Concept of Dressage Qualification Standards Supported by USEF Board; Action Postponed Until 2009

For Immediate Release
Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Lexington, KY − On January 13, the final day of the USEF Annual Meeting, the Board of Directors considered rule change proposals for all breeds and disciplines. Included in this review was the much-discussed "performance standards" proposal from the Dressage Committee, which would establish a qualification process for competing at certain levels at USEF-Licensed Dressage Competitions. After extensive discussion, the Board voted to officially table the proposal until the next USEF Annual Meeting in January 2009, but also included in their motion to specifically note its support of the concept and charged the Dressage Committee to bring back a detailed proposal for final approval.

 "There was overwhelming support from the USEF Board for this concept of performance standards for dressage," said USEF President David O'Connor. "This was an important first step. We look forward to seeing the specific proposals as they are further developed."

The Dressage Committee will further develop the specifics of the "performance standards" proposal over the coming months, with a possible implementation in stages by dressage level.  Current plans are to have the proposal ready for distribution to the membership in the summer of 2008, and feedback will be collected from potentially affected affiliates.  In particular, the United States Dressage Federation (USDF), the national affiliate for dressage, will develop a communication network through its Group Member Organization (GMO) delegates and USDF Participating Member (PM) delegates this summer, which will allow for a more efficient system of communication and feedback to the Dressage Committee.  Opportunities for further discussion of the proposal will be scheduled during the 2008 USDF Annual Convention in Denver, Colorado.

"We are pleased to have the support of the USEF Board of Directors for the concept of qualification standards for certain levels of dressage competition," said Marianne Ludwig, chair of the USEF Dressage Committee. "The Committee appreciates all of the feedback received from members, and we welcome the opportunity to bring a detailed proposal back to the Board for next year's Annual Meeting."


For more information about USEF dressage programs, please visit the Federation website at or contact Jennifer Keeler, USEF National Director of Dressage, or (859) 225-2024.

Founded in 1973, the United States Dressage Federation is a nonprofit membership organization dedicated to education, recognition of achievement, and promotion of dressage. For more information about USDF membership or programs, visit, email, or call (859) 971-2277.