The CDE (Combined Driving Event) is modeled after the Three Day Event, which tests the overall condition and versatility of the horse in sport. Major competitions are usually held over three days: day 1) Driven Dressage; day 2) Cross Country Marathon; day 3) Cones Driving Competition. Penalty points are incurred in each of the above phases and the winner is the entry who accumulates the fewest points. The first CDE in the USA was held in New Brunswick, NJ, in the early to mid 1970’s.
GMHA’s Combined Test and Arena Driving Trial are modified versions of Combined Driving designed to prepare horse and driver to compete in a full CDE.
The Combined Test, or Two-Phase, includes dressage and cones. Scores from each phase are combined.
Driven Dressage tests are judged similarly to a ridden dressage test, but in a much larger ring. The drivers are required to perform a set of movements which include changes of pace, circles, turns, and extensions. Each movement is judged and scores are tallied.
The object of cones is to drive through a course of narrowly spaced pairs of cones cleanly within time allowed. Each cone has a ball placed on top, and any miscalculation will dislodge the ball, thus incurring a penalty. This phase tests the fitness, agility and obedience of the horse and the accuracy and skill of the driver.
The Arena Driving Trial includes dressage, cones, and arena obstacles. Scores from all phases are combined.
Arena obstacles were created as a way to compete in marathon obstacles without a full cross-country marathon. Two hazards are set up at either end of an arena, with a start and finish line across the center of the arena. Obstacles consist of sturdy obstacles marked with gates, which drivers must complete in the correct order. Competitors are timed as they drive each hazard twice. Penalties are awarded for time and knockdowns.
Saturday: Combined Test
Sunday: Arena Driving Trial