About the Sport
Combined driving is designed to test a driver's ability & the horse(s)' obedience, speed and athleticism, in three demanding phases with a carriage in tow: Driven Dressage, Marathon & Cones. The sport, conceptualized by HRH Prince Phillip, is modeled after the mounted equestrian discipline of three-day eventing or, the human equivalent of a triathlon.
Competitors can drive a turnout of a single horse, a pair of horses, or a team of four horses. The driver/horse(s) 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 & their horse(s) on harmony, impulsion, ease of movement and suppleness through a sequence of scored movements in an arena. Typically, the second phase is the fast-paced and demanding cross-country marathon. The marathon tests a horse’s fitness, stamina, and agility along with a driver’s accuracy and judgment as they navigate an intricate series of hazards which will include water, steep hills, and sharp turns - all within the fastest time possible. The last phase, the cones course, times the competitor while 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, and with any breed of horses or ponies.