Welcome to Para Dressage

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.

FEI Classification
A dedicated page is available for FEI Classification details and the relevant documentation. Please click here.

Equipment
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.

Latest Department Updates

  • 31 May 2017
    Para Equestrian Forum

    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:

    • Development of the sport (statistics and development pathways)
    • Competition formats and the use of music in team tests
    • Coaching
    • Classification
    • Facilities/arrangements for FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2018
    • Rio2016

    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.

  • 13 Apr 2017
    FEI Para Equestrian Update - Classification Opportunity for Athletes with Visual Impairments

    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 (chloe.harty@fei.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.

  • 29 Mar 2017
    Para-Equestrian: REMINDER - FEI Request Form for Non-Standard Compensating Aids

    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:

    • The FEI Non-Standard Compensating Aids Request Form, completed legibly and in English
    • Reason for the request
    • Medical documentation
    • Aid description including materials, exact sizes and measurements
    • Photos from different perspectives, mounted and unmounted
    • Any other supporting material. All documentation provided must be in English.

    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.

    All necessary information can be found published here and all request must be sent to the FEI HQ.

  • 23 Mar 2017
    Para Equestrian: REMINDER - FEI Classification Management from January 2017

    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 FEI Classification Request Form, completed legibly and in English;
    • FEI Consent for Classification Form completed in full and signed by the Athlete
    • FEI Certificate of Diagnosis completed in full and signed by the Athlete and by a medical doctor. Any additional medical documentation that demonstrates the athlete’s impairment should be included.  All documentation provided must be in English and forms must be signed by all concern parties.

    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)

    • if a fixed review date is listed on the Master List, Athletes should be reviewed at a competition as close as practicable to the date listed.
    • if no fixed review date the athlete should be Reviewed at the next opportunity
    • in both of the above, the NF should ensure the Organiser of the competition is aware the Athlete needs Review. The Chief Classifier for the competition will schedule a time for the Athlete to be Reviewed.
    • The Athlete and the NF do not need to contact the FEI or submit any documentation prior to the Review. In some instances and only if required, the Chief Classifier may request further medical documentation from the Athlete to assist in allocating a Grade after the Review.

    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.

    1. A medical review request is to be submitted if:An athlete’s relevant impairment or activity limitation has become less severe, either through medical intervention or other means. Examples of such interventions include, but are not limited to Botox injections to reduce hypertonia or to increase the active range of movement, tendon releases, joint fixations to assist posture/stability, or corrective eye surgery; or if
    2. An athlete’s impairment is progressive and has deteriorated to an extent that the athlete most likely does not fit his/ her current Grade (sport class) anymore.

    Making a Medical Review Request

    The medical review request must be made by the Athlete’s NF and include:

    • this medical review request form, completed legibly and in English;
    • attached medical documentation that demonstrates that the athlete’s impairment
    • changed after the last athlete evaluation the athlete attended; and the medical review request must be received by the FEI at least 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.

    All necessary information and relevant forms can be found published here and all request must be sent to the FEI HQ.

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