Paradressage is an official Olympic sport which is conducted and graded with the same criteria of Dressage.
All athletes who experience a disability can participate and compete in national and international competitions.
The athletes are divided into categories according to their disability, so they have equal opportunities towards their teammates. These categories (GRADE) start from the level of "I" for people with severe disabilities to "IV" with a lesser degree of disability.
Specific physical therapists, members of HEF, evaluate the athletes.
The first official competition in Para equestrian Olympics was held in Rome in 1960. Since then gradually more and more athletes participated in paradressage events. In 1992 all disabilities were included in competitions and since 2006 the sport is an official event of the International Equestrian Federation, which has included the less sighted athletes, even the blind ones to the same group of people with physical disabilities.
The Para Dressage tests are divided in "Test only walking" for Category GRADE Ia & in "Test in walking and trot" for classes GRADE Ib & GRADE II. In category GRADE II canter is only in Freestyle.
In category GRADE III we have "Test in walking, trot and canter" with lateral exercises in Freestyle. These three classes are conducted in dressage arena 20x40.
In category GRADE IV athletes ride on a track 20x60 and we have "test in walking, trot and canter exercises Mid class".
Athletes are required to pass an evaluation, to pass the test for the License after the 10th year of their age and be registered at HEF.
After 16th year of age they can participate in international competitions. Of course the athletes of Para Dressage may participate in dressage competitions, if they wish.
For the license, athletes are required to answer questions normally like all other athletes and after they have been evaluated by the authorized physiotherapist they ride for Exam "NOVICE" test of their category, as it exists in the Notice of the sport.
For the evaluation of athletes responsible physiotherapists are Mrs. Eirini Kapari and Mr. Yiannis Nikolaou.