Para-Equestrian

Para-Equestrian sport represents an opportunity to enjoy freedom and movement by learning to ride a horse, competing alongside peers, and progressing to high-level competitions, such as the Paralympic or World Equestrian Games.

Para-Dressage has been a regular fixture at the Paralympics since 1996. With the idea of creating opportunities for all people with impairments to compete and achieve their goals in equestrian sport, athletes are classified according to the level of their impairment. In 2006, Para-equestrian sport joined the ranks of the other seven disciplines regulated by the FEI, with national and international competitions for para-dressage and para-driving for individuals.

Para-Equestrian Competitions

Para-equestrian athletes have the opportunity to experience meaning competition in two formats:

1. Para-Equestrian Video Competitions

The Para-Equestrian Video Competitions allow athletes to experience competition conditions in the comfort of their home stable and on a familiar horse.

To participate, athletes are required to record a competitive performance and submit the video to EC’s online Para-Equestrian Video Competition Portal.

There are two types of classes offered through the Para-Equestrian Video Competitions:

Coast-to-Coast: includes classes in a variety of disciplines, including leading pattern, equitation, reining, driving, jumping and basic obstacle courses.

Sea-to-Sea: features classes in the more competitive para-dressage stream.

Video Competition deadlines are listed on the NSEF Calendar of Events or can be found at Equestrian Canada

 

2.Para-Equestrian Competitions

Para-equestrian athletes have the opportunity to compete at both para-specific and able-bodied competitions. All EC sanctioned competition organizers are responsible for ensuring every effort is made to accommodate athletes with physical disabilities and ensure there are no barriers to participation. 

 

Pre-Competition Requirements

In order to compete in EC sanctioned competitions, para-equestrian athletes are required to complete and submit the Para-Equestrian Medical Form.  This form will assist in the athlete's classification grade and list all approved adaptive aids to be used by the athlete for competition.

Athletes are assessed by accredited Classifiers and given a Grade based on their functional abilities in areas such as muscle power, joint range and coordination.

Classification Grades

Para-equestrian athletes are classified as per the Canadian Paralympic Committee:

  • Grade Ia: Riders are mainly wheelchair users with impairment of all four limbs who may be able to walk with an unsteady gait, but trunk and balance are severely impaired.

  • Grade Ib: Riders are mainly wheelchair users with poor trunk balance and/or impairment of function in all four limbs, or no trunk balance and good upper limb function, or moderate trunk balance with severe impairment of all four limbs.

  • Grade II: Most riders are wheelchair users or have little locomotive ability with some limb function. Others have severe unilateral impairment. 

  • Grade III: Often riders are able to walk without support. They may have minimal use of their limbs or loss of sight.

  • Grade IV: Riders usually have an impairment in one or two limbs or have a visual impairment.

Acceptable Adaptive Aids
Adaptive (compensating) aids can be used by athletes to compensate for physical or sensory limitation resulting from their impairment, thereby enabling them to ride or drive a horse safely.  A full list of acceptable adaptable aids can be found in the link below.  It is very important for athletes to adhere to all rules pertaining to the use of Adaptable Aids in competition.

 

Para-Equestrian Resources

Para-Equestrian Video Competition Portal

Video Competition Portal

Permitted Compensating (Adaptive) Aids

2015 PEC/FEI Approved Compensating Aids List

Coast-to-Coast Video Competition Information, Criteria & Class List

2016 PEC Coast-to-Coast Classes

Sea-to-Sea Video Competition Information, Criteria & Class List

2016 PEC Sea-to-Sea Classes

Para-Equestrian Medical Information Form

Equestrian Canada PARA-EQUESTRIAN Medical Form

EC Classification Policy & Procedures

EC Classification Policies and Procedures

Classification FAQ

Para-Equestrian Classification FAQ

EC Rules, Section M

EC Rules, Section M - Para-Equestrian

Acceptable Adaptable Aids List

Adaptable Aids List

  

For more information on Para-Equestrian visit, contact nseftd@sportnovascotia.ca or Equestrian Canada

For information about Para-Sport in Nova Scotia, contact Sport Nova Scotia