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.
We are pleased to inform you that the FEI will be launching a new campaign tomorrow called “Think Outside The Box” to raise awareness and provide solutions to minimise the risk of potential contamination and Equine Anti-Doping and Medication Controlled Regulations (EADMCR) violations, as well as potential health risks for horses, arising from certain behaviours and actions or lack-of in and around the stables.
Initially created to attract the attention of the key stakeholders concerned by the EADMCRs ie riders, grooms and support personnel, and in a bid to inform and educate around contamination – often an unfortunate situation that could be avoided if the right precautions had been taken - the campaign was expanded to include general best-practice recommendations to make it relevant to the wider equestrian community and promote safety and wellbeing for horses, regardless of their competition status.
A joint collaboration between the Education and Legal departments at the FEI, with very engaging and “shareable” content (you will be surprised by the video), we encourage all our stakeholders to join us in the promotion of this campaign so we can reach as many people as possible, and hopefully reduce contamination cases emanating from ill-informed behaviour, as well as providing the best practice recommendations to avoid contamination for horses out of competition and any potential health threats this might entail.
Dedicated Hub & Digital Assets To Download – English, French & Spanish
We have created a dedicated portal - www.fei.org/think - available in three languages (English, French and Spanish) and have an array of digital assets which you can download and use on all your channels to proactively promote the campaign to you members, fans and followers. Download assets directly on www.fei.org/think #FEIThinkOutsideTheBox
They Support Us
You will see on the portal, we have a section – They Support Us – where we have included the logos of all our Official Stakeholders, so please do let us know if you would like to be removed from this section, simply by contacting Sebastien.Goyon@fei.org and alternatively if you are not included in this section, and would like to be featured, please also contact Sebastien.Goyon@fei.org and let him know you would like to be added to that section with your logo.
And finally, we have produced some bright and impactful merchandising for this campaign, which is available to all our “supporters” so please don’t to hesitate contact Sebastien.Goyon@fei.org with the relevant delivery address and we will send you a pack of stickers, caps and tote bags with campaign branding.
We are also on the lookout for ambassadors – so if you would like to nominate/introduce us to potential ambassadors for the campaign, we are open to suggestions!
Please note all of the above is EMBARGOED until Friday 17 November 20:00 CET when the campaign is officially launched. We kindly ask that you refrain from posting any information, assets, visual, etc until 16:00 on Friday unless reposting from FEI channels.
Para Equestrian Forum 2024
The FEI Para Dressage department would like to invite applications from National Federations who would be interested in hosting the 2024 Para Equestrian Forum. The Para Equestrian Technical Committee has suggested that the Forum should be held in early April 2024 to fit in with the competition calendar. Please see attached the guidelines for hosting the FEI Para Equestrian Forum, and please send all applications to the Para Dressage department by 30 November.
Visual Impairment (VI) Classifications in 2024
Due to the increased numbers of Athletes attending VI Classifications in 2023, the FEI would like to invite expressions of interest from NFs to host a VI Classification alongside a CPEDI so that more FEI VI Classification events are available to Athletes. The FEI would contribute to a portion of the expenses for running the event, and would help to liaise with IBSA to secure Classifiers.
Please contact the Para Dressage department by 16 November for more information if your NF would be interested to host a VI Classification in 2024.
Classification/Compensating Aids Requests Refresher – respecting deadlines
The increase of Athletes attending Classification in 2023 shows the positive growth of Para Equestrian. We would like to remind National Federations that in 2024 the deadlines for Classification requests, Medical Review Requests and Compensating Aids Requests must be strictly adhered to as per the rules. As a reminder, Classification and Medical Review requests must be received at least six weeks in advance of the Classification event, and Compensating Aids requests at least two weeks in advance of the Event.
Qualification Rules 2024
The Overall Para Dressage Qualification Criteria for 2024 has been published on the FEI Para Dressage Rules page. These criteria include clarification of the requirements for an Athlete to complete a CPEDI2* prior to starting at a CPEDI3*.
The research project led by Sarah Jane Hobbs, from the University of Central Lancashire, in collaboration with Hartpury University, is now completed with the publication of the final manuscript “Towards an Evidence-Based Classification System for Para Dressage: Associations between Impairment and Performance Measures” . The team, carrying out the initial three-year project, have produced four main publications listed below and several background research projects, which are all published on the FEI Classification Research webpage.
Published 24 April 2020
Published 13 December 2022
Published 3 November 2021
Published 31 August 2023
Published 11 September 2023
The next steps for the FEI will be to engage and work closely with an external consultant with extensive expertise in classification across sports to undertake a two-pronged review of:
Recommendations from this review will be considered by the FEI Para Equestrian Technical Committee, FEI Classification Working Group and the International Paralympic Committee (IPC). Consultation with our Para equestrian community will also be undertaken to ensure we hear from all relevant stakeholders in regards to advances to the current Classification system including an implementation plan with consideration of the FEI Rules Revision cycle and Paralympic cycle, and inclusion of a transitional period for Athletes and National Federations.
We are looking for a Classification expert with relevant experience reviewing and transitioning classification systems, preferably with experience in other sports classification systems. We invite you to put forward any contacts that you may have in the domain, and please send any proposals to the Para Dressage Department by 15 October at the latest.
Please contact the Para Dressage Department for any questions or further information.
We wish to remind you that in accordance with Art. 112 of the FEI General Regulations, the dates for all 2024 International Events must be entered into the FEI online Calendar through FEI Database before 01 October. Exceptionally this year, the deadline is postponed to Monday, 02 October 2023 midnight CEST.
At 23:59 CEST on 02 October 2023, the 2024 online Calendar will be blocked. Any modification requested after the deadline will need to be addressed to the FEI by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) using the Calendar Form available on FEI Documents.
The FEI Board held a teleconference on 29 August. The main resolutions taken on this occasion are listed below.
Allocation of FEI-Named Events
FEI Dressage World Cup™ - Western European League 2024/25 (Qualifiers)
The Board allocated the FEI Dressage World Cup™ - Western European League 2024/2025 Qualifiers to the following Organisers:
FEI Dressage Nations Cup™ Rules 2024
The Board approved the proposed rules for the FEI Dressage Nations Cup™ 2024. The final version will include FEI Dressage World Championships, rather than FEI World Equestrian Games™.
FEI Dressage World Cup™ Rules 2023/2024
The Board approved the proposed rules for the FEI Dressage World Cup™ 2023/2024.
Both sets of rules will be available online here.
Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games
Paralympic Games Appointment of the Assistant Technical Delegate
The Board approved the appointment of Hanneke Gerritsen (NED) as Assistant Technical Delegate for the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games.
The list of Officials for the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games appointed to date will be published here.
FEI Annual Report 2022
The Board approved the FEI Annual Report 2022. The Annual Report will be published online here in the coming days.
The FEI has today confirmed the shortlisted bidders for the FEI World Championships 2026. The shortlist comprises five Organising Committees who have applied to host events in various disciplines, as follows:
The FEI Board will allocate the FEI World Championships 2026 at its in-person Board Meeting on 18 November 2023 in Mexico City (MEX), following a thorough review by the FEI Evaluation Commission and taking into account recommendations by the Technical Committees.
Following three decades of a unique host formula for senior World Championships under the FEI World Equestrian Games™ format, in 2022 the FEI returned to a more flexible approach accepting single and multiple World Championship bids with a focus on catering to the needs and specificities of each discipline. Herning (DEN) hosted hugely successful events in Jumping, Dressage, Para Dressage, and Vaulting whereas Eventing and Driving Four-in-Hand competitions took place at Pratoni Del Vivaro (ITA), venue of the 1960 Olympic equestrian events. The FEI Endurance World Championships 2022 were held at Butheeb (UAE) last February.
“We are very pleased with the variety of bids we have received,” FEI President Ingmar De Vos said. “Following the outstanding FEI World Championships 2022 organised in Denmark, Italy and the UAE, we are confident this flexible approach with single and multiple bids serves not only the sport, but also the fans and the development of equestrian around the world, allowing different nations and venues to bid to host a major FEI event.”
The FEI World Championships 2026 in Jumping, Dressage, Para Dressage, and Eventing will be the first qualifying events for the Los Angeles 2028 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
A bit of history
The FEI World Championships have a long history.
Dressage is the FEI discipline with the longest tradition of Championships. A Grand Prix de Dressage, organised in Lucerne (SUI) as early as 1927, had hosted 12 riders representing five nations.
Official FEI Dressage Championships were organised on all non-Olympic years between 1930 and 1939 in Switzerland, France, Austria, Hungary, Germany, and Great Britain. The last such event took place in August 1939, only days before the outbreak of World War II.
The FEI tried to revive the event after the war with limited success. Participation gradually improved and European Championships were organised in 1963, which led to the first FEI Dressage World Championship held in Bern (SUI) three years later.
The first Para Dressage Championship, which took place under the leadership of the FEI, was held in July 2007 only a year after Para Equestrian came under the FEI umbrella. The event enjoyed a truly international representation gathering 133 athletes from 35 nations. Since 2010, FEI Dressage and Para Dressage Championships are being held concurrently.
The first FEI Jumping World Championship was organised in June 1953 at the Parc des Princes stadium in the south west of Paris (FRA). The event was drastically different from its modern equivalent as only 19 athletes from 11 countries, including Yugoslavia, Cambodia and the USA, competed. No women took part since female riders would not be able to enter Jumping competitions until 1956.
The first FEI Eventing World Championship was organised in 1966, the same year as the first FEI Dressage World Championship, at the beautiful estate of Lord Burghley in Lincolnshire, Great Britain. The Championship gathered 39 athletes representing five nations: Argentina, Great Britain, Ireland, USA, USSR.
The previous year the FEI had established the configuration according to which World Championships in the Olympic discipline of Jumping were held every four years in the non-Olympic even years and continental championships were organised in the odd years. This pattern is still in use today for all the FEI Olympic and Paralympic disciplines.
The non-Olympic disciplines
The first edition of the FEI Driving World Championship for Four-in-Hand was held in 1972 in Münster (GER) two years after Driving had become an FEI discipline. Since then, the event continues to be organised every two years.
Endurance became an FEI discipline in 1982, one year before Vaulting. The championship histories of these two non-Olympic disciplines have run in parallel from the start with World Championships organised every other year on even years.
FEI Endurance European Championships had been held in 1984 and 1985 until the first FEI Endurance World Championship was organised in September 1986 at Pratoni del Vivaro (ITA).
In 1983, one year after Driving, Vaulting also joined the FEI. In 1984 the first FEI Vaulting European Championship was organised and was followed by another European edition in 1985. This second European edition was open to the rest of the world. A strong showing from the USA convinced the FEI the time had come for a World Championship. The first FEI Vaulting World Championship took place in in the small Swiss town of Bulle from 18 to 20 July 1986.
FEI World Equestrian Games 1990 - 2018
The inaugural FEI World Equestrian Games™ were held in the Swedish capital Stockholm with the 1912 Olympic stadium as the main venue. On the initiative of the then-FEI President HRH Prince Philip, the World Championships in all the FEI discipline were held in the same city from 14 July to 5 August 1990. Given the smooth organisation and success of these Games, what should have been a one-off event, was extended and seven more editions took place in The Hague (NED) in 1994, Rome (ITA) in 1998, Jerez de la Frontera (ESP) in 2002, Aachen (GER) in 2006, Lexington, KY (USA) in 2010, Normandy (FRA) in 2014, and Tryon, NC (USA) in 2018. Please click here to visit the FEI History Hub where you will find more details about FEI World Championships.
As per the proposals published on the Rules Revision platform, the FEI Para Equestrian Technical Committee have proposed to include a Judges Supervisory Panel (JSP) at the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games. The proposed JSP would consist of two members implementing a 6% rule based on unanimous decision, which means that if a judge’s final score for a Horse/Athlete combination varies (above or below) by 6 % or more from the average of the scores of the other Judges for the same combination, the JSP may, by unanimous decision, change that particular score to be the same as the next closest score. The Judges and Athletes concerned would be informed of the changes.
We would also like to inform you that in preparation of the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games, a simulation of the proposed JSP will be run at the upcoming FEI Para Dressage European Championships in Riesenbeck (GER). The simulation will have no effect on the results of the European Championships and will not be made public, but instead is intended only to test the functioning of the JSP in preparation for the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games.
For any further information please contact the FEI Para Dressage Department.
Following the successful launch of the FEI Tack, Equipment & Dress Database and its mobile version the FEI TackApp, the FEI would like to provide the community with an update and clarification, following several queries received from different stakeholder groups.
The FEI Tack, Equipment & Dress Database is still in its first phase of development, as tack, equipment and dress items are currently being entered into the system. This entails uploading existing tack, equipment and dress items with accompanying photographs and/or videos across all FEI disciplines and marking them as “Permitted”, “Not Permitted”, “Not Applicable”, with exceptions where required.
Due to the high number of tack that is being used, or is attempted to be used, in FEI Competitions, this first phase of populating the Database will continue in the following months. Please note that pending items, which have not yet had their designation processed by the FEI, are temporarily marked as “Not Applicable (N/A)”. The FEI is currently developing an additional designation “Pending Review”, which will be used for those items so that the “N/A” designation can be used for items that are truly Not Applicable, i.e. not used in certain FEI disciplines.
This first phase is the most time consuming and once concluded, the number of new items being uploaded to the Database will diminish significantly. Once the first phase is concluded, a thorough review will be carried out to ensure consistency across disciplines and a good quality of photographic and video content. Each time a new item of tack, equipment and dress is added or amended, it will appear in the “Recently Updated” section of the Database.
Following an FEI decision, all “Not Applicable (N/A)” items which will be marked as “Not Permitted” items, will be uploaded into the Database only once a month i.e. on the first Monday of each month. These items will appear in the “Recently Updated” section of the Database. This will allow all stakeholders to acquaint themselves with any new item that may be relevant to them for upcoming competitions. At a later stage, the FEI aims to develop notification alerts which users will be able to activate for their respective discipline(s), when a new item (marked “Not Permitted”) is added. All other “Permitted” items will be uploaded into the Database on a regular basis. Together with items being amended during the final review, “Permitted” items will also appear in the “Recently Updated” section of the Database.
The FEI will continue with developing new features of the FEI Tack, Equipment & Dress Database, to further enhance its practicality and usefulness. In the future, FEI Officials and others will be able to submit new items of tack, equipment and dress directly to the FEI via the FEI TackApp for review and eventual designation in the Database.
In the meantime, we are grateful for your patience while the Database is being populated and perfected. We strive to make the FEI Tack, Equipment & Dress Database and its mobile version, the FEI TackApp, an essential, indispensable and user-friendly tool for FEI Officials, Athletes, their Support Personnel and other stakeholders.
The Rules Revision Process 2023 is well underway with the first draft of the proposed changes now available to National Federations and Stakeholders for review and feedback by 16 August 2023 prior to being submitted to the General Assembly for approval in November as per the timeline below:
1 March 2023
National Federations and Stakeholders with whom the FEI has signed an MOU have the opportunity to propose Rules changes as per the FEI Periodical Rules Revision Policy.
28 June 2023
The FEI provides National Federations and Stakeholders with the first Draft of proposed Rules change.
The 1st Draft of proposed Rules changes Memos as well as the Templates to provide feedback by 16 August 2023 can be found HERE. ONLY proposals submitted online on the Rules Revision Platform using the respective Templates will be accepted.
16 August 2023
National Federations and Stakeholders are given seven weeks to review the first Draft and the proposed amendments in this first Draft and make comments and/or propose any changes in relation to the first Draft.
24 October 2023
Final Draft of the proposed Rules changes is provided to National Federations and Stakeholders.
20 November 2023
Rules Session at FEI General Assembly in Mexico City (MEX).
21 November 2023
Voting of Rules at the FEI General Assembly.
For more information on the FEI Rules Revision processes and timelines, click here.
If you have any questions please contact the FEI Director Governance & Institutional Affairs at Francisco.email@example.com
The names of candidates vetted by the FEI Nominations Committee for the Elections & Appointments 2023 are available on Inside.FEI.org. For the positions to be elected by the FEI General Assembly 2023, the candidacy files can also be consulted.
The open positions are:
• Chair of Regional Group III – Board Member
• Chair of Regional Group VII – Board Member
• Chair of Driving Technical Committee – Board Member
• Chair of FEI Tribunal
• Members of FEI Tribunal
• Member of Audit & Compliance Committee
• Members of Nominations Committee, all Regional Groups
• Member of Jumping Committee
• Member of Dressage Committee
• Member of Para Equestrian Committee
• Member of Eventing Committee
• Member of Driving Committee
• Member of Vaulting Committee
• Members of Veterinary Committee
• Member of Medical Committee
Should you have any questions regarding the FEI Elections & Appointments 2023, please contact the Director of Governance & Institutional Affairs, Francisco Lima.
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