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Carriage driving

Carriage driving is a friendly and inclusive sport where there are many opportunities to become involved. There are many different types of carriage driving available, whether it's simply for pleasure or for competitions, which are known as horse driving trials. Drivers control a carriage that's hitched to one, two (positioned in tandem or as a pair) or four horses or ponies.

A driving horse trials is split into three phases...

  • Dressage – drivers complete a sequence of set movements from memory, displaying the schooling and obedience of the horses being driven
  • Marathon – drivers move their horses through a set cross-country course and a set number of obstacles, which positioned through the final 10km leg of the marathon phase
  • Cone driving – a test of the skill and competence of the driver, and the suppleness and obedience of the horse(s). The carriage must be driven within a set amount of time through narrowly spaced pairs of cones situated throughout the course

Classes are divided up depending on whether you're driving horses or ponies, your experience level, and the number of horses/ponies that you're driving.

You can be involved in the sport even if you don't want to try driving yourself. Drivers need a groom or backstepper on the carriage, and volunteers are essential at competitions to steward the course and obstacles or help set up events. 

British Carriagedriving is the governing body for the sport in the UK and has a network of clubs affiliated to them around the country.