British Dressage: My Quest 2017 explained

If you find affiliated dressage too formal and intimidating but you enjoy flatwork and would like to do dressage in a more informal atmosphere without black jackets and plaits but still be judged by trained BD listed judges then Team Quest and My Quest are the British Dressage competitions designed for you 🙂

Both My Quest and Team Quest have similar rules. For example, both have 2 age categories so that Under 18s do not have to compete against adults. Scores are recorded on regional leader boards and give you the opportunity to qualify for the Regional Final. The top placed Teams or individuals at the Regional Final will then go on to compete at the National Final for Team Quest or My Quest.

This page gives an overview of My Quest. There are lots of links on this page to the relevant page or to download documents from the British Dressage website. To check the full rules or if you have any queries about the detail then download the 2017 Members Handbook and check section 12 page 78 to 81.

When & where are My Quest competitions and Finals held?

My Quest dates for qualification, Regional Final & National Final 2017The start date has changed from 1st February for last years My Quest to 1st December 2016 for the 2017 My Quest competition.

Click for Team Quest & My Quest competition dates for qualifying and for the Finals from the BD website as of 29 March 2017. Note that this list is sorted by Region and not by date so scroll down to find your region.

The Regional Final for both My Quest and Team Quest is listed as the last competition in each region. For convenience the 2017 Regional Finals are on the following map:

The Quest National Final will be held at Bury Farm Equestrian Centre, Buckinghamshire on 27 – 29 October 2017.

The schedules are included in the list of schedules on the BD website. Search for “quest club“. (Do not do what I did and search for quest because the search will return every dressage venue with equestrian in the venue’s name – and that is a lot of venues!)

How are my points calculated? How do I qualify for Finals?

British Dressage My Quest 2016 Infographic - Scoring, Leaderboard & Finals
My Quest 2016 Infographic
  • If there is a tie with competitors on the same number of Ranking Points then the 5 scores (in %) are added together. The competitor with the highest combined % score is higher on the Leaderboard
  • There are Regional Leaderboards and classes at the Regional and National Final for each of the 3 levels (Intro, Prelim & Novice) and at each level a class for the two age categories. So in total there will be 6 classes at each of the qualifying competitions, Regional Final and National Final.
  • The points awarded are only used for the My Quest Leaderboard and do not count towards grading of horse or rider.
  • A key difference to note between My Quest and Team Quest is that My Quest points for the Regional Leaderboard are based on your score and not your place in the final result of the competition. In other words if you get 70% you will still get 6pts whether you are 1st or 10th. (Team Quest points are based your teams place in the final result.)

How do the age categories work?

There are two age categories:

  • Under 18: If the rider has their 18th or under birthday in 2017 then they are eligible to enter the Under 18 category.
  • Open: The rule book states that this category is for riders who are 26 or older in 2017. I believe that this must be an error in the rule book because riders who have their 19th to 25th birthday in 2017 are not able to enter My Quest. I believe that the rule book should state either:
    • riders of any age: which would give under 18s the opportunity to compete against adults if they wish. I can’t see any reason why unders 18s would want to compete against adults! So I believe the next option is what BD actually mean
    • riders who have their 19th or older birthday in 2017: which basically means everybody who isn’t eligible for the Under 18 category!

The age categories will work in the same way as Bronze, Silver, Gold sections at normal affiliated competitions. The two age categories are doing the same test so the two age categories will do their test in front of the same judge so the two age categories can be in any order. The organiser may put all the Under 18s first followed by the Open category or they may randomly mix them. It doesn’t actually matter since the same judge is judging all competitors so the % mark will be the same regardless. However, the results will clearly show the 1st, 2nd, 3rd etc for both the age categories separately.

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Who is eligible to compete in the Bronze sections?

British Dressage has defined Bronze, Silver and Gold sections at each level (Intro to Grand Prix) so that competitors can be confident they are competing against competitors at a similar level of training and experience. Gold is for the most experienced horses and riders (often, but not always, professionals), Bronze is for beginners and Silver is for competitors with experience that falls between Gold and Bronze. My Quest and Team Quest are both limited to competitors who are eligible for the Bronze sections.

The eligibility rules for Gold, Silver and Bronze are defined individually for each level (Intro to Grand Prix). This means that the eligibility section of the Rule Book is the most complex part of the rules. Every competitor must confirm that they are eligible otherwise if you are not eligible to enter a class there is the risk of a £50 fine!

The 2017 eligibility rules have changed significantly from 2016 so just because you were eligible for Bronze in 2016 do not assume that you will still be eligible in 2017.

British Dressage have made it easier for My Quest and Team Quest competitors by including just the Bronze eligibility rules in the My Quest and Team Quest sections in the Members Handbook. So, you must check the 2017 Members Handbook. Section 12 page 78.

The following is a summary of the rules relevant to most people re-worded to be easier to understand so that you can quickly get an idea of whether or not you are eligible. You must check the 2017 Members Handbook to check the actual wording of the rules and also check the rules that I have omitted from this summary (e.g. related to Young Horse competitions) to make absolutely certain that you are eligible and to avoid the £50 fine that may be incurred if you enter the wrong section.

  • Intro: Bronze
    • Rider on any horse: Must only have prelim points. At Area Festivals must have only competed at Prelim level and scored less than 65%. Must not have competed at Regional Championships
    • Horse with any rider: Must have 15 points or less at Novice and absolutely no points at higher levels. At the Winter or National Championships the horse can only have competed at Prelim level.
    • Combination of horse and rider: Scores at Prelim must be under 65%. Must not have competed at the Regional Championships.
      • The rule book does not specify in which competitions Prelim scores must be under 65%. I believe that BD means under 65% in normal competitions that qualify for Area Festivals and Regionals (i.e. not My Quest competitions). If this rule referred to My Quest competitions as well then My Quest’s rule 101 j) on page 80 which states that “five scores of 70% or above in My Quest qualifying competitions (excluding Regionals) must move up to the next level the following year” would be redundant.
  • Prelim: Bronze
    • Rider on any horse: Must have 15 points or less at Novice and absolutely no points at higher levels. At Area Festivals or Regionals must have only competed at Prelim or Novice level and at Novice level scores must be under 65%. Must have never competed at Winter or National Championships in normal or Freestyle tests.
    • Horse with any rider: Must have 15 points or less at Elementary and absolutely no points at higher levels. At the Winter or National Championships the horse can only have competed at Prelim level.
    • Combination of horse and rider: Must have not been placed in the top 3 of a Bronze section at the Area Festival Championship. Must not have competed at the Regionals except for freestyle classes. The combination are permitted to compete in Prelim Bronze if they have scored less than 65% in Novice Freestyle and have not competed in higher level freestyle at the Regionals.
  • Novice: Bronze
    • Rider on any horse: Must have 15 points or less at Elementary and absolutely no points at higher levels. At Area Festivals or Regionals must have scored under 65% at Elementary level. At Area Festivals or Regionals must have only competed at Elementary, Novice or Prelim. Must have only competed at Winter or National Championships at Prelim level in normal or Freestyle tests.
    • Horse with any rider: Must have 15 points or less at Medium and absolutely no points at higher levels. At the Winter or National Championships the horse can only have competed at Novice or Prelim level in normal or freestyle tests.
    • Combination of horse and rider: Must have not been placed in the top 3 of a Bronze section at the Area Festival Championship at Novice or above. At the Regionals the combination is only permitted to have competed at Prelim except for freestyle classes. The combination are permitted to compete in Novice Bronze if they have scored less than 65% in Novice Freestyle and have not competed in higher level freestyle at the Regionals.

Now you have read the summary you must check the 2017 Members Handbook section 12 page 78 to confirm eligibility.

Related rules:

  • If during 2017 your eligibility changes are no longer eligible for the Bronze section at a level then if you have qualified for the Team Quest Regional or National Final then you can compete but you can no longer participate in the qualifying competitions.
  • If you upgrade to Rider Group 4 or higher then you can take no further part in any My Quest competitions – you are not even allowed to compete at the Regional or National Finals if you qualified.
  • Combinations that achieve 5 scores above 70% at a level in My Quest (not Team Quest) must compete at a higher level in subsequent years in My Quest.
    • The rules specifically state that the Quest points are not used for grading. The Bronze criteria are based on Grading points and not Quest points. My assumption is therefore that if you are only competing in My Quest and scoring in excess of 70% every time you compete then you will remain eligible for Bronze because you still have 0 grading points. In other words until you compete in “normal” affiliated dressage classes you will remain in Bronze even though you are scoring over 70% at every My Quest competition. This rule will ensure that combinations scoring in excess of 70% move up the levels in My Quest competitions.

Can I have my tests called? Can I carry a whip? Can my horse wear boots?

My Quest allows callers at the qualifying competitions and also at the Regional and National Finals. So don’t worry if you can’t remember tests especially under the pressure of a big competition you can have a caller at all My Quest competitions.

Whips can be used in all My Quest competitions even the Regional and National Finals.

Boots and bandages cannot be worn. You can warm up with them but they must be removed before you do the test. This is consistent with the rules for normal affiliated dressage competitions.

Can I really compete without a jacket and plaits?

The quick answer is yes – you do not even need the traditional white saddle cloth and white jodhpurs. BD suggests smart casual colours and plaiting is optional.

The only dress restrictions are safety related in relation to hats and footwear …. and no fancy dress!

Who will be judging?

British Dressage’s Listed Judges typically take 6 to 8 months to complete the training as a List 6 judge qualified to officiate for Intro and Prelim tests. On going training enables judges to move up eventually to List 1 judges who can judge tests right up to Grand Prix level. So you can be confident that you are being judged by a trained expert.

LevelsJudge at My Quest2 Judges at Regional Finals
Novice: BronzeList 5 or above1/ List 4 or above at C
2/ List 5 or above
Prelim: BronzeList 6 or above
Intro: Bronze

How much does it cost?

British Dressage are making Team Quest and My Quest more accessible by making it much cheaper to compete in these classes:

  • Horse registration is free with only Associate Registration required for your horse. It currently costs £77 per year to register a horse with British Dressage for normal competitions so this is a significant saving.
  • Rider registration is currently only £25 with either Quest Club or BYRDS membership required. It currently costs £87 per year to register a rider with British Dressage so even though rider registration is not free it is significantly cheaper than standard rider registration.

    So, Horse and Rider registration cost for an ordinary BD member is £77 + £87 = £164 per year but for Team Quest or My Quest registration only costs £25 per year a saving of £139 per year !!! You also save money because you do not need to buy an expensive jacket 🙂

    Note: BD membership prices on 6th December 2016.

    How do you enter?

    Click for the My Quest Entry form or the combined Team Quest and My Quest Entry Form and post to the venue. Check the venue’s website for acceptable methods of payment and some venues may accept online entries.

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