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What is a CDI?

Why is a CDI different from 'ordinary' Dressage Events?

CDI stands for Concours de Dressage International (International Dressage Event) and recognized by the world governing body of equestrian sports, theFédération Equestre Internationale (F.E.I.). There are three levels: one-star (*),two-star (**) and three-star (***), with progressively higher requirements andmore opportunities.

The Sydney CDI is at three-star (***) level. The event is run entirely inaccordance with international rules and regulations for equestrian sports,veterinary conditions and international dressage events. As a result, a numberof matters are handled differently when compared with most competitionsorganized under national rules.

A few of these may be of general interest:

• Riders have to present their horses at the "trot-up" the day beforethe event. This is when one or more members of the "Ground Jury" (officiating judges) and the Veterinary Delegate "identify" participating horses against their passports or other official identification papers andcheck their general soundness. Riders, by the way, are not examined.

• The "time draw", i.e.. the determination of when individual horse/rider combinations will actually start in a competition, is made only the evening before, rather than after entries have closed. This adds to the tension of the event (mainly for the riders) and, of course, makes it impossible to show starting times in the program.

• Foreign riders cannot easily bring their own horses because of strict quarantine regulations and the high cost of air transport from other continents. The exception is New Zealand which has always competed on their own horses. Selected Countries are invited to send two riders to compete at the event at Prix St. Georges and Intermediate I level on horses provided by local horse owners.

• Riders need to qualify during the event before they can take part in certain competitions. The International Intermediate I Freestyle Competition and the Grand Prix Special are two examples.

• For the International Prix St. Georges Derby, a maximum of two riders per country are invited to participate. This class is deemed a "promotional" competition by the International Federation and carries no significance for rider rankings . Riders compete on horses "drawn from the hat" and have only half an hour before the competition to familiarise themselves with their mounts. This makes the Derby one of the most exciting events of the weekend.