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Carriage Driving

Each year more and more spectators come to watch the Carriage Driving classes at the Horse of the Year.  

On the Friday morning competitors will present for the Carriage Driving Show to contest the ring classes. Spectators will see some traditional turnouts and others using modern or replica vehicles. Each turnout will be judged for correctness, cleanliness and fit. The horse’s performance and manners will also be judged.  

The excitement begins at the Friday evening extravaganza where, among other events, a scurry in the Premier Arena pits horses with tiny ponies to see who can be quickest through a series of cones/obstacles. 

Saturday morning sees the Carriage Driving Horse of the Year event start. This will consist of three phases. Turnouts will be expected to do a short Dressage test to show their obedience, flexibility, paces and driver accuracy.  

The Cones, with a course of up to twenty pairs of cones, measured to give each competitor the same clearance, will require the driver to be fast and accurate.

Three Obstacles, each with up to five gates to be driven in the correct order, will be a test of speed and the driver’s memory! There are usually several options available and it depends on the size of the horse and the courage of the driver which line is taken.  

Consistency in all phases is a winning formula. 

Everyone involved in the Carriage Driving classes would like to thank the following sponsors for their generousity: Balquhidder Trust, Bennett's Poultry Ltd, NZ Carriage Driving Society Inc. and also those who prefer to remain anonymous.

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