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Virginia Dressage Association Charlottesville Chapter

a USDF Region 1 GMO


Let’s Ride!


Runners may drive a golf cart to pick up tests from the competition rings and deliver them to the Scoring Office. This is a very important link to a well-run show. The tests are strictly confidential and should be delivered promptly, preferably after each ride, so that the scorers can calculate and post scores in a timely manner. Runners should use proper etiquette when collecting the score sheets so as not to disturb the judge and may be asked to carry messages, schedule updates, or refreshments to the judge and scribe. The runners are able to observe the show and some of the rides, and this is probably one of the more enjoyable assignments for those who like the active nature of this job.

Ring Setup/Tear Down

Prior to a show, four to five dressage courts must be set up. It takes about 1-1/2 hours to set each ring, so this is a time-consuming activity. More hands make quick work and we can always use help setting up rings. We also decorate rings, hang banners, and post signs on the day before a show. Friday show workers also get a free lunch!

After the show, we must take down and pack up everything that has been set up. This goes faster, but extra help is always needed or the poor show and grounds managers are in for a late night on Sunday.


A skilled position requiring previous experience to scribe at a recognized show. The scribe sits with the judge and records the scores and judge comments for each movement on the score sheet. This is a coveted job because of the educational benefit the scribe receives getting to know how tests are judged and what the judge is looking for. We match the experience and comfort level of the scribe to the appropriate classes. Many scribes are happy to work for a full day (having developed an immunity to writer’s cramp), but we will also schedule half-day assignments for scribes.

Ring Steward

The Ring Steward/Bit Checker is one of the most responsible jobs at a show. USEF requires that every competition ring be monitored by a Bit Checker (Competition Ring Steward). The Bit Checker checks bits, spurs, and whip length and will receive a binder with photos and information on what equipment is legal. They also have a list of the competitors and a show schedule for the ring they are assigned to and can communicate with the announcer via radio. 

The Warm-Up Steward is responsible for keeping track of riders as they enter the warm-up area, informing riders of where they are in the Order-of-Go, and checking off each rider on your list as they enter the ring.