What to wear ?

Closed Restricted (member only competitions including Championships)

Riders can wear either formal attire, a SVDC shirt or white/light coloured dressage shirt.  Shirts must not be sleeveless.  Cream or white breeches and any colour saddlecloth.  Gloves are required to be worn (preferably white) when riding.

Closed Unrestricted (including Championships)

As above for members or formal dressage attire.

Competitive and Participant

Competitive and Participant riders must wear dressage attire as per the EA rules.  If jackets are permitted to be removed, shirts must have short or long sleeves.  Gloves are required to be worn (preferably white) when riding, in accordance with EA Rules.

Presentation of Horses

For closed classes, horses do not need to be plaited but must be presented in a clean and tidy manner.  For Competitive and Participation classes, horses must be plaited.

Responsibilities of Riders

Standard Conditions of Entry

  • When you enter an event, you are expected to abide by the "Conditions of Entry".
  • All events are run in accordance with EA regulations
  • It is the competitors' responsibility to be familiar with all current rules and regulations
  • Each horse may only have one rider and a maximum of two (2) tests, over two (2) levels
  • Maximum of three (3) horses per rider (ballot system may apply)
  • Hors Concors (HC) Competitive riders wishing to ride HC must elect to do so before the class commences.  There is no provision for HC in Closed Unrestricted or Closed Restricted classes.
  • To benefit from the Southern Vales Dressage Club discounted entry fees, riders must be current financial members of Southern Vales Dressage  Club at or before the close of entries.
  • There are no Young Rider classes in Participation, Closed Unrestricted or Closed Restricted competitions.  Classes are split into Senior, Junior or Pony.
  • Pony Dressage classes are offered for all levels. Riders are not split between senior or junior. If competing in Competitive competitions, ponies must be EA registered, owners and riders must be financial EA members and hold Performance Card and Height Certificate. There are no EA requirements for ponies competing in Closed Unrestricted or Closed Restricted events.  Ponies may compete in all competitions.
  • Horses/ponies may be entered in Competitive OR Closed classes only on any day.
  • Grading of Horses - Closed Competitions  EA graded horses may ride in closed competitions at their graded level or higher. If you wish to ride lower than the horse's graded level, you need to put that request in writing to the Committee
  • Upgrading of horses for Closed Unrestricted/Closed Restricted competitions Horse and rider combinations having placed 1st in a Preparatory test (two wins over 65% for Seniors, three wins over 65% for Juniors - exemptions can be made in writing) are asked to upgrade to Preliminary competition.  After five wins at Preliminary level, horse/rider combinations are asked to upgrade to Novice competition.
  • Yards The Club has a limited number of yards.  If you require a yard, you must specify and pay for this on your entry form.
  • Entry forms are on this website, MyAusHorse and in Moving Forward. Late entries or telephone calls requiring information for allocated times will NOT be accepted.
  • The draw is posted on this website. Entrants must forward a self addressed envelope if they wish to receive a copy of the draw in the post.
  • Ambulance Cover  Horse riding is a dangerous sport. It is recommended that all members of Southern Vales Dressage Club ensure that they have current ambulance cover and accident insurance.

Competition Days

  • Gates open 1 1/2 hours prior to the first test commencing.
  • Only horses that are listed on the draw are permitted to be on the grounds during competitions.
  • One person only may ride the horse. Horse may only be (ridden) worked by the competing rider on the day. Grooms may ride the horse at walk on a loose rein.
  • All riders on the grounds must be members of Southern Vales Dressage Club or Equestrian Australia and must sign in at the office before riding.  EA riders must be able to show their EA membership card if required.
  • Riders who are under the age of 18 must be under the supervision of a parent or guardian at all times during the competition.
  • Stallions must display green discs on both sides of the horse's bridle or head collar and comply with EA recommendations regarding stallions at events (see EA Stallion Safe Practices Guidelines).
  • Change of Rider If, due to personal sickness or injury, you wish to change rider from that specified on the entry form, permission must be sought prior to the event.
  • Helmets are to be worn at all times when riding on the grounds including warm-up.  Helmets must be approved (SEE BOTTOM OF PAGE FOR APPROVED HELMETS CHART)
  • Gear Check It is the Competitive rider's responsibility to present to gear check before each test. It is the competitor's responsibility to ensure their equipment meets EA and safety regulations. If a competitor's conduct or equipment in any way compromises the safety of others, entry will be refused. Any rider failing to undergo a gear check will have their Competitive test relegated to Closed Unrestricted.  Clear details are set out in the EA Rule Book.
  • Bridle Numbers All riders need to supply their own bridle number. It is your responsibility to make sure your horse is wearing the correct number, especially if you have more than one horse on the grounds. Bridle/saddle numbers must be displayed in all competitions. When riding in a Competitive competition, the numbers must be displayed on both sides. The EA issues a bridle number for all registered horses holding a current EA Dressage Performance Card.  SVDC will issue a bridle number to visiting EA members whose horses are not registered. This number is unique to SVDC and is not to be used at other clubs.  SVDC members who are not registered with EA will be issued with a permanent SVDC bridle number.
  • Ribbons will be to 6th place.
  • Lunging may only take place behind the carpark and NOT in the warm up arenas. During warm-up, only one lunge rein and/or two single side reins may be used.  Check EA full rules. Download National EA website.
  • Competitors must not warm up or ride near the competition arenas whilst a test is in progress. It is important that all competitors familiarise themselves with the war-up arena etiquette (read)
  • Use of voice during tests may be penalised.
  • Running reins, martingales, boots or bandages are disallowed in tests. Bearing/running or balance reins may NOT be used at any time.
  • If only one rider in a class, a percentage of 55 or over must be obtained to be eligible for a ribbon.  If only one junior entrant in a class, they may elect to compete with seniors. Please inform the Convenor before competing.
  • Presenting to the Judge Ensure the Judge identifies your number as you present (if the Judge is still writing, please ride around the arena once more). The judge will indicate starting signal of whistle or car horn etc. You may then proceed to letter A and await their signal to commence (within 45 seconds).
  • Test sheets are not available for collection until placings are finalised for each class. If you don't collect your test sheet on the day or arrange for it to be posted to you, they will only be kept for three (3) months then thrown out. Test sheets not collected can be posted at a cost of $2.00.  Envelopes will be provided at the club rooms. 
  • Championship Events - Results are generally not displayed prior to presentations. Riders to be present in competition attire - unmounted. These events are often sponsored and representatives of the companies involved may be attending, hence the competitors' appreciation must be demonstrated by their presence at the award ceremony.
  • Grievances Disputes If you have a grievance or dispute, raise it with a Committee member or the Convenor in a calm and diplomatic manner.

Refund Policy

  • Scratching/Withdrawing from the CompetitionScratchings will be accepted up to 10am of the day after the entries close. If withdrawing or scratching, please advise the Convenors using the telephone number provided on the Draw. If you withdraw before the close of entries, you are entitled to a full refund.  You can read our refund policy here.
  • Cancelled Competitions If the event is cancelled, SVDC will issue credit notes to all competitors which may be used at any future competition. You can read our Event Cancellation Policy here.

General Ground Rules

  • For the safety of all concerned, coaching must be conducted outside of the fenced warm-up arenas. Coaches are NOT permitted inside these arenas. No spectators, strappers or family allowed onto warm-up arenas or competition fields.  Signs will be posted for compliance.
  • Parking All parking on the grounds is past the wash bay on the left.
  • Please pick up manure, baling twine etc before you leave. Manure may be scattered around trees and shrubs but please avoid contact with the trunks.
  • Dogs are to be restrained at all times whilst on the grounds and are not permitted in the Clubrooms or near the arenas.

  Guidelines for Riders and Guests