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 impairments to compete and achieve their goals in equestrian sport, athletes are classified according to the level of their 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 an impairment. The FEI was one of the first International Federations to govern and regulate a sport for both able-bodied and athletes with impairments.
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 the FEI website 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.
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 Grade Ia 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 impairment.
Classification Manual for Para-Equestrian Competitions, 4th edition, 2015
FEI Certificate of Diagnosis
FEI Consent for Classification
FEI Medical Review Request Form for Classification
FEI Classification Master List of Para-Equestrian Dressage athletes 25.08.2016
Memo to Organising Committees (OCs) and event officials regarding the elimination of FEI Para-Equestrian ID Cards 18.12.2014
Competitors must wear the appropriate equipment as stipulated in the classification manual, and are only permitted the use of special equipment when this has been formally documented and approved.
Para-Equestrian Dressage has been a regular fixture at the Paralympic Games since 1996. The Paralympic Games are the second largest sporting event in the world after the Olympic Games, and are contested immediately after the Olympic Games in the same city and at the same venue. Read more about Para-Equestrian Dressage and para-sport here:
FEI Para-Equestrian Forum in Essen, Germany (21 & 22 March 2015)
Presentations given on 21 March 2015
- Opening Address (Ulf Wilken, Chair of the FEI Para-Equestrian Committee)
- Para-Equestrian, Where are we now? (Trond Asmyr, FEI Director Dressage & Para-Equestrian Dressage)
- IPC's perspective of the the future of the Paralympic Games (Craig Spence, IPC Director Media & Communications)
- Promotion of Para Equestrian sport - what can we do better? (Craig Spence, IPC Director Media & Communications)
- Changes in society: Towards a sports governing bodies "corporate" social responsibility. A focus on Para-sport. (Prof. Thierry Zintz, Université catholique de Louvain)
- Classification (Sharyn Gregory, FEI Head Classifier)
- Introduction to the Compensating Aids Panel (Hanneke Gerritsen, Chair of the FEI Compensating Aids Panel)
- Rio 2016 Paralympic Games update & Video (Amanda Bond, FEI Technical Delegate for the 2016 Paralympic Games)
Presentations given on 22 March 2015
- Development of Para-Equestrian Reining (Bettina de Rham, FEI Director Reining & Dr Raymond Grether, Deputy Chair of FEI Reining Committee)
- My journey to the podium - an athlete's perspective (Pepo Puch, AUT) (please refer to Pepo's website www.pepopuch.com)
- Our journey to the podium - an NF's perspective (Damian McDonald, Secretary General of IRL NF)
- Changes to our sport (based on workshops and presentations)