What is Driving?
Driving is the oldest competitive equestrian sport yet it continues to thrive in the 21st century. Drivers sit on a vehicle drawn by a single horse or pony, a pair or a team of four and they face three trials – dressage, marathon and obstacle driving.
It involves performing a sequence of compulsory figures within a 100 x 40 metre rectangle. Movements – which must be executed from memory – include speed and gait transitions, circles of different sizes and halts.
It is a spectacular time trial run over a course including natural hazards such as sharp turns, water and steep hills, and artificial ones such as labyrinths. It tests the horses’ fitness and stamina and the driver’s judgment of pace and horse control.
Obstacle driving (or cones)
It tests the fitness, obedience and suppleness of the horses after the marathon, as well as the skill and competence of the driver who must weave cleanly through a narrow track outlined by cones with balls balanced on top.
National Squads within the Equestrian Australia High Performance Program focus primarily on developing Australian combinations to compete at major competitions such as the World Equestrian Games and World Championships. Selection in these Squads is an indication that Selectors have identified combinations as possible future World Equestrian Games and World Championship competitors. Selection in these squads will provide support / coaching opportunities through the EA High Performance Program to assist the selected to develop further.
Mission: The Green and Gold High Performance Squad Programs provide training opportunities for Australian drivers that have demonstrated a commitment to the goal of competing at EA/FEI level. These programs seek to assist drivers that are in the pursuit of competitive excellence. The Generation Next Squad Program identifies up and coming talented drivers in order to create a High Performance development pathway. The programs aim to increase the number of drivers and their horses/ponies competing at high performance levels therefore developing and enhancing the future Carriage Driving in Australia.