In equestrian dressage riding, there are five sport classes called Grades for athletes with physical and visual impairments. Lower grades indicate more severe activity limitations and higher grades include athletes with less severe activity limitations.
The level of difficulty of the test they perform is relative to their allocated grade.
Para equestrian combines athletes with different types of physical impairments, so you might see two athletes with different profiles competing in the same Grade. The impact of each athlete’s impairment on performance, however, is similar within each Grade.
For illustrated explanation please click on the button below.
Athletes are allocated a profile which is correlated to one of the five classes (grades) (I, II, III, IV or V), as follows:
|Riders have severe impairments affecting all limbs and trunk. The athlete usually requires the use of a wheelchair. They may be able to walk with an unsteady gait. Trunk and balance are severely impaired. Profiles: 1, 2, 3, 5, 7, 12a, 13
|Riders have either a severe impairment of the trunk and minimal impairment of the upper limbs or moderate impairment of the trunk, upper and lower limbs. Most athletes in this Grade use a wheelchair in daily life. Profiles: 4, 6, 9,10a, 11a, 12b, 31a
|Riders have severe impairments in both lower limbs with minimal or no impairment of the trunk or moderate impairment of the upper and lower limbs and trunk. Some athletes in this Grade may use a wheelchair in daily life. Profiles: 8, 10b, 11b, 14, 17a, 18a, 27, 31b, 32
|Riders have a severe impairment or deficiency of both upper limbs or a moderate impairment of all four limbs or short stature. Athletes in Grade IV are able to walk and generally do not require a wheelchair in daily life. Grade IV also includes athletes having a visual impairment equivalent to B1 with very low visual acuity and/or no light perception. Profiles: 15, 17b, 18b, 19a, 21, 25, 26a, 28, 36
|Athletes in Grade V have a mild impairment of movement or muscle strength or a deficiency of one limb or mild deficiency of two limbs. Grade V also includes athletes with visual impairment equivalent to B2 with a higher visual acuity than visually impaired athletes competing in Grade IV and/or a visual field of less than 5 degrees radius. Profiles: 16, 19b, 20, 22, 23, 24, 26b, 37a
How to apply for classification:
To be eligible to apply for a national classification, athletes must:
- Be affected by at least one of the impairments considered eligible by International Equestrian Federation (FEI)
- Be a member of Para Dressage Ireland
- Be involved in the sport of equestrian for a minimum period of eight months
- Be minimum of 12 years old
- Athletes who fulfil the criteria above should have the Medical Diagnostics Form completed and submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Athletes who do not meet the list of criteria above may still be evaluated by the classifiers by prior arrangement. However, he/she will only receive a provisional class in order to facilitate them to compete this year.
This list includes active athletes who have been classified at national and/or international level. Click here to access the Masterlist
FEI Para Equestrian Classification Rules
FEI Para Dressage Compensating Aids List