Horseback riding: All you need to know for the Paralympic Games Rio 2016

One of the world's most traditional and ancient sports is also in the Paralympic calendar

Horseback riding: All you need to know for the Paralympic Games Rio 2016
Horseback riding: All you need to know for the Paralympic Games Rio 2016

Man and horse come in perfect sync in this mode. While the rider lead the animal in well-trained movements and difficult jumps to perform, the judges evaluate with strict criteria to choose the best. Equestrianism, besides being a traditional sport, still has an important element: the overcome.

 Like the Olympics, men and women compete side by side and there is no gender distinction. Athletes are divided into five categories, divided according to disability and its degrees. In 2016, there are ten individual Dressage competitions and one team event. An sport that is insert in the calendar since Atlanta 1996 Paralympics, equestrianism will win the viewers as it did during the Olympics.

The venue

  Far from the most popular places for tourists, the Olympic Equestrian Centre is in Realengo region, more precisely in Magalhaes Bastos, a middle-class neighborhood of the West Zone. The Centre was built for the Pan American Games in 2007 and has been renovated to host the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2016. It is a space with all the necessary structure for competitors and spectators to enjoy without problems.

Champions in London in 2012 (by category) and favorite for Rio 2016

 As usual in the Paralympics, the British dominate the medal standings and must repeat the performance in Rio 2016. As happened in London 2012, Germany goes after the opponents and may put up a good fight in individual categories. Brazil does not have much tradition in the sport, but could come in as a surprise.

  

  Single Ia: gold for Sophie Christiansen, Britain; silver for Helen Kearney, Ireland; and bronze for Laurentia Tan, Singapore.

 Single Ib: Gold for Joann Formosa, Australia; Silver for Lee Pearson of Britain; bronze for Pepo Puch of Austria.

 Single II: Gold for Natasha Baker of Great Britain; Silver for Britta Napel, Germany; and bronze for also German Angelika Trabert.

 Individual III: Gold for Hannelore Brenner, Germany; Silver for Deborah Criddle, Britain; and bronze for Annika Dalskov, Denmark.

 Single IV: Gold for Michèle George, Belgium; silver for Sophie Wells of Great Britain; and bronze for Frank Hosmar, the Netherlands.

 Freestyle Ia: Another gold for Sophie Christiansen, Britain; Silver for Laurentia Tan, Singapore; and bronze to Helen Kearney, Ireland.

 Ib Freestyle: Gold for Pepo Puch, Austria; Silver for Katja Karjalainen, Finland; and bronze for Lee Pearson of Britain.

 Freestyle II: Gold for Natasha Baker of Great Britain; Silver for Britta Napel, Germany; and bronze for Angelika Trabert also German.

 Freestyle III: Gold for Hannelore Brenner, Germany; Silver for Deborah Criddle, Britain; and bronze for Annika Dalskov, Denmark.

 Freestyle IV: Gold for Michèle George, Belgium; silver for Sophie Wells of Great Britain; bronze for Frank Hosmar, the Netherlands.

 For teams: gold for Britain; silver for Germany; bronze for Ireland.

Facts about the sport

 The horses are treated as true gems by riders and their technical committees. They arrive in exclusive airplanes and have their own passport with physical description, list of disputed and vaccines competitions. Moreover, in preparation for the tests, they run on the treadmill, get massages, physical therapy and acupuncture.

The greatest in many sports, Britain also stands out in equestrian. The British team did not lose a team competition since Atlanta 1996. In the last Paralympics in London 2012 they won five golds, four silvers and one bronze. Sophie Christiansen and Natasha Baker were the main responsibles for the achievements with an individual gold each, in addition to the race team.

It is a fact that sports are widely used as part of the recovery process and rehabilitation of people with disabilities, whether physical or mental. As for the close relationship between man and animals and for being so easy to reach out them, equestrianism is one of the most widely used for this.