dressage and eventing organizations
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Dressage Organizations | FEI | USEF | USDF| Eventing | USEA

Governing Organizations for Dressage Horse Show Competition

dressage salute to judges


The equestrian discipline of dressage is governed by a hierarchy of international, national, and regional equestrian and dressage organizations as indicated below.
Dressage is a stand alone riding discipline as well as part of the eventing sport which includes dressage, stadium jumping, and cross country jumping.

Western Dressage

Western dressage is gaining in popularity and also has a USEF affiliated governing organization known as the Western Dressage Association (WDAA) which provides rules for western dressage. Western dressage combines western riding culture with traditional dressage discipline. To learn more about western dressage, read this glossary of western dressage terms here.


Eventing, sometimes known as combined training, is included in many dressage show organizations at the state and regional level. And of course, dressage is always a part of eventing organizations. Eventing is governed by the USEF Eventing Division.

FEI International Equestrian Federation

The primary mission of the FEI is to advance the orderly growth of equestrian sport worldwide by promoting, regulating and administering humane and sportsmanlike international competition in the traditional equestrian disciplines - FEI Mission Statement.

The FEI is the sole controlling authority for all international events in Dressage, Para-Equestrian Dressage, Jumping, Eventing, Driving, Para-Equestrian Driving, Endurance, Vaulting and Reining. It is an umbrella organization that works in conjunction with the National Federations of each member country to regulate and govern the equestrian disciplines named above. Membership in the FEI is open to the one national governing body from any country which is effectively in control of or is in a position to effectively control at least the Olympic Equestrian Disciplines, and preferably recognized by its National Olympic Committee.

USEF United States Equestrian Federation

Equestrian competitors, leisure riders, coaches, fans and enthusiasts each share a personal bond with the horse. This commonality defines the membership of the United States Equestrian Federation [USEF] which serves as the National Governing Body for Equestrian Sport.

The USEF is dedicated to uniting the equestrian community, honoring achievement, and serving as guardians of equestrian sport. Since its inception in 1917, the Federation has been dedicated to pursuing excellence and promoting growth, all while providing and maintaining a safe and level playing field for both its equine and human athletes.

USDF United States Dressage Federation

Dressage is a French term meaning "training" and its purpose is to develop the horse's natural athletic ability and willingness to work making him calm, supple and attentive to his rider. Competitive dressage involves nine progressive levels incorporating multiple tests within each level. Special tests are also written for musical freestyle, sport horse breeding and performances incorporating multiple horses and riders. Tests are revised every four years by the United States Dressage Federation, the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) and the International Equestrian Federation (FEI).

USEA United States Eventing Association

The USEA is a non-profit 501 C (3), educational organization committed to providing eventing enthusiasts with a competitive level suited to their individual skills. The USEA assists and educates competitors, event organizers and officials. The USEA maintains responsible safety standards and by registering qualified competitions and clinics and the USEA offers a strong and continuous training opportunities. Ultimately, the USEA provides a means for all riders, regardless of age or ability, to experience the thrill of eventing or combined training as it is sometimes known.

WDAA Western Dressage Association of America

The mission of the Western Dressage Association® is to honor the horse and to value the partnership it has provided us on our American journey. Its mission is to provide a model of training and horsemanship which optimizes this partnership for the benefit of both horse and rider. Its mission is to celebrate the American West where all these things came to pass.

USDF Regions

Region 1

Delaware, Maryland, North Carolina, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Virginia.

Region 2

Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, West Virginia, Wisconsin.

Region 3

Florida, Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina and Tennessee.

Region 4

North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri

Region 5

Arizona, Colorado, Eastern Montana, New Mexico, West Texas, Utah, Wyoming

Region 6

Alaska, Idaho, Western Montana, Oregon, Washington

Region 7

California, Nevada

Region 8

Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont

Region 9

Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi