ESDCTA Collective Remarks - August 2019 .pdf

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Insights into Para Dressage By, Alanna Flax-Clark

Para-Equestrian Dressage is the only equestrian discipline that is included in the Paralympic Games, where it has been a regular fixture since 1996. In 2006, the ParaEquestrian sport joined the ranks of the other 7 disciplines regulated by the FEI, with national and international competitions for dressage for individuals with disabilities. The FEI was one of the first international federations to govern and regulate a sport for both able-bodied and athletes with disabilities. Many might think the word “para” in Para Equestrian or Para Dressage may mean paralyzed. However, Para Equestrians are made up of people of all sorts of disabilities. “Para” literally means parallel and as riders we go through and must follow the same exact training, rules, and regulations as any other rider would. Para as it refers to the sport of dressage, means that we are able to show and compete alongside our peers no matter our physical disabilities. Para Dressage has a classification manual that is recognized at the national and international level. It has a series of profiles determined by numerous physical tests that are 6