Please read carefully, recognition criteria have been updated as of February 28, 2022. 

NOTE: The 2022 WDAA World Championship Show will require qualification.

There are two ways to qualify for the 2022 World Championship Show:

  • Show at the 2021 WDAA World Championship Show
  • Show in at least one 2022 WDAA Recognized show (including online shows) between January 1 and September 30, 2022 and earn a 60% or higher in ANY test at ANY level.

Questions? Please contact [email protected]


The criteria for WDAA Show Recognition provides the opportunity for all horses to be judged on a level playing field when they compete in western dressage classes. Exhibitors can also be assured that management and officials at these shows are competent and knowledgeable.

  • Participants in the WDAA Horse Lifetime Points and Awards Program (WHLPAP) can only earn points at WDAA Recognized shows. For all WHLPAP information, please visit **https://wdaalifetimepoints.org/**
  • A unique show identification number will be assigned by WDAA for all recognized shows and WDAA will provide an exclusive branded digital logo for advertising and promotion.
  • All WDAA recognized shows are posted on the WDAA Event Calendar. The location, name of show, and Show Recognition number are shown on the calendar with a blue background. All current WDAA recognized shows can be found HERE.
  • All WDAA Recognized Shows will be governed by the USEF WD Rule Book and must adhere to USEF WD rules for all tests and rail classes.
  • All WDAA Recognized Shows must comply with Safe Sport Sanctions by denying entrance to show grounds for anyone listed on the Safe Sport Sanction page https://www.usef.org/compete/resources-forms/rules-regulations/safe-sport-sanctions. Please see USEF General Rule 703 for details on the regulations of suspended persons.
  • Some rules for WDAA Recognized Shows licensed as USEF Lite supersede the USEF Lite rules. View the USEF/WDAA Competition Comparison Chart HERE


1.      To apply for WDAA Recognized Show status, we recommend submitting at least 30 days prior to the show start date to allow time for processing and promotion of the recognition status.

2.      Individual applications and fees must be submitted for each individual show. 

3.      The online submission form is provided below on this page and provides for payment by PayPal or by check. Be aware that payment by check will delay receipt of the submission and approval of the show.

4.      The show must use current WDAA tests (available at www.westerndressageassociation.org). Please display test information in prize lists and websites as “WDAA Western Dressage tests”, not “USEF Western Dressage tests”.

5.      A designated person or USEF steward must check horse, tack, and attire of at least one-third of the horses in a class. Any horse must be eliminated from the test if a horse or any tack is in violation of the rules. An electronic copy of the EQUIPMENT GUIDE is provided to each show management.

6.      All WD tests and rail classes must be judged by USEF-licensed Western Dressage judges. Find USEF-licensed Western Dressage Judges in the WDAA directory or the USEF licensed officials page.

  •   USEF “r” Western Dressage judges are approved to judge Western Dressage Intro, Basic, and Level 1 tests and Western Dressage Suitability, Hack, and Equitation rail classes.
  •   USEF “R” Western Dressage judges are approved to judge all levels of Western Dressage tests and Western Dressage Suitability, Hack, and Equitation rail classes.
  •   Dressage Judges and L graduates are not eligible to judge WDAA recognized shows. 
  •   Any changes in judging assignment (before or during the show) must be sent to WDAA as soon as the change is known by the show manager.

7.      On show entry forms, please include fields for owner and rider WDAA membership numbers. These fields are not required, but will help us to compile program data.

8.      If your show is to be licensed by USEF, please do not submit the show for WDAA recognition until you have received approval and show number from USEF. 

9.     Canadian shows can be recognized by WDAA only if judged by USEF-licensed western dressage judges.

10.  Proof of insurance is NOT REQUIRED.

11.  WDAA retains the right of final approval for recognition of all events.

12.  Western dressage shows or divisions that are USEF-licensed Regular or Local shows require that all riders, owners, and trainers are WDAA members or pay a non-member fee. The form for reporting members and non-members at the show is available HERE. Members may join WDAA at the show using a membership form to be provided at the show office. USEF Lite shows/divisions do NOT require WDAA membership.


Show results must be submitted in standard computer format (DAT, CSV, XLS, XML preferred; no pdf files please) within 14 days to [email protected].


  • To be recognized by WDAA, online shows must meet the same criteria for recognition as do live shows (see criteria above)!
  • Online shows are available from a number of providers. All that meet the required criteria are eligible for WDAA show recognition.
  • Videos of tests must be unedited from start to finish. They must be one continuous recording.
  • After entering the arena, prior to beginning the test a sign must be held up showing the name of the show, date of the show and horse’s name. The sign must be held in the top right corner of the frame so it will not interfere with the view of the center line for the judge. Remove the sign just before beginning the ride.
  • Ridden tests may be submitted to ONLY ONE online show. A video of a test/ride from another competition that has already been judged must be eliminated. Any video suspected of having been filmed during another competition will not be scored.
  • As soon as the test is finished, the camera must circle the horse and rider showing equipment and attire.
  • Following equipment check, the rider will dismount and drop the bit so it can be recorded.
  • The test must be videoed from C, where the judge would normally be seated.
  • The test may be called.
  • Coaching during the test is not allowed.
  • The natural background sound for the test must be audible. Tests with no sound at all will not be accepted.
  • Bridle or saddle pad numbers are not allowed.
  • Online shows recognized by WDAA earn half points.


  • USEF-licensed Shows Judged by USEF-licensed Western Dressage Judges earn double points for horses enrolled in WHLPAP.
  • Test scores at the WDAA World Championship Show earn triple points for horses enrolled in WHLPAP.
  • If a WDAA Recognized Show is double-judged by 2 USEF-licensed Western Dressage judges, only one score from one judge per ride can be submitted. You may pick the higher score of the two judges for each ride to submit.
  • Submissions from these tests and rail classes described above will be doubled within the WDAA Horse Lifetime Points and Awards Program software
  • In no circumstances may a horse earn more than double points for a single ride, except at the WDAA Western Dressage World Championship Show, where a single ride earns triple points.
  • Scores earned at non-USEF–licensed WDAA Recognized Shows are not eligible for double points in the WDAA Lifetime Points and Awards Program.