Driving is an all encompassing equestrian sport, not only because all horse breeds and sizes can be used, but also because it appeals to people of all ages. There are four basic divisions: recreational driving, sanctioned competitions specifically for Pleasure Driving, Combined Driving and draft horses.
Most everyone who drives a horse, pony, very small equine (less than 99 cm.), donkey, mule or zebra enjoys some form of recreational driving. Whether on private property, nearby roads or on the Trans-Canada trail, drivers enjoy exploring the countryside alone or in groups, either spontaneously or organized. Driving appeals to the entire family and spans all ages. It is common to see parents and their children working together and sharing the experience. Examples of some group activities include fun recreational events such as TREC driving or the more formal competitions of Pleasure driving with both ring and cross-country classes being judged on horsemanship, turnout and reinsmanship; or Combined driving – a three competition including Driven Dressage, Marathon and Obstacle-cones components in varying formats from one to three or more days. There are also classes and competitions for those who prefer to drive draft horses, do distance drives, endurance drives and competitive trail driving. (See Driving 101).
Equine Canada is the national governing body (NGB) for all equine and equestrian sporting activities and interests (except racing) in Canada. The Canadian Driving Committee is the national organization representing the driving community at the national federation as members of the Recreation and Sport Councils. In Sport, Driving is one of an eight member family of disciplines participating in all the material committees including Coaching, Officials, Competitions, Rules and High Performance Team. While the coaching program is currently being revised to meet the new NCCP (National Coaching Certification Program) standards for Coaches and Evaluators as set out by the Coaching Association of Canada, the student program know as “Learn to Drive” continues with great success.
The Canadian Driving Committee represents all non-competitive and competitive drivers from the grass-roots through to Canadian Equestrian Team allowing participation in international competition and at FEI World Championships, developing rules and guidelines, licensed officials and coaches and providing education workshops and seminars for organizers, competitors and the general public.
Driving is a discipline committee, with 1/3 of its members elected by the Regional Council annually for three-year terms. The Regional Council is elected annually by Equine Canada-Driving affiliate members providing for regional representation at the national level.
For more information, contacts for the Canadian Driving Committee and Terms of Reference; listings of current licensed officials, driving coaches and Committee Chairs; programs and important information contact Wendy Gayfer at Equine Canada at firstname.lastname@example.org.