Current Class List:


SHOW ARENA CLASSES:
Fine Harness

Pleasure Harness
Show Draft Harness

COMBINED DRIVING & PLEASURE DRIVING COMPETITIONS:

Dressage Driving

Marathons

Combined Driving Cones

Pleasure Driving Obstacles 







SLEIGH CLASSES:

Sleigh Pleasure Harness

Sleigh Show Draft Harness

Sleigh Dressage Driving

Sleigh Pleasure Driving Marathon

Sleigh Obstacles

Working Sleighs

Winter Harness Racing

Sleigh Parade or Costume

Miscellaneous Sleighs


OTHER HARNESS CLASSES:

Modern Working Harness

Historical Harness (before 1950)

Harness Trail or Endurance  

Harness Racing

Harness Parade or Costume 

Miscellaneous Harness



HARNESS DIVISION

OVERVIEW OF HARNESS

  1. A harness of some type is required for all entries in this division.

  2. Bridles should fit snugly to prevent catching on the vehicle or other things. Throatlatches are required. Most harness bridles should have a cavesson or noseband of some type, but this is not required as some bridle styles do not use them. Bits are required for all competitive events. Teams of horses do not need to have matching bits.

  3. Blinkers should be correctly adjusted so that they do not appear to rub on the horse’s eyes or impede forward vision.

  4. Black harness is considered appropriate for painted vehicles and natural wood vehicles with black trim (shaft and pole trimmings, dash, or fenders), or natural wood vehicles with iron parts painted any color except brown. Reins/lines may be black or brown.

  5. Russet harness is considered appropriate with natural wood finished vehicles with black or brown iron; painted vehicles with natural wood panels; or vehicle painted brown with brown iron (shaft and pole trimmings should match the harness).

  6. Traces should run between the shaft wrap/tugs and the horse’s body, then through the breeching strap.

  7. Breeching should hang level just below the rounded part of the horse’s rump. It must not hang loose. Breeching is required on any vehicle without a brake. Breeching is not used in Fine Harness.

  8. All metal furnishings should match between harness and vehicle and be sturdy and polished.

  9. Breast collars are appropriate for lightweight vehicles. The breastplate should be at or just above the horse’s point of shoulder but not too high as to press on the neck.

  10. Full collars are suggested for heavy carriages like coaches, brakes, phaetons, dog carts, etc.

  11. A wider saddle is suggested for two wheeled vehicles as more weight rests on the horse’s back. A narrow saddle is more appropriate for a four wheeled vehicle.

  12. Martingales are permitted only if appropriate for a vehicle – standing martingales may be used with Stanhope Gigs or George VI Phaetons, for example.

  13. Martingales and overchecks are prohibited in obstacle classes and Driven Dressage for all carriages. Sidechecks are only allowed in Dressage in Training level. Failure to comply will incur elimination.

  14. In multiple hitches, each pair of horses is connected by crossing the inside reins/lines to keep them centered. From above, the lines on a multiple hitch horse team should make “X’s” between each pair, with the “X” in front of the horses’ collars. The left outside line goes directly up the left side of the near (left) horse, through the left hame ring or terret, and attaches to the left side of the near horse’s bit. The left inside line (or cross check) goes through the near horse’s right hame ring or terret and then attaches to the left side of the off (right) horse’s bit.

  15. Reins/lines should pass through terrets or rings, located on the collar, or on the saddle of a breastcollar harness to keep them from catching on the harness. A breastcollar harness may also have rings on the neck strap; if it does not, the lines are permitted to pass underneath the neck strap if necessary.

  16. Snaffle bits are allowed with rubber or leather mouthpiece (except in Show Draft Harness). No twisted wire mouthpieces or tying down of tongues allowed.

  17. Teams should match in breeding or type and way of going. Matching in color is not required.


PLACEMENT OF REINS AND OPTIONAL DOLL HANDLERS

  1. Lines/reins should show little to no slack at all times as they are the primary communication with the horses. When a driver is implied but no doll is used, lines should lie across the top of the dash or front of the vehicle, with the ends hanging neatly down inside the vehicle or resting neatly on the seat.

  2. Dolls may hold lines in one or both hands for a single horse; both hands are usually used for two or more horses. Elbows and arms should be held comfortably close to the body.

  3. One Hand Driving: lines are held in the left hand, with the right rein entering between the first finger and thumb; the left rein enters between the ring and middle fingers, and both reins exit the hand below the little finger. The left hand and arm is held at a slight angle across the front of the body, centered behind the horse. To turn right, the hand is rotated up in toward the chest; to turn left the hand is rotated down and out.

  4. Two Hand Driving: reins enter the upright hand between the thumb and first finger and exiting below the little finger. For large teams, the additional reins are separated by the fingers of each hand- first rein between thumb and first finger, second rein between first finger and middle finger, etc.

  5. Whips are usually held in the right hand. The thong of the whip should be long enough to reach the shoulder of the farthest horse. It may be looped up out of the way around the handle when not in use. Whips are required for many competitive events.

  6. Driver dolls should sit upright, with feet flat on the floor of the vehicle, and should appear to be looking where they are going. Drivers sit on the right-hand side of the vehicle unless its construction does not allow this. (Driver may also sit in the center in a recreational, working or historic entry.)

  7. A driver must always be on the vehicle if grooms or passengers are on the vehicle. An entry may have up to one groom per horse. Grooms must sit beside or behind the driver, and may only stand behind the driver in Combined Driving Marathon.

  8. A groom or attendant may stand at the head of the horse while in a lineup, but should stand two paces away from the horse.

  9. Show grooms must wear a hat or protective headgear. In all show classes, grooms may wear stable livery or in more formal vehicles, full livery. Less formal attire may be used where it is permitted for the driver.

  1. Stable Livery : a conservative suit with a white shirt, dark tie, derby , dark shoes and leather gloves; OR a conservative jacket with jodhpurs or drill trousers, jodhpur or paddock boots, white shirt, stock or four-in-hand tie, gloves, and derby or conservative cap; OR hunting attire with a hunting derby or bowler.

  2. Full Livery: a close fitting body coat with buttons of yellow or white metal ideally matching the harness, white breeches, black boots with tan tops, white stock, black top hat and brown leather gloves. Preferred color of coat is conservative and complementary to the vehicle.

  1. Whip Salutes are performed as follows: hold the whip vertically in the right hand, butt end even with the face; OR hold the whip in the right hand, parallel to the ground, with the handle even with the face; OR a gentleman may hold the whip in the left hand and remove his hat.

  2. Junior or novice drivers may not drive stallions.



VEHICLES -GENERAL

  1. Vehicles are optional for all classes, except in the Sleigh section where a vehicle with runners is required. If no vehicle is used, traces and reins should be arranged neatly.

  2. The comfort of the horse is essential. Horses should be hitched with plenty of clearance so their hocks will not hit the vehicle when in motion. The ends of the shafts should not be further forward or backward than the center of the horse’s shoulder. The pole should reach the distance of the middle of the horses’ necks while in draft. Shafts and poles should be either level or slope down from the horse’s shoulder to the vehicle.

  3. Vehicles ideally match the style of the horse- high-actioned horses with formal vehicles, ground-covering horses with road or country vehicles, etc. This is not required, however.

  4. Specialized marathon carts (vehicles designed for marathon use) should only be used for Combined Driving Marathon, TREC Driving, Distance Driving, or other informal uses.

  5. Wire-wheeled or pneumatic-tired vehicles are not allowed beyond training level in most competitive disciplines. Wire-wheeled vehicles may be used in Fine Harness and breed-specific shows. Pneumatic tires are most commonly seen on heavier modern working vehicles.



SPECIAL NOTES FOR THE SLEIGH SECTION

  1. Sleighs” here includes all winter vehicles with runners instead of wheels – sleighs, cutters, bobsleds, driven skijoring, etc. A vehicle with runners is required for this section.

  2. Sleighs may only enter Sleigh section classes.

  3. Cantering is not allowed in competitive events while using a sleigh. This includes Arena Pleasure, Arena Draft, Dressage, and Obstacles. However, cantering is allowed for entries not depicting a competitive event, such as recreational driving. Keep in mind that snowy footing can be slippery and that high speeds may be dangerous.

  4. Sleigh obstacle courses should be set with smooth, wide turns and wider clearances than for wheeled vehicles due to the larger turning radius.

  5. Harnesses should have breeching, as runner vehicles rarely have effective brakes.

  6. Footing for all classes should suggest snow, but deep snow should be avoided. Ankle deep or less is preferred; roads, trails and competitive events especially may have flat packed or groomed snow.



HARNESS BELLS AND SLEIGH BELLS

Historically, bells were used as attention-getters – in winter to alert others to the oncoming silent traffic, or on parade harness or delivery vehicles such as ice cream vendors. Of course they sound nice too! Modern use is much the same, though bells are not usually permitted in show events.

The two most common types are neck bells (placed around the collar or the horse’s neck, with 1 or 2 short straps to secure them to the harness) or body bells (which go around the girth area, passing outside of the shafts or pole to prevent rubbing on the horse). Other bell types include rump straps (a short strap that buckles onto to the back strap); saddle chimes, hame bells, or swingers (typically fancy bell brackets that attach directly to the harness using screws); and shaft or pole bells (a set of bells bolted underneath or on top of the shafts or pole of the sleigh). Bells may also replace harness brasses anywhere on a draft harness, when appropriate.

Bells are only allowed in the following classes, where appropriate: Sleigh Pleasure Harness (field entries only), Sleigh Draft Harness, Working Sleighs, Sleigh Parade or Costume, Miscellaneous Sleighs, Modern Working Harness, Historical Harness, Harness Parade or Costume, and Miscellaneous Harness.


VALID DISQUALIFICATIONS

POINTS OFF FOR



CHOOSING A MODEL FOR HARNESS

The guidelines listed below are just suggestions on choosing a model for harness. No gait should be given preference over another as long as the gait shown is appropriate for the class entered.

A good harness horse must appear to be under control at all times – a harnessed horse is controlled only by the reins, voice, and whip. It should appear quiet and willing.

The most versatile pose for a harness horse is a trot, as it is the gait used to show off the harnessed horse. Commonly, classes call for a Slow Trot (collected, though not as collected as a Dressage collected trot; the horse should appear submissive to the bit), Working Trot (a free and steady working speed where the rear feet touch the ground in the hoof prints of the forefeet. This should be an even and balanced gait on a lightly taut rein), and Strong Trot (a faster trot with a lengthened stride, though not fully extended as in the Dressage extended trot. Excessive speed is penalized). A trotting horse may be able to compete in almost any harness event. High-stepping and flashy trots are called for in Fine Harness and sometimes Show Draft harness. Some gaited breeds do compete in harness and their intermediate gait replaces the trot. Saddlebreds do not rack in harness.

Walking and halting are also often called for in harness. Horses should walk calmly but energetically. Halted horses should ideally stand square or parked out, depending on breed, in an arena class. A rein back (backing up) may be asked for in arena classes or Gambler’s Choice obstacle classes.

Canter and Gallop are rarely seen in harness shows as it is dangerous. Cantering is allowed in high level Marathon events. A very controlled canter may be called for in Advanced level Driven Dressage. Galloping is best kept for emergencies (Fire Department, doctor’s buggy, etc.) or informal racing.

Other poses can be used as well. A twisting barrel horse could be negotiating an obstacle in a Combined Driving Marathon, for example. Be creative!

SHOW HARNESS CLASSES

FINE or PARK HARNESS

Fine Harness showcases the elegance, animation, and high action of gaits in light breeds.


Judged On: Elegance and action. Gaits used are walk, trot, and “show your horse” strong trot. At the trot horse's knees should reach or break level (level meaning the forearm is parallel to the ground.) No other gaits are permitted.

Required Equipment: Fine harness style harness with a narrow breastcollar, single neck strap, traces, a small pad with terrets and cheek hook, shaft loops with overgirth or French tugs, back strap, crupper. Bridle with blinkers, snaffle bit, overcheck or sidecheck and lines. Breeching is not used. The harness is made to be as fine and unobtrusive as possible, as is the vehicle. Check different breeds below for variations.

Vehicle: Typical vehicles include 4 wheel fine harness buggies (side-bar buggy or road wagon), with wire wheels and a shallow flat body; the Viceroy, a smaller vehicle with 4 wire wheels and a curved frame, used with ponies; and "bikes" or wire wheeled carts with a basket or other lining for the driver's feet and two wheels; painted finish or wood varnished. Saddlebreds, Morgans and Arabs use 4 wheel carts or 2 wheeled bikes and ponies use with viceroys or bikes.

Optional: Running martingales. Browband, noseband and pad are often decorated with a fine line of color. Overcheck bits are separate; sidecheck bits are optionally separate.

Driver: Clothes should be neat. A whip with a short lash and gloves are used, but no lap robe. Men wear conservative saddle suits. Ladies may wear a saddle suit or a long dress. Evening attire for both sexes is formal and a skirt for ladies. Bare shoulders are considered inappropriate. One person may stand at the head while in the lineup but must stand 2 paces from the horse's head and must be attired with the standard dress code. No passengers or grooms in the vehicle.

Prohibited: Breeching on the harness. Martingales may not be used with a Liverpool bit. Vehicles inappropriate for the breed shown. Boots on any breed except Saddlebreds. Non-Fine Harness entries.

Extra Credit: Color of harness hardware matching the vehicle trim. Rolled patent leather elements on the harness. Hand loops at the end of reins.

Arab, Anglo-Arab: Must show with a 4 wheel cart.

Hackney Horse/Pony: Shown with a viceroy or side-wheel cart; must shown in a sidecheck with a Liverpool bit set at the half cheek.

Morgan: Shown with a full mane and natural tail, no ribbons or boots. May be shown in a Liverpool bit with a sidecheck (if driven in the half cheek) but no running martingale. Horse must be shown with a 4-wheel cart.

Saddlebreds: Shown with a full mane and set or unset tail, braided ribbons in the forelock and top of the mane. Quarter boots or bell boots are also used on the front legs. Saddlebreds are shown at the walk and the trot; they do not rack under harness. Vehicle is usually a small buggy with 4 wire wheels but without top.

Shetland Ponies: Shown with a sidecheck. High tail cruppers permitted. Shown without a martingale or boots, blinkers are round. Pony used with a viceroy.



PLEASURE HARNESS

All breeds are eligible and can be exhibited as a show ring or street scene entry. All wheeled vehicles are permitted. Single horses or any combination of hitch are allowed.

Judged On: Manners and obedience. Horses should walk energetically but calmly and perform even and moderate gaits (walk, slow trot, working trot, extended trot). Teams should be balanced and work together. Horses may also be asked to back up.

Required Equipment: Pleasure type harness with either a breastcollar or full collar, traces, pad with terrets, back strap, shaft loops, crupper, and girth, though harness style will vary. Bridle with noseband, throatlatch, browband, blinkers and lines. Breeching should be used with a Meadowbrook cart.

Optional: Overchecks if used should not interfere with the horse’s head set. Sidechecks may be used. Horses shown in a snaffle may use a running martingale. Braided manes. Arena fence is optional.

Driver: Clothing is neat and conservative. Men wear a jacket and slacks or suit. Women may wear a long dress, slack suit, dress suit, dress or blouse and skirt. Bare shoulders are considered inappropriate and floppy hats are discouraged in the show ring. A hat or helmet, gloves, aprons and lap robes optional for both sexes. A show-ring driver without a whip in hand or carrying a whip of incorrect length may be severely penalized. Whips should be long enough to reach the farthest horse’s shoulders with the lash. Grooms may wear stable livery (conservative jacket, suit, or hunting attire, white shirt, dark tie or a stock, slacks or jodhpurs, and hat or helmet) or full livery (close fitting body coat with metal buttons, white breeches with tan tops, white stock, black top hat and gloves). One person may stand at the horse’s head while in the lineup but must stand 2 paces from the horse's head and must be attired with the standard dress code.

Points off for: Flank straps on a single horse (not needed). Different colored buckles from the color of the bit.

Prohibited: Boots of any kind. Artificial tail sets.

Extra Credit: Junior competitors wearing helmets. Competitor number on harness or vehicle.

Note: Saddlebreds to be shown with a driver only to a two wheeled jog cart. Driver to dress conservatively; horses are shown at the walk, trot and extended trot only.



SHOW DRAFT HARNESS

Show Draft Harness is open to heavy draft horses and other breeds that are shown in a full draft style collar (like Fjords, Haflingers, Draft Mules, etc.) May be hooked to a cart or wagon in singles, pairs or tandems (2 horses), Unicorn (3 horses), Four-Up, Six-Up, and Eight-Up hitches.

Judged On: Manners and obedience. Horses should walk energetically but calmly and perform even and moderate gaits (walk, slow trot, and working trot). Teams should be balanced and work together. Teams (especially of four or more horses) may be asked to fan (horses sidestep to pivot the front wheels without moving the wagon; first 90 degrees to the right, halt; back to center, halt; 90 degrees to the left, halt; then back to center).

Required Equipment: Draft show harness with collar, hames, traces, girth pad with loops, back strap, and breeching (for shaft vehicles and for the wheelers of a hitch); and a bridle with blinkers, a driving bit, and lines/reins. Liverpool, Buxton, and Elbow bits require a curb chain. Scotch Peaked collar is suggested but not required. Single horses may show with either breeching or a cart harness with a crupper. Cruppers are used if there is some kind of breeching; otherwise they may be omitted.

Optional: Sidechecks of chain or leather are common- they fasten at the cheek ring or sometimes to the bit (for more control over a green or active horse). Overchecks are also used. Traces end with a chain link hooked onto the vehicle. Horse may be decorated with rolled manes and knotted tails, ribbons, poms or flowers; harness brasses may be found at the face, blinkers, chest, back (kidney flap) and trace carrier at the breeching, or on the collar peak.

Driver: Clothing is neat. Men wear a jacket and slacks or suit. Women may wear a long dress, slack suit, dress suit, dress or blouse and skirt. Bare shoulders are considered inappropriate and floppy hats are discouraged in the show ring. Whip, hat or helmet, gloves, aprons and lap robes optional for both sexes. A groom may stand at the head of any single or hitch. They are required to stand 2 paces from the horse's head and must be attired with the standard dress code.

Don't be fooled by: Snaffle bits, flanks straps for single horse (for wheelers on a multi hitch) Two hip straps are unusual but they do appear especially in Russian and Fancy harness of foreign countries.

Prohibited: Sleigh bells. Tandems should not be asked to fan or back up. Working harness entries.

Extra Credit: Matching color schemes, carried out with ribbons, clothes, vehicle colors, felt pads under harness saddle or collar. Competitor numbers on bridle and/or vehicle.

COMBINED DRIVING / CARRIAGE PLEASURE DRIVING / DRIVING TRIALS CLASSES

Combined Driving is the harness equivalent to Eventing. Marathon takes the place of Cross Country, and Cones takes the place of Jumping. Carriage Pleasure Driving is a similar event, but the Marathon phase is gentler and there is more variation in the types of obstacle classes offered. Driving Trials consist of dressage, cones and a section E marathon (the obstacle phase) only.

DRESSAGE DRIVING

Dressage is a test of the horse’s suppleness, ease of movement, harmony, regularity of paces, and presentation of the entire turnout. Driven Dressage arenas are similar to those used in ridden Dressage, but larger. They should have proper letters and a low fence (board or breakable chain).

Judged On: Evenness of pace, impulsion, collection, obedience and lightness, presentation (including condition and fit of harness and vehicle) and correct positioning while performing a driven dressage test pattern. Head carriage should not be set too high or low. Lower level gaits include halt, walk, slow trot, working trot, lengthened trot, rein back; upper levels add collected and extended gaits, and movements such as shoulder-in. Working Canter is only acceptable in an Intermediate Level Canter Test and in Advanced (FEI) level competition only; the horse should appear controlled and collected. Any other type of canter or cantering in other levels is not acceptable. Please state where the entry is in the dressage test and what level.

Required Equipment: Pleasure-style harness with a collar or breastcollar. Pleasure-style bridle with a browband, throatlatch, noseband, blinkers, and lines. Common bits used are Liverpool with curb chain, elbow bit, or half-cheek snaffle but may be any riding snaffle or driving bit. Vehicles are similar to those used for show pleasure classes with two or four wheels and may vary in style. Four wheeled vehicles must have carriage lamps and rear lights or reflectors. Low Dressage fence made of boards or breakable chain and proper letters.

Optional: Fence may be decorated with flowers.

Driver: Clothing is formal, with jackets or national dress. A whip in hand, hat or helmet, gloves, and apron are required. Whip must be long enough to reach the farthest horse’s shoulders. A driver without a whip in hand or carrying a whip of incorrect length may be severely penalized. A groom may accompany the driver if seated behind the driver in a four wheeled vehicle only.

Prohibited: Bandages or brushing boots. No check reins of any type (though side checks are allowed in Training Level only). Martingales allowed only if appropriate to vehicle. Wire-wheeled or pneumatic-tired vehicles are not allowed beyond Training Level. Cantering horses not performing at top level events.

Extra Credit: Competitor number on bridle and back of vehicle. Spares kit, crocheted ear net, and braided manes with loose tails. Dressage tests are available at the American Driving Society, British Driving Trials Association, and FEI websites.



COMBINED DRIVING AND PLEASURE DRIVING MARATHONS

This class includes two types of Marathon Driving: Combined Driving Marathon, and Pleasure Driving Marathon. Rules common to both events are listed first; rules specific to each event are listed separately below. Marathons are a test of the fitness and stamina of the horses, and the skill and horsemanship of the driver. There is a vet check and sometimes a rest stop. Please state which kind of marathon the entry depicts in the description.

Judged On: Fitness and stamina of the horses; skill of the driver. Singles, pairs, tandems, and four-in-hand teams may compete. AND -

Combined Driving: Horses may take any gait through obstacles (no cantering in obstacles in Training Level) but must trot the last 500 meters. Gaits used: Section A- free pace, Section B- walk, Section C- trot, Section D (no obstacles) - compulsory walk, Section E- free (except last 500 meters are compulsory trot). Section E is the obstacle phase and tends to be the favorite among model horse exhibitors.

Pleasure Marathon: Overall presentation of turnout. Gaits are walk and trot; a few strides of canter or gallop are allowed. The last kilometer must be at a trot.



Required Equipment: Marathon Obstacle and harness suitable for use in a marathon- see below for details. Breeching is required if the vehicle has no brakes. Harness is usually black. Buckled-on traces are preferred but not required. Bridle with noseband, browband, throatlatch, bit, blinkers, and brown or half brown reins. Liverpool bits with a curb chain are customary, but other bits are allowed. Obstacles may have dislodgeable elements as long as they are safe. Obstacles may be natural or artificial, including natural terrain, sharp turns, water, steep hills, gates, trees, low bridges, etc. Obstacles must be marked with a number and have at least one lettered gate with red and white markers. (See the “extra credit” section for more details) AND -

Combined Driving: Marathon harness or sturdy pleasure-type harness with collar, breastcollar, or brollar (combination of collar and breastcollar). Four-wheeled marathon carts (often metal) are suggested for Preliminary Level and above.

Pleasure Marathon: Sturdy pleasure-type harness with collar or breastcollar. Vehicles should be the same types used for dressage or pleasure harness classes but must be sturdy, and may have two or four wheels. Meadowbrook or similar carts are common and antique carriages are allowed.



Optional: All types of protective boots and wraps are allowed. Pads under the breeching, breastcollar, or backpad are acceptable. Combined Driving carts may have short shafts ending in rings so that the harness may be buckled directly to the shafts instead of using tug loops. Pleasure Marathon obstacles may be either the same type as in Combined Driving, or the course may be designed with a smooth track where possible to be gentler on antique vehicles.



Driver: A hat or helmet is required. AND -

Combined Driving: Driver and grooms may wear informal clothing, but not shorts. Helmets and body protectors are highly suggested. Competitor number bibs may be worn. Grooms may stand behind the driver if the cart allows. Whips are optional.

Pleasure Marathon: Clothing is neat and conservative, with a jacket and slacks or suit, or national dress suggested for both men and women. A whip in hand, hat or helmet, apron and gloves are required. Grooms must be attired with the standard dress code. Grooms may not stand behind the driver. A driver without a whip in hand or carrying a whip of incorrect length may be severely penalized. Whips should be long enough to reach the farthest horse’s shoulders with the lash.

Prohibited: Pneumatic tires above Training Level. Check reins of any type (sidechecks allowed in Training Level only). Water obstacles in Training or Preliminary Levels. Bitless bridles. Fine Harness-type carts. Flimsy harness or vehicles. Driving through obstacle gates in the wrong direction without “clearing” them first by driving through in the correct order. AND -

Combined Driving: No fancy pleasure vehicles.

Pleasure Marathon: No bridges or zigzag obstacles in Training level. No combined driving marathon carts. No prolonged canter or gallop. Driver must carry a whip.

Extra Credit: Spares kit. Crocheted ear net. Color schemes carried out with clothing, boots, vehicle and/or pads. Referee sitting next to driver. A groom on the back leaning around corners. Ground or Obstacle Observers. Competitor numbers visible on bridle and/or back of vehicle. “Greased” legs and chest of horse to prevent “hang ups”. Written course illustrations showing hazards and gates. Timing devices at start or finish. Correctly marked obstacles (see below):

  1. Obstacle Number – located on the post of the red flag at the entry of the obstacle. There are 6 to 8 obstacles per course.

  2. Compulsory Gates in an Obstacle – red on the right and white on the left; lettered A, B, C, etc. (3-6 gates per obstacle)

  3. Level Markers – the colors listed are standard; the shapes are suggested but not required. Numbers may be white or black for maximum contrast.

  1. Other Markers: Course Turning Flags or Gates (red on the right and white on the left; numbered consecutively in each section), Directional Markers (yellow; placed on the right side of the track, with a confirmational arrow after every significant turn), kilometer markers.



COMBINED DRIVING- OBSTACLE CONES

Combined Driving- Obstacle Cones is a test of the fitness and condition of the horses after the marathon phase. It is also a test of the skills of the driver. It is done in an arena slightly larger than the dressage ring with sandy or grassy footing.

Judged On: Accuracy - the ability of the competitor to complete the course with the fewest faults. Balls are placed on top of orange traffic cones and a fault occurs if they are knocked off when the entry passes. The balls are standard tennis balls or sometimes blocks of wood are used. Usual gait is a reasonably fast trot.

Required Equipment: Pleasure-style harness with a collar or breastcollar. Bit may be any riding snaffle or driving bit. An obstacle is required. Vehicles are similar to those used for show pleasure classes or dressage. Obstacles are numbered with a pair of red and white markers (red on the right). Multiple obstacles (with up to 3 sections) should be lettered A, B, C. Multiple obstacles may be L or U shaped made of raised rails, a serpentine or zigzag of cones, or a low wooden bridge with cones marking the entry and exit.

Optional: Conservative leg protection is allowed.

Driver: Driver attire is formal arena type, with hats, gloves, and jackets or national dress and a whip in hand is required. A driver without a whip in hand or carrying a whip of incorrect length may be severely penalized. Whips should be long enough to reach the farthest horse’s shoulders with the lash. A groom may be seated behind the driver in a four wheeled vehicle and beside the driver in a two-wheeled vehicle.

Prohibited: Obstacles requiring a rein back. Grooms may not stand behind the driver. Points off for horse or vehicle placed too closely to an obstacle so that a knock down will occur. Water is not allowed in Training or Preliminary level. Bridges are not allowed in Training level. No pneumatic tires or wire wheels above Training level.

Extra Credit: When using a bridge, having fan-shaped wings at the entrance. Competitor numbers on harness and vehicle. Showing multiple cone obstacles marked correctly. Course described or attached. Crocheted ear net. Timing devices at start and finish.

PLEASURE DRIVING OBSTACLES

Pleasure Driving Obstacle courses are a test of the fitness and condition of the horses after the marathon phase. It is also a test of the skills of the driver. It is done in an arena or roped-off area with a sandy or grassy footing. There is not one set obstacle course; event staff at each competition may choose what kind of obstacle course they wish to use. Obstacle courses include:

  1. Scurry – unnumbered course of cones with balls, max 10 obstacles. All obstacles must be passed through once in any order or direction at a trot.

  2. Town and Country – at least 30% of obstacles are not cones- an obstacle that could be encountered while out driving- mailbox and cones, trash barrel and cone, flagpole and a cone, fence section and cone, bridge, poles set like guard rails, wood piles, artificial animal, etc.

  3. Double Jeopardy – course of obstacles (paired markers) driven by 2 drivers. 1st drives through course to finish, then halt. Switch drivers and reverse course. 8-10 obstacles

  4. Reverse Psychology – 8-10 numbered obstacles. Drive course in order and then reverse direction to finish.

  5. Pick your Route- no set route (paired markers) max 20. Each obstacle may be driven only once, but in any order and from any direction.

  6. Your Route/My Route – 10 numbered obstacles. Drive all obstacles in order, then drive all obstacles in any order once.

  7. Fault and Out – timed course of numbered obstacles driven at trot. Max 10. Drive through obstacles in order until time expires or an obstacle is dislodged or disobedience occurs. If all obstacles are driven cleanly before time expires, repeat course starting with #1. Highest points wins.

  8. Progressive – trot with 6 numbered obstacles adjusted to the following clearances – #1- 20”, #2- 16”, #3- 12”, #4- 8”, #5- 4”, and #6-2”. Timing continues until finishing course or dislodging obstacle. 2 points for each obstacle cleared. Break in gait is a fault.

  9. Gambler’s Choice- obstacles are not numbered, but each has a displayed point value. Goal is to accumulate the most points within the time limit. Each obstacle may be driven twice but not in succession.

  10. Cross Country- natural or artificial obstacles (bridges, water, log pile, farm animal pens, etc.) Should be designed to be easily driven and not like Combined Driving or Marathon obstacles. Must be numbered. Suggested length 1 km (.6 mi). Pass through each obstacle in order. Placing based on fewest faults.

  11. Fault Obstacle- max 20. Considered a test of precision driving- minimum width allowances suggested. Pass through each obstacle in order. Placing based on faults. (time faults may occur)

Judged On: Obedience and fitness of the horse; ability to negotiate the course without faults, or accumulating the most points possible in the time given. See list above for additional faults.

Required Equipment: Pleasure-style harness with a collar or breastcollar. Bit may be any riding snaffle or driving bit. An obstacle is required. Courses may consist of individual (paired cones) or other type markers (rails, fence panels, barrels, etc.) Vehicles are similar to those used for show pleasure classes or dressage.

Optional: Conservative leg protection is allowed.

Driver: Driver attire is formal, with jackets or national dress. Whip in hand, hat or helmet, gloves, and apron are required. Whip must be long enough to reach the farthest horse’s shoulders. A groom may accompany the driver but may not assist in any way.

Prohibited: Grooms may not stand behind the driver. No on-course halts or backing up except in Gambler’s Choice. No breaking to a canter. Tie downs and overchecks are not allowed. No purpose-built marathon carts.

Extra Credit: Crocheted ear net. Obstacles should be marked with red on the right and white on the left and numbered (except Scurry, Pick Your Route and Gambler’s Choice.) Reverse Psychology and Double Jeopardy may have a different colored set of numbers for the reverse course. Point values are displayed for each Gambler’s Choice obstacle.

SLEIGH SECTION

Note: a vehicle with runners is required for all classes in this section. Footing should suggest snow – ankle deep or less is preferred.

SLEIGH PLEASURE HARNESS

All breeds are eligible and can be exhibited as a show ring or street scene entry. All vehicles with runners are permitted. Single horses or any combination of hitch are allowed.

Judged On: Manners and obedience. Horses should walk energetically but calmly and perform even and moderate gaits (walk, slow trot, working trot, extended trot). Teams should be balanced and work together. Horses may not canter in an arena setting.

Required Equipment: Pleasure type harness with either a breastcollar or full collar, traces, pad with terrets, back strap, shaft loops, crupper, and girth, though harness style will vary. Bridle with noseband, throatlatch, browband, blinkers and lines. Breeching is required unless specific documentation is included.

Optional: If used, overchecks should not interfere with the horse’s head set. Sidechecks may be used. Horses shown in a snaffle may use a running martingale. Braided manes and loose tails. Arena fence is optional. Conservative leg protection is allowed. Bells may be used if not in an arena setting.

Driver: Clothing appropriate to the weather is all that is required, although dolls may also be attired more neatly with fancier show-style jackets. A hat or helmet, gloves, aprons and lap robes are optional for both sexes. Show-ring drivers should have a whip in hand. One person may stand at the horse’s head while in the lineup but must stand 2 paces from the horse's head.

Points off for: Flank straps on a single horse (not needed). Different colored buckles from the color of the bit.

Prohibited: Artificial tail sets. Cantering in an arena setting.

Extra Credit: Junior competitors wearing helmets. Competitor number on harness or vehicle.

SLEIGH SHOW DRAFT HARNESS

Draft Harness is open to heavy draft horses and other breeds that are shown in a full draft style collar (like Fjords, Haflingers, Draft Mules, etc.) May be hooked to any runner vehicle in singles, pairs or tandems (2 horses), Unicorn (3 horses), Four-Up, Six-Up, and Eight-Up hitches.

Judged On: Manners and obedience. Horses should walk energetically but calmly and perform even and moderate gaits (walk, slow trot, and working trot). Teams should be balanced and work together. No cantering.

Required Equipment: Draft show harness with collar, hames, traces, girth pad with loops, back strap, and breeching (for all shaft vehicles and for the wheelers of a hitch); and a bridle with blinkers, a driving bit, and lines/reins. Liverpool, Buxton, and Elbow bits require a curb chain. Scotch Peaked collar is suggested but not required. Single horses may show with either breeching or a cart harness with a crupper.

Optional: Sidechecks of chain or leather are common- they fasten at the cheek ring or sometimes to the bit (for more control over a green or active horse). Overchecks are also used. Traces end with a chain link hooked onto the vehicle. Horse may be decorated with rolled manes and knotted tails, ribbons, poms or flowers; harness brasses may be found at the face, blinkers, chest, back (kidney flap) and trace carrier at the breeching, or on the collar peak. Bells may be used in place of brasses.

Driver: Clothing appropriate to the weather is all that is required; though nicer show-style jackets may be worn. Whip, hat or helmet, gloves, aprons and lap robes optional for both sexes. At least 1 person may stand at the head of any single or hitch in a line up, but are required to stand 2 paces from the horse's head.

Don't be fooled by: Snaffle bits, flanks straps for single horse (for wheelers on a multi hitch) Two hip straps are unusual but they do appear especially in Russian and Fancy harness of foreign countries.

Prohibited: Cantering. Tandems should not be asked to back up. Working harness entries.

Extra Credit: Matching color schemes, carried out with ribbons, clothes, vehicle colors, felt pads under harness saddle or collar. Competitor numbers on bridle and/or vehicle.

SLEIGH DRESSAGE DRIVING

Dressage is a test of the horse’s suppleness, ease of movement, harmony, regularity of paces, and presentation of the entire turnout. Driven Dressage arenas are similar to those used in ridden Dressage, but larger. They should have proper letters and a low fence (board or breakable chain).

Judged On: Evenness of pace, impulsion, collection, obedience and lightness, presentation (including condition and fit of harness and vehicle) and correct positioning while performing a driven dressage test pattern. Head carriage should not be set too high or low. Lower level gaits include halt, walk, slow trot, working trot, lengthened trot, rein back; upper levels add collected and extended gaits, and movements such as shoulder-in. Cantering is not acceptable. Please state where the entry is in the dressage test and what level.

Required Equipment: Pleasure-style harness with a collar or breastcollar. Pleasure-style bridle with a browband, throatlatch, noseband, blinkers, and lines. Common bits used are Liverpool with curb chain, elbow bit, or half-cheek snaffle but may be any riding snaffle or driving bit. Vehicles may vary in style, but should be fancier cutters or sleighs, not work vehicles. Fence and Dressage letters are required.

Optional: Low Dressage fence made of boards or breakable chain in a visible color (not white) is suggested but not required. Fence may be decorated. Boots are not suggested, but conservative legwear is allowed if conditions require.

Driver: Consideration for the weather may supersede all other clothing requirements. Otherwise, clothing is formal, with jackets or national dress. Whip in hand, hat or helmet, gloves, and apron are required. Whip must be long enough to reach the farthest horse’s shoulders. A driver without a whip in hand or carrying a whip of incorrect length may be severely penalized. A groom may accompany the driver if seated behind the driver in a two-seated vehicle only.

Prohibited: No check reins of any type (though side checks are allowed in Training Level only). Cantering is not allowed. No bells.

Extra Credit: Competitor number on bridle and back of vehicle. Spares kit and braided manes with loose tails. Dressage tests are available at the American Driving Society, FEI, and British Driving Trials Association websites.

SLEIGH PLEASURE DRIVING MARATHON

Please note that the American Driving Society rules state that sleighs may not compete in a Combined Driving style marathon; however, sleigh Pleasure Driving Marathons are allowed. Pleasure Marathons are a test of the fitness and stamina of the horses, the skill and horsemanship of the driver, and the presentation of the turnout. There is a vet check and sometimes a rest stop. A full marathon has 5 sections: Section A- free pace, Section B- walk, Section C- trot, Section D (no obstacles) - compulsory walk, and Section E- free pace (except last 500 meters are compulsory trot). Section E is the obstacle phase and tends to be the favorite among model horse exhibitors. All sections have numbered turning flags or gates. A shortened marathon may eliminate the road sections and have only the obstacle phase.

Judged On: Overall presentation of turnout. Fitness and stamina of the horses; skill of the driver. Singles, pairs, tandems, and four-in-hand teams may compete. Gaits are walk and trot; cantering is not permitted. Horses must appear under control at all times.

Required Equipment: Pleasure type harness with either a breastcollar or full collar, traces, pad with terrets, back strap, shaft loops, crupper, girth, and breeching. Harness is usually black. Buckled-on traces are preferred but not required. Bridle with noseband, browband, throatlatch, bit, blinkers, and brown or half brown reins. Liverpool bits with a curb chain are customary, but other bits are allowed. Vehicles should be cutters or smaller sleighs, and may be quite fancy as long as they are not too flimsy looking. Obstacles must be designed with larger clearances to allow for a sleigh’s wider turning radius and the course must also be gentle enough for antique vehicles to enter. Obstacles may have dislodgeable elements as long as they are safe. Obstacles may be natural or artificial, including natural terrain, gates, trees, low bridges, etc. Obstacles must be marked with a number and have at least one lettered gate with red and white markers. (See the “extra credit” section for more details).

Optional: All types of protective boots and wraps are allowed. Pads under the breeching, breastcollar, or backpad are acceptable.

Driver: Consideration for the weather may outweigh other clothing requirements. Clothing is neat and conservative, with a jacket and slacks or suit, or national dress suggested for both men and women. Whip in hand, hat or helmet, apron and gloves are required. A driver without a whip in hand or carrying a whip of incorrect length may be severely penalized. Whips should be long enough to reach the farthest horse’s shoulders with the lash. Grooms may be attired with the standard dress code. Grooms may not stand behind the driver. Safety gear is not penalized.

Prohibited: Large vehicles such as bobsleds. Water obstacles. Bitless bridles. Flimsy harness or vehicles. Driver must carry a whip in hand. Driving through obstacle gates in the wrong direction without “clearing” them first by driving through in the correct order. No bridges or zigzag obstacles in Training level. No prolonged canter or gallop. No sharp turns.

Extra Credit: Spares kit. Color schemes carried out with clothing, boots, vehicle and/or pads. Referee sitting next to driver. A groom on the back leaning around corners. Ground or Obstacle Observers. Competitor numbers visible on bridle and/or back of vehicle. Written course illustrations showing hazards and gates. Timing devices at start or finish. Correctly marked obstacles (see below):

  1. Obstacle Number – located on the post of the red flag at the entry of the obstacle. There are 6 to 8 obstacles per course.

  2. Compulsory Gates in an Obstacle – red on the right and white on the left; lettered A, B, C, etc. (3-6 gates per obstacle)

  3. Level Markers – the colors listed are standard; the shapes are suggested but not required. Numbers may be white or black for maximum contrast.



SLEIGH OBSTACLES

This class is for any sleigh entry competing in a non-marathon obstacle course. Pleasure Driving Obstacle courses are a test of the fitness and condition of the horses, as well as a test of the skills of the driver. It is done in an arena or roped-off area. Obstacle courses may include (but are not limited to):

  1. Scurry – unnumbered course of cones with balls, max 10 obstacles. All obstacles must be passed through once in any order or direction at a trot.

  2. Town and Country – at least 30% of obstacles are not cones- an obstacle that could be encountered while out driving- mailbox and cones, trash barrel and cone, flagpole and a cone, fence section and cone, bridge, poles set like guard rails, wood piles, artificial animal, etc.

  3. Double Jeopardy – course of obstacles (paired markers) driven by 2 drivers. 1st drives through course to finish, then halt. Switch drivers and reverse course. 8-10 obstacles

  4. Reverse Psychology – 8-10 numbered obstacles. Drive course in order and then reverse direction to finish.

  5. Pick your Route- no set route (paired markers) max 20. Each obstacle may be driven only once, but in any order and from any direction.

  6. Your Route/My Route – 10 numbered obstacles. Drive all obstacles in order, then drive all obstacles in any order once.

  7. Fault and Out – timed course of numbered obstacles driven at trot. Max 10. Drive through obstacles in order until time expires or an obstacle is dislodged or disobedience occurs. If all obstacles are driven cleanly before time expires, repeat course starting with #1. Highest points wins.

  8. Gambler’s Choice- obstacles are not numbered, but each has a displayed point value. Goal is to accumulate the most points within the time limit. Each obstacle may be driven twice but not in succession.

  9. Cross Country- natural or artificial obstacles (bridges, water, log pile, farm animal pens, etc.) Should be designed to be easily driven and not like Marathon obstacles. Must be numbered. Suggested length 1 km (.6 mi). Pass through each obstacle in order. Placing based on fewest faults.

Judged On: Obedience and fitness of the horse; ability to negotiate the course without faults, or accumulating the most points possible in the time given. See list above for additional faults.

Required Equipment: Pleasure-style harness with a collar or breastcollar. Bit may be any riding snaffle or driving bit. An obstacle is required. Courses may consist of individual (paired cones) or other type markers (rails, fence panels, barrels, etc.) and must be designed with wider than average clearances to allow for a sleigh’s wider turning radius. Vehicles should be nice cutters or smaller sleighs, not heavy work vehicles.

Optional: Conservative leg protection is allowed.

Driver: Consideration for the weather may supersede all other clothing requirements. Driver attire may be formal, with jackets or national dress. Whip in hand, hat or helmet, gloves, and apron are required. Whip must be long enough to reach the farthest horse’s shoulders. A driver without a whip in hand or carrying a whip of incorrect length may be severely penalized. A groom may accompany the driver but may not assist in any way.

Prohibited: Grooms may not stand behind the driver. No on-course halts or backing up except in Gambler’s Choice. No breaking to a canter. Tie downs and overchecks are not allowed.

Extra Credit: Obstacles should be marked with red on the right and white on the left and numbered (except Scurry, Pick Your Route and Gambler’s Choice). Reverse Psychology and Double Jeopardy may have a different colored set of numbers for the reverse course. Point values are displayed for each Gambler’s Choice obstacle.

WORKING SLEIGHS

This class is for any entry depicting harnessed horses working for a living in the winter, as opposed to show-ring harness. This includes: professional sleigh ride company, winter logging, street vendors, bobsleds, maple sugaring, delivery vehicles with runners, bobsled Omnibus, etc. Nearly any historic vehicle could be put on runners in the winter.

Judged On: Suitability for the task shown, overall impression of entry. Horses should appear calm and safe to drive in traffic or other working situations. Working horses mainly walk and trot. Historic runner vehicle entries are allowed in this class.

Required Equipment: Working- style harness appropriate to the entry. Please note that this class covers a large variety of harness types and documentation is encouraged as correct harness for each entry will vary. Most harnesses should have a collar (or breast collar for lighter vehicles only), girth, back strap, traces, and breeching (for shaft vehicle and for wheelers of a hitch). Bridle with snaffle or driving bit and driving lines (usually brown in color regardless of harness color due to sweat from driver's hands and discoloration of leather dye).

Optional: Blinkers may be optional depending on the style of harness. Farm harness may have rope for driving lines. Horses may wear halters under their bridles, and have lead ropes attached. Vehicles may be incredibly varied in type. Bells are allowed. Farm harness may use short reins or jockey sticks to eliminate some reins on very large hitches. Protective legwear is allowed.

Driver: Driver attire varies. Anything from casual work clothes to a specialized uniform is acceptable, as long as it matches the style of the entry. Winter clothing is suggested.

Prohibited: Scotch Peaked Collar, Fine Harness.

Extra Credit: Horse “diaper” (attaches to breeching or shafts of cart), on city entries. Blankets or other consideration for the horse’s warmth.

WINTER HARNESS RACING

Every type of winter harness racing goes in this class, including trotters, pacers, riderless (driven) skijoring, and informal racing. Winter racetracks usually have flat groomed snow.

Judged On: Suitability for event depicted. Overall impression of entry. Trotters trot; pacers pace; skijoring trots or canters. Informal racers may use any gait.

Required Equipment: Racing-style harness appropriate to entry. Modern trotters and pacers generally use nylon racing harness and lightweight sulky sleighs. Skijoring uses a lightweight harness with a water ski-style handle attached to the traces.

Optional: Protective boots, hoods, blinkers, and other aids. Pacers may use racing hobbles to help keep their gait. Race track.

Driver: Driver attire based on the type of race depicted. Trotters and pacers wear winter racing silks or ski suits. Skijoring wears a ski racing suit and skis.

Prohibited: Trotters and pacers may not break gait. No bells on race track style entries.

Extra Credit: Racing numbers. Matching color schemes between harness, driver, and sleigh.

SLEIGH PARADE OR COSTUME

Any parade harness, costume harness, or decorated harness entry. This includes modern or historic parade harness, any type of horse-drawn winter parade float, very fancy troikas, and sleigh costume harness entries. Any size or type of hitch is acceptable.

Judged On: Suitability for the task shown, overall impression of entry, and creativity. Street parade entries should appear calm and safe to drive through large crowds of people, though flashy or high-stepping trots are allowed.

Required Equipment: Harness suitable for the entry. Any style of harness or vehicle with runners may be used. Breeching is required unless documented otherwise. Documentation is encouraged for unusual entries.

Optional: Harness or vehicle may be decorated with plumes, streamers, flowers, ribbons, lights, bells, flags, and other decorations. Attendants or grooms may lead the horses.

Driver: Driver attire varies to match the entry. Anything from costumes to uniforms to street clothes are allowed. Warm clothing is suggested.

Prohibited: Decorations or items that appear to be unsafe or that would interfere with the movement of the horse or vehicle. Parade entries may not canter.

Extra Credit: Matching uniforms or outfits on driver or attendants. Horse “diaper” (attaches to breeching or shafts of cart), or “pooper scooper” volunteer!

MISCELLANOUS SLEIGHS
All other sleigh entries that do not fit in the other classes go here, including sleigh dog class, sleigh clinics, Currier and Ives class, sleigh games, sleigh trail, unusual hitches, etc.

Judged On: Suitability for the task shown, overall impression of entry. Horse should appear under control at all times. Sleigh rally classes are judged to the same standards that the class depicted would have for a wheeled vehicle. Gaits are usually walk and trot, but cantering is allowed outside of a show setting.

Required Equipment: Collar or breastcollar harness. Harness must have breeching. Bridle with throatlatch, browband, noseband, and lines. A vehicle with runners is required. Footing should suggest snow. Documentation is required.

Optional: Lap robe and whip. Protective legwear is permitted. Bells are permitted where appropriate.

Driver: Driver attire varies to match the entry, but is commonly winter clothing of some sort. Safety equipment such as helmets is acceptable.

Prohibited: Harnesses without breeching unless documented. Bells that interfere with the horse or reins. No cantering in show events. Sleighs may not compete in a Combined Driving style marathon. Snow should not appear to be too deep – never more than knee deep, and preferably much less. Entries that would better fit in other classes.

Extra Credit: Foot heater. Sleigh bells. Detailed documentation.

OTHER CLASSES

MODERN WORKING HARNESS

This class is for any modern entry depicting harnessed horses working for a living, as opposed to show-ring harness. Entries must depict a working horse AFTER 1950. This includes: modern logging, farming with modern implements or tractor implement conversion carts, modern street vendors, modern horse trolleys, shrimp fishing horses, tourist canal boat horses, Traveller (Gypsy) caravans, carriage ride company, horse pulling, Amish, hay rides, etc.

Judged On: Suitability for the task shown, overall impression of entry. Horses should appear calm and safe to drive in traffic or other working situations. Working horses mainly walk and trot.

Required Equipment: Working- style harness appropriate to the entry. Please note that this class covers a large variety of harness types and documentation is encouraged as correct harness for each entry will vary. Most harnesses should have a collar (or breast collar for lighter vehicles only), girth, back strap, traces, and breeching (for shaft vehicle and for wheelers of a hitch). Bridle with snaffle or driving bit and driving lines (usually brown in color regardless of harness color due to sweat from driver's hands and discoloration of leather dye).

Optional: Blinkers may be optional depending on the style of harness. Farm harness may have rope for driving lines. Horse Pull collars often have extra padding due to the enormous weights being pulled. Horses may wear halters under their bridles, and have lead ropes attached. Vehicles may be incredibly varied in type and may use pneumatic tires. Stone boats (sleds used in horse pulling) are allowed. Bells are allowed where appropriate. Farm harness may use short reins or jockey sticks to eliminate some reins on very large hitches. Protective legwear is allowed.

Driver: Driver attire varies. Anything from casual work clothes to a specialized uniform is acceptable, as long as it matches the style of the entry. Long pants are suggested.

Prohibited: Scotch Peaked Collar, Fine Harness. Historic entries (before 1950).

Extra Credit: Horse “diaper” (attaches to breeching or shafts of cart), on city entries. Fly protection.

HISTORICAL HARNESS (BEFORE 1950)

Historical entries depicting any harnessed horses in use BEFORE 1950 go here. Fire Department horses, military service, street vendors, delivery wagons, stage coach, circus baggage stock, historical chariots, royal carriage, buckboard wagon, private carriages, mining pit pony, horse-drawn ambulance, covered wagon, horse railway, Omnibus, horse cab, road crew, ancient history, hearses, historical farming, etc.

Judged On: Suitability for the task shown, overall impression of entry. Working horses mainly walk or trot (typical 1800s city speed limit is 7 miles per hour), but stage coaches, chariots, fire department, emergencies, or other appropriate entries may canter or gallop.

Required Equipment: Collar or breastcollar harness appropriate to entry will vary greatly. Harness may be fancy or a plain working style. Cart harness should have a wider saddle to spread out the weight of the cart on the horse’s back. Express harness is a collar with hames, back strap, and breeching only, with optional girth. Military often used harness without girths. Fire Departments generally used Express harness with a special hinged quick-hitch collar, and clip-on bits or reins. Ancient harness may use yokes similar to those used on oxen. Documentation is highly recommended.

Optional: Bells may be used where appropriate. Whip, gloves, lap robes where appropriate. Very large hitches may use short reins or jockey sticks to eliminate some reins. Stone boats (rough sleds used in the summer to remove stones from fields) are allowed. Harnesses may be fancy and decorated where appropriate.

Driver: Driver attire is historic period clothing appropriate to the entry. Low-cut dresses with bare shoulders are considered evening dresses and would rarely be worn by lady drivers. Most ladies’ traveling clothes were dark colors to hide dirt. Men and women often wore hats or bonnets for shade. Long pants or a long skirt were most common. Very fancy entries may have grooms dressed to an older period’s style as a sign of the owner’s long-standing family wealth.

Prohibited: Modern entries (after 1950). Fire Department horses should not use check reins of any type or blinkers. Modern tack items.

Extra Credit: Leather fly fringes. Historical accuracy. Detailed documentation.

HARNESS TRAIL OR ENDURANCE

Trail driving, Endurance or Distance Driving, Phase 2 of TREC Driving, orienteering, and other similar entries go here. Distance Driving takes place on a measured and marked route, 40 to 80 kilometers long, and is driven at a pre-determined speed. There is a vet check during the event as well as before and after. It is a test of the fitness of the horse and skill of the driver, not a race.

Judged On: Suitability for the task shown, overall impression of entry. Apparent ability to travel safely on roads or trails. Gaits are usually walk and trot, but some cantering may be allowed depending on the event.

Required Equipment: Comfortable working harness may be of any type suitable for rough use, including collars, breastcollars, and marathon brollars. Must have breeching if vehicle has no brakes. Bridle with noseband, throatlatch, and browband. Vehicles should appear to be sturdy. TREC driving uses marathon carts and attire. Trail obstacles should appear safe to drive through.

Optional: Safety equipment such as helmets, body protectors, reflectors, and an orange safety triangle on the vehicle are suggested. All protective legwear is allowed. Vet check.

Driver: Driver attire is comfortable outdoor clothing. Safety gear is encouraged.

Prohibited: Fine harness or fancy show harness. Fragile-looking vehicles not allowed. Vehicles with pneumatic tires are not allowed in Distance Driving or TREC Driving. Combined weight of driver, groom and vehicle should not exceed the weight of the horse pulling it for Distance Driving.

Extra Credit: Spares kit. Color schemes carried out with matching gear. Directional signs on the road or trail. Map case and/or compass.

HARNESS RACING

Every type of harness racing (that would use a wheeled vehicle) goes in this class, including trotters, pacers, chuck wagon racing, modern or historic chariot racing, etc.

Judged On: Suitability for event depicted. Overall impression of entry. Trotters trot; pacers pace; chuck wagons and chariots may gallop.

Required Equipment: Racing-style harness appropriate to entry. Modern trotters and pacers generally use nylon racing harness and lightweight sulkies. Chuck wagon racing uses farm harness and covered wagons. Chariots use chariot harness with 2-4 horses hitched abreast.

Optional: Protective boots, hoods, blinkers, and other aids. Pacers may use racing hobbles to help keep their gait. Race track.

Driver: Driver attire based on the type of race depicted. Trotters and pacers wear racing silks. Chuck wagon racers wear jeans and “cowboy” style clothing.

Prohibited: Trotters and pacers may not break gait. Snow harness racing entries (they belong in the Winter Harness Racing class).

Extra Credit: Racing numbers. Matching color schemes between harness, driver, and sulky.

HARNESS PARADE OR COSTUME

Any parade harness, costume harness, or decorated harness entry. This includes modern or historic parade harness, any type of horse-drawn parade float, bandwagons, Circus parade harness, costume harness entries, and In-Hand Decorated Draft Harness. Any size or type of hitch from a single pony to a 40 horse circus hitch is acceptable!

Judged On: Suitability for the task shown, overall impression of entry, and creativity. Street parade entries should appear calm and safe to drive through large crowds of people, though flashy or high-stepping trots are allowed.

Required Equipment: Harness suitable for the entry. Any style of harness may be used. Parade entries should have breeching or brakes on the vehicle. Documentation is encouraged for unusual entries.

Optional: Harness or vehicle may be decorated with plumes, streamers, flowers, ribbons, lights, bells, flags, and other decorations. Attendants or grooms may lead the horses. Vehicles with pneumatic tires are allowed. Protective legwear is allowed.

Driver: Driver attire varies to match the entry. Anything from costumes to uniforms to shorts and a Hawaiian shirt are allowed.

Prohibited: Decorations or items that appear to be unsafe or that would interfere with the movement of the horse or vehicle. Parade entries may not canter. In-Hand Decorated Harness does not use any vehicles – the horses are led, with the traces hooked up out of the way on the harness.

Extra Credit: Matching uniforms or outfits on driver or attendants. Horse “diaper” (attaches to breeching or shafts of cart), or “pooper scooper” volunteer!

MISCELLANEOUS HARNESS

All other harness entries that do not fit into the other classes, including (but not limited to): Roadster Pony, Reinsmanship, Presentation, Phases 1 and 3 of TREC driving, Putting-To class, harness games, harness quadrilles, combination saddle and harness events, Concours d’Elegance, carriage dog class, driving clinic, very unusual hitches, etc.

Judged On: Suitability for the event shown, overall impression of entry, creativity.

Required Equipment: Any type of harness and bridle that is appropriate to the entry. Horses being untacked in the show ring must be bridled at all times. TREC Driving uses marathon carts and harness. Roadster Pony is a show ring class that uses racing-style harness and sulkies. Reinsmanship is judged primarily on the skills of the driver. Documentation is required.

Driver: Driver attire varies to match the entry.

Prohibited: Unsafe equipment. Entries that better fit in other classes.

LINKS

American Driving Society - http://www.americandrivingsociety.org/

FEI Driving -http://www.fei.org/disciplines/driving/rules

British Driving Society (includes Distance Driving) -http://www.britishdrivingsociety.co.uk/

TREC Driving - http://www.cves.ca/TREC.htm

British Horse Driving Trials Association - http://www.horsedrivingtrials.co.uk/

Harness Bells and their use - http://www.classicbells.com/info/BellStraps.htm

Rural Heritage- farming and working harness - http://www.ruralheritage.com/

Sleigh Events - http://www.gmhainc.org/assets/files/entries/2010%20Sleigh%20Driving%20Series(1).pdf

Library of Congress, American Memory –search for photos and early films of many subjects including videos of fire department horses in action c. 1900- http://memory.loc.gov/