur Competition

MISSION: The mission of these competitions is to provide an opportunity for all CDS Adult Amateur riders to qualify and compete against others of similar skills and experience. The regional nature of these shows will help to provide our membership with a developmental path for gaining competitive experience, promote excellence and increase awareness of and support for the Chapters.


#1 – For the Chapters: These regional or “mid” level adult amateur competitions are designed to promote and enhance awareness and participation by the CDS Chapters, provide State level support in funding and advertisement, and a chance to generate funds at the chapter level.

#2 – For the Riders: These competitions will provide a positive “introductory” show experience for some, which will hopefully be a stepping stone to bigger things, while offering the other more experienced amateur riders a warm-up for the Championship Show. 

#3 – For the Whole Organization: These competitions are designed to bridge the gap between the local chapter shows with individual year end awards programs and the tremendously difficult, top caliber competition at the Annual CDS Championship Show.

LOCATIONS:  Three Regional CDS Chapter Adult Amateur Competitions will be held each year, one in each of the regions as defined in the CDS bylaws; north, central and south. CLICK HERE FOR COMPLETE GUIDELINES


  • Participants at the RAAC shows must be current members of CDS, must have a USEF Amateur Card under Dressage Rules, and must be 22 year of age or older. 
  • The horse owner must be a current member of CDS.
  • Qualification is for an amateur rider/horse team.
  • To be eligible to compete, the $25 registration fee for each horse and rider team per level MUST BE PAID to the CDS Central Office by close of business no later than 12 days prior to the first day of competition at the regional show entered. 
  • Scores earned before paying the fee will count provided the payment is received at the Central Office prior to close of business as specified above.
  • 2017 Qualifying Opens: SEP 6, 2016 at any show with CDS recognition.
  • 2017 Qualifying Closes: 12 days prior to the first competition day of the regional show entered.
  • Scores earned at the CDS Championship Show will NOT count towards qualification.
  • Horse/rider teams who qualify MAY compete in ONLY ONE regional competition.  
  • Qualification scores must be earned at CDS recognized shows and are as follows, scores can be earned at any test of the level:
    • 3 scores from 2 judges at Introductory C of 65% or higher, USDF Intro C only, Novice only
    • 3 scores from 2 judges at Training Level of 60% or higher, any test
    • 3 scores from 2 judges at 1st level of 60% or higher, any test
    • 3 scores from 2 judges at 2nd level of 60% or higher, any test
    • 3 scores from 2 judges at 3rd level of 60% or higher, any test
    • 3 scores from 2 judges at 4th level of 60% or higher, any test
    • 3 scores from 2 judges at PSG of 60% or higher
    • 3 scores from 2 judges at Intermediare 1 of 60% or higher
  • Elite horse and rider teams that have won either Champion or Reserve Champion at the CDS Annual Championship Show at Training, and 1st Levels are not eligible to compete in the RAAC shows at that level.
  • ROSES Award neck ribbons will be awarded in three divisions for the High Percentage Elite and Novice Rider 50 years of age and older who officially sign-up for the division prior to their RAAC ride. Divisions: Basic through First; Second through Fourth; and FEI.

Qualifying Program/Horse of the Year Competition
A horse-rider combination must achieve the following for qualification at the various levels for the CDS Annual Show. Qualifying dates run from cut-off date to cut-off date.

Three divisions will be offered at the CDS Annual Show: Open and Amateur at Training through Grand Prix and Junior/Young Rider at Training through Prix St Georges. Freestyle classes are open divisions. Freestyle classes require a copy of a qualifying technical test of the current year.

  • Open Division—Open to all competitors
  • Amateur Division—Open to competitors holding a US Equestrian (USEF) Amateur card.
  • Junior/Young Rider - Open to all competitors under 22 years of age.

Juniors and Young Riders, Champions and Reserve at the JR YR Championships will be automatically qualified for CDS Championships in each division.

USEF Rule - Art. 808. Amateur Status. In the Dressage Division, individuals are only eligible to compete as amateurs from the beginning of the calendar year in which they reach age 22. See Art. 1919.3.

CDS Horse of the Year Championships. CDS will require a $25 nomination fee PER HORSE/RIDER COMBINATION - PER LEVEL for CDS Championship classes. Nomination fees can be paid at any time during the show season but must be paid before the closing date.
Horse of the Year classes will consist of ONE RIDE of the highest level, judged by THREE judges
Three divisions are offered at the CDS Annual Show: Open and Adult Amateur at Training through Grand PrixLevels and JR/YR Divisions at Training through PSG. Freestyle classes are open divisions. Competitors under the age of 22 are eligible for the JRYR divisions. Open Division: Open to all qualified competitors. Adult Amateur Division: Open to qualified competitors holding an US Equestrian Amateur card who are 22 years of age and older. JuniorYoungRider Division: Open to competitors under 22 years of age.

Level Scores / Percent
(or better)
Number of
Diffferent Judges
Training Level* 5 / 65% four
Training AA* 5 / 63% four
Training JRYR* 5 / 63% four
Level I 5 / 64% four
Level I AA 5 / 62% four
Level I JRYR 5 / 62% four
Level II 5 / 63% four
Level II AA 5 / 61% four
Level II JRYR 5 / 61% four
Level III 5 / 62% four
Level III AA 5 / 60% four
Level III JRYR 5 / 60% four
Level IV 5 / 62% four
Level IV AA 5 / 60% four
Level IV JRYR 5 / 60% four
Prix St. Georges 3 / 62% two
Prix St. Georges AA 3 / 60% two
Prix St. Georges JRYR 3 / 60% two
Intermediare I 3 / 62% two
Intermediare I AA 3 / 60% two
Intermediare II 3 / 60% two
Intermediare II AA 3 / 60% two
Grand Prix 3 / 60% two
Grand Prix AA 3 / 60% two

Freestyle  1st - 4th

Freestyle  Int-1 - GP

2 / 64%

2 / 62%




  • For training level, the horse must be at least 4 years old.
  • For all levels, the scores may be earned from any test of the level.
  • Scores must be earned during the current show season.
  • When two (2) or more judges score a single ride, the combination of judges counts as one judge and the average of their scores counts as one score.
  • The CHAMPION and RESERVE horse-rider combinations that have competed in the CDS Horse of the Year Championship Competition at Levels Training and First are no longer eligible to compete at those levels for CDS awards. Freestyles are exempt from this restriction. They may, however, compete for USEF and USDF awards at those levels.

CDS will require a nomination fee ($25) for each HORSE/RIDER  COMBINATION - PER LEVEL  for JR YR Championship classes. Fees must be paid before the closing date of the JR YR Championship Show. Teams are exempt. A horse/rider combination must achieve the following for qualification at the various levels for the CDS Junior Championships. Qualifying dates run from cut-off date to cut-off date.

South AUGUST 24-27, 2018.
North JULY 27-29, 2018.

Level Scores / Percent
(or better)
Number of
Diffferent Judges
Training Level 3 / 62% two
First Level 3 / 60% two
Second Level 3 / 57% two
Third Level 3 / 57% two
FEI Junior (Team/Ind) 3 / 57% two
Fourth Level 3 / 57% two
FEI YR 3 / 57% two

Previous Junior Championship winners may not compete at the Junior Championship at the same level with the same horse at Training, or First  Level.


The goal of the California Dressage Society’s Quadrille Program is to foster an interest in Quadrille (‘horse ballet’ - team riding), as a supplemental activity to dressage riding and training. The Quadrille Program will provide an additional skill and recreational activity for dressage riders of all ages and skill levels. The Quadrille Program will perpetuate, for future generations, an equestrian cultural tradition which dates back to the royal courts of the Renaissance. The Program will offer dressage riding, training and rider/horse communication in a group atmosphere of teamwork and camaraderie. The Program will also train coaches and judges by means of educational seminars and materials, and will develop opportunities for demonstrations and competitions.

Quadrille Standing Rules    Quadrille Team Registration


  1. Shows must be registered with CDS and will receive all benefits of other CDS shows (calendar listing, publishing results, show packet with rules, etc.)
  2. Non-member rules and scholarship fees apply. Handlers are exempt from non-member fees.
  3. Results must be reported within two weeks days of show date. Failure to report may result a loss of recognition of the show. All classes must be reported separately (even if combined for awards).
  4. Manager and secretary must be a member of CDS.
  5. Shows must follow USEF Dressage/Sport Horse Breeding rules. Current USDF Sport Horse/Breed Score Sheets must be used.
  6. An USEF licensed Dressage/Sport Horse judge is required.
  7. Any classes can be offered but only yearling, two-year-old and three year-old filly, colt and gelding, as well as mature mare and mature stallion in-hand classes on the triangle will count for CDS awards.
  8. The official USDF score sheets must be used.
  9. A sporthorse division may be held with a dressage show.
  10. The owner of the horse must be a current member of CDS for the scores to count for CDS Awards. This individual must be named on the show reports in addition to any barn, farm, ranch or stable listed as owner.
  11. It is the responsibility of the owner to check scores.
  12. The results will be recorded in the name of the owner at the CDS Central Office. Results must include the membership number and name of the individual member of CDS in whose name the horse has been shown.
  13. All handlers will sign the release form (under “Trainer”).
  14. Scoring will be on a point system: 5pts-1st, 4pts-2nd, 3pts-3rd, 2pts-4th, 1pt-5th. Horses must actually be shown in order to achieve points; there will be no points awarded for classes that are awarded on presentation in a previous class.
  15. If there are fewer than three in the class, the point system changes to: 2pts-1st, 1pt-2nd.
  16. Show Championship classes can be held in age groups with 2pts to the winner and 1pt to reserve.
  17. Overall Show Championship class may be held with 2pts to the winner and 1pt to reserve.
  18. Classes to count: yearling filly, yearling colt, yearling gelding, two-year-old filly, two-year-old colt, two-year-old gelding, three-year-old filly, three-year-old colt, three-year-old gelding, mature mare and mature stallion. In order to earn points, the horse must be presented in the arena. Only USDFBC classes will count for the CDS Sport Horse awards.
  19. Double points will be awarded for the USDFBC Finals.
  20. Ten (10) points is required to qualify for year end awards.
  21. At the end of the show year, the list of those who have qualified and their points will be published in Dressage Letters.
  22. Annual Champion and Reserve ribbons will be presented to horses that accumulate the most points in the CDS Sport Horse Breed Award program in the following categories: Mare/Filly and Stallion/Gelding.
  23. Conservative apparel and running shoes are recommended to be worn to show on the triangle.

A CDS member becomes a Qualified Riding Member the first time he/ she earns a score of 50% or better at Level I or above at a CDS- recognized show, and is awarded a QRM Certificate and an asterisk (*) after his/her name in the CDS Roster. It is the responsibility of the rider to apply directly to CDS Central Office for recognition as a Qualified Riding Member of CDS. Application must include show name, date, judge, and score (a xerox copy of the test is acceptable).

Host a CDS event at your facility
CDS puts on many events; from the Amateur and Junior Clinics to the Annual Meeting Symposiums, throughout the state. CDS is always looking for facilities willing to donate their arena and stabling in order for CDS to put on events. Facilities would get great exposure and recognition in return for donating their facilities. Contact for more information. Host Form

You must be a current Active Member in good standing of CDS to qualify for the awards program. Scores acquired before payment of dues for the year will not be counted.

© 2016 California Dressage Society • P.O. Box 417 • Carmel Valley, CA 93924 • Voice: 831/659-5696 • Fax: 831/659-2383