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PVDA Schooling Show Rules
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Last Updated: September 2017

Eligibility: PVDA schooling shows are open to current PVDA members and non-members. Non-members must pay a non-member fee of $10 which can be applied to membership fee should you decide to join PVDA. Non-members are not eligible for Year End High Score Awards. However, if the rider becomes a member before the last schooling show of the PVDA show season, then all scores they earned as a non-member during the show season WILL be counted towards Year End High Score Awards as long as all of the eligibility requirements for Year End High Score Awards have been met.

Classes Offered: All schooling shows offer classes in current USDF (Intro Level), USEF (Training through 4th Levels), FEI (PSG through Grand Prix), USEF Dressage Seat Equitation, USDF and FEI Musical Freestyles, USDF Pas de Deux, USDF Quadrille, USEA Eventing Tests (Beginner Novice through Advanced, USEF Rider Tests (Training through Second level) and Western (WDAA) tests. Riders are responsible for providing all necessary musical equipment. The Pas de Deux and Quadrille tests may be ridden with or without music. Special tests (i.e., Gaited Horse, Pony Club tests, etc.) may be ridden hors concours (score does not count toward end-of-year awards and a ribbon is not provided). PVDA does not provide these special tests; the competitor must supply the test to the schooling show manager upon arrival at the show. 

Repeat Tests: The same horse/rider combination may enter and ride the same test twice but only the first ride will count toward placing in the class and in the PVDA Year End Awards. The second ride must be ridden hors concours unless a scratch can be filled in another arena in front of a different judge.

Riding before an Instructor/Coach Judge: No rider may compete in classes before a judge from whom they have received instruction or coaching (with or without pay) within 30 days of the date of the show. Riding hors concours before that judge is permitted.

Submission of Show Entries:
Schooling show entries are accepted using the online show entry system. Please visit the PVDA website (, select the “How To Enter A Schooling Show” from the “Shows” menu), for detailed instructions. We can also accept mail-in Paper entries as long as complete as below and received before the closing date. You can find the mail-in Entry Form at the bottom of this page.

Show Entry Requirements: A complete schooling show entry consists of five items: (1) a completed show entry form created through equestrian entries, (2) a copy of the PVDA membership card (or $10 non-member fee), (3) a copy of the horse’s negative coggins test results dated within one year of the show date, (4) a signed copy of the PVDA Release form (including the horse owner’s signature if not the rider) and (5) full payment of the show entry fees. All of these “Entry Documents” may be attached to the show entry in, or they may be emailed or snail mailed to the show manager. Complete entries will take precedence over incomplete entries for scheduling and waiting list purposes. Entries with incorrect information, insufficient documentation, or are received after the closing date will be accepted at the show manager’s discretion. The PVDA release form is located at the bottom of this page.

Show Scheduling: As many entrants as possible will be accommodated at each show; therefore, entries may be limited to two (2) rides per horse/rider combination, if necessary. In the interest of time, lower level tests may be scheduled in a small arena.

Over-Subscribed Shows: First priority will be given to complete and timely entries from riders who have verified at least 8 hours of PVDA volunteer service performed by the rider within 12 months of the show date by either emailing or snail mailing a copy of their PVDA Volunteer Form(s) with their show entry. If the number of entries received with volunteer forms exceeds the show capacity, they will enter a lottery, but show entries without volunteer forms will not. Second priority will be given to complete and timely entries from riders who have NOT verified at least 8 hours of PVDA volunteer service performed by the rider within 12 months of the show date. For these riders, if the show is over-subscribed, a lottery will be conducted to randomly and anonymously select entries to fill the show. The manager will conduct this lottery after the closing date.

Ride Fees: Ride fees are $25 per ride. Payment of entry fees may be made through, or by personal check made out to PVDA and mailed to the show manager with a copy of the entry. Payment may be made using volunteer certificates in $10 increments only (e.g. if 3 certificates are used to pay for a $25 class, there is no refund of $5) . For payments using volunteer certificates, please mail the certificates and any remaining payment to the show manager before the closing date.

Change Request Fee: If changes are requested after the closing date, a $5 handling fee per change may be charged.

Returned Checks or Electronic Payment Refusal:
A fee of $25 will be assessed for any returned check or electronic payment refusal. This fee, along with the entry fees, must then be paid by cash, certified check, or money order. Failure may be subject to revocation of PVDA membership.

Refunds: Entry fees for scratches prior to the closing date will be refunded in full less any applicable electronic payment fees. There will be no refunds for scratches after the closing date even if the time slot is filled from the waiting list. Members may not create their own waiting lists and replace riders without consent of the show manager. It is the sole responsibility of the show manager to fill scratches.

Ride Times: Ride times will be posted on the PVDA web site usually on the Monday before the show. Please keep in mind that show manager is a volunteer, and sometimes there are circumstances when posting ride times on Monday is not possible.

Judges: The Schooling Show Committee may change or substitute judges as necessary.

Show Date/Location Changes: Changes in show dates or locations will be announced in the PVDA Newsletter (check the Calendar of Events in each issue) and at In the case of unforeseen circumstances (i.e., thunder and lightning) a show date may be canceled/rescheduled on short notice at the sole discretion of the facility owner. If the competitor is unable to show on the rescheduled date, entry fees will be refunded in full less any applicable PayPal fees.

USEF Rules: One of the purposes of PVDA Schooling Shows is to prepare the horse and rider for recognized competitions. USEF rules are enforced as closely as possible.

Show Attire: Competitors are encouraged, but not required, to follow the USEF rules. Our schooling shows are designed to be low-pressure competitions for those trying out dressage to those preparing for Recognized Competitions therefore show coats are encouraged but not required. A short- or long-sleeved white riding shirt with collar is permissible or a plain polo shirt. Sleeveless shirts or T-shirts are not allowed nor is loose, flapping clothing. Clothing should not distract from the horse. Riders may wear half-chaps, gaiters or leggings in solid black or brown, without fringe, matching the color of their boots, and made of smooth leather or leather-like material. If showing Western Dressage appropriate Western attire is fine. Horses need not be braided. Use of an ASTM/SEI certified safety helmet at all times while mounted is required.

Score Ties: In the event of a tie (equality of total points), the collective marks will determine the placings. If the totals of the collective marks for both riders are equal, both riders will receive the same placing and the next placing will not be awarded. If the totals of the collective marks for both riders are not equal, the rider with the higher collective marks will receive the higher placing.

Non-Competing Horses:
If you would like to bring a young horse to expose it to a show environment without competing, you must clear this with the show manager prior to the show date. Not all shows are suitable spaces & we must also respect the wishes of the property owners in this respect. The decision will rest with the show manager. If permitted, you must have your current PVDA membership card and a current negative Coggins test with you at the show grounds to present when you arrive at the show grounds.

Horse Safety: General safety practices are to be observed at all times. Do not leave your horse unattended at or in the trailer at any time.

Pets: Dogs and other pets are not permitted on schooling show grounds at any time. You will be held liable for their interference and asked to remove them.

Hold Harmless: Neither PVDA nor the landowner shall be held responsible for any injury, damage, nor loss to exhibitors, spectators, horses, or property of exhibitors or spectators.

Facilities: Our Schooling Shows are held for the most part at Private farms where the landowner has donated the use of their facilities to use for the day. They do this to help support dressage in our area and to support our organization allowing us to fundraise for our education events & other programs. Please respect their property. Pick up all manure & trash & take it with you. Helpful guests are always appreciated!

Failure to Comply: Failure to comply with show rules may result in loss of privileges.

Schooling Show Etiquette

  • Be courteous to all competitors and show volunteers.
  • Do not lunge horses in the middle of warm up areas; instead, use out of the way areas and yield to riders preparing to ride their tests.
  • Pass left shoulder to left shoulder in the warm up area and yield to those traveling at faster gaits.
  • Leave your trailer site clean. Pick up trash and manure before leaving. Take your manure home with you.
  • Remember that sites are donated by property owners. Do not do anything that may result in damage to their property. Please observe facility rules.

Dressage Seat Equitation

  • This class will be offered at all PVDA Schooling Shows.
  • Equitation Class rules are in USEF DR132 Dressage Seat Equitation.
  • Dressage Seat Equitation classes may be offered for Juniors, Young Riders and Adults according to the following specifications:
  • Medium walk, working trot, and canter both ways of the ring must be performed. The rider’s position, seat, and correct use and effect of the aids required by the Training and First Level Dressage tests are to be judged.
  • The movements shall be performed by the exhibitors simultaneously; however, the judge may ask for independent tests.
  • No change of horses shall be required.
  • Whips and spurs are allowed. Horses shall be shown in plain snaffle.

Hold Harmless Clause

Understanding that horse sports may be hazardous and dangerous, even leading to permanent injury or death, each owner, rider, spectator, and other participant assumes any and all risk of loss or injury and agrees to hold harmless, regardless of negligent acts or omissions, the Potomac Valley Dressage Association, Inc., organizer, show committee, and all horse show personnel.

Unpaid Competitor Debts


Show Documents

Item Name Posted By Date Posted
2020 USEF Entry Agreement PDF (64.04 KB) Administration 7/14/2020
2020 USEF Release PDF (76.24 KB) Administration 7/14/2020
2020 Waredaca Release Form PDF (195.66 KB)  more ] Administration 7/14/2020
PVDA Release Form 2020 PDF (193.73 KB)  more ] Administration 5/18/2020
Mail-In Schooling Show Entry Form PDF (666.08 KB) Administration 10/16/2018
Getting Started with Equestrian Entries PDF (26.96 KB) Administration 6/20/2018
How to Enter a Schooling Show PDF (22.09 KB) Administration 6/20/2018
How to Enter a Licensed Show PDF (1.98 MB) Administration 6/20/2018
Dressage Protocol PDF (207.14 KB) Administration 6/19/2018
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