Para Equestrian Dressage allows disabled athletes opportunities to compete in Dressage. Competitors are classified according to their disability to provide meaningful competition. In equestrian there are five classes, 1a, 1b, II, III, IV, with Grade 1a for riders with the greatest impairments and Grade IV for the least impaired.
Para Equestrian Dressage is the only Equestrian discipline that is included in the Paralympic Games, where it has been a regular fixture since 1996. In 2006, it joined the ranks of the other 7 equestrian disciplines governed by the FEI.
International competitions are held in various locations throughout the world. A rider needs to achieve a certain level before they can ride at many internationals. Their country must then nominate them to compete. In a typical international competition, a rider will do two tests, the team and individual tests. Based on the results the top % goes forward to ride a third test, the freestyle to music (a rider must include compulsory moves but they design the routine and put it to music as well). A rider can compete as an individual or as part of a team, a minimum of three riders are needed for a team with a maximum of four being allowed. The best three scores count towards the team result. The team and individual tests are used for the team result, with the individual and freestyle being individual medal events. The regulations for the venues and testing are governed by the same principle as other disciplines.