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Carriage Pleasure Driving

Since prior to the Industrial Revolution the horse and buggy represented the primary mode for both public and private transportation, it is no surprise that driving has established itself as one of the oldest and most popular disciplines within competitive equestrian sport. Carriage pleasure driving classes[...] pay tribute to this heritage, and the vehicles used in competition are either actual antique or replica carriages of the day. Classes may be divided by type of hitch: single, pair, tandem, unicorn, or four-in-hand, and can be further categorized by the criteria with which they are judged.

Although overall performance is evaluated in every class, the driver’s skill and ability take priority in reinsmanship. Conversely, in a working class the performance of the horse or horses is most important. A turnout class is primarily evaluated based in the appropriateness and quality of the vehicle, harness, and driver appointments. Additionally, there are obstacle classes which test the driver’s ability to negotiate a series of cones set in a particular pattern and order, with speed and accuracy becoming the determining factor. Marathons may also be included at driving competitions along with driven dressage.

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American Driving Society

Recognized National Affiliate Association

In the early seventies, a number of members of the first driving organization- CAA, wished for better guidelines and consistency in the judging of pleasure shows, so a group formed an organization, the ADS, patterned after the British Driving Society. These Founding Members created Pleasure Driving rules that created “working classes” with emphasize on the horse and reinsmanship of the driver. More and more pleasure shows have sprung up across the country since that time. There are many diversified class now creating challenges for the drivers which makes it an exciting spectator sport.

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Frequently Asked Questions

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Staff Contact

Carriage Pleasure Driving questions? You can email or call Joyce Hamblin, Carriage Pleasure Driving Director. You can also go to the Staff Directory for a more detailed list of numbers.

908 326 1159

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