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, driving, and vaulting. 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. To learn more about the inspirational discipline of para-equestrian, visit the United States Para Equestrian Association at uspea.org.