Carriage Driving Events
Combined Driving began as an official sport thirty years ago when a group of driving enthusiasts, including Britain's Prince Phillip, asked the Federation Equestrian International (FEI) to put together a set of rules to standardize driving competitions from Austria to New Zealand.
Since driving encompasses so many disciplines, it was decided that a versatility test would be the best way to judge a driving horse's ability. The competition, similar in format to the ridden Three-Day Event, has three parts: Dressage, Marathon, and Obstacles, each looking at a different aspect of the horse's training and the driver's ability. The cornerstone of this competition is teamwork between horse and driver.
Pleasure Driving competitions are also an active part of the GMHA schedule. While Dressage and Obstacle classes may be offered at these events, you will also see classes such as Reinsmanship, Working Classes, and Concours D'Elegance.
Would you like to learn more about carriage driving? Why not volunteer to help at a competition?
Biosecurity Fact Sheet: Help Keep Our Horses Healthy!
Know the Law, Be Prepared
Vermont Agency of Agriculture GMHA recommends that all riders and drivers review important information from the VAA regarding Vermont State Law on Horse Importation and all should consider obtaining an Exhibition Permit. GMHA has received word that the Vermont Agency of Agriculture will be increasing their enforcement efforts.
Group lessons for carriage drivers with international competitor Robin Groves. Attend a series or as many single day sessions as you'd like. Groups for drivers of all levels.See event details »
Wheel Runners is a monthly group driving lesson series with Robin Groves. Lessons will be offered at 10am and 2pm OR 11am and 3pm.
Entries must be received by the Friday before each date- four entries in each session are required to hold each lesson. Wheel Runners sessions may be combined if entries are low.
If you have not driven with Robin before, please contact her before entering: (802) 484-5016.
Driving 2-Phase & Arena Driving Trial
(May 9-10, 2015)
Combined Tests and Cones Only, and Arena Driving Trial for Training, Preliminary, and Intermediate.See event details »
Combined Driving Event
(August 22-23, 2015)
The only Combined Driving Event in New England.See event details »
Join us on August 22-23 for two days of top driving competition. The popular two day format will carry on for the 2015 event (dressage and cones on Saturday, marathon on Sunday).
This event is a really special weekend at GMHA. Top drivers from around the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, and Canada descend upon GMHA for two days of driving fun. Our grounds offer up some of the best driving facilities around. The new European Geo-Textile footing in the dressage ring is truly top notch. The cones course, held on the Jump Field, has lovely grass footing with spectacular scenery. The marathon course includes a tour of GMHA’s grounds and neighboring properties (thank you landowners!), and even a brief jaunt through the village of South Woodstock. Last season saw the construction of not one, not two, but THREE new marathon obstacles (thanks to GMHA’s resident course builder Wilson Groves) which we will continue to use and improve this season. There’s something for everyone, whether you’re competing in your first CDE or tuning up for the Championships. Training through Intermediate II competition will be offered, sanctioned by the American Driving Society.
Fall Driving Classic
(September 18-20, 2015)
Three days of driving fun with tons to do!See event details »
Combined Driving and Pleasure Driving enthusiasts alike will find so much to enjoy at this year’s Fall Classic! Sporting a brand new format, the Classic is expanding to three days. Join us for one, two, or all three days- plus the Fall Competitor’s Party on Saturday evening.
Friday, Septemeber 18: Continuous Driving Event
This event will include a dressage test, cross-country pace (approx. 4km), and a multiple choice cones course. Drivers will have an assigned time for dressage, and will proceed directly from one phase to the next (with brief rest periods as needed). We’ve been running this event in a similar format at the Fall Classic for the last several years and drivers at all levels have had a blast participating. It’s really great fun, whether you’re a serious competitor or just looking for an enjoyable day of driving at GMHA. The pace section gives drivers an excuse to explore our grounds and the neighboring Birch Hill Farm property.
Note: We will be starting the competition as late in the day as our entries will allow to give drivers from “away” time to get to GMHA. Barns will be open on Thursday night as well for those who are able to stay an extra day.
Saturday, September 19: Combined Test & Arena Driving Trial
All the fun of our spring event condensed into one day! Choose a Combined Test (dressage and cones), Arena Driving Trial (dressage, cones, and arena obstacles), or do both. Offering Training through Advanced Combined Tests, and Training through Intermediate Arena Driving Trials.
Sunday, September 20: Pleasure Driving Show
A traditional pleasure show, with up to five classes to enjoy. Two cones classes (Pick Your Route and Reverse Psychology) are joined by the traditional Working classes, the crowd-pleasing Carriage Dog, and adventurous Cross-Country Pace.
Sleigh Driving (January 10, 11, 24, 25, 2015)
Combined Tests & Pleasure Classes on the snow!See event details »
Join us for winter fun on the snow! Drivers wanted, spectators welcome.
January 10: Sleighing Combined Test- 11am start- Dressage Times. Cones will follow dressage.
January 11: Sleigh Rally
January 24: Sleighing Combined Test- 10 am start- Dressage Times. Cones will follow dressage.
January 25: Sleigh Rally
Sleigh Rallies are pleasure driving shows on the snow. Classes include working, reinsmanship, cones, Currier & Ives, sleigh dog, and a cross-country pace (conditions dependent).
Sleighing Combined Tests include dressage and cones competition.
Remember, sleighing events are extremely weather dependent- check our website for status updates.