“What makes Para-Equestrian so special is a person with a disability can compete as an elite athlete and be judged on their abilities”.

Riders with a variety of disabilities participate in the grade for which they have been classified. There are five grades, Ia, Ib, II, III, IV, with grade Ia being the most impaired and grade IV the least impaired.  Classification allows athletes to compete against other athletes with similar levels of physical ability.

Para-Equestrian Dressage involves riders from grass roots to high performance. Athletes compete for Title Honors and International Level Scores at FARMLANDS HOY 2015. The Para-Dressage competition will be run over three days featuring the FEI Team, Individual Championship and Freestyle Tests. This is a New Zealand based opportunity for Para-Equestrians to achieve High Performance selection criteria scores from international FEI judges.

Strong competition is expected in Para-Dressage classes
 with sights now focused towards the Paralympic Games to be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil September 7th – 18th 2016. The Paralympians of London 2012, Rachel Stock and Anthea Dixon (Gunner) can expect challenges for their National Squad places as athletes in each grade determinedly reach towards their performance goals.  Anthea competed at the 2014 World Equestrian Games aboard Doncartier but while Don has stayed behind in Europe Anthea is developing a new partnership.  Likewise Rachel is rumored to have added another strong prospect to her stable.

We are hoping that the South Island contingent that was missing last year will join us to further ramp up the competition.

Para-Dressage – A Guide for Spectators
Para-Dressage is graded in relation to the differing physical capabilities of athletes, including vision loss.
Approved supporting aids are permitted according to individual rider classification.  Riders continue to compete within the same grade with a focus on improving their
performance and increasing their scores.

Grade 1a. Tests riden in the 20 x 40 metre arena feature Walk only.  Medium Walk and Free Walk are included in the Team Test and the Individual Championship Test. 

Grade 1b. Tests ridden in the 20 x 40 metre arena include both Trot and Walk. 

Grade 11. Tests ridden in the 20 x 40 metre arena feature Trot and Walk with more advanced movements. In the Freestyle to Music Test,  Canter can be included.

Grade III. Tests are ridden in a 20 x 60 metre arena. Lateral (sideways angled) movements are choreographed into Trot and Canter.  Single flying changes are also allowed in the Freestyle to Music.   

Grade IV. Tests are ridden in a 20 x 60 arena. This grade features more advanced movements with some similarity to Medium/Advanced level dressage. Three and four time flying changes, as used in Advanced Dressage can be included in their Freestyle to Music.



Entries accepted from 1st December 2014.Entries can be submitted online through Equestrian Entries or manually through website entry form.

Para- Equestrian schedule please click link

We wish to thank the following photographers for their images used on this website (all images are subject to copywright rules and regulations):

  • Barbara Thomson
  • Diana Black Design
  • Kampic Photography
  • Take the Moment

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