DVHA Grounds and Show Rules
HORSE SHOW ADVISORY COMMITTEE
1. The association shall hold clinics or horse shows requested by each
discipline’s Horse Show Advisory Committee and approved by the general
2. To assure quality shows, organizers are required to attend the Horse Show
Advisory Committee meeting which is held prior to the start of the show season.
The members of each discipline’s Horse Show Advisory Committee and the Executive
Committee will assist each show organizer as necessary.
3. Chairperson shall be responsible for their shows. It shall be their duty to
enforce all rules of the association; deliver all funds from the show to the
treasurer; turn over all judges’ cards, entry forms, etc. to the Points
Committee; and certify all who worked at their show to the person recording
members’ work hours.
4. At the August general membership meeting, the Horse Show Advisory Committees
shall meet and vote on the schedule of horse show dates for the coming year and
will discuss the list of pointed classes for the coming year. At the September
general membership meeting, each Horse Show Advisory Committee shall present the
recommended divisions/classes pointed for year-end awards for the upcoming show
season for final approval.
5. All pointed classes included in the prize list are to be held and
specifications given for each class are to be available for all exhibitors.
1. Learner judges are allowed by DVHA, but should be cleared through the judge
for that month’s show.
2. A judge may judge each division of a show once a year only unless specified
by a particular division. DVHA members are not to judge DVHA pointed shows.
C. GENERAL HORSE SHOW RULES
1. All DVHA show jump standards, rails, dressage rings and other locked
equipment will not be used for schooling purposes by members on non-show days.
2. Exhibitors are notified that any act of discourtesy or disobedience to the
judge or the committee members on the part of the rider, owner, trainer or groom
shall disqualify all horses owned by said person
or persons, and the owner/rider shall forfeit all entry fees and awards for the
3. No profane language or abusive treatment of animals will be allowed on the
show grounds. Anyone responsible for such acts will be immediately barred from
competition and the show grounds for that day.
4. All children under 18 years of age must have a parent or guardian sign the
show application (entry blank) and assume responsibility for the child. This
clause will be written on all show prize lists and entry forms.
5. Ringmasters may not show in a division after they have been working in that
division as ringmaster for that day.
6. If the rider only is being judged, they may not appear more than once in the
same class. If the horse only is being judged, it may not appear more than once
in the same class.
7. The level of rider and/or horse competing at DVHA shows will be determined at
the beginning of the show day. Competitors should consult individual prize list
rules for further clarification.
8. Current negative Coggins test within One Year must be performed on all horses
competing at show grounds.
9. Membership and/or horse registration will be accepted at any horse show
before competing in any class (see Section H. “Year-End Award Eligibility
Requirements, paragraph 2.).
10. Each horse/rider combination must pay a separate entry fee. The amount of
entry fee for each class is determined at the time of registration.
11. A senior is any rider over 18 years of age as of December 1. A junior is any
rider under 18 years of age as of December 1. Persons born on December 1 must
assume the greater age of that date.
12. Ponies (14.2 hands and under) – Small ponies may be ridden by juniors. Large
ponies may be ridden by adults under horse classification.
13. Members must show membership cards.
14. Refunds of entry fees are to be made at the discretion of the show chairman;
i.e., such reasons as cancellation of classes, official veterinarian’s
certification or a sick or injured horse, or illness of the exhibitor.
Competitors should consult individual prize list rules for further
15. No one shall approach the judge unless first obtaining permission from the
show chairman. No exhibitor has the right to inspect the judges’ cards without
permission from the judge, obtained through the show chairman.
16. In any show, horses or riders may not show under a judge from whom they have
received training or instruction within 30 days. Should a rider choose to show,
they will then be riding “Hors Concours” (HC). The points/score will not count
towards any awards.
17. All protests will be made to and settled by the show chairman and the show
chairman’s decision, made known in the presence of the persons involved, will be
18. All dogs on the show grounds must be leashed at all times or will be
confined by the show committee.
19. Rain gear may be used in bad weather. At the discretion of the show judge,
coats and ties may be omitted in hot weather. Competitors should consult
individual prize list rules for further clarification.
20. No horses are to be lunged in a schooling ring if other riders are present.
If a horse is required to be lunged during a show, DVHA has designated certain
rings for use. All exhibitors should check with the show chairman for
clarification on where lunging is permitted.
21. If DVHA does not have a rule governing a situation, the appropriate national
governing body rules shall apply. All questions not covered by these rules shall
be decided by the show chairman whose decision shall be final.
D. DRESSAGE COMPETITION RULES
1. Dressage riders may have a reader. However, it is the exhibitor’s
responsibility to know the test. Movements may be read only once.
2. Talking or clucking to your horse is not permitted in the dressage ring.
3. Committing three course errors, leaving the arena during the test or marked
lameness result in elimination from dressage classes.
4. In dressage competitions, horses may not be entered in classes differing by
more than one level at any show. Riders must enter the arena within 45 seconds
of the judge’s signal (usually a whistle or bell).
5. Dressage attire at all DVHA dressage schooling shows: Jackets are optional;
smooth leather half-chaps may be worn if combined with matching paddock boots;
protective headgear is encouraged at all levels, including FEI. If riding
jackets are removed, a conservative top with sleeves and collar must be worn.
Dressage attire at all national governing body recognized shows: In
accordance with the rules of each organization.
6. Dressage tack: A simple snaffle, regular cavesson, flash, figure eight, or
drop noseband are permitted. Twisted wire bits, bits of two or more different
metals and bit guards are not permitted. Bandages, boots, blinders, martingales,
draw reins and side reins, running reins or artificial devices are not
permitted. Seat covers, nose covers and ear covers are allowed. Only in the
warm-up area, lunging with side reins and riding or lunging with boots,
bandages, or a running martingale is permitted. Whips may be carried during a
test but may not exceed 48” in length. Spurs capable of injuring a horse are
7. Additional rules and regulations are printed in the Dressage section of the
DVHA prize list. Knowledge of rules for the appropriate national governing body
rated shows are the responsibility of the exhibitor.
E. HUNTER DIVISION AND JUMPER DIVISION COMPETITION RULES
1. Hunter Attire: Boots, breeches, riding coat, hard hat and tie (formal or
informal). Spurs or crops are optional. Hard hats must be worn at all times when
riding anywhere on the show grounds. It is recommended that ASTM approved hard
hats be worn. Boots can be in any color in accordance with attire.
2. Jumper Attire: Same as above except riding jackets are optional (collared
3. Hunter Tack: Regulation snaffles, pelhams and full bridles, all with
cavesson nose bands are recommended. In hack or under saddle classes,
martingales of any type are prohibited unless class specifications state
otherwise. Any unconventional equipment will be left to the judge’s discretion.
4. Jumper Tack: All tack should be in accordance with the rules of the national
F. WESTERN DIVISION COMPETITION RULES
1. Western Attire: Boots, hat, long-sleeved shirt and long pants. Chaps are
optional in all classes. Crops, bats or quirts are allowed in speed events
provided that they are not used forward of the front cinch. Spurs are optional
in all classes. Western jackets are allowed, weather demanding.
2. Western Tack: No tiedowns except in speed events. Hackamores are only
allowed in timed events. Bosals are allowed in any class when not used in
conjunction with a bit, provided that the horse is 5 years of age and under (age
requirement does not apply to Green Broke Division), unless class specifications
state otherwise. Curb straps or chains must be used in conjunction with standard
3. There will be no discrimination as to the type of bridle used in speed
1. All bills relating to horse show expenses will be paid by check or cash.
2. No paid exhibitions at shows. Concessions will be allowed on the grounds at
the discretion and approval of the general membership.
K. SCHOOLING PRIVILEGES AT DVHA ON NON-SHOW DAYS
Schooling on DVHA show grounds during non-show days is a privilege granted
by DVHA to its full members under the following conditions.
1. Riding is open to all full DVHA members who have indicated they will
volunteer at least 8 hours or pay an annual fee of $250.00.
2. Nonmembers are not permitted to ride or teach on DVHA show grounds on
non-show days. All Nonmembers who teach a current memberon non-show days must
provide an annual certificate of insurance to DVHA before using the show
3. Members are required to use the necessary safety measures while riding. Hard
hats must be worn at all times when riding anywhere on the show grounds.
4. Junior members must have an adult present at all times.
5. Trailers are to be parked in the trailer parking area of the show grounds.
6. All members must have their membership card prominently displayed. This will
enable other members who are riding with you know you are a validated member.
7. Once a ring has been prepared for a show, or if a ring is locked, schooling
will not be permitted in that ring. Set-up dates are listed in each issue of
8. No free-longeing of a horse is allowed in any DVHA ring
L. SCHOOLING PRIVILEGES AT DVHA ON SHOW DAYS
1. All exhibitors are allowed to school during a show if they have gone to the
office and paid the EMT fee and obtained a Back Number.
2. Any person (member or nonmember) not registered to compete, who wishes to
school on the show grounds while a show is in progress, must report to the
secretary’s stand before entering any ring to receive a number, sign a release ,
pay the EMT fee and receive instructions on where to ride.
3. If another organization is renting the show grounds, any person not
registered to compete, who wishes to school on the show grounds while a show is
in progress, must report to the secretary’s stand and receive an exhibitor
number. The renting organization may require a fee for schooling purposes.