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Introduction to para equestrian

Para Dressage

Para dressage is the equestrian competition that features in the Paralympic Games. In 2010, it was featured in the World Equestrian Games format for the first time, and the discipline now runs in a four-year cycle of Championships with European Championships in the years between the World Championships and the Paralympic Games.

Great Britain’s para dressage team has unrivalled success at the major championships and is unbeaten at every Paralympic Games since the sport began.

Find out more about the team’s success here.

Para Jumping

Work is currently underway to create a rider pathway for all para equestrian jumpers, spearheaded by British Showjumping and with input from British Equestrian and the Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA). Together we are working to develop a structured pathway that will support any para jumping rider, from those who wish to compete with British Showjumping as a para equestrian competitor to those that will and who already are currently competing internationally.

With the successful delivery and continued support shown for the development and inclusion of para jumping competition, British Showjumping are pleased to confirm the continuation of the Para Jumping League (graded competitions), with even more venues and shows across the country. This league allows registered para riders to compete within specific graded jumping categories, with heights ranging between 60cm-90cm.

In addition to the Graded Competition Para League, a newly established National Para League, where both para and able-bodied riders compete together, draws through National points gained through British Showjumping Bronze (85cm-1.10m) and Silver (1.10m-1.30m) Leagues as another way of recognising para jumping riders.

For more information on British Showjumping para opportunities, please contact


The classification system is designed to enable disabled riders to compete on equal terms against each other.

Athletes are classified according to their disability across five grades, which determine the complexity of the movements that riders perform with their horses. Grade 1 is for athletes whose impairment has the greatest impact on their ability to ride, through to Grade 5 for athletes whose impairment has the least impact on their ability to ride.

To start competing in Para Equestrian competitions, you will need to be classified to determine which grade you can compete in. In order to be classified, riders must be medically diagnosed as having a permanent, physical impairment that can be measured objectively by a Physiotherapist or medical doctor trained in the classification system.

For more information on the classification process, please click here.

British Equestrian Para Equestrian Entry Programme

Funded by Sport England, British Equestrian runs a training initiative for young riders looking to make their first steps towards competing in British Dressage para equestrian competition and onto the talent pathway.

Find out more here.

Intro Para Equestrian Competitions

A series of intro para equestrian competitions have been set up to 'bridge the gap' between Riding for the Disabled Association dressage competitions and affiliated British Dressage competitions.

For more on the competition structure, eligilibility and details on the next show, click here