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Dressage Competitions

Dressage Competitions Offering Para-Dressage Classes

List of 2014 Competitions offering Para-Equestrian Classes (as of April 15, 2014)

Para-Equestrian riders may compete in able-bodied dressage competitions, and Para-Equestrian Canada encourages all competition organizers to host Para-Equestrian classes when requested.

Competition organizers that regularly include Para-Dressage tests in their competitions have suggested that the Grade 1-3 classes (which use the 40m ring) run last on the first day of the competition and then first on the second day of the competition so that the ring only needs to be reset once.

Below are responses to additional questions that may assist in incorporating Para-Equestrian tests into your next show.

What tests can para-equestrian riders perform?

Individuals with disabilities that require use of compensatory aids or adaptive equipment and holding a classification certificate are eligible to participate in all EC tests. A copy of the rider’s certificate, which list all of his/her allowed compensating aids and adaptive equipment, must be included with the rider’s entry and a copy then attached to each of their sheets for the judge’s reference.  The recognized Grades within Para-Equestrian are 1a, 1b, II, III, and IV.  In order to provide consistency for riders, the Competitions Committee of Para-Equestrian Canada recommends that the following division and tests be included in Bronze and Silver competitions.

Intermediate Division

The definition of “intermediate” is a rider who is classified but has not competed at Gold competitions in Para-Equestrian tests. All tests are to be ridden in the 20 x 40 arena.

Grade 1a FEI  Gr. 1a #3
Grade 1b FEI  Gr. 1b #13
Grade II FEI    Gr. II #24
Grade III FEI    Gr. III #34
Grade IV FEI    Gr. IV #43

Intermediate riders may ride a freestyle at their classified grade

At Gold shows classified riders may ride any test at their assigned grade and/or may ride any EC test. They must follow the Section E Dressage requirements regarding their entries.

What equipment is required?

Individuals with disabilities MUST wear an approved ASTM/SEI or BSI approved protective headgear in all tests.  Para-Dressage riders may only use such special equipment as is specified on their classification card or in their dispensation letter. All other equipment must meet Section E Dressage rules.  Individuals holding a classification certificate may use any or all of the compensating aids or adaptive equipment listed on their classification certificate. They may use adaptive reins for use of one (or no) hand(s) if their physical limitations require such and the equipment is listed on their classification certificate.  Individuals holding a classification certificate may not be able to present the usual ‘Dressage Seat’. They may require compensating aids or adaptive equipment in order to manage reins or maintain their seat. Consideration of the information on their classification certificate should be used in assessing their effectiveness as a rider.

Are there any different specifications for the arena?

FEI PE tests must be ridden in the arena size indicated on the test paper.  All tests for all Grades up to and including Grade 3IIIare required to use the 20 x 40 arena.  Grade IV tests numbered in the 40’s and the Short Test must use the 20 x 40 arena.  All grade IV tests numbered 50 or higher plus the Team and Individual Championship tests must use the 20 x 60 arena.  The grade IV Freestyle test may use either arena. 

What are the specifications for officials in Para-Equestrian?

The minimum judge qualification requirement for Bronze Competitions is EC Basic.  The minimum judge qualification requirement at all Silver and Gold competitions is EC Medium.  All Canadian Para-Equestrian approved officials must maintain their status with Para-Equestrian Canada as well as Dressage Canada if they wish to remain listed on the Para-Equestrian officials list.