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What does a Dressage Technical Delegate do?

The Technical Delegate is a resource for all aspects of competition and the liaison between USEF to show management, competitors, and judges. Competitors, judges, and show management can go to the TD for assistance.

Every rated horse show has a TD on site for the following reasons:

  1. Safeguard equine welfare.

  2. Assist with ensuring management provides a safe and fair competition to everyone participating.

  3. Protect the interests of competitors, judges, and show management.

  4. Answer questions and respond to any concerns.

The TD performs equipment checks to make sure that competitors are not using bits, spurs, and other equipment that have been ruled illegal for competition use. The TD is often seen walking or driving a golf cart around the showgrounds depending on the size of the show to make sure that all of the horses are being treated properly and safely. The most important duty of a TD is to protect the welfare of any horse on the show grounds. It is important to make sure that horses' aren't being over-ridden, in severe distress, have excessive spur or whip marks, and most importantly there is no blood in the horses' mouth.

The TD assists show management by inspecting the competition and warm-up arenas for potential safety hazards that need to be addressed. If stabling is offered at a show, the TD will inspect the area to make sure there aren't any hazards to horses being stabled on site.

The TD will regularly check in with the stewards (ring & warm-up) and the equipment checker to make sure there are no problems. Judges can call the TD for assistance on making an elimination ruling based on attire, equipment, or other issues that may arise.

USDF updated their strict attire mandates recently and it is important that the TD has a full understanding of the new rules. For example, we can now show without a jacket if the show shirt has an integrated collar but if the show shirt does not have an integrated collar, a jacket and stock tie are still required.

I have a lot of reading to do on all that nuances that a TD may have to deal with but I am ready for the challenge. I am going to learn a lot during this journey which I am excited for. There are not as many TDs as there are judges, so I will have the opportunity to travel the country as a TD as well.

Finance update:

Currently flights from Philly to Lex are around $6-700 and that's not even non-stop which is annoying. I am leaning towards driving to the measurement clinic. My plan is to leave Wednesday afternoon and drive back Friday because the SLM rated shows are that same weekend. I am hoping to get to work the shows in one of the positions needed for my eligibility requirements. I haven't looked at hotels yet, but I should be able to find something reasonable near KYHP. I may even be able to crash with a friend if I can't. I would like to see them if I get the chance before heading home. More to come soon!

Thank you for reading!

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