Para Dressage is the sport of Dressage, the highest expression of horse training, for Athletes with an impairment. Conducted under the same basic rules, but with Athletes classified according to the level of their impairment, the horse has to perform at a walk, trot and canter, and all tests are ridden from memory and follow a prescribed pattern of movements. The only exception is the Freestyle which is specifically choreographed for each horse and is performed to music.
Para Dressage is the only Equestrian discipline included in the Paralympic Games, where it has been a regular fixture 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.
The popularity of Dressage and Para Dressage has increased rapidly in recent years, with new nations competing at the top level attracting large crowds around the world. Check out the FEI’s online Para Sport magazine – The Para Equestrian Digest – launched in February 2022 and created for Para Equestrian athletes and the people connected to the sport so they can share – in their own words – their personal experiences and disability stories. Every month, the Digest puts the spotlight on an athlete or project in Para Equestrian sport with the aim of improving disability awareness and inclusion.
Competition Venue and Testing
All rules and regulations with regards to competition venues and testing are governed by the same principles as all other FEI disciplines. The General Regulations, Statutes and Discipline rules available on the FEI website apply. The formula for events is the same as for standard Dressage events with Freestyle tests and also tests where athletes follow a set programme.
A dedicated page is available for FEI Classification details and the relevant documentation. Please click here.
Competitors must wear the appropriate equipment as stipulated in the Para Dressage Rules, and are only permitted the use of special equipment when this has been formally documented and approved. Please click here.
History of Para Equestrian within the FEI
Born from the desire to create opportunities for all people with impairments to compete and achieve their goals in equestrian sport, in 2006, Para Equestrian sport joined the ranks of the other 7 disciplines regulated by the FEI. International events for both Dressage and Driving, for individuals with an impairment, were established making the FEI one of the first International Federations to govern and regulate a sport for both able-bodied athletes and athletes with impairments.
The Para Equestrian Technical Committee have tasked the Para Dressage Tests Working Group to develop a new set of tests to be in use from 1 January 2025.
The level of competition at CPEDI3* and above has risen in the time since the tests were last updated for 2017, so the working group will be tasked to update the Para Grand Prix tests (used for CPEDI3* and above), and to then see if changes are needed to have a structured progression of technical levels in CPEDI1* and CPEDI2*.
Stakeholder input is always an integral part of the test update process, so that the group can be made aware of expectations and suggestions for the changes to be made.
We ask National Federations please send the Para Dressage Tests Survey 2025 out to Athletes, Coaches, Judges and Classifiers to have the maximum input from stakeholders before the Working Group get underway.
You can either click on the following link or copy and paste it to your browser - https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/P52KGNJ.
Para Dressage Qualification Criteria
Following some questions, we would like to clarify the qualification criteria in Para Dressage from CPEDI2* to CPEDI3*.
All new athletes wishing to compete in a CPEDI3* must reach a qualifying score of 60% in any test at a CPEDI2*, or CDI1* or above. Scores achieved in CDIs must have been obtained in the 12 months prior to the Athletes first appearance in a CPEDI3*. Athletes who had competed in CPEDI3* events prior to 2023 are automatically qualified to compete at that level.
We would like to emphasise that it is the responsibility of the Athlete’s NF to make sure that Athletes are qualified for CPEDI3* events.
CPEDI3* Qualification Criteria for 2023
The Board approved the modifications to the Para Dressage Qualification Requirements for CPEDI3* Events, allowing athletes to achieve a minimum score of 60% in a CDI1* (or above). Scores achieved in a CDI must have been obtained in the 12 months prior to the athlete’s first appearance in a CPEDI3*.
The updated Requirements will be published here.
The FEI Para Dressage Department would like to collect information on National Classifiers around the world. Therefore, we would be grateful if you could provide us with the following information regarding your National Classifiers:
- How many active National Classifiers do you have in your country? (active = classifying in the last four (4) years)
- Is your National Federation trying to increase the numbers of Classifiers?
- Have you held a National Classifier Course in the last four (4) years? If yes, what year did you run it?
- Are you planning to run a National Classifier Course in the next twelve (12) months? If yes, when?
To reply to the short survey please click here.
For more information about the Para Classifiers Education System, please consult the Education System for Para Dressage Officials page.
If you are interested in developing Para Dressage in your country, please consult the FEI Para Dressage World Challenge page, which was launched this year.
As 2022 draws to a close, we are pleased to bring to your attention the latest information on preparations for the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
The attached document contains detailed updates on:
- Paris 2024 Equestrian Delivery Entity: Appointment of GL Events Equestrian Sport
- Jumping Co-Course Designers for Paris 2024 Olympic Games
- Eventing Course Designer Pierre Le Goupil Paris 2024
- Competition schedule for Paris 2024 Olympic Games
- Eventing Horse Inspection
FEI RULES AND REGULATIONS
- Paris 2024 Olympic Games
- Paris 2024 Paralympic Games
QUALIFICATION OF NATIONS
- Qualification systems for Paris 2024 Olympic Games
- FEI Olympic Group Qualification Events (Jumping, Dressage, Eventing)
- Paris 2024 Paralympic Games - Para Dressage Qualification System
PARIS 2024 VENUE TESTING ACTIVITIES
Accreditation FOR HORSE OWNERS
We hope you find this information useful and take the opportunity to wish a very Happy and Merry Holiday Season!
The FEI Para Equestrian Committee, together with FEI Solidarity and the relevant Sport Department, are pleased to inform you of the introduction of the FEI Para Dressage Challenge, effective as of January 2023. This first edition will be proposed as a “pilot” phase throughout 2023.
The format is designed to offer three different levels of Competition, ranging from Beginner to Advanced. For the Beginner and Foundation levels, the Para Dressage tests will be below the first level required at international Para Dressage events, and for the Advanced level the lower Para Dressage test from CPEDI1* events will be used. All Para Dressage test are available on the dedicated page of Inside.FEI.org.
The FEI Para Equestrian Committee hopes that this new programme will help new NFs develop Para Equestrian activities in their region.
The FEI Board held its monthly teleconference on 6 December. The main resolution related to Para Dressage taken on this occasion is listed below.
Para Dressage World Ranking List Rules 2023
The Board approved the Para Dressage World Ranking List Rules for 2023 with the modification to the maternity leave provisions as outlined above.
The updated rules are available here.
The FEI, in cooperation with the Organiser of the CPEDI 3* Waregem (BEL) and the International Blind Sports Federation (IBSA), is pleased to inform you that Para Equestrian Athletes with vision impairments will have the opportunity to be internationally classified in Waregem on 19 April 2023.
No fee will be charged to athletes attending this particular Classification Evaluation.
National Federations are kindly requested to submit their VI Classification requests to the Para Dressage Department by Wednesday, 8 March 2023 at the latest with the following documents:
All of the above forms can be found on the FEI Para Equestrian Classification webpage and must be completed in full, legibly and in English or with a signed translation in copy. All Athletes, including Athletes with a Review status, must supply all of the above documents, which must be current, i.e. completed in the last 12 months.
Please also note if the Athlete will be competing at the CPEDI 3* Waregem (BEL) and will require transportation to the Classification Evaluation.
We are pleased to inform you that the FEI Secretary General has approved the FEI Calendar for 2023 for all disciplines. It can be consulted online in the FEI Database.
In accordance with the FEI General Regulations, Article 112 Official Calendar, National Federations (NFs) had until 1 October 2022 at the latest to send in applications and modifications to CIs taking place in 2023 to the Secretary General. The Secretary General approves the official Calendar for the following year.
Approval of the 5* Jumping Calendar for 2024 is scheduled for late November/early December 2022 but could be postponed should the FEI General Assembly in Cape Town (RSA) approve FEI’s proposal to change the deadline for receipt of applications for 5* to 1 May (the year before the Event takes place).
In addition, the Secretary General has extended the measure taken on 28 February 2022 to remove all international equestrian events in Russia and Belarus from the FEI Calendar. As a consequence, no FEI events will be accepted/entered in either country in the FEI Calendar for 2023.
The other measures approved by the FEI Executive Board in February remain in place, as follows:
Detailed information on the decision taken by the FEI Executive Board on 28 February is available here.
The Secretary General has also confirmed that the FEI Board’s Emergency Board Resolution of 2 March 2022 prohibiting all Russian and Belarusian Athletes, Horses and Officials from participating in FEI Events remains in place until further notice.
Should you have any questions, please send an email to email@example.com.
FEI Hybrid General Assembly 2022 - Agenda & Annexes
We are pleased to inform you that the Agenda & Annexes for the FEI Hybrid General Assembly taking place in Cape Town (RSA) from 10 to 13 November 2022, have been published in the GA hub on Inside.FEI.org.
You will also find the supporting documents for the FEI Sessions (Equine Ethics & Wellbeing Commission; General Regulations & Calendar related proposals; Rules Session; and, Paris 2024 Rules) to be held on 12 November also available in the Meeting Documents section of the GA hub.
For further information on the FEI Hybrid General Assembly 2022, visit the GA hub and don’t hesitate to contact us should you have any questions.
Recruitment begins for new FEI Director Dressage, Para Dressage & Vaulting
The FEI is looking to recruit a new Director for the Dressage, Para Dressage & Vaulting Department to replace outgoing Director Bettina De Rham, who will be leaving at the end of the year to explore new horizons and to whom we wish all the very best and thank for her many years of service.
The detailed job description can be found here and the FEI encourages NFs and Associate Members to share this news with relevant professionals that meet the requirements of this important role.
The deadline to apply is 25 November 2022.
The new and updated Draft Schedules 2023, to be used for all international events taking place next year, are now available on inside.FEI.org.
Below you will find the direct links to the schedules for each discipline as well as the relevant contact email should you require further information and/or assistance:
Click here for Jumping // Person in charge : firstname.lastname@example.org and/or kevin.Guttmann@fei.org
Click here for Dressage // Person in charge: email@example.com
Click here for Para Dressage // Person in charge: firstname.lastname@example.org
Click here for Eventing // Contact email: email@example.com
Click here for Vaulting // Person in charge: firstname.lastname@example.org
Click here for Driving // Contact email: email@example.com
Click here for Endurance // Contact email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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