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.
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: