A Guide to ODS Shows

ODS offers diverse show opportunities for members and dressage riders of all experience levels. These shows include schooling opportunities for young horses and riders just getting started through nationally recognized USDF/USEF competitions.

Show Entry Forms + Award Rules

You can find all ODS show-related entries, award rules, and application forms in our Forms + Documents library.

Schooling Shows

Schooling shows offer a fun atmosphere for all levels of exhibitors and horses to practice their rides. They are also great for introducing young or new horses to the show atmosphere; setting learning objectives; and having fun. Schooling shows include judging with scoring and comments but do not count toward awards nor are results reported to ODS, USDF or USEF. Schooling shows are not required to hire licensed judges.

The rules for schooling shows are set by the show management; however ODS encourages management to follow the ODS League Show Rules. Schooling shows hosted by ODS members or chapters can apply for ODS Insurance.

Check the Show + Event Calendar to find a show, or contact your local ODS chapter

League Shows

​ODS League shows provide a “second tier” level of competition intended to prepare the horse and rider for USEF-Licensed (“Recognized”) shows. Most USEF show rules are followed. However, one key exception is that league shows allow for relaxed rider attire. Judging is generally by USDF “L” program graduates (the first tier of judging recognized by USEF).

ODS League shows are open to all. That is, you do not need to be an ODS member to compete at an ODS League Show. However, you must be a member to compete for ODS League Show Final Awards and to be eligible for ODS League Show Horse/Rider Awards.

Classes from Introductory through Second Level including Freestyle, Pas De Deux and Quadrilles are offered and scores from these classes count toward year-end ODS League Horse/Rider awards for ODS members. Additional classes that do not count toward year-end awards may include upper level classes and other dressage tests (Para-Equestrian, Western Dressage, and Eventing).

You will also find the qualifying rules and application forms for League Show Horse/Rider and League Show Finals awards in our Forms + Documents library.

Show management and ODS would appreciate you filling out the League Show Evaluation form (located with the rest of the forms) after the show. It will help all of us to bring improvements to the League Show experience!

USDF Licensed Shows

​Licensed shows are the top tier of ODS-approved dressage competitions. They are recognized/licensed by USEF and USDF, follow USEF and USDF show rules, and offer classes from Training Level through Fourth Level, including Freestyles, Pas De Deux and Quadrilles. FEI tests and Materiale classes are also offered at most Licensed shows. Everyone is welcome at these shows.

You and your horse must be members of the USEF and USDF organizations to compete in these events.

Please go to the USEF website to join or renew your membership

Your ODS membership automatically enrolls you as a USDF Group member, so you can enter Licensed shows using that number.

If you want to compete for USDF Awards (Horse of the Year, Vintage Rider, etc.) , you must become a USDF Participating Member. Please visit the USDF website for more information about upgrading  from a Group to Participating membership.

In order to compete at the ODS Championship Show in September (which is a licensed show), you must earn your qualifying scores at licensed, ODS-approved shows, and have a current ODS membership. This is the same criteria for year-end ODS Licensed Show Horse/Rider Awards.

To compete at the USDF Region 6 Championships, you must obtain your scores from Licensed shows and be a USDF Participating Member at the time scores are earned. Please see the USDF  website for more information.