By Duncan Mackay

Para equestrianAugust 2 - Australia's Sharyn Gregory has been appointed as the International Equestrian Federation's (FEI) head classifier for Para-equestrian.

She will head-up a new four member panel which has been assembled by the FEI to undertake the development of the sport.

Her role will require her to chair the panel and be the lead contact for the FEI Para-Equestrian Committee as well as for the International Paralympic Committee (IPC).

"This is an exciting time for Para-equestrian sport as it continues to grow and develop internationally," said Gregory. 

"I am both honoured and proud to be offered the opportunity to lead the Classification Panel and looking forward to working with the FEI and panel members to further develop classification within the sport.

"I never anticipated that my determined belief in inclusion for people living with an impairment, my career as a physiotherapist and my love of horses would come together in such a way."

There are only 27 FEI Para-equestrian Cclassifiers worldwide.

Gregory, a New South Wales-based physiotherapist, became a national classifier in 1998 and an international classifier in 2000 under the previous International Paralympic Equestrian Committee (IPEC) which transitioned to the FEI after 2006.

"The role of head of classification is to primarily provide the link between the Classification Panel and the FEI Para-Equestrian Committee," she said.

"In addition, the head of classification works with the IPC to ensure a robust system that adheres to the IPC Classification Code.

"As chair of the Classification Panel I will provide leadership in determining the vision for Para-equestrian classification across dressage, carriage driving and show jumping as an emerging discipline.

"The scope of the Panel will include confirming a clear education and development pathway for Para-equestrian classifiers, working to build a strong evidence base for our classification system through research, ensuring a systematic, transparent and consistent approach to classification of athletes and where required their preparation, in terms of classification, for the Paralympic Games."

Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]