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2023 Virtus Para-Equestrian Video Competition (Round 1)

January 1, 2023 - March 27, 2023

Read about and watch videos of US riders competing in previous events.

About the Event

The 2023 Annual Virtus Para-Equestrian Video Competition for athletes with intellectual and developmental disabilities will have two entry windows. Winter Round 1 closes March 27, 2023. Entries received by January 31, 2023 will be considered for qualification for the in-person equestrian competition at the 2023 Virtus Global Games in Vichy, France. Two (possibly three) U.S. riders have already qualified and Athletes Without Limits will be taking a U.S. Team to France in June under the direction of AWL National Equestrian Program Director Courtney Haber.

We encourage riders to submit a video entry by March to start working toward qualifying and preparing for the next Virtus In-Person Equestrian event as new opportunities are emerging.

To compete in the virtual event, athletes should be able to complete one or more of the accepted Para Dressage tests listed below at their home facility and have a parent/trainer/other record a video by following the guidelines provided.  (Videos of tests judged in another competition may not be entered.)

As the USA Member of Virtus, Athletes Without Limits manages the entry process for US riders. Multiple videos may be submitted for review by our Athletes Without Limits US National Equestrian Director to help determine the best entries to submit to Virtus.


Competition will be held for all three Virtus eligibility groups below:
• II-1 Intellectual Disability (IQ 75 or lower) includes Autism with ID
• II-2 Intellectual Disability w/significant Additional Impairment (includes Tri21 Down Syndrome)
• II-3 ‘High Functioning’ Autism (IQ 76 or higher and/or does not meet II1 Criteria)

New US Athletes should complete Virtus International Eligibility Application.


Riders must be able to complete one or both of the FEI Dressage Tests in a 20x40m arena at their home facility. Within each level both tests can be submitted to be judged separately. There is no age limit.

Note: For all tests Halt in the first movement is skipped

Performance Level – FEI Grade 4 Novice A 
Performance Level – FEI Grade 4 Introductory Test B
Development Level – FEI Grade 2 Novice A 
Development Level – FEI Grade 2 Introductory A


  • Step 1: Download Event PDF provided by Organizers (with notes for USA Athletes)
    Download Event PDF
  • Step 2: Complete Entry Form
    The form includes a payment of $115 for ($75 event entry fee plus $36 athlete license fee).
    Note: Upon completion of the Intent to Enter form you’ll receive a Dropbox Link you can use to upload your videos.
    US Athlete Entry Form
  • Step 3: Record your test(s) at your home facility following the competition rules below.
  • Step 4: Upload Videos to AWL by January 29th for a chance to qualify for 2023 Global Games;
    otherwise videos are due by March 26th for ROUND 1. There will be a ROUND 2 Video competition later in 2023. Please include the horses name and FEI test performed in each video’s filename.
    Multiple videos can be submitted for review by our Athletes Without Limits USA Equestrian Director to help determine the best entries to submit. Athletes Without Limits will submit all US Entries to Virtus.


Virtus International will publish results.


20 x 40 m, outdoor arena preferred. If an indoor arena is used, it must provide enough space for proper video recording.


Horses and ponies can be ridden by more than one rider, but not more than two riders in a team.

This event is organized in accordance with the Virtus 7.12 Para Dressage Rules (March 2021) and in accordance with the FEI Code of Conduct for the Welfare of the Horse.

Videos of tests may not be entered if they have already been judged at a competition. If a video is suspected to have been taken at a competition, the rider will be disqualified. Therefore, while riders are encouraged to wear regular competition outfit, the horse must wear bandages.

A commander is allowed. Please also refer to the Rule Book (above). The decisions of the judges are final.


The person filming must stand behind C as far as possible, but will have to zoom in when the rider is at A.

The video must be taken in landscape format in one shot, no cuts allowed.

The whole horse has to be seen all times.

Sound must be recorded to make sure no coaching is taking place during the test.

Please try to ensure the video is clear and in focus. In particular:

• Use a tripod or stand where possible to reduce motion
• Minimize background noise and interruption
• Be aware of sunlight or spotlights to avoid glare

Videos should be saved in MPEG or MOV format. Poor quality videos may lead to disqualification.

Making an entry constitutes acceptance of the VIRTUS Para Dressage Rules.

Entrants also agree to Virtus using pictures and videos in marketing and promotion such as press release, social media and website.

Entry fees will not be refunded once an entry has been accepted except where an entry is rejected by VIRTUS (where we will state the reason for the rejection).

Entries will be judged by 2 or 3 FEI Para Dressage judges.

Riders placed in rank 1 to 6 will be provided with rosettes and a certification showing their rank and score. There will be no prize money given out.

Dress and Tack:
Competition gear should be worn as stated in the FEI Para Dressage Rules, but the riders may wear Jodhpur boots and black or brown half chaps.

Gloves have to be worn.

Bridles & Tack:
While double bridles are allowed, snaffle bridles should be preferred.

No auxiliary reins are allowed. Use of auxiliary reins leads to disqualification.

The horses must wear bandages.

For the use of spurs, whips and compensating aids please refer to the VIRTUS Para Dressage Rules.

Errors will be handled as stated on the test sheet.


As the US Member of Virtus, we launched the Athletes Without Limits Equestrian Program in 2017 to organize and assist US Equestrians interested in participating in Virtus Dressage competitions for athletes with intellectual impairment. We encourage new athletes interested in competing who have proficiency in dressage OR an equestrian sport other than dressage to contact us to develop a plan for transitioning into Virtus dressage competition.


January 1, 2023
March 27, 2023
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Event Tags:


Virtus: World Intellectual Impairment Sport (formerly Inas)