About Para-Equestrian Dressage Driving
Carriage Driving competitions are modeled on the ridden Three Day Event. It 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 consists of three phases, spread over three or four days.
Day 1 Dressage
Driven dressage consists of a sequence of set movements driven from memory and using mainly reins, assisted by whip and voice for control. Dressage displays the schooling and obedience of the horse.
Day 2 The Cross Country Marathon with Obstacles.
There are three timed sections plus 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. This section gets the adrenalin pumping and the mud-flying. Carriage Driving is definitely not for the faint hearted.
Day 3 Cone Driving Competition against the clock.
Cone driving equates to the Show jumping phase of a ridden event. With only centimeters to spare, cone driving requires extreme accuracy on a tricky course, a steady hand, nerves of steel and a well trained horse.
Each phase of the Driving Trials 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.
Most carriage drivers with disabilities have, for one reason or another, found that riding is not physically possible for them. Their love of horses and their determination to participate in equestrian sport has led them to explore new and equally demanding and exciting equestrian challenges.
Great attention is given to all aspects of safety for the horse and the driver. At all times the driver is accompanied by at least one competent able-bodied person. Traditional elegance is expected, horses, drivers, grooms and carriages are all immaculately turned out.
Organization for this sport is very labour intensive requiring 30-40 volunteer Judges, Stewards, Time keepers, Scorers, Vets, Farriers and many others. However a carriage driving competition for disabled drivers can be easily integrated into a competition for able-bodied drivers. The first three World Championships have been held in conjunction with National Championships for able-bodied drivers in Wolfsburg, Germany in 1998 and in Stadl Paura, Austria in 2000, Greven, Germany in 2002 and also Hopetown, Scotland in 2004.
Para-Driving Video with Stefanie Putnam
The Sport of Carriage Driving
United States Driving for the Disabled
United States Driving for the Disabled, Inc., a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, seeks to improve the lives of physically challenged individuals throughout the United States and Canada by providing the experience of driving horses in a safe and challenging environment.
Our mission is to provide the extraordinary benefit of therapeutic driving to as many people as possible through sharing knowledge, experience, and serving as a resource for innovations in adaptive equipment for drivers, trainers, and programs offering carriage driving.
The Sybil Dukehart Memorial Fund seeks to provide financial assistance to equip and train disabled drivers through providing scholarship funds to applicants.
USDFD fosters opportunities for drivers to compete in national and international amateur competitions by training and providing financial support for Team USA.
Para World Driving Championship, Breda (NED) August 30 – September 2, 2012
Pay Application Fee Online (You will be required to login to make the payment) (CLICK HERE)
Selection Procedures – 2012 Para Equestrian Driving World Championship A (DOWNLOAD PDF)
Application – Attachment A (Fillable)
Horse Loan Agreement – Attachment B (Fillable)
Code of Conduct – Attachment C (Fillable)
USEF Realease Assumption of Risk Waiver Idemnification – Attacment D (Fillable)
Code of Ethics – Attachment E
Declaration of Scores – Attachment F (Fillable)
Committee List – Attachment G
Athlete Agreement – Attachment H (Fillable)
ABOUT PARA-EQUESTRIAN DRIVING:
“Horses were driven long before they were ridden. As vehicles have eliminated the need for horses as a primary form of transportation, Driving has turned into a fast-growing sports discipline”
What is Para-Equestrian Driving?
Para-Equestrian Driving has been governed by the FEI since 2006 and has now fully joined the ranks of the other 7 FEI disciplines with national and international competitions in Driving for individuals with a disability. This led to the FEI becoming the first, and still the only, International Federation to govern and regulate a sport for both the able bodied and disabled athletes.
Driving is a discipline without riders; instead drivers sit on a vehicle drawn by mainly a single horse or pony with occasional pairs.
Competition Venue and Testing
All rules and regulations with regards to competition venues and testing are governed by the same principles as other disciplines. The General Regulations, Statutes and Discipline rules that are available on this site apply. The formula for the shows is the same as for standard Driving with Dressage, Marathon, Cones/Obstacles phases.
With the idea of creating opportunities for all people with disabilities to compete and achieve their goals in equestrian sport, athletes are classified according to the level of their disability/impairment so as to provide for meaningful competition. The competitor’s mobility, strength and coordination are assessed in order to establish their Classification Profile. People with similar functional ability Profiles are grouped into competition Grades. The competition within each Grade can therefore be judged on the skill of the individual competitor on their horse, regardless of the competitor’s disability.
Competitors must wear the appropriate equipment as stipulated in the classification manual, and are only permitted the use of special equipment when this has been formally documented and approved.
FEI World & Continental Championships
About the United States Driving for the Disabled, Inc
United States Driving for the Disabled, Inc., a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, seeks to improve the lives of physically challenged individuals throughout the United States and Canada by providing the experience of driving horses in a safe and challenging environment. Our mission is to provide the extraordinary benefit of therapeutic driving to as many people as possible through sharing knowledge, experience, and serving as a resource for innovations in adaptive equipment for drivers, trainers, and programs offering carriage driving. The Sybil Dukehart Memorial Fund seeks to provide financial assistance to equip and train disabled drivers through providing scholarship funds to applicants. USDFD fosters opportunities for drivers to compete in national and international amateur competitions by training and providing financial support for Team USA.
Contact for the USDFD:
UNITED STATES DRIVING FOR
THE DISABLED, INC
32450 S. Wright Rd. Molalla, OR 97038
United States Para-Equestrian Association News
U.S. Para-Driving Team Clinches Bronze at 2014 FEI World Para-Equestrian Driving Championships
Sandringham, England- June 30, 2014- The 2014 FEI World Para-Equestrian Driving Championships concluded on June 29 at The Royal Estate in Sandringham, England. Germany held on to their overnight lead to take Team Gold, The Netherlands captured Silver, and the USA clinched Bronze with a mere 3.29 penalties behind The Netherlands. Finally, Great Britain finished in fourth place. Individually, Veteran Robert Giles (USA) and Solo, owned by Koos and Marie de Ronde, won the Grade 2 Silver medal with Virginia (Boo) Fitch (USA) and her own Kiko earning the Grade 2 fourth place finish. Diane Kastama earned an 11th place in Grade I and Mary Gray earned a 10th place in Grade 2. Marie De Ronde served as Chef d’Equipe for the USA Team and Sara Schmitt served as coach.
The U.S. Para-Driving Team for the 2014 FEI World Para-Equestrian Driving Championships occurred June 27-29, with the three U.S. team members including Diane Kastama with her own Rupert, Virginia Fitch with her own Kiko, and Vietnam Veteran Bob Giles driving Koos De Ronde’s Solo. The first day included driven dressage, followed by the marathon & obstacles course, and the final day concluded with cones and the awards presentation.
It was the first time that these championships were hosted in England. Para-equestrian drivers from eight nations competed in a fiercely fought contest for world supremacy. Four of the nations, including the USA, fielded a team of at least three competitors required for the team awards; the other countries were represented by individual competitors. Individual medals are awarded by “Grade” which is a classification by the FEI according to level of disability (with Grade I being more severely disabled than Grade II). Sixty percent of the competitors were Grade I.
United States Driving for the Disabled acknowledged, ” A heartfelt thanks go to Coach Sara Schmitt and Chef d’Equipe Marie de Ronde-United States Driving for the DisabledOudemans who each went above and beyond in their help to the team. We would also like to extend our utmost appreciation to all of the individuals and groups over the past many months who have given us their encouragement, backing and support. They have truly been the ones who have made this possible. Thank you all for being a part of this wonderful accomplishment.”
Results from the 2014 FEI World Para Equestrian Driving Championships:
1st Germany 227.07
2nd Netherlands 244.74
3rd USA 248.03
4th Great Britain 264.91
1st Jacques Poppen (Ned) 107.18
2nd Heiner Lehrter (Ger) 118.46
3rd Markus Beerhues (Ger) 124.25
4th Lucy Barclay (GBR) 131 73
1st Alexandra Roeder 111.61
2nd Robert Giles (USA) 125.21
3rd Mick Ward (GBR) 127.25
4th Virginia Fitch (USA) 131.82
Team Members for the 2014 FEI World Para Equestrian Driving Championships:
Diane Kastama Grade 1
Virginia (Boo) Fitch Grade 2
Vietnam Veteran Bob Giles Grade 2
1st Alternate: Theresa (Ginny) Leal Grade 2
2nd Alternate: Mary Gray Grade 2
Representing the U.S. as an Individual at the 2014 FEI World Para Equestrian Driving Championships for Singles:
Mary Gray (Brunswick, Maine) will drive Nick Hammond’s Leyeswick the Rooster. Leyeswick the Rooster is a 2006 Welsh gelding.
For further detailed scores see:
Additional news is at:
Germany holds overnight lead to take Team Gold at the 2014 Para-Equestrian World Championships
About Diane Kastama: Diane Kastama, Arroyo Grande, CA Grade I. In 1991 a car crash left Diane paralyzed from the waist down. Although a lifelong horse person and dressage enthusiast, riding without the use of her legs was not much fun and she soon turned to driven dressage and then the exciting sport of combined driving. Her relatives and friends thought she was crazy for taking on a sport that involves sitting atop a tall carriage, pulled by a horse going “hell-bent” for speed.
Diane started competing with her home bred Appaloosa’s but now Diane competes with a pair of Section D Welsh Cobs, Rupert and George. She drives them single, pair and tandem. She competes against able-bodied drivers all over the Western United States and occasionally on the East Coast at the Intermediate and Advanced level. Diane has also demonstrated her skills at Rolex, KY, Horse Expo in Sacramento, the “Night of the Horse” in Del Mar. The Equine Affair and various therapeutic horse programs throughout California. She has also participated in the closing ceremonies at the 2006 World Equestrian Games in Aachen, Germany. Diane is always willing to share her skills and knowledge and bring driving to the forefront of equine sports. Diane has been very succesful in international Para-Equestrian competition, coming home with an Individual Silver and Team Bronze driving a borrowed Welsh Cob Stallion in 2002 Greven, Germany. 2004 she place 5th with a borrowed Welsh cob in Endinburg, Scotland. In 2006 she came home with Individual Gold driving her own Welsh cob gelding Jasper. In 2008 Diane earned Individual Bronze and Team Silver driving Jasper once again. Kastama will drive Rupert at the Championships who is a 1996 Welsh Cob gelding.
About Bob Giles: Bob Giles (Morriston, Fla.) is a well known driving horse trainer and clinician who has dedicated his life to the sport of driving. His selection to the USEF Para-Equestrian Driving Team is a dream come true for this accomplished competitor, Vietnam War veteran, and Purple Heart recipient.
Giles was in combat within the the Vietnam War resulting in the loss of 90% of his hearing, a fused elbow and only partial use of his right hand. As a combat-wounded Purple Heart recipient, Bob is dedicating his drive to the memory of the 58,000 + men and women who lost their lives in the Vietnam War.
Giles enthusiasm and determination for the thrilling sport of Combined Driving has driven him to the 2014 World Driving Championships in Sandringham, England, June 27-29, 2014. Giles will drive Koos De Ronde’s Solo and Olando.
About Virgina (Boo) Fitch: Virginia (Boo) Fitch is from Pennhook, Va. Fitch grew up fox hunting and showing hunters. She attended Lynchburg College and rode on their intercollegiate riding team as well as the Old Dominion Athletic Conference Team. After graduating, she rode jumpers for a prominent family in Quebec Canada. It was during this time that Fitch developed Rheumatoid Arthritis. It came on suddenly and strongly. Within two years she had a hip replacement at the age of 26. By the year 2000, she was having considerable problems with her feet and ankles and it just so happened that she owned a school horse that drove and had a good friend that competed in Combined Driving. Between the safe horse and her friend she started driving and loved it. After five surgeries and three joint replacements over the course of 10 years from 2000 to 2010, teaching children just became too difficult and she was finding herself competing in Combined driving more often. Fitch has become a prominent competitor in the para-equestrian driving world and she looks forward to her recent appointment as a member of the 2014 Team. Fitch will drive Kiko, a 2003 Irish Sport Horse Mare at the Championships.
For more information about United States Driving for the Disabled please go to www.USDFD.org.
USDFD facebook site https://www.facebook.com/USDFD