The Kentucky Classic Combined Drive Event (CDE), modeled after the ridden three-day eventing, but with the extra challenge generated by the addition of the carriage and the more limited communication with the horses, will be October 3 – 6, at the Kentucky Horse Park.
First, horses or ponies are presented in the dressage arena to demonstrate obedience, suppleness and the skill of the handler. Judges take into consideration standards expected at each level and score accordingly. The dressage test, while it is the most nerve-wracking for the competitor, is the foundation for the rest of the sport.
The marathon, equivalent to ridden cross-country, is the phase that draws many participants to the sport and provides the most excitement for competitors and spectators. It is on the marathon that the driver must be able to gauge speed and pace in order to finish each section within the time allowed. In the last section, drivers must complete a series of hazards negotiating up to six gates in each. Competitors approach the hazards, often at a gallop, threading their way through gates with inches to spare. The hazards are what give the sport its thrill factor.
The final phase, the cones, tests the ability of the driver to clear a course of up to 20 gates at the required pace without incurring penalties. Combined driving cones are wedge-shaped, with hollow tops, on which are placed balls. The merest touch is enough to cause a knock-down and a five-point penalty and the clearance between cones becomes narrower and narrower, testing the mettle of even top professionals. Like three-day eventing, combined driving is scored by a system of penalty points with the winner earning the lowest score.
Combined driving has its roots in England. In 1970, His Royal Highness Prince Philip, established the first set of international rules that were implemented at the Royal Windsor Horse Show. A great competitor, first with a four-in-hand of horses and later with Fell ponies, Prince Philip remains a strong supporter of the sport.
The CDE runs Preliminary, Intermediate and Advanced Level competition here at the Kentucky Horse Park, the site of the 2010 World Equestrian Games. Since 2012, the Kentucky Classic CDE has been allocated the 2012 USEF National Championships for Single, Pair, and Four-in-Hand Ponies, as well as the USEF National Championships for Pair Horses. As a result, the CDE attracts the nation’s top competitors.
Whether you plan to attend as a competitor, spectator or volunteer, we hope you enjoy the show! For more information about the Kentucky Classic CDE, visit www.KentuckyClassicCDE.com.
Date & Time:
October 3-6, 2013 – 9:00 am- 5:00 pm
Thursday AM - Vet Check for Advanced entries
Thursday PM - Advanced Dressage
Friday (all day) - Preliminary and Intermediate Dressage
Saturday (all day) - Marathon (all levels)
Sunday (all day) - Cones (all levels)
Included in Kentucky Horse Park general admission, horse show-only rate available
Location & Parking:
Carriage Driving Course
Parking available in the Main Lot.