The rules are a great place to start for all the information you need to know to compete in affiliated dressage, including what you and your horse are allowed to wear, what the judges are looking for and how to qualify for all the different championships.
If you're not sure which level and section you should be competing in, our eligibility guides have been designed to direct you through a series of questions to provide you with the level and section for you. We also have an Approved Tack and Equipment Guide, which illustrates the tack, bits and equipment permitted under our rules.
2024 Members' Handbook
Effective 1 January 2024
Click on the below document for a summary of the major changes and additions, which are marked in bold in the handbook.
To view a PDF copy of the 2023 BD Members' Handbook, please use the link below:
Area Festival rules reminder
Please ensure that you have read all of the rules in the 2023 Members’ Handbook, especially referring to the Area Festival section.
A combination may not compete at the same level (including music) in both Area Festival and a Regional in the same season. The Area Festival level must be higher than the Regional if competing in both.
Combinations who score 68% (70% Music) at Regionals, may not compete in an Area Festival at the same level or below in the current and future years e.g. a combination scoring 68% at Novice Silver may not ride in an Area Festival at Novice level or below again.
Combinations who score 68% or higher (70% Music) at the Area Festival Championships, may not compete in an Area Festival at the same level and section or below in the current and future years.
Please be reminded that it is the responsibility of the owners and riders to ensure that combinations are eligible to compete in the classes/sections for which they are entered.
2024 printed handbooks
We will print a very small number of additional rulebooks for those Full members who really do need to access a printed version. If you fall into this category please contact the team below ahead of the 2024 handbook being ready. Your request will then be verified by our team, prior to a printed copy being posted out in December. All of our judges, stewards and officials will receive a printed copy automatically.
Members are advised to read addendum to the 2023 BD Members' Handbook, updated on Friday 3 February.
Approved Tack and Equipment Guide
Alongside the Members' Handbook, there's an Approved Tack and Equipment Guide for British Dressage competitions to provide you with a pictorial guide for clarification on permitted tack and equipment:
How to apply
All classified and non-classified riders can apply to British Dressage for dispensation to use compensating aids to assist them in non-disabled competitions. Please complete the Dispensation Application Form and submit it to the Para Officer with supporting medic.
Applying for a Dispensation for Joined Reins
All classified para riders can apply to British Dressage for dispensation for the use of joined reins to assist them in non-disabled competitions.
To apply for joined reins a rider must be formally classified either through the FEI or Nationally and must also provide evidence of missing digits/parts of their arms. Dispensations for joined reins will not extend to those who have poor grip. Such riders may apply for use of loop/ladder reins instead.
It's vital if you are competing at a national or international level you understand the rules and guidance surrounding anti-doping – both for humans and equines.
Eligibility guides 2023
|Prix St Georges||Bronze||Silver||Gold|
|Inter II / Grand Prix||Silver||Gold|
Travelling horses within the EU
Here's the latest guidance for moving equines between Great Britain and the EU.