Driving Derby

Join us Friday Evening and enjoy this thrilling competition of speed and accuracy, where drivers navigate through an arena course of cones and marathon-type obstacles. Each driver will be timed through a numbered course of obstacles and gates that must be taken in the proper direction and in numerical order before crossing the finish line.

Super Derby

There is no additional fee to enter the Super Derby. Competitors must declare, enter, and drive:

Training OR Preliminary Driven Dressage Test
Training OR Preliminary Cones Scurry
Training OR Preliminary Driving Derby

Entry fees for the three required classes must be paid in full before competing. The dressage test for Training Level is Open ADT Training Level Test 1. The required test for Preliminary Level is Open ADT Preliminary Level Test 1.

All three classes must be shown by the same horse/driver combination and at the same level. A driver may show more than one horse at Training or Preliminary Levels. However, to avoid any course advantage, the same horse may NOT be shown on either a Training or Preliminary course more than once, regardless of the driver.

Horse/driver declarations must be made prior to driving the dressage test, with a declaration statement (below) submitted with participant’s entry before the show or added at the show office prior to driving the dressage test. Super Derby entries will not be accepted after the dressage test is driven. No exceptions. Additionally, Driving Derby entry fees will not be refunded and may not be applied to other classes.

To determine a winner at each of the two levels (Training and Preliminary), scores from the designated Driven Dressage test will be added to those of the Cones Scurry and Driving Derby for an overall score for each participant. One Super Derby Training Level Champion ribbon and one Super Derby Preliminary Level Champion ribbon will be awarded based on the two lowest scores. Additionally, from the two Champions, the Champion with the fastest Driving Derby time will be awarded the 2018 AHR National Show Super Derby Overall Champion award.

Super Derby Declaration Form


Driving Derby Rules

The course will consist of start/finish, cones gates and one to two marathon-type obstacle(s). Singles, pairs, tandems, unicorn, or four-in-hands may compete. Two or four-wheel vehicles of any type compete within the same class.

Grooms are not required, but are permitted, to accompany single turnouts. One groom is required for pairs and tandem turnouts. Two grooms are required for unicorns and four-in-hands. Helmets are required for all drivers, grooms. Grooms are allowed to assist drivers with navigation while on course.

A driver may show more than one horse at the Training and Preliminary Levels; however, to avoid any course advantage, the same horse may NOT be shown on either the Training or Preliminary course more than once, regardless of the driver.

Harness and carriage is to be in safe condition and well fitted to the horse. Bridle must have a noseband. Checks or auxiliary reins are not permitted. Breeching is required for all single turnouts and for any vehicle without brakes.

In the spirit of team competition, entrants are encouraged to decorate their turnouts with farm colors, flags, etc., keeping safety in mind when navigating the required gates and obstacles.

This is a timed event, with two divisions offered: TRAINING or PRELIMINARY. Training Level permits trot only. Cantering in the Training Level will be penalized. Preliminary Level permits cantering and controlled gallop, however, the only required gait at both levels is trot.

All gates will be set at a minimum of 3 meters width (approximately 118 inches) with all turnouts competing over the same course distance and width. Wheels will not be measured.

The course map will be available at the show office, with the course open for inspection at a time to be announced the day of the competition. Horses are not permitted on the course prior to competing – doing so will incur elimination.

When the course is ready, the official will signal the competitor. Timing will start as the nose of the horse crosses the start gate and stop when the nose crosses the finish gate. Compulsory Gates are marked with red and white numbers/letters and are to be driven in the correct direction and sequence. Cones will always be numbered, with red numbers on the driver’s right. On numbered cones gates, the obstacle can only be driven once, in the proper direction, and in numerical order. Numbered cones gates remain “live.”

There are no entrance or exit gates for marathon-type obstacles. All marathon-type obstacle gates will be lettered, with red letters on the driver’s right. It is the driver’s responsibility to determine the fastest route while navigating the required gates in alphabetical order. Each lettered gate becomes individually open once it has been driven. Passing through a compulsory lettered gate in a marathon-type obstacle out of order or in the wrong direction is elimination unless corrected. In order to correct, the competitor must drive through the compulsory lettered gate missed before continuing in the correct sequence. If any part of a marathon-type obstacle is significantly dislodged while the competitor is in the obstacle, and the driver cannot continue his course, the official rings the bell immediately and stops the clock. After the obstacle is rebuilt the official will ring the bell to signal the start. The competitor must drive the obstacle starting at Gate A. The clock will start when the driver passes Gate A. For each knocked down element a 5-second penalty will apply, and for rebuilding, each time, an additional 5-second penalty is added. All balls or other dislodgeable elements which are knocked down remain on the ground until the competitor has finished the course, unless the Official has rung the bell and the obstacle has to be rebuilt.

Intentional dismounting for safety reasons must occur while the carriage is at a halt. Clock does not stop while groom is dismounted. The carriage must be stopped, and the groom must remount the carriage prior to going through the next numbered gate or finish. There is no penalty except time lost.

First or second disobedience = No penalties; time lost
Groom(s) or Driver intentionally dismounting, first or second time = No penalties; time lost
Groom(s) or Driver intentionally dismounting and remounting before next numbered gate or finish = No penalties; time lost
A dislodged element knocked down by any means = 5 seconds (each knockdown, no limit)
Causing an obstacle to be rebuilt (clock stops) = 5 seconds
Dismounting while carriage is in motion = 10 seconds
Starting before the signal = 10 seconds
Corrected course, lettered gates = 20 seconds
Groom uses the reins, whip or the brake = 20 seconds
Excessive use of the whip = Disqualification
Horse on course prior to competition = Elimination
Failing to pass through start or finish gates = Elimination
Numbered cones obstacle driven backwards, out of order, or more than once = Elimination
Wrong course, not corrected = Elimination
Third disobedience = Elimination
Loss of effective control = Elimination
Groom not on carriage when passing Finish Line = Elimination
Groom(s) or Driver intentionally dismounting for third time = Elimination
Failure to dismount to repair broken harness = Elimination
Groom(s) or Driver intentionally dismounting and remounting after next numbered gate or finish or carriage does not halt for remount = Elimination
Driver unintentional dismount = Elimination
Carriage turnover = Elimination

The horse and driver completing the required course in the fastest time wins. Ribbons will be awarded to sixth place, fastest to slowest, inclusive of any penalties.