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Houston Dressage Society (HDS) annually hosts dressage shows at three different tiers. Each tier is designed to be progressive from the prior one to help horses and riders grow. Each tier also has somewhat different rules and requirements although the arena with letters is the same.

All three competition tiers offer rider divisions for Youth, Adult Amateur and Open (mostly professionals). The published prize-list for each show contains entry information and fees.

Here is a brief description of each competition tier:

HDS “recognizes” and promotes schooling shows in the community. These local dressage shows are often held at private barns and can offer riders the widest variety of competition options including
Western Dressage, Eventing Dressage and Prix Caprilli (dressage tests with jumps). They usually do not require membership in any organization so are often less expensive than other types of shows.  Formal show attire is not typically required. There are no specific rules although most schooling shows, especially those recognized by HDS, generally follow the rules outlined by the US Equestrian Federation (USEF). HDS hosts one schooling show per year at the same time as the annual HDS Schooling Show Championship.

These shows are licensed or “recognized” by the US Equestrian Federation (USEF) and must follow the
rules and requirements of this national governing body. Competition in these shows requires membership for horses, riders and horse owners in both USEF and the US Dressage Federation (USDF). Riders and owners must also complete online SafeSport training at no cost. Show attire and horse equipment are specifically outlined in the rules. These shows can be used to qualify for various regional and national championships. HDS hosts nine USEF recognized shows each year.

The Federation Equestre International (FEI) is the governing body for the top tier of shows. The international dressage shows, or CDIs, have the same rules across the world including the Olympics and World Championships.  These shows are licensed by the FEI and must follow the strictest rules and requirements of any dressage competition. These shows can be used to qualify for certain national and international championship shows. In the US, most CDIs are held alongside a national show so riders can chose between the two competition options. HDS hosts one CDI each year in April.
at the same time as the HDS Spring Classic I and II national shows.

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