Divisions & Showing
MDA hosts 10-12 shows per year. This year every show is Open, meaning that anyone can enter regardless of whether or not they’re a member. Members are eligible for Year End Awards, Work Credits, reduced entry fees, and many other benefits. MDA follows many of the same rules and regulations set forth by USDF pertaining to show attire, equipment, etc. For a complete list of MDA’s specific rules, please see “Rules”.
MDA hires USEF/USDF Dressage Judges. We believe in hiring capable and knowledgeable judges to provide meaningful comments on your tests. Some of our judges have been with us year after year, and some are new. We make every effort to schedule judges who return time and again to different shows each year. The Schooling Show Chairman takes rider feedback into account when selecting judges, so please forward your comments.
When arriving to the show grounds, competitors may pick up their rider packets from the Entry Secretary's booth. This will contain the bridle number, the copy of the Coggins test submitted with the entry form, and a show schedule.
These divisions separate riders for showing purposes. Divisions used for Year End Awards follow these divisions but are more comprehensive.
Visit the Awards Page for details.
Young Rider - Riders are eligible to compete as a Young Rider until the end of the calendar year in which they turn 21. For example: Rider A turns 21 on Jan 2 and Rider B turns 21 on December 2. They can both show as Young Riders until the end of the year in which they turned 21.
Maiden - This division is for horse and rider combinations in their first year showing at the given level. This division is not restricted by age.
Open - This division applies to most of our riders. Open division starts at the beginning of the calendar year in which one turns 22 and does not have an age limit. This applies to those who ride and train for money as well as those who ride and show for pleasure.
Masters - This division applies to riders who are 60 years of age and older.
Young Horse - Horses 6 years old and under, in this division will enter and show in the appropriate corresponding open classes, but will be able to apply for year end awards in a separate Young Horse Division with scores earned from open classes. All other qualifications and age verification requirements remain the same.
The Young Horse Division is for adult riders showing young horses age 6 and under at all levels. This is not meant to substitute or act as a preparation for the FEI Young Horse Tests, but rather provide an avenue for our competitors to bring out their young horses to compete against their equine peers. The age of the horse will be verified by one of two means: 1) using the date of birth stated on his/her registration papers, or 2) if the horse is not registered we will use the age stated on his/her Coggins test.
Note: if using the Coggins test as a verification for age, the test must have been drawn in the competition year. In other words, if you are identifying your horse as a 6 year old for the current season, his Coggins must have been drawn in the current year. If you plan to apply for year end awards in the Young Horse division, contact the Schooling Show Chairman to submit your age verification. This only needs to be done once per show season.
Show Attire for MDA Schooling Shows
MDA Schooling shows are full dress shows, which means that we follow the USEF rules regarding rider attire. Click here to view the USEF rulebook. Rule DR 120 specifically pertains to the riders attire. If you have questions regarding MDA’s rules or USEF rules please contact MDA’s president.
Hard hats – MDA follows the USEF rules regarding hard hats. Please visit the Rules page for complete details.
Half Chaps are allowed up to First Level provided they are the same color as the boot, have no fringe, and are a leather or leather-like material.
Braiding the horse's’ mane is optional. Leg wrap, boots and bonnets