About us

Midlands Carriagedriving

Midlands Carriagedriving was founded in March 1980 with the aim to organise low cost, friendly events in the Midlands area, at which beginners could learn the sport and more experienced competitors could obtain useful practise and also pass the skills they had acquired on to newcomers. Indeed, providing the opportunity for experienced competitors to help newcomers is one of our principal objectives.

What is Carriagedriving?

Horse Driving Trials (HDT) are based on the ridden eventing format, i.e. a three-phase competition consisting of dressage, cones and a marathon with timed obstacles.

Competitions takes place over one, two or three days depending on the level. There are classes from Pre-Novice to Advanced, split into Singles, Pairs and Multiples for both horses and ponies.

The elegance of dressage Credit Kingswood Associates


Tests are designed to show the carriage driver's competence and obedience of the horse and take place in an arena with marked letters round the sides. Performed mainly at trot and walk, it will involve driving straight lines, circles, halts, a rein-back and sometimes lengthened strides.

Ruby Gray drives cones Credit Kingswood Associates


There are around 15 - 20 pairs of cones, each with a tennis ball perched on top. The aim is to drive round the course without knocking off any balls and within the set time. It's not as fast as scurry driving but on the other hand, there's no time to look at the scenery!

Keira Chivers drives an obstacle Credit Kingswood Associates


Depending on the level of the event there are between 2 and 8 obstacles. Each obstacle contains lettered gates that must be driven in order as fast as possible. Competitors must be quick-thinking while the horse needs to be agile and trust the driver's commands.

At a two or three day event there will be 'section A' consisting of approx. 5-7 km of tracks, headlands and quiet lanes within a set time and the course is marked with direction arrows and km markers to help competitors judge their time. After a short break comes the Transfer which is a 1km walk section. 'Section B' (similar in distance and terrain to Section A) contains the obstacles.

Vaccination Policy

We request that all Horses/Ponies have up to date vaccination for Equine Influenza within the 12 month. All Horses/Ponies must be 4 years or over to compete. Passports and vaccinations may be checked on arrival.

Competition Rules

The events are run under the National/FEI competition rules with a few variations for the one day events, designed to encourage newcomers into the sport, improve driving skills and to give young and inexperienced horses/ponies a good start.
  1. Pre-Novices are allowed a reader in the dressage test.
  2. Vehicles with pneumatic tyres are permitted.
  3. We may use a set timed cones challenge with an accumulative scoring system.
  4. It is only the obstacles that are timed on the marathon section in some one day events.

Health and Safety Policy

We take your safety very seriously at Midlands Carriagedriving and appoint a safety adviser to undertake a risk assessment before each event. We ask all competitors, officials, stewards and the general public to read the report which will be displayed on the notice board at the secretary's office. An on going Health and Safety assessment will take place throughout the event. Any changes or updates to the report will be posted on the event notice board.
For these measures to be effective everyone must take all reasonable precautions to avoid and prevent accidents.
If you have any concerns regarding Health & Safety please advise the TD, safety officer or event organizer as sooon as possible.

Legal stuff

We are fully insured for public and employee liability.
Midlands Driving Trials Ltd operating as Midlands CarriageDriving
Company number 05154123
Registered office address: The Laurels, Main Street, Bothamsall, Notts. DN22 8DT

Disclaimer of Liability

Neither Midlands Carriagedriving nor the organisers, landowners, employees or their representatives, save for the death or personal injury caused by their negligence or anyone for whom they are in law responsible, accept any responsibility or liability for any accident, loss, damage, injury or illness to animals, vehicles of any type, owners, drivers, grooms, spectators, land or any person or property whatsoever, however caused.