Welcome to Dressage

Dressage, the highest expression of horse training, is considered the most artistic of the equestrian sports and can be traced as far back as ancient Greece. The horse has to perform at a walk, trot and canter, and all tests are ridden from memory and follow a prescribed pattern of movements. The only exception is the Freestyle which is specially choreographed for each horse and is performed to music.

Of all the exponents of Dressage Germany’s Reiner Kilmke is perhaps the best known, after winning six gold and two bronze medals between 1964 and 1976, a record for equestrian events. And Dressage has also produced its share of heroic achievements, none more so than Denmark’s Lis Hartel.

Hartel, who became one of the first women to take part in Olympic Dressage, was paralysed by polio in 1944, when she was 23 and expecting her first child. Despite remaining paralysed below the knees, she was chosen to represent her country in the Helsinki Olympics of 1952 and responded by winning the silver medal. When gold medallist Henri Saint Cyr helped her up on to the podium, it was one of the most emotional moments in Olympic history.

The popularity of Dressage has increased rapidly in recent years and the sport now regularly attracts huge crowds. Dressage is undoubtedly the most aesthetically pleasing of the disciplines in the FEI stable and the pure magic of top-class Freestyle under floodlights, as sport and art combine, guarantees that the popularity of Dressage will continue to grow. Furthermore, Para-Equestrian Dressage is the only equestrian discipline that is included in the Paralympic Games, where it has been a regular fixture since 1996.

FEI DRESSAGE RECORDSUpdated 01/11/2022

Latest Department Updates

  • 15 Mar 2022
    FEI WBFSH Dressage World Breeding Championship for Young Horses Guidelines

    The guidelines, effective 1 January 2022, have been updated in March 2022, to reflect necessary changes in the quota allocation per NF, approved by the WBSFH and the FEI. The new Guidelines are available on Inside.FEI.org in the Dressage Rules section.

  • 18 Feb 2022
    FEI Dressage World Cup™ 2021/2022 - Revised Rules due to Covid-19

    Taking into account the number of FEI Dressage World Cup™ legs, which were cancelled due to Covid-19 during the 2021/2022 season, the FEI Board accepted modifications to the qualification requirements to participate in the Final of the FEI Dressage World Cup™ 2022 and approved amendments to the Rules 2021/2022. The FEI Dressage World Cup™ 2021/2022 Rules have been updated. You will find the key modifications outlined below:  
    Art. 1.9: The three best results (instead of four) obtained in the qualifying count in the Western European League (WEL), Central European League (CEL), and the Pacific League (PAL).
    Art. 3.4: An athlete may only participate with one horse in the Final. He/she may select the horse of his/her choice, with the restriction that the horse must have started and qualified for at least one (instead of two) Grand Prix Freestyle to Music competition in the current season and have obtained the minimum qualification criteria of 68% in at least one (instead of two) the Grand Prix Freestyle at a CDI-W.
    Art. 9.4.1.
    An athlete may start in the Final with one horse only. […] Having scored at least 68% in the Grand Prix Freestyle to Music in one FEI Dressage World Cup™ Qualifying event (CDI-W) (and no longer on two different occasions).
    Art. stating “For athletes not belonging to one of the recognised Leagues, one of the above results may be obtained at a CDI3*/CDI4/CDI5*/CDIO” has been deleted. Art. 5.2.3 If more starting places are available, these will be allocated to the athlete/horse combination(s) with the highest ranking (as a combination) on the February of the current year FEI Dressage World Ranking List, and who have participated in at least one (and no longer two) CDI-W.

  • 9 Dec 2021
    FEI Events Standards Stakeholder Survey

    The FEI has created a stakeholders survey to ensure the maintenance and continued improvement, of an already existing high standard, at FEI Events. This survey will help the FEI better understand the expectations of its key stakeholders, and the information collected will help guide the future approach of the FEI to ensuring that these are met.

    The survey launches today and will be open until Monday 14 February 2022. We encourage everyone to take part in this survey, which should take no more than 10 minutes, and thank you in advance for your time.

    Take the FEI Events Standards Stakeholder Survey - https://inside.fei.org/hub/fei-events-standards-stakeholders-survey

  • 21 Oct 2021
    Qualification for the 2022 FEI Dressage World Championship

    Taking into account the travel restriction still in place, mainly in Australia and New Zealand, the FEI Board approved the possibility for the Dressage Committee to grant exemptions on a case by case basis to review the requirements related to the appointment of Officials for competitions qualifying for the 2022 FEI Dressage World Championship and allow on-line supervision of competitions when and as appropriate. Judges Supervisory Panel (JSP) technical requirements Guidelines are available here.

  • 7 Oct 2021
    ECS report at WEL CDI-Ws

    During the season 2018-19, the extensive ECS report had been used for the Foreign Judge, Athletes and Grooms. It had been agreed not to use such a long report for the CDI-Ws, and to update and simplify all reports, to be published and implemented for 01.01.2022. The plan was to have the reports in digital form as well in the future.

  • 7 Oct 2021
    Qualification Criteria for Championships 2023

    Qualification criteria for all Championships 2023 have been approved by the Dressage Committee and are published here.

  • 14 Jul 2021
    De-freezing FEI Dressage World Ranking lists

    The FEI Board approved to de-freeze the FEI Dressage World Rankings from 1 August 2021, by four months at a time, which would allow the FEI Dressage World Rankings to be back to its normal 12-month rolling format in December 2021 (for 01.01.2022).

  • 24 Jun 2021
    Modification to the Degree of Difficulty for Grand Prix Freestyle competitions

    The FEI Dressage Committee has approved a modification to the Degree of Difficulty for Grand Prix Freestyle competitions. The modifiers for the DoD will be adjusted so that a combination needs to obtain at least 8.5 (instead of 10) for every element in order to receive a 10 for Degree of Difficulty. This change to the Degree of Difficulty system will come into force as of 01 July 2021 for all Events, when relevant, including the Tokyo Olympic Games.

  • 26 Apr 2021
    Qualification Criteria for 2021 - All Youth Championships

    The FEI Board approved a Covid-19 related resolution to waive the qualification criteria for the 2021 Youth Championships (Children, Juniors, Young Riders, U25 and Ponies) due to the limited opportunities for Athletes to achieve MERs, as a result of the restrictions on travel and cancellations of international events.

    The same process will apply as for 2020, when the qualification criteria for the Youth Championships were also waived and NFs were responsible for selecting their best Athletes.

  • 31 Mar 2021
    FEI Dressage Rules Updated

    Dressage Rules Art. 427.2.2: 

    Due to an administrative error, this article has been updated to reflect the provision approved at the FEI GA in 2020, which was the deletion of the entire art. 427.2.2. 

    A full statement can be found directly in the FEI Dressage Rules available here