Equestrian is one of the newest sports on the Virtus programme, added in 2016.
Athletes interested in competing need to contact their National Federation.
Equestrian is a sport of skill and control, creating the perfect synergy between animals and humans.
After Denmark’s Liz Hartel, a rider with physical impairments as a result of polio, won Olympic silver in 1952 a new generation of riders were inspired and Para equestrian was born.
Riders with intellectual impairments were included in Grade 3 competition when the sport was introduced to the Paralympic programme at Atlanta 1996 but have not been included in Games since then.
In 2015 at the Federation of Horses in Education and Therapy International (HETI) Congress in Taiwan, a Task Force was established with Virtus to begin to reinvigorate equestrian for athletes with intellectual impairments.
Riders take part in an innovative annual video competition where countries submit footage of their athletes according to strict regulations. This was designed to make the sport more accessible for teams. The test used is comparable to the PD Grade IV Novice A Test.
In 2020 the new Virtus eligibility groups of II2 and II3 were added, as well as a Youth Class for which a test similar to the Grade 2 Novice A Test was chosen.
Virtus Para Equestrian Committee
- Uta Rindfleisch (CHT) – Chairperson
- Mary Longden – Oceania
- Andrey Sukhov – Europe
- Amanda Heath – Europe
- Ulrich Nickel – Europe