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.
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There are four key areas within the Driving High Performance Program. They are:
- Program Management
- National Squads
- Training & Development
- World Championships
The Driving High Performance Program will be led by the National Performance Director (NPD) Boyd Exell & Mrs Dot Willcoxson (Assistant Director).
National selectors have been appointed for a four year period between World Equestrian Games. Their role is to select national squads (including futures squads) and World Championship teams, and other teams as required. The chair of selectors is Judy Meredith.
A national elite and national A squad will be selected each year. Three national talent identification days will be held in Australia each year to select members to a driving futures squad.
Training and Development
The Driving High Performance Program will conduct a number of group and/or individual clinics and camps throughout the year to assist and monitor the development of national squad members.
As part of the development in achieving the main objective of the program of team and individual medals at WEG, the High Performance Program will target World Championships for single, pairs and four in hand.