Para-equestrianism is governed by the International Federation for Equestrian Sports (FEI) and includes two competitive events.
One is para-equestrian dressage, which is conducted under the same basic rules as conventional dressage, but with riders divided into different competition grades based on their functional abilities.
The other is para-equestrian driving, which operates under the same basic rules as combined driving but places competitors in various grades based on their functional abilities.
The classification system for para-equestrian sport is a graded system based on the degree of physical or visual disability and handled at the international level by the FEI.
Grade 1 incorporates severely disabled riders with Cerebral Palsy, Les Autres and Spinal Cord Injury.
Grade 2 incorporates Cerebral Palsy, Les Autres, Spinal Cord Injury and Amputee riders with reasonable balance and abdominal control.
Grade 3 incorporates Cerebral Palsy, Les Autres, Amputee, Spinal Cord Injury and totally blind athletes with good balance, leg movement and co-ordination.
Grade 4 incorporates Cerebral Palsy, Les Autres, Amputee, Spinal Cord Injury and Visually Impaired. This last group comprises ambulant athletes with either impaired vision or impaired arm/leg function.