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Para equestrian

Jayne Craike, New Zealand Paralympian rides horse in stadium

What is Para equestrian?

Para equestrian is open to athletes with a physical or visual impairment. Events are mixed and grouped according to Para athletes’ functional profiles, with riders competing in a range of sport classes known as grades.

Para equestrian became a part of the Paralympic Games for the first time in the Atlanta 1996 Paralympic Games and has appeared at every Paralympic Games since. Para equestrian includes two disciplines – dressage and driving however, dressage is the only discipline that is included in the Paralympic Games. 

Get a quick overview of this Para sport in 10 things to know about Para equestrian.

Para equestrian in New Zealand

In New Zealand, Para equestrian is currently delivered widely at the community level. 

Paralympian #90 Jayne Craike is a pioneer behind the sport of Para equestrian in this country. Read about Jayne and the history of Para equestrian in New Zealand in this article.

Register with Paralympics New Zealand to hear about Para equestrian opportunities near you!

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What are the events in Para equestrian?

There are two types of single rider events in Para equestrian:

  • Championships event, where the rider and horse are tested on set movements
  • Freestyle event, where riders and horses are able to choose the movement and music.

There is also a team event that involves three to four performers per team.

Riders are judged on their display of horsemanship skills. Judges are looking at the movement of the horse only, not the rider.

What are compensating aids in Para equestrian?

Riders may use devices called “Compensating Aids” such as two whips, connecting rein bars, stirrup bands and other aids.

Find out more about Para equestrian

For more information on Para equestrian visit Equestrian Sports New Zealand.or the International Equestrian Federation.

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