For the first few weeks of this blog I thought I would spend some time on the governing bodies of our sport. Today I want to discuss the United States Dressage Federation (USDF). The United States Dressage Federation is dedicated to the equine discipline of dressage. Its mission is to education, recognize achievement and promote the discipline of dressage. At the local level general membership organizations (GMO’s) are the outlet to USDF. USDF is governed in the national levels of training to fourth level by the United States Equestrian Federation which governs all equine sports in the United States. International levels of competition are regulated the Federation Equestre Internationale (FEI).
USDF has a great website at www.usdf.org which has untold amounts of valuable information for anyone considering the sport of dressage. On the website they have information on everything from membership and awards to links to free books on footing and how to select a dressage horse! Spend some time reading through the site. For junior and young riders the site gives basic information from the structure of our international governing body to the initial costs for shows and how to find a trainer.
Furthermore, the website discusses junior and young rider awards and programs. Junior rider divisions are classified as those of ages 14-18. Young rider divisions continue the programs through the age of 21. The North American Junior and Young Rider Championship is the premier equestrian competition in North America for junior and young riders. Equestrians come from the United States, Bermuda, Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and the Caribbean Islands to vie for team and individual FEI medals. The competition is run under rules of the FEI and is the only FEI championship held annually on this continent.
In order to participate a potential junior or young rider must be a USDF member and a USEF member. They must also declare their intention to participate according to USEF regulations which are listed on the USEF website. The specifics to qualify for 2013 NAJYRC are at the link below