Bluffers’ guide to para dressage at WEG

  • As we countdown to the FEI World Equestrian Games, we bring you all you need to know about each of the equestrian sports

    What’s the format?

    Para dressage was first included in the World Equestrian Games (WEG) in 2010. Riders are graded in one of five sections according to their disability, with I being the most impaired and grade V the least.

    Teams are made up of a maximum of four riders per nation.  Teams must include at least one grade I, II or grade III rider and cannot include more than three riders in any one grade.

    The individual championship test is ridden first, from which the individual WEG champion is determined within each grade.

    The team test that follows is ridden only by team members, and the scores from this solely determine the team medals.

    Finally, on the fifth and final day of competition comes the freestyle. One third of combinations in each grade qualify for it. The results of this test decide the second and final set of individual medals in the WEG para dressage competition.

    For individual results, all competitors start with a clean sheet in both the individual and freestyle tests.

    How does the scoring work?

    Dressage scores are expressed in percentages, with the highest percentage winning.

    Scoring over 70% is very good; over 80% is exceptional.

    Scores in the individual championship test are usually comparable to the team test, but freestyle scores are often higher as they are marked in a different way and include strong weighting towards the inventiveness of the choreography and for the music.

    If a rider makes an error of course in either the team or individual tests, two marks are deducted from each of the seven judges.

    Teams consist of four riders and the best three scores count.

    Tests are performed in either a 20x40m or a 20x60m arena, depending on the grade.

    How many medals are there and when are they awarded?

    There is one set of team medals and two sets of individual medals.

    Team medal decided: Friday, 21 September
    Individual medal decided: Wednesday, 19 September
    Individual freestyle medal decided: Saturday, 22 September

    Who is representing Britain?

    Details of who has been selected for the British squad will be released nearer the time.

    Do they have a chance?

    In a word, yes. The British team are the favourites to win the team title. They have never been beaten at a major championship and it would be a huge upset if they are beaten here.

    When will H&H report it?

    The magazine report will be in the issue out on Thursday, 27 September.

    We will also carry reports, pictures and video online throughout the competition. Find all our online WEG coverage here >>

    For an early look at the WEG venue, turn to p34 of 18 January issue of Horse & Hound magazine. The full WEG preview will be on sale on Thursday 6 September.

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