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Showjumping could be included in London Paralympics

September 15, 2008

A British paralympic group is pushing to have showjumping included in the Paralympic Games in London in 2012.

Currently, only dressage events are included in the Paralympic Games. The equestrian events for paralympic riders have just finished in Hong Kong.

British para-equestrian rider Rachel Maddocks in action.
The British Para Show Jumping Association has been pivotal in helping write new rules for this sport in conjunction with other equestrian organisations, and is hoping that these rules will be accepted by the Federation Equestre International (FEI) world governing body of equestrian sports later this year. This will give the sport impetus and help gain new members. There are currently 35 disabled riders on the association's books.

Riders are given grades according to their ability. The most able are SJ Grade III and least able physically are SJ Grade I, blind and visually impaired riders are grade IV.

The BPSJA recently held a Mini Tour friendly International, with participants from four countries which included five French riders, three Irish, one Canadian, and more than 20 British participants. The disability range is wide and varied. There is one girl from France who is totally blind and jumps with a lead horse, other participants have legs and arms missing or are paralysed, in some form, this is the one chance that they get to ride with there peers, as opposed to jumping against able bodied riders.



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