CDI Explained

Why is a CDI different from 'ordinary' Dressage Events?

CDI stands for Concours de Dressage International (International Dressage Event) and is recognised by the world governing body of equestrian sports, the Fédération Equestre Internationale (F.E.I.). There are three levels: one-star (*),two-star (**) and three-star (***), with progressively higher requirements and more opportunities.

The Brisbane CDI is at three-star (***) level. The event is run entirely inaccordance with international rules and regulations for equestrian sports, veterinary conditions and international dressage events. As a result, a number of matters are handled differently when compared with most competitions organised under national rules. The event also offers a CDI-Y for our young riders aged from 16yrs to 21yrs, CDI-J for our junior riders aged from 14yrs to 18yrs, and CDI-Under 25 for our youth riders aged from 16yrs to 25yrs.

A few of these may be of general interest:

• Riders have to present their horses at the "trot-up" the day before the event. This is when one or more members of the "Ground Jury" (officiating judges) and the Veterinary Delegate "identify" participating horses against their passports or other official identification papers and check their general soundness. Riders, by the way, are not examined.

• The "time draw", i.e. the determination of when individual horse/rider combinations will actually start in a competition, is made only the evening before, rather than after entries have closed. This adds to the tension of the event (mainly for the riders) and, of course, makes it impossible to show starting times in the program.

• Foreign riders cannot easily bring their own horses to Australia because of strict quarantine regulations and the high cost of air transport from other continents. The exception is New Zealand which has always competed on their own horses within Australia. 

• Riders need to qualify during the event before they can take part in certain competitions. The International Grand Prix Freestyle for example.