Lexington, Ky. – US Equestrian (USEF) is pleased to announce that Dr. Kerri Sowers, DPT, Ph.D.(c), NCS, has been named to the Fédération Équestre Internationale (FEI) Classification Working Group. Sowers resides in Galloway, N.J., where she is an Assistant Professor of Health Science at Stockton University. She is an FEI Level 2 Classifier for para-equestrian sport and a USEF National Classifier, and she serves on the USEF Adaptive Sports Committee and the USEF License and Official PE Working Group. In addition to her experience as a classifier, Sowers is an accomplished dressage rider who has competed successfully through the FEI levels.
Sowers obtained her DPT from Stockton University in 2008 and is currently completing her Ph.D. in Physical Therapy at Nova Southeastern University. She is a board-certified clinical specialist in neurologic physical therapy by the American Board of Physical Therapy and continues to focus on neurological clinical practice at a variety of rehabilitation centers. Her research focuses on stress, fatigue, quality of life for individuals diagnosed with Primary Immunodeficiency, and on balance and movement assessment of para-equestrian athletes.
The FEI Classification Working Group is appointed by the FEI Para-Equestrian (PE) Technical Committee and determines whether an athlete has an eligible health condition or impairment to qualify for an FEI classification through a thorough review of application and medical documentation submitted by the athletes. The Classification Working Group has been established to oversee, on behalf of the FEI and the FEI PE Technical Committee, activities pertaining to the classification of athletes competing in para-equestrian dressage and para-equestrian driving.
The competitor’s mobility, strength, and coordination are assessed in order to establish their Classification Profile. People with similar functional ability profiles are grouped into competition Grades. The competition within each Grade can therefore be judged on the skill of the individual competitor on their horse, regardless of the competitor’s impairment.
The USEF International High Performance Programs are generously supported by the USET Foundation, USOC, and USEF Sponsors and Members.