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Dressage Rising Stars

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Mission Statement

Our idea to introduce the German format of shows for novice riders is to allow the riders to gain confidence in the arena. Dressage Rising Stars Series is aimed to assist in the creation and production of confident and proficient riders.

The classes are extremely popular in Germany as it is fantastic way of encouraging less experienced riders to compete in a group rather than coming down centre line on their own. The show will help produce competent and confident riders. The series will form part of an early talent identification program of our young riders. The series also has an instructor recognition program which entails an award for the instructors of the winning pupils.

With dressage being the basis of all equestrian disciplines we find it imperative that our young riders are produced correctly to become successful riders. Our series will encourage and grow our young riders to be effective and correct in their positon and use of the aids.


The Series

The series will be held over six events with the final class being held at the South African Derby. The winner of the entire series will participate in the parade at the South African Derby with the winners from the dressage classes. Prizes from sponsors will be on offer. No prize money only rosettes. Riders are judged only on their position. The horses and ponies are not judged. Rider may be of any grade to enter. Any height of horse or pony may be used. This is a non-graded series.



The structure of the show works with three levels of riders,

  • First level is a lead rein class. Walk and trot to be shown
  • Second level: Off lead walk and trot.
  • Third level: Off lead walk trot and canter.

The class program is as follows: all the riders enter at a walk on the right rein at a safe following distance. The announcer introduces who the riders are. As the announcer names, each rider they will be asked to salute whilst in walk.

  • Level one: The announcer then asks the group to walk “large” in the 20x40m arena with no change of rein for level one. The judges during this time are scoring the riders on their position. Each rider is then asked to do an individual 20 metre diameter circle in rising trot and some sitting trot.
  • Level Two: The announcer asks the group to walk large and thereafter to trot. Finally, the group will be asked to walk while each rider does an individual 20 metre circle in both rising and sitting trot.
  • Level Three: The announcer will ask the group to walk large in the 20x60m arena. Thereafter, the group will be asked to trot on. The announcer will then ask for a change of rein. Once the judge is satisfied with what they have seen each of the riders will do an individual canter circle. Once all riders have completed their canter circle, the group will all trot on again and do a “loop through x” a minimum of two times.


If a horse/pony is deemed unsafe it will be asked to leave the arena, but the rider will still receive a rosette.


 Points and awards

    • All the riders will receive a rosette, and the rider with the most impressive position and use of aids will win the class. Only a winner is announced.
    • Points of the riders will be accumulated throughout the series to have an overall winner of each level in which they competed the most in. The series is based on the average of their three best scores. A victor ludorum will be announced at the end of the series.
    • The top 10 riders in each level based on the average of their top three scores will go through to the final Championship show at The South African Derby in October.
    • The rider must attend a minimum of three shows.
  • Instructor recognition program and the winning instructor will be awarded at the Gauteng Dressage awards.




Horses and ponies

  • Each horse/pony may do a maximum of two tests per day with a different rider.
  • Horses and ponies may go in a triangle rein with a snaffle bit.
  • Off lead classes horse/pony may go in a pelham with connectors and no triangle rein.
  • Horses and ponies need to be registered as recreational horse with Dressage South Africa (DSA).
  • Horses and ponies of any level height or grade may be used.
  • DSA rules apply for saddlery and no boots or overreach boots are allowed on the horses or ponies.

Triangle reins

  • Triangle reins are recommended as this teaches a rider about the correct frame of the horse. The correct use of triangle reins will be explained through training days and assistance will be given by various coaches and judges, both at shows and at training days.
  • DRSS will supply contact names for assistance with the training of the triangle rein


  • The riders need to be registered with DSA as recreational riders; which is free of charge.
  • Age of riders: May compete in the series until the end of the year they reach the age of fourteen
  • All entries to be done online with DSA.
  • Riders can be any level.
  • A rider may enter any of the levels throughout the series.
  • Dress code: as per DSA rules with the exception that a white golf shirt is allowed with no jacket in the qualifying classes
  • No whip is allowed in lead rein
  • A running martingale and or neck strap is allowed.