Dressage Judge Blog No. 23 Getting ready for the 2018 season? Do you know the main changes in the FEI Rules for 2018?

December 3, 2017

Dressage Judge Cesar Torrente Blog No. 23

Getting ready for the 2018 season?

Do you know the main changes in the FEI Rules for 2018?


(2.1.)Putting out the tongue, keeping it above the bit or drawing it up altogether, as well as grinding the teeth or agitation of the tail, are mostly signs of nervousness, tension or resistance on the part of the Horse and must be taken into account by the Judges in their marks for every movement concerned, as well as in the collective mark. for “submission”. Text marked in red was deleted.

  1. ARTICLE 418 THE POSITION AND AIDS OF THE ATHLETE has a new paragraph 3.1. and an amendment in 3.2. that reads as follows:

(3.1.) Apart from the halt and salute, where the athlete must take the reins in one hand, riding with the reins in both hands is obligatory at FEI Dressage Events, but a discreet ‘pat on the neck’ for a well performed exercise, or for reassurance, is perfectly acceptable (as is the situation of an athlete needing to wipe a fly from their eye, or other situations such as adjusting clothing, saddle pads etc). However, if the rider intentionally takes the reins into one hand in order to use either the reins or the other hand to produce more impulsion from the horse, or to promote applause from the spectators during the test, it will be considered a fault and will be reflected in the mark for both the movement and the collective mark. For the Freestyle tests, see also Directives for Judges – Freestyle tests and Directives for assessing the degree of difficulty in a Freestyle. Text marked in red is new.

(4) The use of the voice or clicking the tongue repeatedly is a fault, which should be considered in the mark for the movement and the collective mark. Text marked in red is new.

Prix St. Georges. This Competition is open to all Horses, except those which, prior to the date of nominated entries, have been placed in the first fifteen (15) in a Grand Prix at FEI Championships or in Olympic Games, or which have won three first prizes in an Intermediate II and above at a CDI3*/CDI4*/CDI5* or CDIO. Text marked in red was deleted.


Consolation Competitions may be scheduled in small and medium tour. Consolation Competition must be judged by three (3) Judges only and must be clearly marked in the Schedule and results lists. Text marked in red is new.

An Athlete who does not participate without legitimate reasons in a competition where the participation is mandatory, will lose their placing and prize money from the previous Competition(s) in the Event and will be disqualified. Text marked in red is new.


Permitted nosebands (nosebands are compulsory) Text marked in red is new.

  1. Judges´ huts

Judges’ hut. A separate hut or platform must be provided for each Judge. It must be raised not less than fifty centimetres (50 cm) (for Freestyle Tests possibly a little higher) above the ground, in order to give the Judges a good view of the arena. The booth/hut must be large enough to accommodate four (4) persons. Judges’ huts should provide good views of the entire arena. For FEI Championships and Games on Grand Prix level, each Judges hut must be equipped with a button linked to the Judges Signalling System, allowing each judge to discreetly inform the C-Judge in case of blood, lameness, error of course, or  equipment.

A Judges Signalling button is optional for other Events. Text marked in red is new.

Only officiating people are allowed in the Judges’ huts. Text marked in red is new.


A steward must be present at all times to supervise all training/warm-up from the official opening time of the stables and may enforce rules prior to the official start of the Event. Text marked in red is new.

  1. Sound of bell

Sound of bell. After the sound of the bell, the Athlete must enter the arena at A within forty five (45) seconds. In the Freestyle, the Athlete has forty five (45) seconds to signal to start the music and must enter the arena within thirty (30) seconds of the music starting. Text marked in red is new.