2024 BD Members’ Handbook and New Tests now live

  • Written By: British Dressage
  • Published: Fri, 01 Dec 2023 10:52

Ahead of the new qualification season, we’re pleased to release the 2024 BD Members’ Handbook, along with details on how members can access the new and revised BD Tests.

2024 BD Members’ Handbook

The team at BDHQ have been hard at work compiling the 2024 British Dressage Members’ Handbook, featuring the latest rules and regulations for the sport, effective from 1 January 2024.

The BD Members’ Handbook is your ultimate guide to competing and training with us. Please take the time to read through the rules carefully before getting ready to take part in any BD activity.  It’s vital that all members understand the regulations before going down the centre line or undertaking training.

The 2024 Handbook also incorporates significant updates to our equine welfare policies, produced in consultation with World Horse Welfare and including a new Charter for the Horse, as well as the full details on the release of the new and revised BD tests.

The digital version of the BD Members’ Handbook is available online to read and download.  You can bookmark, search, clip and save at any time, making it easy to reference wherever you are.  Using the top navigation bar, you can search for keywords, skip directly to specific sections or pages, and bookmark or clip those that are relevant to you.  By clicking on the download button in the top right corner, you can save a copy directly to your mobile or tablet, so you’ll always have a copy with you when out and about competing or training.

The 2024 edition is available to view here:



Alongside the BD Members’ Handbook and rules synopsis, there’s also the Approved Tack and Equipment Guide, which provides pictorial guidance and clarification on our permitted tack and equipment.

As part of our sustainability drive, we have produced only a limited number of handbooks in physical form for our judges, stewards, organisers, and officials, who will be receiving their copy by post before Christmas.  We also have a small quantity available for those members who require a physical copy, so if you have accessibility needs, please complete and submit the form below and our membership team will be in touch to process your request.


 British Dressage Test Changes

Alongside the launch of the 2024 rules, we’re pleased to release the new and revised BD tests.

The new structure will come into operation from 1 July 2024 and tests will be available for qualification at the start of the new winter season.  The first championships that will see the new tests in use will therefore be the Winter Regionals and Winter Area Festivals in January and February 2025, followed by the NAF Five Star Winter Championships in April 2025.

The Summer Regionals, Summer Area Festivals and National Championships in 2024 will continue to use the current tests, as they will still apply for qualification during the first half of the year, from 1 January to 30 June 2024. The Saracen Quest Semi-Finals & Championships, and the Cavago Associated Championships will also operate under the same format, using current tests.

Please refer to the Annexes in the 2024 BD Members’ Handbook to view the complete rules on test numbers and uses, as well as details on the PYO test opportunities that will be made available to competitors who have qualified for Area Festivals and Regionals, to help them prepare for the summer championships.

How to access the new BD tests

As an exclusive benefit, all BD members with a paid subscription are now able to view and download the tests for free for a six-month period until 31 May 2024.  This will provide competitors plenty of time to absorb, learn and practice the new tests in readiness for the Winter qualification season.

To view the tests, please log in as usual to the BD website using your BD online details.  This is the email address and password that you normally use to access the BD member portal, use the member login button below. 

If you need any assistance, please contact the BD office and our membership team will be happy to help.  They are available from Monday to Friday between our office opening hours of 9.00am – 5.00pm.



 PLEASE NOTE: All tests published are the intellectual property of British Dressage.  BD reserves all rights relating to copyright and reproduction. No part of this Publication can be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior written permission of British Dressage.  

To support the release of the new BD tests and help with the transition period from July 2024 onwards, we have produced a Member FAQ document to cover key areas and queries you may have about the changes.  Please read this document carefully, along with the Annexes from page 242 in the 2024 BD Members’ Handbook, which cover the complete rule changes on tests, uses, qualifications and judge dispensation.


 Further learning opportunities

Our regions will continue to play a vital role in helping members manage the transition and achieve their competition goals by hosting plenty of test riding clinics in 2024. These will provide a great opportunity to get expert advice on the new tests and put them into practice in your training before they’re in active use at competitions. Regional test riding opportunities will be added to BD Online throughout December and will commence from 10 February 2024. To find out more, visit your region on the BD website and take a look at upcoming events.

There will also be opportunities to attend BD events, such as the Principles of Dressage at Moulton College in Northamptonshire on 23 & 24 March 2024, where practical and theory sessions will be on offer, focusing on the new test structure.  Judges and coaches will also receive specific guidance and training on the new tests, with the regions holding sessions with tutor judges and coach educators for members and officials from February onwards.  

We have also filmed each of the tests at all levels, so that members can watch them in practice with supporting commentary. These will be available to view on the BD website early in 2024.

In addition to the free access and viewing via the BD website, the full range of tests will also be available on the BD Test Pro app, in partnership with LionDog, providing a perfect opportunity for members to learn tests using their mobile device.