Horses were driven long before they were ridden and, as such, Driving is the oldest competitive equestrian sport yet it continues to thrive in the 21st century. Drivers sit on a vehicle drawn by a single horse or pony, a pair or a team of four and they face three trials – dressage, marathon and obstacle driving.
Dressage involves performing a sequence of compulsory figures within a 100 x 40 metre rectangle. Movements – which must be executed from memory – include speed and gait transitions, circles of different sizes and halts.
The marathon is a spectacular time trial run over a course including natural hazards such as sharp turns, water and steep hills, and artificial ones such as labyrinths. It tests the horses’ fitness and stamina and the driver’s judgment of pace and horse control.
Obstacle driving – or cones – tests the fitness, obedience and suppleness of the horses after the marathon, as well as the skill and competence of the driver who must weave cleanly through a narrow track outlined by cones with balls balanced on top.
Driving came under the FEI umbrella in 1970 thanks to the efforts of HRH the Duke of Edinburgh, then the FEI President, who organised the meeting in 1969 which produced the first rule book. One notable alteration to the rules followed a competition in Windsor, Great Britain, where a back wheel collapsed on a vehicle and the watching Queen Elizabeth allowed for a small tree to be tied to the axle to keep it off the ground. The rules stated subsequently that a "vehicle must have four wheels crossing the finishing line".
In 2006 Para Driving joined the ranks of the other 7 FEI disciplines with national and international competitions in Driving for individuals with a disability.
The FEI is organising an FEI Driving Forum 2023, to provide stakeholders with a platform to discuss the status of the discipline as well as its development and strategies for the future. The FEI Driving Forum will take place in Kronenberg (NED) at the Equestrian Centre de Peelbergen from 11-12 April 2023 and is open to all members of the Driving community, including Officials, Athletes, Trainers, Organisers and National Federation representatives. All logistical details are provided in the PDF attached and registration will open in March, a notification to register will be sent in due course.
Should you have any questions please reach out the FEI Driving Department.
We look forward to sharing fruitful discussions with you at this first edition of the FEI Driving Forum and to building the future of our discipline together.
The FEI conducted its yearly review of the Driving Guidelines on Tack, Equipment and Dress and has published an updated version, with modifications marked in red.
The Guidelines are published on the FEI Driving Rules page. The Guidelines are to be read in conjunction with the FEI Driving Rules. In case of any discrepancies, the FEI Driving Rules will prevail.
For any question, please contact the FEI Driving department.
Following the decisions voted during the FEI Hybrid General Assembly in Cape Town (RSA), and the feedback provided from this competition year, the FEI has published enhancements to the CAI3* HP2-P4 test to provide additional scoring opportunities for judges to award points and increase the level of difficulty using the same figures by making them one handed.
This published revised version of the CAI3* HP2-P4 test will apply from 1 January 2023 for Pair Horses, Pair Ponies and Four-in-Hand Ponies.
This test will be used at the FEI Driving World Championship for Pairs (Horses) and the FEI Driving World Championship for Ponies – Pairs and Four-in-Hand. Please note that any qualifying scores an Athlete earned with the previous version of the test for the World Pair Horses and Ponies and World Four-in-Hand Ponies Championships will remain valid and count toward the qualification parameters.
The World Four-in-Hand Horse Championship will continue to be held in a 100x40m size arena and consequently the Dressage Test 3*B H4 will remain applicable as of 1 January 2023.
Test Directives for the Dressage Test 3*B H4 for both the 100x40m and 80x40m arenas are published on the FEI Driving Dressage Tests webpage.
Additionally, a new CAI1* test and Para Driving Dressage test has been published, and will come into effect on 1 January 2023. This new Para Driving Dressage test will be used at the FEI Para Driving World Championship in 2023.
All FEI Driving Dressage tests are available on the FEI Driving Dressage Tests webpage.
After reviewing the feedback received from various Stakeholders, the FEI Driving Committee has published a new version of the Alternative Scoring System. The new version includes the calculation of the Dressage scores in percentages, while the other competitions retain their current scoring system. The Alternative Scoring System document can be found on the FEI Driving Rules page.
Should you have any questions regarding these items, please do not hesitate to contact the FEI Driving Department.
The qualification criteria for FEI Driving Championships 2023 are published on the FEI Driving Main Events page.
The FEI Board held its monthly teleconference on 6 December. The main resolutions related to Driving taken on this occasion are listed below.
ALLOCATION OF FEI NAMED SERIES, EVENTS AND FINALS
FEI Driving World Cup™ 2023/2024
The Board approved the allocation of the following legs for the FEI Driving World Cup™ 2023/2024:
Lyon (FRA), 1-5 November 2023
Maastricht (NED), 8-10 November 2023
Stuttgart (GER), 15-19 November 2023
Stockholm (SWE), 30 November – 3 December 2023
Geneva (SUI), 9-10 December 2023*
London (GBR), 16-18 December 2023
Mechelen (BEL), 26-30 December 2023
Leipzig (GER), 18-21 January 2024
* Subject to receiving the signed Host Agreement.
FEI Medical/Maternity Leave Provisions
The Board approved the modifications of the Jumping, Dressage, and Driving Ranking Rules regarding maternity leave. The minimum period for maternity leave was shortened from six months to three months. The maximum period of 12 months remained unchanged. Athletes will have the possibility to choose the initial length of their maternity period and the possibility to come back earlier or later than originally indicated, provided the minimum and maximum periods are respected.
The Board also approved the incorporation of medical and maternity leave provisions into the FEI Endurance and the FEI Para Dressage Ranking Rules.
Detailed explanations of these modifications is available in a dedicated press release published here.
The updated versions of the respective Ranking Rules have been published.
We are pleased to inform you that the FEI Secretary General has approved the FEI Calendar for 2023 for all disciplines. It can be consulted online in the FEI Database.
In accordance with the FEI General Regulations, Article 112 Official Calendar, National Federations (NFs) had until 1 October 2022 at the latest to send in applications and modifications to CIs taking place in 2023 to the Secretary General. The Secretary General approves the official Calendar for the following year.
Approval of the 5* Jumping Calendar for 2024 is scheduled for late November/early December 2022 but could be postponed should the FEI General Assembly in Cape Town (RSA) approve FEI’s proposal to change the deadline for receipt of applications for 5* to 1 May (the year before the Event takes place).
In addition, the Secretary General has extended the measure taken on 28 February 2022 to remove all international equestrian events in Russia and Belarus from the FEI Calendar. As a consequence, no FEI events will be accepted/entered in either country in the FEI Calendar for 2023.
The other measures approved by the FEI Executive Board in February remain in place, as follows:
Detailed information on the decision taken by the FEI Executive Board on 28 February is available here.
The Secretary General has also confirmed that the FEI Board’s Emergency Board Resolution of 2 March 2022 prohibiting all Russian and Belarusian Athletes, Horses and Officials from participating in FEI Events remains in place until further notice.
Should you have any questions, please send an email to email@example.com.
The new and updated Draft Schedules 2023, to be used for all international events taking place next year, are now available on inside.FEI.org.
Below you will find the direct links to the schedules for each discipline as well as the relevant contact email should you require further information and/or assistance:
Click here for Jumping // Person in charge : firstname.lastname@example.org and/or kevin.Guttmann@fei.org
Click here for Dressage // Person in charge: email@example.com
Click here for Para Dressage // Person in charge: firstname.lastname@example.org
Click here for Eventing // Contact email: email@example.com
Click here for Vaulting // Person in charge: firstname.lastname@example.org
Click here for Driving // Contact email: email@example.com
Click here for Endurance // Contact email: firstname.lastname@example.org
FEI Endurance World Championship 2022 – Re-opened Bid
See below a clarification to one of the bid criteria that was included in the FEI Update on 12 September 2022. Please kindly note that there was a typo in the original bid criteria where it was stated that the OC must have previously organised a CEI3* or a CEI2* 140. That criteria should have been written as follows:
NFs are kindly requested to inform their Endurance Organisers accordingly. As mentioned in the FEI Update of 12 September 2022, bids should be sent to email@example.com no later than Monday, 10 October 2022.
FEI Series 2023-2024 bid process opens
The FEI is pleased to announce that the bid process for the 2023/2024 season of the FEI series listed below will open on Tuesday, 27 September 2022.
All interested organisers and/or National Federations (Applicants) are invited to submit their applications via the FEI Bidding Platform, using the application form available in the platform for that purpose, until Friday, 21 October 2022.
The FEI series opened for applications are the following:
Please find here below an overview of the relevant dates concerning the present bid process.
We kindly ask all National Federations to share this information with the organisers. Should you have any questions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
With the FEI Eventing and Driving World Championships 2022 ahead of us, we have recently published the FEI Doping & Medication Control Guide for the FEI World Championships 2022 to provide all concerned stakeholders with an overview of all the doping and medication control systems and processes in place for both Equine and Human Athletes.
To ensure we reach our target audience, we have sent targeted emailers to the Athletes on the Driving Nominated Entries list for Pratoni del Vivaro 2022 (see attached emailer).
As you can see in the attached, we have encouraged all nominated Athletes to familiarise themselves with the Guide and the Rules and Regulations in place, as well as ensuring their support personnel/teams are also fully up to date.
We also encourage all concerned National Federations to share this Guide with their teams attending/preparing for the World Championships such as Chefs d’équipe, Chefs de Mission, etc to ensure everyone has an accurate understanding of the Rules at play and avoid any anti-doping rule violations.
The Guide is available in 7 languages (Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Japanese, Portuguese, Spanish) and we are available for any questions you may have.
By Sarah Dance
Host nation Hungary have clinched two of the individual titles on offer at the European Youth Championships while The Netherlands took the Junior class.
Leading from the front after sealing first place in the dressage, 17 year old Péter Juhász (Hun) took the P2 (pony pair) title, ending on 122.87, ahead of Germany’s Max Andrew on 131.55 and Lea Schröder on 135.44. Team GB’s Harvey Clegram-Brown, winner of Saturday’s marathon in slippery conditions, had left himself too much to do after the dressage and remained 4th.
Places flipped between the phases and margins were paper thin in the Children (12-14 years) and Junior (14-18 years) classes. Bertold Juhász (HUN) kept his cool to finish the cones on a double clear to become the FEI Driving European Children’s Champion on 97.63, which put him one point ahead of Spain’s Daniel Pineda Andic, who ended a blink behind on 98.63, pushing Bice Castelli (ITA) into third on 101.19, just ahead of Phoebe Matthews (GBR) on 101.73.
Renate Provoost (NED), who had finished second in the dressage, was consistent throughout and won the Youth category on 123.37, pushing Ireland’s Kris Rohrssen into second (125.36). Italy’s Francesca Consolini sealed her bronze medal place only a fraction behind on 125.46 and Larissa Jansma (NED) was within breathing distance of the podium with a final tally of 125.61.
A full sports report to follow…
Jack D. Pemberton, well-known and greatly respected member of the Driving community, sadly passed away on 16 August 2022, at the age of 99.
Throughout his career, Pemberton was an influential character who dedicated his time and energy to the development of equestrian sport in Canada, especially when it comes to Driving, where one of his first endeavours was the creation of the Carriage Association of America in 1960. Since 1968 he has been actively involved with of the FEI in various different roles such as Driving Judge and Chair of the FEI Driving Committee from 1995-2004. He was also a very much appreciated FEI Bureau member during the administration of former FEI President H.R.H. the Infanta Doña Pilar de Borbòn, and honorary member of the FEI Board since 2004.
Pemberton was awarded the prestigious Equine Canada Lifetime Achievement Award in 2007 for his exceptional contribution and commitment to the Canadian Equestrian industry.
"The FEI Driving community lost a real Friend and horseman. Jack was an iconic person, not only for Driving, but for the whole equestrian sport. We will sadly miss him", Chair of the FEI Driving Committee Karoly Fugly said.
The FEI expresses its sincere condolences to Jack D. Pemberton’s family and friends, the Canadian Equestrian Federation (EC) and the global equestrian and driving communities.