Para Equestrian Dressage
Para-Equestrian Dressage is the only Equestrian discipline that is included in the Paralympic Games, where it has been a regular fixture since 1996. With the idea of creating opportunities for all people with disabilities to compete and achieve their goals in equestrian sport, athletes are classified according to the level of their disability/impairment so as to provide for meaningful competition. In 2006, the Para-Equestrian sport joined the ranks of the other 7 disciplines regulated by the FEI, with national and international competitions for Dressage and Driving for individuals with a disability. This led to the FEI becoming the first, and still the only, International Federation to govern and regulate a sport for both the able bodied and disabled athletes.
Competition Venue and Testing
All rules and regulations with regards to competition venues and testing are governed by the same principles as other disciplines. The General Regulations, Statutes and Discipline rules that are available on this site apply. The formula for the shows is the same as for standard Dressage shows with Freestyle tests and also tests where the athletes follow a set programme (link to About Dressage section).
The competitor’s mobility, strength and coordination are assessed in order to establish their Classification Profile. People with similar functional ability Profiles are grouped into competition Grades. The Grades range from for the most severely impaired, to Grade IV for the least impaired. The competition within each Grade can therefore be judged on the skill of the individual competitor on their horse, regardless of the competitor’s disability.