Jonathan Wentz
American equestrian athletes competing at the Paralympic Games.

Equestrian made its debut appearance at the 1996 Paralympic Games in Atlanta. Riders from 16 countries participated in the 1996 Games and by 2004, the number of equestrian riders at the Paralympic Games had nearly doubled. 

Dressage is still the only equestrian discipline included in the Paralympic Games. Dressage requires riders to compete in two events: a championship test of set movements and a freestyle test to music. There is also a team test for three or four riders. Competitors are judged on their display of horsemanship skills demonstrated through their use of commands for walk, trot and canter. 

Paralympic equestrian competition is open to male and female athletes with physical disabilities such as amputation/limb loss, blindness/visual impairment, spinal cord injury/wheelchair-users and cerebral palsy/brain injury/stroke. 

Equestrian by impairment group



 Spinal Cord Injury/
Wheelchair User

Cerebral Palsy/Stroke

Intellectual Impairment 





* Dwarfs are eligible for Paralympic equestrian

The U.S. Paralympic equestrian team and the day-to-day operations of the high performance program are overseen by the U.S. Equestrian Federation, the National Governing Body for para-equestrian in the United States. The USEF recognizes the United States Para-Equestrian Association as an affiliate.

For more information about equestrian, visit USPEA.orgTo find a local program in your community, visit the Paralympic Resource Network.