Para Equestrian Classification Process

Para-Equestrian Classification

Why become Classified?

Once Para-Drivers have reached FEI levels and they would like to compete internationally, they must apply for a Para-Equestrian Identity Card (PE ID Card). The main competition that would need you to be classified and hold a PE ID Card is the FEI World Championships.

What is Classification?

Classification is the FEI’s formal procedure that requires a specially trained Physical Therapist to evaluate your muscle, joint, or sensation on a 0-5 scale depending on your disability. Each competitors strength, mobility, and coordination is also assessed putting them in a classification profile. After evaluation the Physical Therapist will then place the driver in a Grade 1 or Grade 2.

GRADE I:

Wheelchair users with poor trunk balance and impairment in upper limbs, or those who are able to walk but with impairment of function in all four limbs, or those with severe arm impairment only.

GRADE II:

Those with less impairment than Grade I, yet are functionally disadvantaged against able-bodied drivers. You can find more information on Classification Grades at www.usef.org/documents/highPerformance/paralympic/classDressCarrDriving.pdf

Classification Manual

Classification Master List and opportunities


What’s the Classification process?

Drivers wishing to get internationally classified must first submit the necessary paperwork to Laureen Johnson at the USEF, available here: https://www.usef.org/compete/disciplines/para-equestrian/usef-para-driving-programs-publications-forms/classification-2

Please note that the FEI is no longer issuing PE ID cards with dispensations. FEI Classification and dispensation information on each competitor is listed on the FEI Master List. USEF still issues dispensation certificates for national level shows.

A Para-Driver will need to be classified both in their own country and by a classifier from another country. For those hoping to compete in the FEI Para-Equestrian Worlds there is a classifier at the event to allow drivers to be evaluated a second time.

Why the need for Classification?

The need for Classification arose when the organizers of the FEI Para-Equestrian Worlds noticed that some of the drivers were slightly slower on the marathon than others. After deliberating over scores they found that the slight discrepancy was between the more mobility and balance challenged drivers and those suffering with lesser mobility issues. In order for the FEI to offer opportunities for all people with disabilities to compete and achieve their goals in equestrian sport, it was decided that athletes would be classified according to the level of their disability/impairment so as to provide for meaningful competition.

Each Para-Equestrian Worlds Team is made up of three drivers. The number of each representative grade on the team may vary, but at least one athlete from both grades must be represented on each team.