The Long Island Horse Show Series for Riders with Disabilities (LIHSSRD) was created in 2005 to provide competition opportunities for riders with special needs at United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) rated hunter jumper shows.
LIHSSRD classes are held at rated competitions throughout Long Island and are open to all riders with a documented disability. Riders compete for points at each show. The top ten riders in each division qualify for the LIHSSRD Championship Finals, held annually at The Hampton Classic Horse Show in Bridgehampton, NY.


Riders will be judged on their performance during each class. Judging criteria consists of rider balance, seat, use of aids, horsemanship, control of horse, ring etiquette, safety, sportsmanlike conduct, suitability of the horse/rider match and the position of the rider. Judges may ask for posting trot, sitting trot, and two point position and all USEF beginner tests including asking horsemanship questions to the riders (Suggested reference is United States Pony Club: Basics for Beginners D Manual). Riders unable to perform any task asked of them due to physical limitations may describe the action to the judge. Riders must have a documented disability, and submit an information sheet with proof of eligibility with their first entry of the season. Riders who have competed in recognized divisions are ineligible. The top 10 riders in each division will be invited to compete in the finals at the Hampton Classic Horse Show. Class fee is $35 per class. All LIHSSRD entries with payment must be received by the HorseAbility office 1 week prior to the show. Send entries to: HorseAbility- LIHSSRD, PO Box 410-1, Old Westbury, NY 11568. Incomplete entries will not be processed. A late fee of $15 per class will apply to late entries.
EQUITATION, with Aides
Open to adult and junior riders who require the assistance of a leader or leader and sidewalker. Riders must have a leader holding onto the horse, or a leader & sidewalker(s) in this division. Rider will choose one of 3 tests for class # 3. Test is to be performed at the walk and will be weighted.
1) Walk
2) Walk/Trot
3) Walk/Trot/Test (choice of figure 8, pole course, or horsemanship test).
EQUITATION, Spotter/Independent
Open to adult and junior riders who ride independently or who request the use of a spotter. Spotters are to remain at a minimum distance of 5-10 feet from the rider, and may stand at horses head while lined up. Diagonals may be counted at the discretion of the judge. Riders will trot individually. Riders will choose one of 3 tests for class # 6. Test may be performed at the walk or the trot and will be weighted.
4) Walk
5) Walk/Trot
6) Walk/Trot/Test (choice of figure 8, pole course, or horsemanship test)
EQUITATION, Independent
Open to adult and junior riders who ride independently. Riders may have an assistant in the center of ring if they need directions repeated or signed. Diagonals and leads may be counted at the discretion of the judge. Riders are to group trot. Riders will choose one of 4 tests for class #8. Test must be performed at the trot and will be weighted. Riders may enter 3 classes and may not enter both classes 9 and 10. Class 9 and 10 will be combined if there are less than 3 entries in either class. If classes are combined, riders entered in class 10 will not group canter.
7) Walk/Trot
8) Walk/Trot/Test (choice of figure 8, pole course, horsemanship test, or crossrail jump)
9) Walk/Trot/Canter- Group (Size of group is at the discretion of the judge and show management)
10) Walk/Trot/Canter- Individual


Riders are judged on Equitation, Demonstration, and Knowledge of Riding Skills. In order to create a “level” competition, information sheets are filled out to provide the judge with information about restrictions and exceptions that will be necessary for the riders on an individual basis. Arm bands are available for riders to wear which indicate a visual, auditory, or physical impairment. This assists the judge in make a fair assessment while riders demonstrate their skills more complex.
Competition Rules:
1. Competing riders will be required to submit yearly a Rider Information Sheet and Membership Form with Fee (included in prize list). Entry forms must be completed for each show with payment one week prior to the date of the show. Post entry fee is $15 per class and LIHSSRD management reserves the right not to accept entries after the due date. Fees are $35 per class and should be made payable to HorseAbility. There is a $15 dollar office fee and a $12 show fee for each show. Entries must be filled in completely and include horse, owner, and trainer USEF numbers, and all pertinent signatures. Incomplete entries will not be processed.
2. Points will be awarded as follows: 1st place: 7, 2nd place: 5, 3rd place: 4, 4th place: 3, 5th place: 2, 6th place: 1. Tie breaking will be determined at judge’s discretion. If a class has 3 riders or less a weighted point system will be used: 1st place: 5, 2nd place: 3, 3rd place: 2. All riders placing 7th place on will receive ½ point. All riders will receive an additional ½ point per class for participation. The top 10 riders in each division will qualify for the LIHSSRD Final Championship that will be held at the Hampton Classic Horse Show.
3. LIHSSRD follows the rules and regulations as set forth by the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF)
4. Adaptive equipment may be used if necessary. Must be indicated on information sheet. Safety of all equipment may be checked by the safety delegate or management prior to entering the schooling arena and/or each class. Safety stirrups are recommended for all saddles. Horses may use grass reins, or martingales for safety purposes.
5. Proper English riding attire is required for all classes. All exceptions to dress must be documented on the rider’s information sheet. All mounted riders must wear an approved ASTM/SEI helmet. Safety vests may be worn under hunt coats. Voice commands and crops are permitted.
6. Armbands are permitted to identify riders who are unable to sit the trot (brown), unable to post (blue), unable to perform 2 point position (green), non-verbal/limited communicative abilities (white), hearing impaired (yellow) or sight impaired (red). Riders must indicate the need for an arm band on the LIHSSRD rider information sheet. Riders are responsible to bring their own arm bands.
7. Riders may be asked to move to a higher or lower division or class at the discretion of LIHSSRD management. If a rider is to be considered for movement, the trainer and rider will be notified. The decision to move rider will be determined by the LIHSSRD committee.
8. Riders or spectators speaking negatively about other competitors, judges, or show staff may be asked to leave the premises, and may be banned from future LIHSSRD shows.
9. Please refer to USEF’s rules and regulations regarding drug use in equines at rated competitions. Horses should be free from lameness and in good health. If a horse does not appear fit to compete in any way, they may be excused from the ring by the judge, steward, or show management. Inhumane treatment or abuse of horses will not be tolerated.
10. Riders may not receive coaching from a trainer, leader, sidewalker, spotter or spectators during competition. Trainers, spotters, leaders and sidewalkers may repeat directions as needed but may not coach/train or give any other input during competition unless the rider’s action endangers themselves or other riders. Spotters must be at a minimum of 5 feet away from the rider during competition at the walk and trot.
11. Spotters may stand at the horses head when horses are lined up in the middle or waiting for further instruction from the judge. Riders may not receive coaching from outside of the ring.


Annie Follansbee, Judy Galterio, Carole Gerrity, Katie McGowan*, Paula Petrone, Connie Lacy Rock, Jamie Thomas-Martin, Lisa Zimmerman*

*LIHSSRD Founder