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Dressage

Find out how to earn AQHA points in dressage points.

Honey Bright Dream and Patrick Marley

AQHA began recognizing dressage competition in 2010. Dressage competitors can now earn Incentive Fund payout, year-end awards and AQHA points aboard their American Quarter Horse. 

Starting in 2014, dressage may be offered at an AQHA show or special event and must be judged by a licensed United States Equestrian Federation/United States Dressage Federation judge.

AQHA recognizes levels of dressage competition starting with Training Level, continuing through First Level, Second Level, Third Level, Fourth Level, FEI Prix St. George, FEI Intermediate I, FEI Intermediate II, and FEI Grand Prix. Freestyle is not recognized.

Point Conversion

Dressage is based on percentage scoring. Since the American Quarter Horse show industry has always been a point-driven system based on numbers of class entries, AQHA has created a conversion table to allow dressage participants to accumulate points towards the Register of Merit award, AQHA Incentive Fund and year-end high-point awards.

Points earned in all dressage levels, with the exception of Training Level, are eligible for Incentive Fund payout. A horse must be enrolled in the Incentive Fund, with a current competition license on file, in order for the owner to receive payback for points earned.

The Incentive Fund is a multimillion-dollar program involving stallion and foal nominations with paybacks to the stallion nominators, foal nominators and owners of the competing horses. Each point earned at an AQHA-approved show in the open and/or amateur division by an Incentive Fund-nominated horse will be worth a specific amount. For more information, see www.aqha.com/invest.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Horse must be AQHA registered, and the exhibitor must have a current individual AQHA membership.
  • Open, amateur and youth eligibility will be based on AQHA criteria.
  • AQHA dressage competition license will be required with a fee of $85 for the lifetime of the horse paid to AQHA.

Find an Approved Show

Use the online AQHA show calendar at www.aqha.com/showschedule to find an AQHA-approved dressage show near you. The online show calendar is categorized by month, then date and type of event. 

Dressage Event Approval

Are you headed to a USDF/USEF show that is not AQHA-approved? Encourage show management to fill out a dressage show application form and get your USDF/USEF show approved through AQHA. You can start your AQHA showing career today! 

For more information, view the show management fact sheet or exhibitor fact sheet, or contact Terrie Lovelady.