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In order to have CDS recognition, please fill out a current Show Recognition Application and submit it at least 6 weeks before your show date. Refer to the SHOW PACKET for all CDS recognition requirements.


To avoid a conflict of dates, the USEF rule reads: 100 mile radius for Dressage Competitions. To determine a mile radius, the distance shall be measured using a map drawn to scale by AAA, Rand McNally or USGS, from the center of that city, town, village or community appearing on the map which is located closest to the actual competition location.

With regard to the 100-mile limitation, CDS recognition will not be denied to a non- Chapter triple-rated show, provided all the applications are in Central Office by the cutoff date as mandated by USEF unless a triple-rated Chapter Show and a non-Chapter Show conflict, then, unless the two show managements agree, preference will be given to the CDS Chapter Show.

No triple-rated show can deny CDS recognition to a Chapter wishing to hold a CDS “only” show on the same weekend.

If two applications for CDS “only (*)” recognition conflict, then the Chapter will have preference unless the show managements agree. If two Chapters conflict, then recognition will be given on a first-come/first-serve basis.

All agreements between show managements must be in writing and mailed to Central Office.

CDS may grant CDS Show Recognition to...

a. CDS Chapter (*) “CDS only” rated shows

b. CDS Chapter (***) USEF-USDF-CDS rated shows

c. Non-Chapters (***) (private entities) USEF-USDF-CDS rated shows

d. Non-Chapter (*) (private entities) after September 30 for the following year.

Date protection will not roll over automatically each year, to allow Chapters continued priority over private managers.


All CDS recognized shows must show proof of insurance in order to receive show recognition. CDS Chapter shows must submit a request for insurance. Private shows must send a certificate of proof of insurance to the CDS Central Office with the show application. No show applications will be considered without proof of insurance.

Chapter event organizers, please remember, that you must notify the insurance carrier with a form if you are having a mounted event, show, clinic, etc. and especially if you have to cancel the event--you must notify the insurance carrier by just calling.

[ Get the Insurance Form (PDF) ]

USEF Recognized

If your show is USEF recognized you must attach your USEF application form to the CDS application form or provide the competition recognition number.

Attention all Dressage Competition Managers: As of 12/1/09, all USEF/USDF dressage competitions will be categorized by LEVEL according to criteria available on the Dressage Levels Chart. Please notify the USEF Competitions Department of the Level you intend on holding for your competition. Contact Amy Alley, or 859-225-2047, to update your competition level. If you have any questions, please contact Leigh Anne Claywell, Director of Competitions at 859-225-6959 or via email at

CDS is also offering a Sport Horse Breed Show program. Rules and information for management is included with the show packet. You can request separate show recognition or hold Sport Horse Classes in conjunction with your dressage show.

Show Reports

With the unlimited number of divisions of classes at dressage shows, US Equestrian, amateur, junior, open, novice, green etc, the competition reports can get pretty muddled.

Please list all classes separately; that means each one by itself. Please don't just put O, J or A next to the scores. Make sure that all raw scores are included and percentages are calculated and legible. You must indicate any duplicate scores from competitors who have cross entered two divisions (open/qualifying). One ride only counts as one score.

Please try to type the reports or use computer print-outs; handwritten reports are discouraged. Every effort in the name of clarity helps keep the competitors' and owners' scores accurate. Make sure the competitors' CDS number is included on the reports. The CDS Central Office appreciates all the work the show managers/secretaries do to keep the paper work in order.

Remember that your Competition Grant (and non-member fees at CDS only shows) must accompany the show report. It is important to include the cover sheet on your show report listing all fees that accompany the report and any contacts for the show.

Fees that need to accompany your show results are the $3 per horse required Competition Grant fee and the $15 non-member fee for the rider and the
owner (non member fees to be collected at CDS-ONLY shows).

If you collect money for the Young Riders, that money should go directly to USDF Region 7 Young Rider Team. This is a Region 7 program and funds do not go through CDS.

CDS has a $100 penalty fine. Know the "Requirements for CDS Recognition" and avoid the $100 fine. After two (2) fines of $100 to the same show management CDS recognition can be denied for one year!

Please take the time to read all the sheets on show requirements. It's a tedious task but worth the time as failure to follow the rules can result in lost scores and loss of future recognition.

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 in an Open, Amateur and Junior Division. Download measurement stick rental agreement form here.

Prohibited Drugs

The California Food and Drug and the USEF have slightly different lists of prohibited drugs for competition. You must register with both USEF and CDFA. Either USEF or CDFA may come to your show.

Breed Show Managers

To help facilitates the CDS Breed Show awards program, Breed show managers need to follow a few guidelines:

  1. Be sure to get your show recognized by CDS so the points accumulated by your competitors will count toward the CDS Year End Award Program.

  2. Your results must identify the class as an "in-hand" class shown on the triangle. Breed shows have in-hand and young horses ridden under saddle and the CDS Awards Program only attributes points for the in-hand classes shown on the triangle.

  3. Please use the USDF score sheet so that all in-hand classes are judged the same.

  4. Please do no combine classes for awards, it is particularly confusing to combine 2 year old colts and 3 year old fillies. CDS points are based on placings in the class and number of horses in the class and this point system is confused when classes are combined.

EMT Rule

Qualified medical personnel with no other duties and with appropriate medical equipment, as required by their certifying State or EMS Region, must be present during all scheduled performances. Qualified medical personnel is a currently certified or licensed EMT, or Paramedic, or a Physician or nurse trained in pre-hospital trauma care and currently certified or licensed in their profession. A physician or nurse trained in prehospital trauma care is a physician or nurse who is currently certified in Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS), Basic Trauma Life Support (BTLS), Pre-hospital Trauma Life Support (PHTLS), or who has First Responder or comparable certification. Comparable certification requires review and written approval in advance by the Safety Committee. It is strongly recommended that EMTs and/or Paramedics be used to fill this position. Medical personnel must not exceed the scope of their practice.