Competing Q&A

1.) How do I get started in competing?

A) Contact the American Driving Society at to find a local driving club. By joining a driving club you will have access to events, clinics and activties that the local club offers. You can also look at the Omnibus listings on the American Driving Society’s web page to find competitions near you.

2.) How do I prepare for competitions?

A) Attending competitions as a spectator and/or a volunteer will help you prepare to compete. By going to an event and watching it you will get an idea of the skill needed to participate. You will also meet local trainers who can help you meet your goals. The American Driving Society publishes rule books for Pleasure Driving and Combinied Driving you can read these rule books online so you will know the rules of competition.

3.) I am ready to compete, now I want to enter, what should I do?

A) Contact the show secretary and/or the show organizer and let them know you would like to enter, you need to let them know you will need special accomadations. For Example – using a golf cart to view the marathon and cones courses. If you need an exception to the rules then you need let the organizer know this. For example you can’t hold a whip. If you are in a wheelchair and need level parking for your carriage and horse trailer/truck let the show management know ahead of time. They always want to help and it is easier for them if they know ahead of time. It is also good to write down exactly what you need and send it in with your entry, even if you have talked to the mangement. Make sure to arrange for enough help while you are at the show.

4.) What range of scores are awarded medals for the World Championship CDE for para equestrian drivers?

A) The World Championship is held every two years on even numbered years. Each country enters a team of three drivers driving a single pony or horse. The format is a three day Combined Driving Event, CDE, including Dressage, Marathon, and Cones competitions. Gold, silver,and bronze medals are awarded to the three Teams with the highest combined scores and the three Individuals with the highest scores. For Teams, the top two scores each day count toward the overall score. Some discussions have been had about introducing individual medals for both Grade I and Grade II drivers.

The Gold medal scores typically include a Dressage score in the mid 30s, a Marathon score in the low 120s, averaging less than one minute in each obstacle, and in Cones competitors should complete the course in the allowed time and have a maximum of one ball down. These are admirable scores for ALL drivers and demonstrate that drivers with disabilities compete equally and effectively against ALL competitors. No changes are made to the obstacle course or cone measurements to make allowances for any drivers disabilities, they are the same as world class competitions. The Dressage competition uses FEI test 4 which is specifically designed for para equestrian drivers and does not include the advanced movements of canter and one-handed reinsmanship.