ABOUT COMBINED DRIVING
Elegance, tradition and gritty competition are found in abundance in Combined Driving. Literally a triathlon for horses, Combined Driving is one of the fastest growing equine sports and has exploded in popularity in recent years. Adding to the challenge is the fact that drivers must communicate with their horses only through voice and hands.
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. Within the last decade an ever-widening circle of spectators have been drawn to the sport, thanks to indoor driving exhibitions and carriage racing events which are held at premier horse shows around the world. Jacob Arnold is among the top drivers who regularly travels and competes in these exhibitions and shows.