Nicole Kullen represented Australia at the 2007 FEI World Para Equestrian Dressage Championships at Hartpury College in the UK
Para Equestrian Page Last Updated: 27 April 2011
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What is Para Equestrian?
In 2006 the FEI, in agreement with
the International Paralympic Committee,
added Equestrian competition for Riders with a Disability.
Now known as Para-Equestrian, it is the
8th Discipline of the FEI.
Para Equestrian is Dressage Competitions
for Riders with Disabilities.
Para Equestrian is the only Paralympic sport where man and animal are team mates, and one of the few events where men & women compete on equal terms. Plus age is not a factor.
In Para Equestrian, each rider is classified to determine their level of disability, and once classified, riders are given a Functional Profile Number and a Grade.
Each rider’s disability needs to be classified so that people with similar levels of ability can be grouped into Grades in which they compete. In Para Equestrian, there are five grades that riders are put in. Each Grade reflects the rider’s physical ability.
Grade 1 being for the riders with the most significantly reduced physical ability, thru to Grade 4 being for riders who have a more increased physical ability.
The movements performed in each Grade's tests vary.
For example, riders who ride in Grade 1a, perform dressage tests in walk only. Whereas riders who ride in Grade 4 perform dressage tests which are of medium/advanced standard.
..A brief view of Para Equestrian Grades and..
..level of Movements performed..
Walk Only Tests
Walk & Trot Tests, & may show some lateral work in Freestyles
Walk and Trot Tests, but Canter allowed in Freestyle and may
show some lateral work in Freestyle
Walk, Trot and Canter Tests and may show lateral work in Freestyle
Walk, Trot, Canter Tests, Canter Half-Pirouettes, 3 and 4 sequence changes and lateral work
Major Para Equestrian Competitions involve a
Team Test, Championship Test & Freestyle Test for all Grades
These are usually scheduled over 3 days.
Grades I, II and III compete in a 40 x 20 metre arena.
And currently, Grade IV is the only grade riding in
a60 x 20 metre arena
When necessary, Para Equestrian riders can use compensating aids approved by FEI PE, such as a special saddle,
adapted reins, elastic bands, two whips etc.
All Para-Equestrian riders are encouraged to ride
in EFA Dressage Competitions
Some riders will carry an EFA RDA Exemption Card, if they need specialist equipment that does not comply with EFA Rules. Riders can also mention to Judges that they carry Exemptions for specific needs i.e. reins in two hands for saluting, two whips etc as they present their EFA RDA Exemption Card.
Riders who have an EFA RDA Exemption Card, are
in no way given an advantage over other EFA Competitors
as it is there to provide an equal playing field.
All Para-Equestrian Riders in EFA & FEI Competitions are judged in exactly the same way as all other Competitors.
Nicole Kullen - Para Equestrian
After contracting Menningococcal Meningitis Septiceamia in 1996, I've slowly progressed around my horses. Both my lower legs were amputated, I have limited arm movement and strength, with no use or feeling in both hands and wrists.
Then in 2000 I lost all remaining function from both kidneys and now rely on Peritoneal Dialysis 4 times daily.
In 2000, I began competing in dressage competitions with the EFA (Equestrian Federation of Australia) for able-bodied riders, & the RDAA (Riding for the Disabled Assoc. of Australia) for riders with a disability. And as of 2006, I began competing internationally with the FEI (The Fédération Equestre Internationale)
Since then I haven't looked back.
Now some of my achievements include:
In March 2008 - Announced as one of the four Para Equestrians athletes nominated to the Australian Paralympic Committee to represent Australia at the 2008 Paralympics in Hong Kong.
Awarded The Horse Magazine's 'Eqvalan Rider of the Year' for 2007
Becoming the 2005 RDAA Australian National Dressage Champion
Represented Australia at the 2007 FEI World Para Equestrian Dressage Championships in July 2007 held at Hartpury College, United Kingdom. Nicole was one of seven riders who represented Australia at the event. She won a Silver Medal in the Individual Championship, a Bronze Medal in the Individual Freestyle to Music, and a 6th in the Team Test. Nicole was also one of four riders selected to represent Australia in the Teams event, which placed 7th overall. To add to this achievement; Nicole was the only Australian to medal at the event, & the only rider on a borrowed horse to win a medal at the World Championships.
Awarded the prestigious award of
'2005 Equestrian Federation of Australia NSW RDA Rider of the Year'
Represented Australia at 'The First International Combined Festival of Dressage' CPDI4**** International Para Equestrian Competition in Belgium in Sept 2006. This event was also a Paralympic Qualifier event for the 2008 Beijing Paralympics. After a very successful event, achieving a 4th, =4th & 6th, Nicole is now qualified for selection for Beijing.
Selected as part of the Paralympic Preparation Dressage Squad (PPP Squad) in 2006 & been selected & part of the RDAA National Dressage Squad since 2002.
Represented Australia in the Trans Tasman Challenge (Aus vs NZ) which Australia won at the 2005 RDAA Australian National Dressage Championships. As well as representing NSW in the State Teams competition.
... And Much More ...
For more information about Nicole Kullen, her involvement in Dressage & Para Equestrian Competition, & her Achievements, Background & Life outside of the dressage arena Please feel free to look around this website
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& may not be copied or downloaded without permission