US launches search for equestrians with an intellectual impairment
By World Intellectual Impairment Sport and Athletes Without Limits
The search is on for equestrians with an intellectual impairment in the USA as Athletes Without Limits celebrate the launch of their national programme.
The sport is their newest addition and they want to hear from budding riders who could potentially represent their country in international competitions.
Based out of Bend, Oregon, the programme opens the door to International Federation for Intellectually Disability Sport (World Intellectual Impairment Sport) and other high-level equestrian opportunities.
World Intellectual Impairment Sport is currently developing new opportunities for accomplished equestrians to compete on an international level including a video competition on 9 September. This will allow participants to compete against riders from all over the world without sacrificing the security of their own horse and coaching team. As an international athlete, there may also be future opportunities to travel.
Athletes Without Limits goal is to support US equestrian athletes who want to compete locally, nationally, or internationally by offering coaching and competitive opportunities for riders to hone their skills under the guidance of Fédération Équestre Internationale (FEI) coaches and judges.
They are also in the process of developing local competitive opportunities for developing riders who want to showcase their current abilities and work towards representing the US in international competition in the future.
World Intellectual Impairment Sport currently offers events in dressage for international equestrian competitors, and qualified riders are expected to perform tests in accordance with the FEI.
The 1st World Intellectual Impairment Sport Para-Equestrian Video Competition will feature the FEI Para-Equestrian Grade IV test.
Who is eligible?
US Athletes (regardless of sport) who wish to compete at the international level through World Intellectual Impairment Sport or join the official US team must meet World Intellectual Impairment Sport eligibility requirements for intellectual impairments. Athletes who do not wish to compete at the international level only need to meet the eligibility requirements of the local events in which they compete.
Equestrians interested in competing internationally who are riding independently at the walk, trot and canter and have reached proficiency in dressage or an equestrian sport other than dressage should contact Athletes Without Limits to develop a plan for transitioning into World Intellectual Impairment Sport dressage competition.
At the local, regional, and national levels, it is their goal to develop competitive opportunities for equestrians that include a variety of disciplines and skill levels.
Athletes Without Limits are eager to hear from athletes, family members, coaches, trainers, show managers, therapeutic riding instructors, horse owners, health professionals, or any other community members interested in supporting their mission to expand the training and competitive opportunities for equestrians with intellectual impairments.