Driving can be four-in-hand, pairs or singles – this refers to the number of horses the driver is controlling at a together. Each driving Championship is split into three phases: Driven Dressage, Marathon and Obstacle Cones Driving.
Driven Dressage: The tests are performed in a 100m x 40m arena, all the drivers drive the same test and are judged on their style, accuracy, change and pace of the movement, correct bending of the horses and overall presentation. There are five judges positioned around the arena, each give scores out of 10 for each section of the test.
Marathon: The marathon is designed to test the fitness and stamina of the horses as well as the drivers’ judgement. The driver is required to drive across country for the marathon competition, over a course where the team are required to drive at different paces and tackle various obstacles.
Obstacle Cones Driving: The obstacle test is performed in a 70m x 120m arena, with judges looking at the fitness, obedience and suppleness of the horse after the marathon, and the overall skill of the competitor. The obstacle phase requires drivers to drive their team through a course with up to 20 obstacles - cones with weighted balls positioned on top. If the driver goes off course, knocks a ball off or exceeds the time allowance they will incur penalties.
The final placings are determined by the competitor or team with the lowest number of penalties over all three phases. In the event of a tie, a drive-off will occur – this is against the clock and will happen over either the same obstacle course or a slightly shorter one.