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Posted by National Admin on 14/10/2016.

Changes of note in the 2017 Dressage Rules

The Equestrian Australia (EA) Board at its last meeting, approved all dressage rule changes proposed by the Australian Dressage committee (ADC) for introduction in 2017.

The chair of the ADC, Mary Seefried, stated that "The rule changes for 2017 contain three major changes for the dressage sport in Australia which will provide a sound footing for the sport and take it into the modern era."

  • Firstly, double bridles are no longer mandatory for FEI level national classes in Australia.  This change has been instigated in response to a request from riders that they wanted the option. Note that double bridles are still mandatory at FEI classified classes*.
  • Secondly, from 1.1.17 it will be mandatory for all riders at official competitions at all levels, including FEI level, to wear a safety helmet. The helmets will need to meet the EA approved standards. Bowlers, top hats and hunt caps will no longer be permitted. In these days of safety concerns there just did not seem to be any logic not to go this way. Australia will be following the example of NZ which made the same ruling effective 1 July 2016.
  • Thirdly, the ADC decided to expand the age limits, so that riders from 8 years old may ride ponies in official competitions. Interschool has permitted this age for some time. Riders from 10 years old may ride horses in official competitions (already permitted in Interschool competitions).

The summary of the rule changes may be found HERE.

In addition, the ADC has reviewed the Rule Book in order to make it easier for users by reducing redundancies and multiple references. This will be available shortly on the EA website. 

* At FEI sanctioned events e.g. CDIs, FEI rules apply and double bridles remain mandatory with some exceptions. Exceptions being the young horse, junior, children and pony.

Update 6 December 2016 : 

As of 1 January 2017 National Dressage rule changes will come into effect, including the introduction of Yellow Cards. See HERE.


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