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Post  Junezski!! on Thu Aug 28, 2008 1:37 pm

Riders' functional abilities are classified into one of four grades. Grade I riders have a higher degree of disability than Grade IV riders. There are five classifications with Grade V riders allowed to compete in some national competitions but not eligible for FEI international competitions. The rider's skill and ability to ride a horse is not a factor in the grading, and FEI has developed a set of Dressage tests for each grade. Riders graded I or II are required to ride walk only or walk and trot movements, whilst Grade III and IV riders perform tests that also include canter and some lateral work. At a major competition, classifiers watch riders training and competing and may use the observations together with other data to decide whether or not a rider needs to be re-classified.

The Classification guidelines are as follows:

Grade I: Mainly wheelchair users with poor trunk balance and/or impairment of function in all four limbs or no trunk balance and good upper limb function.

Grade II: Mainly wheelchair users or those with severe locomotors impairment involving the trunk and with mild to good upper limb function, or severe unilateral impairment.

Grade III: Mainly able to walk without support, with moderate unilateral impairment, moderate impairment in four limbs or severe arm impairment. May require a wheelchair for longer distances or due to lack of stamina. Athletes have total loss of sight in both eyes.

Grade IV: Impairment in one or two limbs or some degree of visual impairment.


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