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.
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.
Over 70 participants representing 23 National Federations attended the FEI Para Equestrian Forum 2019 in Lamotte-Beuvron (FRA) from 25-26 May, where a number of key topics were presented, discussed and debated.
The Forum, which was hosted by the Fédération Francaise d’Equitation (FFE), was opened by their Secretary General Frédéric Bouix followed by Paralympic athlete Rodolpho Riskalla from Brazil, setting the scene and tone for productive discussions and meetings throughout the weekend.
Moderated by FEI Para Equestrian Committee Chair Amanda Bond, some of the key topics explored during the Forum were: Classification and the FEI’s Classification Research Project; Tokyo 2020 preparations and climate mitigation; Athlete Welfare and Safeguarding; Coaching from grass roots to International level; Compensating Aids; Para Driving; and an update on FEI Education for Officials. Interactive workshops on the FEI Competition structure, the development of the sport at all levels, in new nations and specifically for the youth demographic were also held.
For more information about the forum please click here.
The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) have opened the process for candidatures to apply for positions on various standing committees. The appointments which are open to candidates are:
In addition, the IPC Governing Board is also launching a call for candidates for the IPC Anti-Doping Committee (eight members, one member being a Paralympic athlete, including the position of Chairperson).
*Note: Athletes suggested for the Paralympic athlete positions have to meet the “eight-year criteria”, which means that he/she should not have retired from sport on a Paralympic Games level for longer than eight years.
Please find at the following link the Call for Candidates from the IPC and the IPC Diversity and Inclusion Policy. For more information, and for the application form please contact Chloe Harty. The deadline for candidates to apply is 27 April 2018.
In preparation for a Vision Impairment (VI) Classification opportunity in 2018, please let us know of any athletes with either new or review status who will require a VI Classification in 2018. The location and date of this classification event are not yet confirmed and will be dependent on the athletes requiring classification.
Please forward this to the person in charge of Para-Equestrian in your Federation.
Questions can be addressed to Chloe Harty.
Hereafter you can find the process to make a FEI Classification request that has not changed since its implementation in January 2017. Please forward this to the person in charge of Para-Equestrian in your Federation.
1. New athletes requiring FEI Classification for the first time - must apply through their NF to the FEI by completing the FEI Classification Request Form
The Classification request must be made by the athlete’s NF and include:
The Classification request must be received by the FEI at least six (6) weeks before the next international competition where the athlete intends to compete.
The Organising Committee for the international competition where the athlete will be evaluated will charge a non-refundable fee of 40 EUR or equivalent at the time of entry.
2. Athletes who are FEI classified and listed on the FEI Classification Master List with a status of Review (R)
3. Athletes listed on the FEI Classification Master List with a status of confirmed or review with a fixed review date requesting a review because their impairment and activity limitations are no longer consistent with their current grade must apply through their NF to the FEI by completing a medical review request form.
Making a Medical Review Request
The medical review request must be made by the athlete’s NF and include:
Please be advised of the following:
- 2018 FEI Calendar of Classification opportunities for Para-Equestrian Athletes
As previously announced in the 2018 FEI Para-Dressage proposed rules - subjected to be approved at the FEI General Assembly - the 2018 FEI Calendar of Classification opportunities can be found on FEI.org.
We would like to draw your attention to the fact that if any CPEDI has been added to the FEI Calendar during the year, the following article 8438 applies:
Article 8438 - Classifiers
1. Classification will be offered at the discretion of the OC/NF and must be announced as soon as the event is added into the Calendar of FEI Events (deadlines: refer to calendar rules). Each NF hosting an International Competition must nominate at least one International Event where Classification will be offered.
2. Classification, for nominated International Competitions where Classification takes place, is carried out in line with the IPC Classification Code by a Classification Panel of two (2) FEI PE Classifiers with at least one (1) classifier being from a different NF to the Athlete. For all CPEDI3* and above, two (2) FEI PE Classifiers must be present, and one (1) classifier must be from a foreign NF. The Classifiers must remain until the first appearance is completed of all Classified Athletes.
In terms of organisation, if you have athletes that need to be observed at their next appearance in competition, this means that they have to be observed by FEI Classifiers during an FEI Event where FEI Classification is offered and will not be able to compete until this is completed.
Sabrina Ibáñez (SUI), Secretary General of the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI), has been elected as President of the newly-founded Association of Paralympic Sports Organisations (APSO). The vote took place at the founding General Assembly of the Association in Abu Dhabi (UAE) today.
The FEI Secretary General was standing for election alongside Maureen Orchard (CAN), former President and now Secretary General of the International Wheelchair Basketball Federation (IWBF), with four votes in favour of Mrs Orchard and 12 votes for Mrs Ibáñez.
Mrs Orchard, who has chaired the working group that was formed following the decision to dissolve the IPC Sports Council at the 2015 IPC General Assembly in Mexico City in order to establish the independent body, was elected to the APSO Board of Directors. Also elected as Board Members were Henk Van Aller, Secretary General of the International Blind Sports Association (IBSA), Tom Dielen, Secretary General of World Archery, and Colin Grahamslaw, Secretary General of the World Curling Federation (WCF).
“I am truly honoured to have been elected as President of the new Association of Para Sports Organisations, which has such an important role to play”, the newly-elected APSO President Sabrina Ibáñez said today. “It is our function as governing bodies to safeguard the rights of our Para-athletes and I am fully committed to guaranteeing a sound governance framework that will protect these athletes and encourage the future growth of Paralympic sport worldwide.”
“I am also delighted with the election of my Board members and am particularly thrilled to have another woman on the board in Maureen Orchard, who has such a wealth of experience and whose role as chair of the working group has led to the creation today of this important organisation.”
A total of 17 International Federations and other sports organisations which govern Para sport independently, not through the International Paralympic Committee, are now members of APSO:
Badminton World Federation (BWF);
Boccia International Sports Federation (BISFED);
Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI);
International Blind Sports Association (IBSA) for Football 5-a-side, Goalball and Judo;
International Canoe Federation* (ICF);
International Cycling Union (UCI);
International Rowing Federation (FISA);
International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF);
International Tennis Federation (ITF) for Wheelchair Tennis;
International Triathlon Union (ITU);
International Wheelchair and Amputee Sport Federation (IWAS) for Wheelchair Fencing;
International Wheelchair Basketball Federation (IWBF);
International Wheelchair Rugby Federation (IWRF);
World Archery (WA);
World Curling Federation (WCF) for Wheelchair Curling;
World ParaVolley (WPV) for Sitting Volleyball;
World Taekwondo (WT).
*The ICF representative was unable to attend today’s meeting.
More than 70 delegates from 24 countries gathered in Stow on the World for the second edition of the Para Equestrian Forum following the success met in Essen (GER) in 2015. The Forum, organised by the FEI and hosted by British Dressage, was held immediately after the two-day FEI Classifier meeting which united 18 classifiers from around the world, and was then followed by the FEI Para-Equestrian Committee Meeting. Over the two-day Forum - led by the Para Equestrian Technical Committee - presentations, discussions and working groups covered the following topics:
There was also a demonstration of the new tests for Grades I to V with interactive feedback and scoring from the judges to each of the riders and delegates on site.
For more information/presentations, please click here.
The FEI, in cooperation with the Organising Committee of the CPEDI3* in Hartpury and the International Blind Sports Federation (IBSA), is pleased to inform you that Para Equestrian Athletes with visual impairments will have the opportunity to be internationally Classified in Hartpury (GBR) on 4 July 2017.
No fee will be charged for riders attending this particular IBSA Classification.
National Federations are kindly requested to submit the names of their riders wishing to attend this IBSA classification the very latest by Tuesday, 23 May 2017 to Chloe Harty (firstname.lastname@example.org) along with the FEI Classification Request Form (found here) and the FEI Consent for Classification (found here).
As a condition of IBSA Visual Classification, the IBSA Medical Diagnostics Form 2017 (found here), duly completed by an ophthalmologist, must also be submitted to the aforementioned FEI contact person by 23 May 2017.
Making a FEI Non-Standard Compensating Aids Request
According to Article 8428.9 PED Rules athletes can apply through their NF requesting non-standard compensating aids for FEI Para-Equestrian Dressage competitions.
The request must be made by the Athlete’s NF and include:
Requests must be submitted to the FEI in writing with supporting material at least two (2) weeks before the day of the horse inspection for the event to which it will apply. The FEI will forward the request to the Compensating Aids Panel for further decision. The NF will be informed in writing by the FEI of the final decision and if the request has not been approved the reason.