Gear Check

On the day of competition, before you enter the arena for your test, you must first go to Gear Check at least 10 mins prior to starting your test.

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  • You must hand in your Horse Health Declaration before your first test. It is best to hand your horse health declaration into the OC when you first arrive. Then you can ask if there have been any withdrawals from the schedule and you can ride earlier if you wish. You don’t have to, you may remain at the time stated on the draw.

  • You must gear check before every test you ride. You go to gear check mounted. SEG now has a policy of providing an EA Steward for Gear Check. The EA Steward is there to ensure all remains safe, to educate riders and pedestrians of the rules and to ensure the day runs smoothly and on time!

  • Withdrawals can change rider sequence: You must present to Gear Check 10mins prior to start of test. If there have been some withdrawals you may be asked if you wish to ride early.

  • The Gear Check Steward will let you know who is riding ahead of you and confirm which arena you will be riding in. The riders sequence on the draw is important – the flow of riders (no down time) for the Judges is an important factor and to ensure riders names on tests do not get mixed up.

  • Riders must have a bridle number (on both sides of bridle or saddlecloth) – this is a strict rule as Judges have no idea who they are judging if there is no number.

  • Don’t let your support people/caller loiter in the gear check or warm up areas - get them to stand in the pedestrian areas.

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Top points to observe before entering gear check

  • You have an appropriate bridle & bit

  • Your Helmet is up to Code and the chin strap is on tight

  • Gloves on rider – you can loose marks if you do not have them on.

  • Bridle Number on both sides of the horse (bridle or saddle cloth)

  • No boots or bandages on horse

  • Correct clothes on rider, including:

    • Boots: short or tall in brown or black, short boots can be worn with gaitors provided they are the same colour as the boots. For safety reasons, all boots must have either a smooth sole or very light tread, and must have a heel.

    • Jodphurs/Breeches: white, off-white, beige or light canary jodphurs/breeches.

    • Shirt: Can have sleeves that are long, short or capped, or can be sleeveless. Collar can be ratcatcher or business style - a tie must be worn with the latter. For competitive and participant events, the shirt must be white or pale where it would be exposed if wearing a jacket. Colours and patterns are permitted on the sleeves and body of the shirt. For Club days, a tidy polo shirt or ratcatcher-style shirt in any colour is appropriate.

    • For more information on these requirements, including jackets, ties and stocks, please refer to the EA Dressage Rule Book button below.

  • Length of whip – 1.2m for a horse and 1.0m for a pony. Your whip will be measured

    at gear check

  • Appropriate saddle cloth - white is preferred though conservative colours permitted

  • No sign of blood or open wound

  • No first aid dressings

  • Correct spurs and length – spin rowels

  • No extra tack ie martingales etc

  • Bonnets / ear covers allowed – nose nets with prior approval of the ADC (or the OC on a Club day)

The Gear Check Steward will also confirm your name, horses name, the dressage test you are gear checking for, the arena you are riding in. Also, if the arena is running on time. Once the rider before you is walking out of the arena you should start walking up to the judge’s car to present yourself. 

Dress, Saddlery and EquipmentSection 5 – Page 53 to 78

Important Rules you should know before competing. Dressage Events Section 3 Page 34 to 42

Eliminations and PenaltiesAnnex F page 165


  • Withdrawals: If you cannot make it to the competition you must contact the number on the nomination and either ring or text you are withdrawing. If you are doing a critical job such as pencilling must either still make that commitment of find a replacement for you.

  • Safety of Warm Up and Lungeing areas. Safety rules and warm up ring rules apply here. If someone is doing something unsafe, disruptive to another rider, standing and talking in the warm up arena or riding into other horses the grounds steward will step in.

  • No lungeing a rider or lungeing a horse in an area that riders are warming up in. Lungeing is done in the provided lunge ring.


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