Dressage Today has published a great article about the new CDI Amateur division. Big question is, “What you need to know if you want to enter the Concours Dressage International (CDI) Amateur classes?” This is a Newbies Guide to the CDI, so some of this info will be old to those riders who already have entered a CDI.
A CDI is governed by FEI rules, not the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) or Equine Canada (EC) rules. Although many of them are similar there are some important differences to note such as: No whips, top hats are allowed but helmets are suggested, there is an FEI steward and you need to have them check your tack right after your test (we have to in Canada, but not in the US), stabling is monitored and you need a wristband to enter.
Entering the show is not quite the same as for a national show. You need to know there is other paperwork needed to enter a CDI. You DO NOT NEED an FEI passport if showing in your OWN country (but other documentation is needed – in Canada you can use your EC passport but you have to have it certified by DC, and in the US you can use your coggins papers as long as you follow all the vaccination requirements by FEI competitions). You need an FEI passport if showing in a country other than your own, an FEI registration number for you and your horse, a Platinum EC membership for Canadians, and pay the USEF fee for Americans. You need to go through the FEI registration portal with your home federation to get permission to compete and other documentation to enter the show, and send in the regular entry form.
Ok, now the ammy status part; this part can be a bit confusing. Since the FEI rules cover the CDI competition, they have to define what an amateur is for a CDI. At the moment, an ammy for a CDI is someone who is not ranked on the FEI World Ranking list. Therefore, the rules you know from the USEF and EC do NOT apply for the ammy classes at a CDI.
If you are not sure about the rules, check out the FEI rules here. If you have any questions, ask your competition coordinators or USEF and EC. Another great source of info is John McGinty, who was instrumental in working with the FEI to bring this division to CDIs. Contact him for more information.