First Phase Precision and Paces
During the competition the judges indicate their marks for each movement, immediately it has been completed, by holding up a board indicating the number scored. One judge marks the precision of the movement the other judges the pace of its execution. The scorer notes the marks given. The judge has no written work to do. This allows tests to start at 5 minute intervals, so an entry of 25-30 complete this section in 2 1/2 hours.
New tests have been developed for the coming season and are featured in all the schedules.
The Precision & Paces arena is 50 metres by 20 metres with its markers being evenly spaced along its long sides. The judges are positioned at C and B/E. One judge marks paces while the other marks precision (just the accuracy of the course taken). For each judge, the marks are added up, taken from the perfect score and multiplied by 0.5 to give the penalty score.
The grace of Precision and Paces, the accuracy through the cones, the speed and thrills of the obstacles. Based on horse driving trials, this is a full event in a few hours in the comfort and convenience of an indoor arena. Spectators are always welcome, and this friendly sport is the ideal way into competitive driving.
About the Sport
Second Phase Cones Driving
A course of driving cones is laid out, using not more than ten gates made from cones or other approved components. The cones course is usually built where the paces and precision arena was, but may sometimes be built in another arena indoors or out. This may include one multiple obstacle. Each cone has a ball balanced on top.
Competitors walk the course and then drive it, in the same order and classes as before, trying not to dislodge any balls - each ball on the floor means 5 extra penalties.
The cones competition is scored as follows: five marks for a knockdown and one mark for each second over or below the target time which is set on a speed of 220 metres per minute.
Third and final Phase Obstacle Driving
These are posts and rails which make "gates" which have to be negotiated in order - A, B, C, D, E. Two obstacles are built in the ring with a common start/finish gate between them in the centre of the ring. The competitors walk the obstacles (on foot) to choose their routes and then they compete against the clock, in reverse order, the class leader going last.
When all the classes have driven obstacles one and two, they are changed into obstacles three and four. The obstacles and gates may be changed around to make obstacles three and four or you may drive the same obstacles again. Again, the competitors choose their routes and drive the obstacles in their classes and ranking.
This section is scored one mark per second that the competitor is in the obstacle zone. There is usually one knockdown for each movable element and they are scored at five marks each. All other penalties are as per the ICD/BHDTA rules. Any penalty marks are added to the times taken for the obstacle to produce the final score for this section.
In this phase a good groom/backstepper is important - they can remind the driver of the route and balance the carriage by leaning in around the corners.