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  2022 SWDC  2023 Shows  2024 Shows  2023 Riders 



Rules for Qualifying


 1.  A horse/rider combination may qualify for the SWDC Championship by earning two qualifying scores in qualifying classes at SWDC recognized shows during the SWDC qualifying year. Qualifying classes are the highest test at each level, with the exception of Walk Trot, which will use Intro Test B. Winning or placing in the class is not necessary as long as the score is earned.  These scores must be earned at two different competitions from two different judges

2.   A $13.00 fee is added to the regular entry fee when entering a Qualifying Class at an SWDC recognized competition. Approximately $1.00 of the fee is to provide for the volunteers’ services at the Championships, $6.00 of this fee is allocated for prize money at the Championships, and the remaining $6.00 will be used to help pay for awards and prize money.


3.   One score may be earned at a show that is not approved by the SWDC if:   a. The show is outside of Region 9 and recognized by USEF/USDF.  and b. The rider submits the score (a copy of the front of a signed dressage test) and a fee of $25.00 to the SWDC Qualifying Secretary within two weeks of the end of the competition.  If the score is not received within the two weeks, it will not apply.


4. Lifeline rule: to exercise this Lifeline rule a horse rider combination must have already achieved one SWDC minimum qualifying score at a level and division where the SWDC fee was paid before the ride at an SWDC approved competition. If the horse rider combination failed to pay the qualifying fee at another competition this lifeline may be exercised. The rider may pay a fee of $75 to SWDC and send the fee, along with the score sheet or USDF record of score to the SWDC qualifying secretary to count as a second qualifying score. The second score must have been earned at an in-region SWDC approved competition. It must satisfy the minimum score for the level/division.


5.   A horse/rider combination having won the Championships at a certain level and division may not compete at that level and division or below in the Championships in subsequent years (except Grand Prix).  However, the horse may compete at any level with a different rider.

6. Riders in the Walk/Trot level must not have competed in a recognized show above First Level.

 7. Each rider must declare the division in which they are competing prior to each attempt at a qualifying ride at SWDC qualifying shows or for a score submitted under Rule 3 (Amateur, Open, or Junior/Young Rider) and must provide proof of eligibility in the case of Amateur and Junior/Young Rider.  The intent to qualify for a particular division must be designated on the entry form. Adult Amateur, Junior/Young Riders and Ponies may also qualify for the Open division.  Separate qualifying scores must be earned for each division.  At the SWDC Championships they must enter each division separately and will ride in each division separately. If a competitor is found to have entered a division in which they are NOT ELIGIBLE they must default to show in the Open division if their qualifying scores are sufficient to qualify in that division.


 8. In qualifying classes with more than one judge, scores among the judges of the ride will be averaged. For purposes of obtaining qualifying scores from two judges, so long as one judge in the judging combination is changed, it will constitute a different judge.


9.  Qualifying rides must be ridden in an unmodified standard 20m x 60m arena, with the exception of walk trot, which may be ridden in a 20m x 40m arena.


10.  Competitors wishing to qualify for the Open Pony Championships Levels may ride a qualifying test at the corresponding level in any division.  These qualifying scores do not have to be earned in classes restricted to ponies but the competitor must declare prior to the start of the ride their intent to qualify for the SWDC Pony Championship class. Failure to do so will result in the default to the open division. Ponies must meet height requirements set by the USEF in the DR rules to be eligible for this division at the Championships.


11.   Junior Riders may qualify for the SWDC Open Third Level Freestyle Championship Class using qualifying scores obtained from Junior Rider Freestyle and Young Riders may qualify for the SWDC Open FEI Level Freestyle class using the Young Riders Freestyle. Scores must meet the division percentages and the rider must state the intention to qualify for those classes and pay qualifying fees PRIOR TO THE RIDE.


12. Competitors may check scores by checking web site or by emailing the SWDC Qualifying Secretary, at  To permit recording, scores will not be available until at least three weeks after the competition


Rules for Competing in SWDC Championships


1.   For purposes of SWDC only, riders do not have to be U.S. citizens nor have their horse registered with the USEF/USDF.   However, horses and riders should comply with all applicable rules for competing at a recognized show.


2.   Only two consecutive levels may be ridden by any horse at the Championships.


3.   All national-level riders may carry a whip and have their test called.  FEI riders may carry a whip but may not have a caller.


4.   The top three riders are required to return mounted for the awards ceremonies to receive their awards.


5.   Riders should wear their Medals at all times during the show (except while riding).


Championship Awards


1.   Gold, Silver, & Bronze medals will be awarded for 1st, 2nd, & 3rd places.  Ribbons will be awarded for first through sixth places.  The Tommy Thompson SWDC Award will be given to the rider/horse that has the highest score in an SWDC Championship ride at the Championships.


2.   Prize money will be awarded for the first three places.  The amount is determined by the amount of surcharge fees collected from qualifying rides throughout the qualifying year and the number of entries in all the Open, Amateur, and Junior/Young Rider Championships classes.  It is allocated as follows:  First/50%, Second/30%, and Third/20%. Prize money will not be paid in classes where there are less than six horse rider combinations qualified for the class.  

3.   Prize money will be dispersed within thirty days to the owner in the Open division, to the rider in the Amateur division, and to the rider (or parent/legal guardian if the rider is not 18 years of age) for the Junior/Young Rider division.




Rules for Qualifying Competitions


1.  Shows must be recognized by the USEF, USDF and the SWDC to hold SWDC qualifying classes.  


2. Shows must be within Region 9 or the Contiguous States to receive SWDC recognition. 


3.   Recognition for SWDC may be applied for by completing an application and mailing the application and a $40/show recognition fee to the SWDC Chairman before January 31 of the current competition year. Applications, other than for new shows, postmarked after January 31 will be charged $50/show.  Application forms are available from the SWDC Web site or from the SWDC Chairman. Applications postmarked 60 days prior to the first day of the show will be charged a fee of $150. 


 4.   Shows will charge an $13.00 qualifying fee for each rider that signs up for an SWDC qualifying ride. All SWDC qualifying fees for rides down centerline must be paid to SWDC, whether the horse/rider combination obtained a qualifying score or not. SWDC qualifying fees for scratches must either be refunded to the competitor or forwarded to SWDC. Only one check will be submitted by the Show and will made to the SWDC and mailed to the SWDC Qualifying Secretary. Fees may be paid by PayPal with an additional 3% of the total to pay for fees.    


5.   SWDC qualifying results must be postmarked or emailed within fourteen calendar days of the final show date of the competition and submitted to the SWDC Qualifying Secretary. No results will be considered submitted without the SWDC qualifying fees. Failure to provide the SWDC qualifying results and fees within the specified time will result in a $100 fine for the first week of lateness and $200 for 1+ week of lateness. 

 6.   Fines not paid will be added to the of dues for the ensuing year and future competitions dates will not be awarded until both penalties and dues have been paid.

 7.   Shows held the final two weekends of the qualifying year must submit their results in three days of the final day of competition. However, these results may be emailed within the three days and the payment submitted according to the above rule #4. 

 8.   Checks returned Non-Sufficient Funds will be charged $50.   

9.   Should a show cancel their show no fees will be refunded. Changes of date must notify the SWDC Secretary within 30 days of the show. 

10.  No show will be recognized by the SWDC that has not paid in full all past obligations.

11.  The SWDC Qualifying Score page should be included in each show’s prize list and by applying for SWDC recognition, each show, their host organization, and management agrees to abide by SWDC rules and by-laws.  Additionally, each show must provide documentation upon request of the SWDC Board to support SWDC fees and entries.


Rules for Hosting SWDC Championship


1.  Application to hold the Championships must be made thirty days prior to the Region 9 Annual Meeting to be approved by the SWDC Board of Directors.


2.  The Championships must be held in Region 9.


3.  All judges must be approved by the SWDC Board of Directors prior to their hiring.


4.  Closing date is to be three days after the final qualifying date.


5.  SWDC Championships entry fees should not be less than $40 nor more than $65.


6.  A draft of the prize list must be submitted to the SWDC Director no later than four months prior to the first day of the competition.


7.  Prize lists must be available to all SWDC qualifiers.   The list of qualifiers will be made available from the Qualifying Secretary.  All Qualifying entries must be accepted as long as they are postmarked by closing date.


8.  Multiple judges should be used at all levels and it is recommended that at least 50% of the judges hired to officiate the SWDC Championship reside outside of Region 9.


9.  Scheduling:


a.  All Junior/Young Rider Championship classes Second Level and below and all Pony Championship classes must be held on Saturday and Sunday.

b.  Fourth Level and FEI classes should be scheduled accordingly with Great American Insurance Group/USDF Region 9 Championships in order that no horse has to ride more than one test in a day; i.e. Fourth Level and Prix St. Georges, Prix. St. Georges and Intermediaire I, Intermediaire 1 and 2, Intermediaire 2 and Grand Prix.

c.  In the case that a freestyle has to be on the same day as the open championship they should be spaced as far apart as possible in order to allow the horse time to rest.

d.  Time should be allocated for formal mounted awards ceremonies.  It does not have to be at the end of each class but can be with all divisions being awarded at one time. 


10.  The Championship show secretary must verify that all entrants in the SWDC Championships have qualified.  A list will be provided by closing date of all riders on record that have qualified.  However, this list will not be complete due to late qualifying shows. As soon as the complete list is available, the Qualifying Secretary will email the official list.   This will not be any later than seven days of the final qualifying show.   No rider may compete that is not qualified according to the SWDC Qualifying Secretary.


11.  The SWDC Appeals Committee will consist of the SWDC Board of Directors present at the Championships and a representative from the Horse Show Management.


12.  The Championship Show will receive approximately $1 of the $13 surcharge that has been collected throughout the year to provide services for volunteers such as meals, t-shirts, accommodations, etc.


13.  The Championship show will submit a check to the SWDC no later than 30 days after the last day of the show for an amount of $20/championship ride.  These fees provide for the SWDC Medals and other awards that the SWDC furnishes to the Championship show.


14.  The Championship show will submit to the SWDC within 60 days of the last day of the show a financial statement for the show.


15.  Championship show managers should try to attend the SWDC Annual Meeting in the year of their Championship and the year following their show.


16.  The host organization will provide up to 4 full pages to SWDC at cost for SWDC advertisers in the SWDC Championship show program.  The host organization will list the SWDC rules, qualifying scores and other pertinent information in the SWDC Championship show program at no cost to SWDC.


17.  By applying to host the SWDC Championships, the host organization and management agrees to read and abide by SWDC rules and by-laws, and must provide documentation upon request of the SWDC Board to support SWDC fees and entries





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