Combined Driving is carriage driving’s answer to eventing. It is comprised of three sections: dressage, the marathon (including roads and tracks and obstacles (in lieu of jumps!)) and cones (the equivalent of showjumping). It can take place over 1, 2 or 3 days and can be outdoors or indoors.
Presentation (A1) and Dressage (A2) In Presentation the whole turnout, horse, vehicle, harness, driver and groom, is judged. Driven Dressage, is similar to ridden dressage, with specific movements performed in an arena.
Tests require the driver to display control through voice, whip and reins, and the horses must display obedience, impulsion and correct paces.
The Marathon is considered the most exciting phase of the overall competition.
The modern marathon has developed into 3 phases. Averaging 17 km at many events – Section A is timed where the competitor must come in a window. This section is usually over pretty roads and tracks surrounding the venues.
Then there is Section D – Walk. Between 850 metres and 1 km. Once more timed.
Then we have a 10-minute vet check. This ensures the horse is suitable to move forward to the fun stuff- SECTION E – THE OBSTACLES.
Section E maybe up to 8 man-made or natural obstacles (including water) which are lettered from A-F, they must be driven alphabetically but the driver will find their own route to do them. Remember you are still being timed in each obstacle and you still must get home within a set time.
You will be checking your stop watch, working out the times and making sure you’ve gone through everything correctly. Your heart will be pumping, and the adrenaline will be flowing.
With the sport enabling small combinations to big equines it also comes in different comb- singles, pairs, tandems and teams.
Cone Driving The Cone Driving is designed to test the fitness, obedience and suppleness of the horse or pony after the rigors of the Marathon along with the skill of the driver.