A favourite sport with Prince Phillip, Driving competitions can be “four in hand”, pairs, or singles. The categories refer to the number of horses the driver is in control of.
The 2014 World Equestrian Games Driving team is made up of Dick Lane, Georgina Hunt, and Wilf Bowman-Ripley. They will each be bringing five horses with them meaning that there’ll be a whopping 15 horses in the Team GBR Driving camp!
What is Driving?
Originally a mode of transport, then a leisure activity, and now a fiercely competitive sport – Driving is equivalent to Roman chariot racing!
There are three phases to a driving competition – Driven Dressage, Marathon, and Cones.
At the World Equestrian Games each driver will compete a team of four horses. They will all compete as individuals and make up a team.
What happens at the World Equestrian Games?
Like Eventing the Driven Dressage is the first phase of competition and takes up the first two days. Tests are performed in a 100m x 40m arena in front of five judges. The average score given by the judges is then converted into penalties and carried forward to the next day.
Marathon, or the Driving equivalent of Cross-country, requires drivers to pass through marked flags spread across a course. Penalties are given for exceeding the allotted time.
The final day of competition is the Cones phase. Drivers have to drive through a course of obstacles (cones with balls on top) and penalties are given if the driver knocks the balls off or goes over the allotted time.
All penalties are then added up and the driver with the lowest total number of penalties is crowned the winner. In the event of a tie there will be a “drive-off” against the clock, usually around a shorter version of the Cones course.
Dick Lane: Dick has represented Team GBR numerous times and is a regular face in the Driving world. In the Driving Dressage phase his team are all pure bred Lipizzaner horses.
Dick’s horses: 62 Conversano Gaetana I, Conversano 49 Poker, Georg, Neapolitan, Siglavy Capriola X-51
Georgina Hunt: Georgina competed at the World Equestrian Games test event last year, which should give her a slight advantage. Commenting on her selection she said, “I’m delighted to be selected, it’s something I’ve been working towards for what feels like the last 10 years.”
Georgina’s horses: Rambo, Guus, Chardon, Waterreus
Wilf Bowman-Ripley: with over 30 years competition experience Wilf has spent the past five years putting together his current team. His now strong team looks promising ahead of the Games.
Wilf’s horses: Belasco V, Roderick, Zeeman, Wikke, Nero