What is Classification?

Classification provides a structure for Para Equestrian competition and a framework for fair competition. It is an integral aspect of sport in the Paralympic Movement. The Classification system for Para Equestrian forms part of the sport rules. Classification is an ongoing process and takes place at all major competitions, prior to and during competition.

Who can classify riders?

A qualified physiotherapist or physician trained and accredited in the profiling system can assess riders for classification. All riders competing in International or National Para Equestrian competitions are required to be classified. Two International Para Equestrian accredited classifiers, with at least one being of a different nationality to the rider, can classify riders for international competition. A nationally accredited Para Equestrian classifier can assess riders for national competition.

Who needs to be classified?

To be eligible for classification, and therefore Para Equestrian competition, a rider must have a diagnosed health condition that causes a permanent impairment that can be measured objectively. Riders with a disability can present with a variety of impairments. Not all medical conditions are eligible for classification as they cannot be satisfactorily assessed or measured, for example, cardiac or respiratory conditions, pain and fatigue

The functional profile system used for classification enables the physical or sensory (vision) impairment of the rider to be expressed numerically- Profile. The profile is established by assessing muscle power, joint range or co-ordination of the rider, or their vision in the case of those with visual impairment. Riders are also observed by the classifiers during practice and competition to confirm the impairment recorded during the assessment. When the Profile is established the rider is then placed into one of four Grades.

Grade I is for more severely physically impaired jumpers, Grade III is for the least physically impaired jumpers, Grade IV is for the Visually Impaired jumpers.

Once internationally classified the rider will receive an International FEI Para Equestrian Identity Card which states their Profile and the compensating aids they are allowed to use in competition. Compensating aids may include but are not limited to: use of the voice; whip(s), rein and saddle adaptations; bands to hold feet in the stirrups.

Classification is a statement of fact, not a test or judgment of the riderís ability on a horse. This can often make it difficult for the untrained eye to understand the range of disability and ability within a Grade. However, it is certain that some disabilities lend themselves more towards jumping than others and however fair a system tries to be anomalies will occur.

When coming for classification for the first time please bring a doctors letter with you stating your disability.


4th DRAFT 12/12/07 by CM following meeting and consultation with Jacky Wood Chief Exec of BSJA, Jonquil Solt Chairman of Para Equestrian Technical Committee, Emily Lawes -disabled dressage/jumper, Andy Lawes Chef D'Equipe, Show Organiser, Tony Bott, Jumping Judge, Jane Goldsmith PE trainer and tutor of trainers, Chris Meaden -Head FEI PE Classifier.

GRADE 1 J PROFILES         1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11, 12a,12b, 13,

    14,17a, 17b,18a,,27,31a, 31b

GRADE II J PROFILES         15, 18b,21,26a,28

GRADE III J PROFILES        16, 19b, 20, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26b

GRADE IV J PROFILES        36, 37a Totally blind and Partial sight

NB: All Profiles are included in the above list. This does not mean to say that it is recommended, or that it is safe for these Profiles try jumping. It gives all disabled people the opportunity to compete in a fair classification system.

Who to contact for more information?

Contact your National Federation or general enquiries can be forwarded to Dr Chris Meaden