Paralympic Driven Dressage

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Driven Dressage (also known as Carriage Driving) is a triathlon which tests the overall versatility of the driven horse. Modern Horse Driving Trials came into existence in 1968 when HRH Prince Philip of Great Britain initiated the formulation of the rules for the new sport. Prince Philip is a past President of the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) for able-bodied people in all equestrian disciplines.

The competition has three phases, conducted over three or four days.

Day 1 Dressage, Competition A

The driver guides his horse(s) through a sequence of set movements, from memory, using mainly the voice for control. This is to display the horse's schooling and obedience.

The object of the Driven Dressage Test is to judge the freedom, regularity of paces, harmony, impulsion, suppleness, lightness, ease of movement and correct bending of the Horses on the move. Athletes will also be judged on style, accuracy, and general control of their Horses, and also on their dress, condition of their harness and Vehicle and the presentation of their whole turnout.

Day 2 The Cross Country Marathon, Competition B

With three timed sections and up to six challenging obstacles to be driven at speed, the stamina of the horses and the horsemanship of the drivers are stretched to the very limit.

The object is to test the fitness, stamina and training of the Horses, and the driving skill, judgement of pace and general horsemanship of the Athlete. 

The marathon will be divided into 3 sections.

Section

A

D

E

Max Dist

6km

1km

8km

Pace

Any

Walk

Any

Horse max

15km/h

7km/h

14km/h

Pony max

14km/h

6km/h

13km/h

(E - any pace until after last obstacle or last 500m)

Day 3 Cone Driving Competition, Competition C

This is equivalent to the Show jumping phase of a ridden event. Cone driving requires extreme accuracy on a tricky course, a steady hand, nerves of steel and a well trained horse.

The object of Obstacle Cone Driving is to test the fitness, obedience and suppleness of the Horses after the Competition B, and the skill and competence of the Athletes.

The time allowed will be calculated for a speed of 210 m/min for both horses and ponies. For drive-offs a speed of 220 m/min may be used.

Each event tests the skill and the nerve of the driver and the fitness, obedience and suppleness of the horse. But above all it tests the bond of complete trust between them both.

Many carriage drivers with impairments have found that riding is not for them, but their love of horses and determination to participate in equestrian sport led them to explore new and equally demanding and exciting equestrian challenges.

Safety for both the horse and the driver is paramount. Drivers are always accompanied by at least one competent able-bodied person. Traditional elegance is expected, horses, drivers, grooms and carriages are all immaculately turned out.

Classification

This involves assessing an athlete according to a variety of issues. The will be assigned a profile (sometimes 2 profiles, there are about 40) and will this will result in their allocation of one of 2 Grade Classifications.

Medical Definitions

Locomotor Impairment

Sensory Impairment

Intellectual Impairment

Other Impairment

Able Bodied

Profiles 1-31

Profiles 36-38

Profile 39

Profile: 42

Profile: 48

Carriage Driving classes

CD I

Wheelchair users with poor trunk balance and impairment in upper limbs, or those who are able to walk but with impairment of function in all four limbs, or those with severe arm impairment only.

CD II

Those with less impairment than Grade I, yet are functionally disadvantaged against able bodied drivers.

Intellectual Disability

The Para Equestrian Committee and the International Classifiers appreciate that an intellectual impairment is a handicap to Dressage tests, but, at this time (2013) the International Paralympic Committee refuses to accept this disability for Paralympic Events until INAS-FID have found a consistent robust method of classification, so Para Equestrian is unable to accept people with only an intellectual impairment until INAS-FID can produce this consistent and robust method of classification. This is now under test by some sports.

Compensating Aids and Special Equipment

If the competitor wishes to drive in a wheel-chair, the wheel chair must be secured. Straps and clamps for the wheelchair must be of a 'quick release' variety. 

In the interests of safety, sloping cushions, shell seats, waist high seat sides and arm-rests are permitted. In order to have more upper body support a strap (or similar) held around the driver is permitted as long as this in no way attaches the driver to the carriage by any technical means or in the manner that it is held.

Reins may not be attached to the driver in any manner that could prevent the driver from falling free from the carriage. 

The disabled competitor may drive with one or 2 hands and with looped reins or any other aids with which he/she normally drives and which is approved by FEI.

The driver may salute with the head only so that contact is maintained on the reins at all times. 

The whip may be used by either the disabled competitor or the able-bodied Whip in all competitions if this has been sanctioned by FEI.

The brake may be used by the groom or converted to a hand brake to be used by the driver if sanctioned by FEI. Use of the brake by the groom will be punished by 20 penalty points each time.

Vehicles Weights and Dimensions

For Competitions A and C Vehicles must comply with the following:


Class

Horse Four-in-Hand

Pony Four-in-Hand

Horse Pair

Pony Pair

Horse Tandem

Pony Tandem

Horse Single

Pony Single


Wheels

4

4

4

4

2 or 4

2 or 4

2 or 4

2 or 4


Grooms

2 behind

2

1 behind

1 behind

1 behind or beside

1 behind or beside

1 behind or beside

1 behind or beside

Min.
Width

158 cm

138 cm

148 cm

138 cm

138 cm

138 cm

138 cm

138 cm

For Competition B the Marathon Vehicles must comply with the following:

Class

Horse Four-in-Hand

Pony Four-in-Hand

Horse Pair

Pony Pair

Horse Tandem

Pony Tandem

Horse Single

Pony Single

Wheels

4

4

4

4

2 or 4

2 or 4

2 or 4

2 or 4

Min Weight

600 kg

300 kg

350 kg

225 kg

150 kg

90 kg

150 kg

90 kg

Grooms

2 behind

2 behind

1 behind

1 behind

1 behind or beside

1 behind or beside

1 behind

1 behind

All classes must have a minimum width of 125 cm.

Equipment

Vehicles used in Competitions A and C must be fitted with forward facing lamps and rear lamps or reflectors.

Tyres

Pneumatic or air-filled tyres are permitted.

All, or any, of the following classes may be held at the same Event, but each must be classified separately:

Horse Single

Horse Pair

Horse Tandem

Horse Four in Hand

Pony Single

Pony Pair

Pony Tandem

Pony Four in Hand

Minimum Age of Athletes and Grooms

Class

Horses Four- in- Hand, Tandem

Horse Pairs

Horse Single

All Pony Classes

Athlete Minimum Age

18 years

16 years

16 years

14 years

Minimum Age of Athletes and Grooms

Athletes under the age of 18 years must be accompanied by a groom(s) of 18 years and older.

Athletes over the age of 18 must be accompanied by a groom(s) of 14 years and over.

Age is determined from the beginning of the calendar year in which the Athlete and grooms reach the designated age.

Horses

Age

Single Horses must be at least 6 years for all Events.

All other Horses at CAI Events must be at least 5 years old.

All Horses at CAIO and Championships must be at least 6 years old.

Height

Driving Ponies must not exceed 148 cm without shoes, or 149 cm with shoes. All Driving Horses over these heights are classified as Horses. Driving Ponies in Pairs and Four in Hands may not be less than 108 cm without shoes, or 109 cm with shoes. Single Ponies and Tandems must not be less than 120cms without shoes, 121cms with shoes.

The Arena

The Driven Dressage Arena must be 100m x 40m.

At CAI Events a smaller Arena, measuring 80m x 40m  may be used for all classes of Singles and Pairs, in which case the loops of the serpentine must be reduced from five to three. 


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