As an Equestrian Canada member, whether a coach, competitor, owner or person(s) responsible, one must keep current on the rules relevant to their discipline, as well as the General Regulations of our sport. Far too often, many rely strictly on the Steward to provide the rules to them when required. It is so important to ensure that all members keep relevant with all the changes and updates yearly so that they are aware of issues that might ultimately affect them at a competition.

What are the top EC Rule Changes for 2019?


Athletes must submit copies of their EC Para-Dressage Medical Forms and/or a copy of the EC Classification Master List that identifies the adaptive (compensating) aid(s) that they are permitted to use in competition with their entries and carry copies with them at all times while on the competition grounds.

A competition must have a qualified veterinarian present or on call for the duration of the time that competition horses are to be on site at the EC-sanctioned event. The veterinarian must be licenced in the jurisdiction of the competition and affiliated with an accredited practice. The veterinarian(s)
will be present or on call for regular and out-of-hours emergencies.

Examination, Sample Collection and Testing
Horses on competition grounds that stagger, collapse, die or are euthanized at the site of or during competition, where possible are required to undergo medication control (drug testing).

Officials must perform their duties in person on the competition grounds, and may not officiate in absentia. Failure to uphold these requirements will result in: first offence – warning; second offence – suspension of EC officials’ licence for a period of one year.


Bits made of metal or rigid synthetic material are usually coloured silver, gold or white.; more modern bits include blue and other colours, which are permitted.

In Gold and Silver competitions stirrups are silver or black; in Bronze competitions coloured stirrups may also be used.

Misc. equipment
Allowed in warmup only: Two-way communication devices provided that the athlete uses only one earpiece to enable him/her to hear any directions from the steward.


Retirement Ceremonies
Horses officially retired at a retirement ceremony may only be permitted to enter further sanctioned competitions if, at the request of the owner, written approval is provided by Equestrian Canada, Dressage Department. The owner must outline clearly in writing the rationale for the horse to be entered in further competition following retirement, e.g. to provide a schoolmaster to develop future riding talent for Team Canada.


Body Protector/Inflatable Vest
A body protector vest is mandatory for the warm-up and the cross-country test … and may also be worn for the warm-up and during other tests. Body protector vests must meet or exceed, and be appropriately labelled, as ASTM-approved standard F1937 or BETA Level 3 body protector standard.

An inflatable vest may be worn over an approved body protector vest during the warmup for and during the cross-country test, and as a standalone item for the warm-ups for and during the dressage and jumping tests, only if it has been approved for use without a body protector vest by the manufacturer.


Jumpers – Bell
In the event of a fall of an athlete and/or horse at any time from the moment the athlete/horse combination enters the competition arena up until the moment they cross the starting line in the correct direction, whether or not the signal to start has been given, the combination will not be permitted to start in the round or the competition in question and the bell must be rung accordingly.

For full details on all new 2019 rules, visit