About our shows

Our competitions are held at Briggs Stable in Hanover MA. Tests are run on grass with the exception of Leadline classes which are held in a sand arena. There are both grass and sand warmup areas. Classes may be Junior, Senior, or combined Junior/Senior.  We follow guidelines of USEF and USDF for our competitions - feel free to contact one of our officials if you have any questions.  HDA shows are also PAC approved. 




Volunteer Requirement

 Each rider must complete a minimum of 4 hours of time spent helping to present a show(s), clinic(s) or other Club event to qualify for year-end awards. Time spent can be on any number of tasks the day of a show, as well as setup or take-down of the rings. Scroll down for more details about each type of volunteer that is needed to run a show - all are a great way to meet other dressage enthusiasts and learn about showing.  Other volunteer opportunities outside of show dates may present themselves so please let us know if that is the only time you have available. If you are unable to put in the time yourself, you can also have someone work in your place as a proxy.  This person just needs to be sure to mention you as their designated recipient of the volunteer time.  (Regardless of proxy situations, the person who actually does the volunteering is the person eligible for possible year-end volunteer awards.)   Join our Facebook group to stay updated on volunteer needs!

Year End Awards

Year End Award ribbons for first through fourth place are given for each test during our Annual Awards Banquet in January.  Division prizes for Champion and Reserve Champion are given for each level (Intro, Training, etc.) for Juniors and Seniors (as participation allows). Scroll down to view all Year End Award rules.

2020 Prize List (pdf)


2020 Membership Form (pdf)


2020 Sponsor Form (pdf)


Lead Line Equitation Pattern (jpg)


Lead Line Suitability Pattern (jpg)


Things to Remember

Show Rules

  • Membership forms/fees should be sent to the Membership coordinator prior to the closing date.  You must be a member of HDA by the closing date for the discounted member entry fee and for scores to count toward year end awards.  Please include your HDA member number on your entry form.  It is the competitor's responsibility to ensure that his or her membership is current.
  • All entry materials must be in the Schedule Secretary's hand BY the closing date, regardless of the postmarked date.  Please include a completed and signed entry form, a check for your total entry fees, and a current negative Coggins.
  • MA horses must have a Coggins dated within 12 months of the show date, out of state horses must have a Coggins dated within 6 months of the show date.  Once you submit a Coggins, you will not need to resubmit one for the remainder of the season unless it expires.
  • A Junior is under 18 as of January 1st of the showing year.  If a rider turns 18 during the year, they will still compete as a Junior.
  • Inquiries regarding entries may be directed to the Schedule Secretary.
  • Protective headgear must be worn at all times while mounted
  • Times will be posted on the HDA website ( the Wednesday prior to show date; please no phone calls
  • Classes may be divided into Junior/Senior if entries warrant
  • An individual horse may be entered in a maximum of 4 Introductory Level classes or 4 Introductory and Training Level classes combined.   An individual horse may be entered in no more than 3 classes at Training Level and above. This applies to the comparable Western Dressage Tests as well.
  • Management reserves right to combine, cancel or divide classes if entries warrant
  • No phone entries will be accepted
  • No refunds after the closing date
  • If officials are forced to cancel a show after the closing date and if rescheduling is not possible, HDA will make every effort to make refunds if the show budget permits
  • A $25 fee will be charged for returned checks
  • Lead Line:  The horse and rider will ride a pattern, the horse being led by a handler. 
  • A Step Above Lead Line: The horse and rider will ride a pattern on their own, without a handler. 
  • Lead Line Equitation will be judged based on the rider's position, attentiveness, steady hands and seat, leg position, and feet in the stirrups.  Posting diagonal will not be counted.
  • Lead Line suitability will be judged based on the suitability of horse and rider for the class, manners and obedience of the horse, and attentiveness of horse and rider.
  • For Lead Line entries:  A horse and rider combo in the Pre-Intro Division (includes both Lead Line classes) may not enter any other class at the show. If you have two riders sharing one horse in the same class, you may switch riders (and numbers) once the first rider has completed the pattern, then place yourself at the end of the lineup.  Once a horse and rider combo has entered A Step Above class, they are no longer eligible to enter a Lead Line class. Once a Horse and Rider combo has entered a level above Pre-Intro, they are no longer eligible for the Pre-Intro Division. The Pre -Intro Division classes are not counted towards a horse’s maximum number of classes per show.
  • Pre-Intro (Lead Line) Division Rules:  Classes may be divided at the discretion of the show secretary. Attire: Riders may exhibit in Western or English attire. Jackets and gloves are optional. Equipment on the horse must correspond with rider's attire, including a saddle adjusted so that the rider’s feet are placed properly in stirrups. Handler attire does not need to match. Helmets are required. Handler: The horse must be led by an individual 16 years of age or older. Lead Shank: A lead shank at least six feet long must be attached to the shank of the bit or to a halter that is under the bridle so that while the rider is in the ring, the horse is controlled by the adult. Judges: The class will be judged by a licensed instructor. The judge will not have any of their own students in the class.


Volunteer Roles



(1 for each judge) Scribes write the scores and comments for each movement onto the test sheet as the judge dictates.  They help the judge identify rider numbers and match to score sheets, then hand completed test sheets off to a Runner. It is recommended that this person be a fast writer with clear handwriting who is familiar with dressage terms. 



(1 person.) After every few rides, and in between riders being in the ring, the Runner takes test sheets from the scribes to the scorers. They will check with judges and scribes on whether they need any beverages or refreshments. 



(2 people - can be trained day of.) The Scorers calculate test scores and check against one another to confirm the placings in each class.



(1 person) The Awards volunteer sets up ribbons and prizes for each class. They write scores and ribbon placings on the bulletin board outside the office. They will ensure that each rider receives his/her correct test sheet and award.

Ring Steward


(1-2 people) Ring Steward(s) stand with clipboards near entrance to arena(s) and keeps track of riders. They are the reference point for riders needing to know their showing order, and when they are due in which ring. Stewards communicate via walkie-talkie with the office regarding any scratches, and ensure that riders on on hand to enter ring at assigned time.

Show Set-Up and Take-Down


(Up to 15 people, before and after the show - can be two separate teams.) For setup, volunteers should report to the show grounds the day before show to set up arenas and markers, plus the show office. Set-up takes a few hours. For take-down, volunteers help take apart arenas and stow equipment in the clubhouse. Take-down takes about a half-hour. Volunteers with trucks are especially welcome! 

Year End Award Rules

Year End Award Rules

  • If the same test is ridden more than 2 times, only the top 2 scores will be used to calculate the year-end average.
  • The rider must be an HDA member at the time of the show.
  • The horse and rider must be the same.
  • The rider must show in a minimum of two HDA shows in that year.
  • The same test must be ridden a minimum of two times in HDA shows in that year.
  • Once a horse and rider combination has competed in a Training Level class, they are no longer eligible to enter any USDF Introductory Level Tests.
  • Awards shall be given for the highest average score in each test provided a minimum year-end average score of 55% is achieved.