NDSA to Host Forum on Judging Dressage Riders With Physical Disabilities

Wednesday, October 15, 2003

The National Disability Sports Alliance (NDSA), in association with USA Equestrian (USAE), will host a forum on judging dressage riders with physical disabilities at Brookside Equestrian Center in Walnut, CA, March 26-28, 2004.

The forum is designed to provide judges with an in-depth review of judging dressage for riders with disabilities. It will include lecture, discussion, and demonstration, as well as practical judging of riders with disabilities.

Open to all USAE or foreign dressage judges and “l” graduates, the forum will allow for a maximum of 30 participants accepted on a first-come, first-serve basis. Judges with a dressage “R” rating or above will be given priority and may attend the course free of charge. There is a fee of $50.00 per person for judges at the lower levels and for observers.

Qualified judges who show competency during the practical segment of the forum will be eligible to become International Paralympic Equestrian Committee (I.P.E.C.) international candidate, provisional, or national level judges.

I.P.E.C. Chairwoman and Master Judge Jonquil Solt and I.P.E.C. Master Judge Alison Mastin will lead the forum, and all dressage tests will be performed in accordance with I.P.E.C. guidelines.

In I.P.E.C. classes, riders with disabilities are judged with able-bodied rules, but allowances are given for compensating aids. For example, in an I.P.E.C. class, special reins that can be held in one hand would not be penalized.

The NDSA hosted a similar judges’ forum earlier this year at Quiet Oaks Farm in Winter Garden, FL. The forum was a tremendous success, leading to the call for more such as the forum now planned for March.

The I.P.E.C. is the international governing body for equestrian sports for riders with disabilities. It is responsible for international rules, sanctioning of international competitions, and for Paralympic Games and World Championships. For more information about the I.P.E.C., please visit their website at www.ipec-athletes.de or contact Jonquil Solt by email at jonquil@solt.demon.co.uk.

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