Combined driving is designed to test a Driver's ability as well as the horse's obedience, speed and athleticism, in three demanding phases with a carriage in tow: Driven Dressage, Marathon, and Cones. The sport, conceptualized by the late Prince Phillip, Duke of Edinburgh, is modeled after the mounted equestrian discipline of three-day eventing or the human equivalent of a triathlon.
Competitors can drive a turnout of horses or ponies in a single, a pair, or a team of four. The Driver and pony/horse combination will accumulate penalty points throughout each phase of competition; the competitor with the fewest overall penalty points will place first. Accuracy, speed, and endurance are all a necessary part of this exhilarating sport!
The driven dressage phase tests the Driver and their equine on harmony, impulsion, ease of movement, and suppleness through a sequence of scored movements in an arena. The second phase is the fast-paced and demanding cross-country marathon, which tests fitness, stamina, and agility. Along with a driver’s accuracy and judgment, the combination will navigate an intricate series of hazards which may include water, steep hills, and sharp turns - all within the fastest time possible. The final phase, a cones course, times the competitor as they accurately negotiate an intricate, winding course of narrowly-set cones without knocking them with the carriage wheels.
While combined driving is a technical and demanding sport, it can be enjoyed by people of any age with any breed of horses or ponies! To stay connected with USA Driving, please visit our Facebook: www.facebook.com/usadriving or search the hashtag #USADriving
Donations to USA Driving are managed by the United States Equestrian Team Foundation (USET) in Gladstone, New Jersey. Support the USEF Combined Driving Program by donating online to the USET and select "Driving" or "Para Driving" for the Fund Destination.
US Equestrian Volunteers and Staff
The USEF Driving Sport Committee (DSC) consists of experienced members of the Combined Driving community, including at least 3 Athlete representatives. The DSC is responsible for working to improve the USEF programs, the rulebook, selection procedures for our US Driving Teams, and coordinate with the FEI. These passionate volunteers meet throughout the year to discuss changes, conquer challenges, and to find ways to develop the sport of Combined Driving and Para Driving.
Anna Brooks Thomas | Director of Driving | [email protected] | 859-225-2033