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Equestrian Canada –​ Ottawa, ON, March 22, 2018 – Equestrian Canada (EC) hosted a successful Para-Equestrian Classification Information Session and Classifiers Seminar at the Equestrian Canada office in Ottawa, ON from March 16-18, 2018.

The purpose of these events was to provide information and education around the vital role of EC National Classifiers. Both were led by EC Para-Dressage Committee member, Sue Foell of Sharon, ON, who shared invaluable expertise gained over 37 years as a certified physiotherapist, and from her roles as an EC National and FEI International Level 1 Classifier.

On March 16, the Para-Equestrian Classification Information Session provided the public with an opportunity to learn about para-equestrian sport and gain familiarity with the classification system. Attendees received an overview of the classification process, adaptive aids, and classification profiles.

“I was pleased to see participants from various facets of equestrian sport at the Para-Equestrian Classification Information Session,” said Foell. “Riders, coaches, therapeutic riding centers and competition organizers attended the session.”

Over the next two days, the Para-Equestrian Classifiers Seminar provided National Classifier candidates with in-depth information and extensive training on the classification system and process, classifier responsibilities, and much more. In addition, candidates had the opportunity to gain valuable practical experience. Three para-equestrian athletes – Catherine Bridges of Nepean, ON, Anne Leslie of Metcalfe, ON, and Alex Krenta of Ottawa, ON – were on hand to allow National Classifier candidates to conduct practice classifications.

“I was extremely excited to have heard about the opportunity to attend the classification seminar,” said Katie Pauhl of Ottawa, ON, a candidate who participated in the Para-Equestrian Classifiers Seminar. “I was able to not only expand my knowledge of the sport and the classification process, but also meet an amazing group of individuals and gain hands-on experience. I look forward to attaining my classification certification, and beginning to work alongside such a strong team. I would like to thank Equestrian Canada for hosting and providing me with this opportunity.”

Foell concluded, “The Classifiers Seminar attendees were very enthusiastic in learning about how we classify riders for para sport. We continue to see interest from medical doctors and physiotherapists who wish to become classifiers, and even had a candidate from Alberta. These sessions were a very positive indicator that the para-equestrian movement is growing in Canada.”

EC would like to thank course conductor, Foell for her hard work in making the Para-Equestrian Classification Information Session and Classifiers Seminar possible. EC also extends its gratitude to para-equestrian athletes, Catherine Bridges, Anne Leslie and Alex Krenta for generously donating their time.

For more information on becoming an EC National Classifier, contact Para-Dressage Coordinator, Jamie-Ann Goodfellow by email at

About EC National Classifiers
An EC National Classifier is a person authorized by EC to conduct evaluations for athletes who are ready to compete at EC Silver and Gold competitions. A classifier assesses athletes in accordance with the methods and standards of the Fédération Équestre International (FEI), as outlined in the FEI Classification Manual.

Becoming a classifier is an opportunity to give back to the community, enhance the life of a person with a physical or visual impairment, and grow both professionally and personally. EC National Classifiers play an integral role in an athlete’s journey from grassroots to representing Canada at the international level. By providing assessment, classifiers are essential in supporting athletes and their coaches by helping them to identify and use the compensating (adaptive) aids that are best suited to their needs. EC National Classifiers have the opportunity to become International Classifiers, who are invited to competitions all around the world, including the Paralympic Games and FEI World Equestrian Games.

About Para-Equestrian Sport
Para-equestrian sport provides the opportunity for athletes with a physical and visual impairment to compete against other athletes with similar abilities. Athletes are classified by grades based on their functional ability, and are judged on their riding skill against other athletes of the same grade. There are five grades of competition in para-dressage, with Grade I representing the most severely impaired athletes, and Grade V representing the least severely impaired athletes. For more information about para-equestrian, visit

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PHOTO – On March 16-18, 2018, Equestrian Canada hosted a successful Para-Equestrian Classification Information Session and Classifiers Seminar in Ottawa, ON, providing information and education around the vital role of EC National Classifiers.
L to R: Philippa Keegan, Mireille Bilodeau, Robyn Allen, Sue Foell, Katie Pauhl


EC Media Contact
Personne-ressource de CE pour les médias :
Jessie Christie