There are five grades in the sport, with riders divided depending upon the nature and extent of their impairment. All athletes compete together including the physically impaired and vision impaired, and men and women. The level of difficulty of the test they perform is relative to their allocated grade. Riders compete for two individual medals per grade and an overall team medal.
Grade I riders perform their tests at walk pace. Grade II riders can walk and trot, while grades III and above can walk, trot and canter (although grade III can canter only in the freestyle).
Judges are looking at the movement of the horse only, not the rider. They judge against set criteria known as scales of training. These cover rhythm, suppleness, contact (between horse and rider), impulsion (the flow of forward movement from the horse’s hind quarters), straightness (the alignment of the horse’s feet) and collection (the balance of the horse and rider).
- The International Paralympic Committee will be live streaming all events on www.Paralympic.org and the IPC Youtube Channel. They have also just confirmed that all medal events and ceremonies will be available on Facebook and these platforms. Happily, all Para Dressage events are medal events and FEI will offer full coverage of the whole competition available on the FEI Facebook pages.
- NBC Olympic Channel will offer live coverage of the competition. To check the schedule, please go to https://www.nbcolympics.com/schedule and scroll down to Equestrian for details.
- US Equestrian is onsite in Tokyo to support our Para Dressage athletes. Follow timely updates on their success on the USEF Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts.