Dressage tests contain a set of movements to be performed by horse and rider in front of a judge who then gives each movement a mark out of 10. Following the completion of the test, the total number of good marks are divided by the total possible good marks to achieve a percentage, which is then subtracted from 100 to achieve a penalty score. This penalty score is carried by the horse and rider through the remainder of the competition.
We’re taking a look at the rules that govern the marking process, the ways by which a rider may incur penalties, and how the scores are calculated. Text has been taken directly from the USEF Rules for Eventing with emphasis added by the USEA.
a. Judges will award good marks from 0-10 for each movement and for each collective mark, with 0 being the lowest mark and 10 being the highest. All half marks from 0.5 - 9.5 may be used both for movements and collective marks, at the discretion of the judge, and scores given must be recorded with a decimal (e.g. as 6.0 instead of 6).
b. Errors of Course or Test will be penalized as follows:
c. All of the following are considered errors, and two points will be deducted per error, but they are not cumulative and will not result in Elimination.
d. In the case of a fall of a horse and/or competitor, the competitor will not be eliminated. He will be penalized by the effect of the fall on the execution of the movement concerned and in the collective marks.
e. After elimination, a competitor may continue his performance to the end. The marks will be awarded in the ordinary way.
a. Elimination is left to the discretion of the Ground Jury in the following cases:
b. Elimination must be applied in the following cases:
a. The good marks from 0-10 awarded by each judge to a competitor for each numbered movement of the dressage test together with the collective marks are added together, deducting any error of course or test.
b. For each judge the percentage of maximum possible good marks obtainable is then calculated by dividing the total good marks received (minus any error of course or test) by the maximum possible good marks obtainable and then multiplying by 100 and rounding the result to two decimal digits. This value is shown as the individual mark for that judge.
c. If there is more than one judge, the average percentage for the competitor is obtained by adding together the percentage for each judge and dividing by the number of judges, always rounding the result to two decimal digits.
d. In order to convert percentage into penalty points, the percentage if there is only one judge or the average percentage if there is more than one judge must be subtracted from 100. The result, rounded to one decimal digit, is the score in penalty points for the test.
Want to catch up on past rule refreshers? Visit the links below:
This year’s Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event CCI5*-L was on April 21-25 and was the first five-star event to take place in the U.S. since 2019. The entry list had the best riders in the world, previous Kentucky champions, Olympic hopefuls, and horses who have been eventing in the U.S. since they were 4 years old.
US Equestrian is seeking applications of employment for their Director of Eventing Sport Management & Administration position.
Please join the Equine High Performance Sports Group for their new Sport Horse Series. Interact with human athlete trainers, champions in equestrian sport, and their coaches, veterinarians, farriers, and grooms to translate and apply their knowledge in training, treatment, preventative medicine, services, etc. of equine athletes under your care.
Horses have so much power over us. They don’t know that, of course, but, unwittingly, they expose our personal weaknesses – and bring out our hidden strengths. This is something Allison Smith, a 28-year-old from Warrenton, Va., knows very well. Her passion for eventing and the pressure she put on herself to succeed in this many-layered, ultimately demanding sport exacerbated her anxiety and perfectionist tendencies. Yet one horse has changed her life in a way she never could have anticipated.