Carriage Driving


The Carriage Driving competition consists of a dressage test, a cones course, followed by an obstacle course.

The objective of the driven dressage test is to judge the freedom, regularity of paces, harmony, impulsion, suppleness, lightness, ease of movement and correct bending of the horses on the move. Drivers will also be judged on style, accuracy, and general control of their horses, and on their dress, condition of their harness and carriage and the presentation of their whole turnout. 

The cones and obstacles competition is to test the fitness, obedience and suppleness of the horses, and the skill and competence of the driver.  Penalties from each phase are then added together and the driver with the lowest number of penalties will win the competition.

As with other disciplines each driver must qualify through their Regional Qualifier to be able to attend the National Championships.  

Driver Categories

  • Novice – Any driver who drives with dual reins and has not won the novice class at the RDA National Championships
  • Intermediate – Any driver who is qualified to drive with single reins and has not won the intermediate class at the RDA National Championships
  • Open – Any driver assessed as competent for their coach to back step & drives with single reins

These classes are usually held on the first day of competition at Hartpury.

Page Last Updated: October 16, 2019