Paralympic athletes are grouped for competition according to the type and extent of their disability
All Equestrian events at competition level are mixed and include two dressage tests: a championship test, made up of set movements, and a freestyle test, where riders choose their own movements and music. Classification The athletes are classified across five grades (I up to V) which determine the complexity of the movements that the riders and horse perform. These also ensure that tests can be judged on the skill of the rider, regardless of disability. Riders may use assistive devices such as dressage crops, connecting rein bars etc; visually impaired riders are permitted to use ‘callers’ to help them navigate around the arena. Irish Interest Helen Kearney (Grade Ia) (bronze in the 2011 European ParaEquestrian Championships) and James Dwyer (Grade IV) (fifth in 2010′s World Equestrian Games in Kentucky) will be targeting success when they compete at London 2012’s Greenwich Park arena. Beijing Paralympian, Eilish Byrne (Grade II) and Geraldine Savage will also line up against the world’s best. In addition to individual competition, Ireland has qualified for a first-ever appearance in the team event at the Paralympic Games.