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.

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Updated: January 17, 2013