Paralympic Sports A-Z: Equestrian

Paralympic Sports A-Z: Equestrian


Paralympic equestrian made its debut in 1984 and it’s been a regular fixture in the games since Atlanta in 1996. The equestrian competition consists purely of dressage and there are three different tests of differing difficulties. A team test with three or four riders per team. An individual championship test made of predetermined movements in a specific order and a freestyle test where the competitors choose both the movement and music. Men and women compete against each other on equal terms and riders compete in one of five grades based on a classification which assesses their impairment. The level of difficulty of the test they perform is relative to their allocated grade. Specialist equipment is allowed for some competitors – reign bars and specially adapted saddles being two examples. Riders compete for medals in the individual championship test and in the freestyle test. , Team medals are decided by adding together the results of the team test and the individual championship test to get the overall team score with the best three scores of each team counting. In Paralympic dressage the horse and rider perform a series of movements in an all weather arena before a panel of five judges. These judges award scores out of ten for both individual movements and the overall aesthetic of the routine which are then converted into a percentage. Requiring an incredible level of understanding, equestrian showcases horse and rider in perfect harmony.

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