National Combined Driving event to be held at the Colorado Horse Park | TheFencePost.com

National Combined Driving event to be held at the Colorado Horse Park

Jody Hall
for The Fence Post

On September 28-30, 2018, the Colorado Driving Society and the Rocky Mountain Carriage Club will host a national driving event at the Colorado Horse Park in Parker. It will be the first show the organizations have hosted at the Colorado Horse Park in 15 years. The three-day event will include courses in dressage, marathon and obstacle cone driving.

Spectators can go back in time and witness exceptional skill as the drivers maneuver their teams, carriages, wagons and carts through obstacles, gates, over hills and around cones. Competitors will come from all over Colorado and the U.S. to face off with drivers negotiating teams of minis to draft horses.

"Driving is a lost art," said Lani Piper a Colorado Driving Society board member. "It's part of our heritage and how this country was built." The driving community is shrinking due to age factors. Most of their members are in their golden years and often loss of membership is due to the passing of their members. "Most of the younger crowd is more into rodeo than driving." Piper said.

The Driving Society would love to see younger age groups become involved in the equine sport of driving.

The Colorado Driving Society and Rocky Mountain Carriage Society are very excited about this opportunity to showcase drivers amazing skills and promote the sport. This event is recognized by the American Driving Society the public is invited to come and enjoy a wonderful opportunity to see these magnificent animals and drivers showing off their agility and skill.

Courses:

Recommended Stories For You

Dressage Sept. 28 — Drivers will wear traditional English style attire, which is similar to dressage under saddle. The arena is 40-by-80 or 40-by-100 meters with lettered markers. The judges score speed and gait on a scale of 0-10 with a 10 being the highest mark possible. The judge's marks are then averaged.

Dressage movements include circles, figure eights, crossing the diagonal and all paces. Multiple horses are judged on their ability to move in harmony. The goal is to make it look effortless.

Marathon Sept. 29 — The marathon test is the most exciting to watch. It tests the fitness and stamina of the horse and the driver's knowledge of pace, over 10 to 22 kilometers. The course is divided into three to five sections and each section has a maximum and minimum time allowed with a 2- to 3-minute window. The course at the Colorado Horse Park has hills and flat areas.

Obstacle Cones Driving Sept. 30 — The obstacle cone driving phase is a test of accuracy, speed and obedience and is like show jumping in eventing. Competitors will walk the course before they drive it. The course can have up to 20 pairs of cones with a ball balancing on top of it. Knocking over cones adds penalties to the drivers score. The course can include obstacles made of raised rails in a U-shape or right angle, a wooden bridge and is timed. ❖

— Hall is a freelance writer from Platteville, Colo., when she's not writing she is riding her horse in the mountains. She can be reached by email at jodylhallno1@yahoo.com.

More information

Entry Fee: $200

Stall Fee: $105

Admission for spectators: Free

Spectators are encouraged to bring a picnic lunch.

Entries: Rules for combined driving available at http://www.americandrivingsociety.org Download entry form at http://www.americandrivingsociety.org

Or call Deborah Terry (303) 688-3266, email dmtevents@msn.com

Venue: Colorado Horse Park/Douglas County Open Space.

At the Colorado Horse Park entry turn east on Bayoud Gultch to the end of the white fence.

Practice: Colorado Driving Society events at Salisbury Horse Park, 11920 N. Motsenbocker Rd. Parker Colo. June 9, June 16, July 29, Sept. 1 and 2.