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The primary focus of para-equestrian sport is to provide educational and competitive opportunities for athletes with physical disabilities. Many disabled athletes compete, and even excel, in sports designed for the able-bodied, but para-equestrian in particular opens a world of competition to riders and drivers with even severe disabilities that might preclude them from other forms of sport, and does so while providing a structured, focused, and highly competitive environment.

In para-equestrian competition, each rider or driver is classified according to his or her functional ability and competitors are grouped accordingly to ensure a level playing field. Competitions can include dressage and driving. While it offers competitive opportunities for athletes of every level and aspiration, para-equestrian sport has evolved into an internationally-recognized event and para-dressage is held as part of the World Equestrian Games and at the Paralympics which take place every four years immediately following the Olympic Games and at the same venue.

United States Para-Equestrian Association

USEF Recognized National Affiliate

United States Para-Equestrian Association (USPEA) includes every recognized equestrian discipline that is practiced by athletes with an eligible physical impairment.  The USPEA is a network of current and past athletes, owners, officials, event organizers, and equestrian enthusiasts. The Association assists athletes to get involved and expand their knowledge and experience in the Disciplines of Para-Equestrian.

In 2010, the USPEA earned its 501 (c)(3) status and became a recognized National Affiliate of the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) working together to grow the FEI recognized Para Equestrian disciplines by helping to provide press, educational information, and symposiums for athletes with eligible permanent, measurable, physical impairments.

 

UNITED STATES DRIVING FOR DISABLED (USDFD)

United States Driving for the Disabled, Inc., a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, seeks to improve the lives of physically challenged individuals throughout the United States and Canada by providing the experience of driving horses in a safe and challenging environment.

Our mission is to provide the extraordinary benefit of therapeutic driving to as many people as possible through sharing knowledge, experience, and serving as a resource for innovations in adaptive equipment for drivers, trainers, and programs offering carriage driving.

Programs

Para-Equestrian Dressage (click here for all programs)

1/1/2017
Para-Equestrian Dressage is the only Equestrian discipline that is included in the Paralympic Games, where it has been a regular fixture since 1996. With the idea of creating opportunities for all people with impairments to compete and achieve their goals in equestrian sport, athletes are classified according to the level of their impairment so as to provide for meaningful competition. In 2006, the Para-Equestrian sport joined the ranks of the other 7 disciplines regulated by the FEI, with national and international competitions for Dressage and Driving for individuals with an impairment. The FEI was one of the first International Federations to govern and regulate a sport for both able-bodied and athletes with impairments.

Para-Equestrian Driving (Click here for all programs)

1/1/2017
Para-Equestrian Driving has been governed by the FEI since 2006 and has now fully joined the ranks of the other 7 FEI disciplines with national and international competitions in Driving for individuals with a disability. This led to the FEI becoming the first, and still the only, International Federation to govern and regulate a sport for both the able bodied and disabled athletes. Driving is a discipline without riders; instead drivers sit on a vehicle drawn by a single horse or pony, a pair or a team of four.