Dressage Today is excited to bring you our next Virtual Dressage Show! While a virtual show isn’t a new concept, we feel it’s right in line with our core mission, which is to educate. Once again, we’ve teamed up with USEF “S” Judge Margaret Freeman who will judge the classes and provide each rider with their test sheet and detailed feedback. Plus, we've added a premium offering ... a "Test Consultation" in which entries will receive a 30-minute, one-on-one phone consultation with our judge..
Good luck and have fun! Special thanks to our sponsor HorseTech, Inc., for providing prizes!
Read on to learn more about how to enter, the rules to follow and answers to some frequently asked questions.
Entry Period: The entry period is from September 16-29 and results will be posted by October 2. This means that you must submit your online entry, payment and test no later than 11:59 PM on September 29. *SPACE IS LIMITED TO THE FIRST 40 ENTRIES
How to Enter: You must submit your entry and payment online through STRIDER. (Click HERE to ENTER ONLINE.) You must include a YouTube link of your test video within the online entry form (include it in the "Note to Organizer" box) or you must email the YouTube link to us at firstname.lastname@example.org no later than 11:59 PM on September 29. Please be sure to include your first and last name with your video link if you choose to submit it the link through email. Please see the section below on how to record your video.
Classes 1, 2, 3: $25 per test (plus $2.99 data-entry fee; 5% charge-card merchant fee).
Class 4: Test of Any Level (Intro-Grand Prix) Plus Consultation: $100 per ride (plus $2.99 data-entry fee; 5% charge-card merchant fee). Your entry and payment must be submitted through STRIDER.
Class 5: Noncompete Test of Any Level (Intro-Grand Prix) and Eventing Dressage Tests Without Additional Phone Consultation: $25 per test (plus $2.99 data-entry fee; 5% charge-card merchant fee).
*Riders can only enter 1 test per class; No Para or Freestyle classes at this time.
Class 1: USEF Training Level, Test of Choice
Class 2: USEF First Level, Test of Choice
Class 3: USEF Second Level through Fourth Level, Test of Choice
Note: The term "test of choice" indicates that you may choose which test of a particular level you would like to ride.
Class 4: Premium Class/Test Consultation (submit test/ride and receive a 30-minute, one-on-one phone consultation with the judge)
"The phone consultation with Margaret Freeman was very informative. I have never spoken to a judge that had just viewed a test of mine and it was incredible to get her perspective. We, as riders, don’t normally get the chance to really understand how or why we obtain certain scores. Margaret viewed the video with me and was able to completely explain her rationale on each score, movement by movement, with incredible detail on how I rode the movement, how I could have increased the score and how to proceed after each movement. At the end of the discussion, she gave me different exercises to ride to help improve certain movements. We have been using these exercises and have found they created light bulb moments. It was such a privilege to have this opportunity and I truly believe this will help me going forward as I continue to compete with Cayenne. Again, thank you for this opportunity." —Colleen Kinninger and Cayenne Von Sucandi, Dressage Today Virtual Show II participant
Class 5: Noncompete Test of Any Level (Intro-Grand Prix) and Eventing Dressage Tests Without Additional Phone Consultation (If you submit as a noncompete ride, let us know what the approximate size of the arena is so that the judge can provide you with accurate feedback.)
Judge: Margaret Freeman, S Level
Margaret Freeman is a USEF “Senior” dressage judge from Tryon, North Carolina, and has been judging dressage shows for 30 years. She is a freelance writer/editor and has covered the equestrian events at seven Olympics for the Associated Press. She is Executive Secretary of the U.S. Dressage Federation. She’s also an experienced show organizer, is on the committee of the Youth Dressage Festival (NY) and was on the founding committees of CDCTA (VA) and Dressage at Devon (PA).
Judging and Scoring: The tests will be judged and scored on standard tests sheets, with complete comments, just as if they were at a regular dressage show.
Results: Results will be posted online. Score sheets will be scanned and emailed to all participants. Your video WILL NOT be posted publicly by Dressage Today, nor will the comments on your test sheets. Please see below on how to record your video.
Prizes: $100 prize package from HorseTech awarded to top score in each class plus, 1-year subscription to Dressage Today OnDemand, a $345 value.
*Due to international shipping costs, if you are a first-placed rider from outside the United States, you will receive a one-on-one ZOOM consult with judge Margaret Freeman ($100 value).
How to Record Your Video
Step 1. Using a phone or video camera, have a helper video your ride from Letter C, ideally in an outdoor arena/field during the daytime. For best results, the phone/camera should be held horizontally and not be facing into the sun. An indoor or covered arena may be used if the lighting is good—the better the lighting conditions, the better you will look. Make sure the sound is turned ON.
Step 2. Prior to entering the ring, your videographer must show a cell phone displaying the date and time. Without stopping the video, speak into the camera stating your name and your horse’s name, the level and test you are riding and then continue, without editing (no stop and starting) into the arena.
Step 3. As soon as the test is finished, the camera must circle the horse and rider showing the sides of the horse, spurs and the bit.
Step 4. Upload your video to YouTube and include the link within your online entry through STRIDER (include it in the "Note to Organizer" box) or email the YouTube link to email@example.com after you have completed your online entry form. If you choose to submit your link through email, please be sure to include your first and last name.
Rules to Keep in Mind
1. The cost for classes 1, 2, 3 and 5 is $25 per test (plus $2.99 data-entry fee; 5% charge-card merchant fee). The cost for the "Test Consultation" is $100 per ride (plus $2.99 data-entry fee; 5% charge-card merchant fee). Enter and pay here.
2. All uploaded videos must not have been previously reviewed by other judges at past or present shows.
3. Test must be ridden in a standard 20- x 60-meter space marked with cones or fencing. If you do not have a standard arena, you may submit your ride as a non-compete entry so you can receive feedback. If you submit as a noncompete ride, let us know what the approximate size of the arena is so that the judge can provide you with accurate feedback.
4. Videos of tests must be one continuous filming; unedited from start to finish.
5. You must submit your video via a YouTube link, either within your STRIDER online entry form (include it in the "Note to Organizer" box) or you may email the link to us separately at firstname.lastname@example.org no later than 11:59 PM on September 29.
6. If the judge determines that the horse appears lame, the judge has the right to excuse the ride and not continue scoring. Judge will make notes on the score sheet indicating their observations.
7. Horses and riders are required to abide by standard equipment rules for dressage as outlined by the USEF. You acknowledge that, by submitting your entry, you agree to abide by standard rules of fair play and for the welfare of the horse.
8. You must wear an ASTM/SEI-approved helmet.
9. Violation of any of these rules may result in the refusal to accept the entry or non-refundable scratch.
10. We will make every effort to judge this class fairly with the knowledge that there are inherent challenges to judging online shows that make it different from the real-life experience.
When entering the Dressage Today Virtual Dressage Show, YOU ACKNOWLEDGE THAT YOU HAVE READ AND VOLUNTARILY AGREE TO THE RELEASE & WAIVER OF LIABILITY & INDEMNITY AGREEMENT posted here on the DRESSAGE TODAY website.
Frequently Asked Questions and Answers to Them
How do I send you my video? Upload your video to YouTube (you may choose to make the video private within YouTube.) You must submit your video via YouTube link, either within your STRIDER online entry form (include it in the "Note to Organizer" box) or you may email the link to us separately at email@example.com no later than 11:59 PM on September 29. Please be sure to include your first and last name with your video link if you choose to submit the link through email.
What if I don't have a 20-by-60 arena? You can still participate, but you must enter as a noncompete entry (Class 4 or 5), meaning that you will not be ranked against other riders and you will not be eligible for prizes. Just make a note in your online entry that your arena is not standard size and you are entering as a non-compete. Please let us know your approximate arena dimensions so that our judge can provide you with accurate feedback.
What if I want feedback from a judge but I do not want to be compared to other riders? You can submit your ride as a non-compete entry! You will not be ranked against other riders and you will not be eligible for prizes but you will still receive your scores and feedback from the judge. Just make a note in your online entry form.
Can I have a test reader? Yes, the test may be called.
Can my coach offer tips/advice while I’m riding my test? No. Coaching during the test is not allowed.
Can I record my test without any sound? No. The natural background sound for the test must be audible. Tests with no sound at all will not be accepted. (This is to ensure that you are not receiving coaching.)
Do I have to wear show attire for my test? You can if you want to! Suitable schooling show attire with a heeled boot is accepted. Half chaps may be worn. ASTM/SEI-approved helmets must be worn, no exception.
Can my horse wear polos? Yes. Horses are allowed to wear boots or polos.
Can I wear spurs or use a whip? You can use spurs and/or a whip as long as you abide by standard equipment rules for dressage as outlined by the USEF. You acknowledge that, by submitting your entry, you agree to abide by standard rules of fair play and for the welfare of the horse.
Will this test count toward my end of year awards? This virtual show does not count toward any awards points for any organization.
Will I receive my test sheet after my ride? Riders will receive detailed feedback/test sheets from judge.
Will my video be used by Dressage Today on their website or social media platforms? No. As long as your video is set to private on YouTube, your video and the comments on your test sheet will only be viewed by the DT staff and the judge. They will not be made public by Dressage Today. If you win the class, DT will ask for a nice photo of you and your horse to post on its Facebook and Instagram pages.
Will my score be posted? Yes. The scores of each ride will be posted at the end of the show.
Will I receive a prize? The top score from each class will receive a $100 prize from HorseTech, plus a 1-year subscription to Dressage Today OnDemand, a $345 value
Will you offer more Virtual Dressage Shows? If this virtual show is a success, we’ll be offering more!
Can I enter if I do not live in the United States? Yes, you can enter as long as you are able to provide a credit card payment for your entry and you are able to ride one of the USEF dressage tests.
Do I have to be a member of any organizations like the USEF or USDF? No, you do not need to be a member of any equestrian organizations as this show is not affiliated with any official equestrian organizations.
Do I need a special camera to film this? No, any camera or phone with video capability will work. The higher the quality, the better. Be sure to hold the phone horizontally when filming.
What do I do if I'm having trouble with my online entry on STRIDER? If you are having an issue submitting your entry on STRIDER, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. The DT team is unfortunately not able to assist with technical problems on STRIDER.
Can I participate in Dressage Today’s Virtual Show if I plan to compete in FEI competitions over the next six months? Based on our interpretation of the FEI rules (Article 113), it does appear that if you are planning to enter a CDI or any other type of FEI event within the next six months, you cannot enter the DT virtual show or any type of show not officially recognized by the USEF, for that matter. However, we encourage you to review the FEI rules yourself and direct any FEI-related questions to the FEI.