I spent 5 days in Lexington, Ky to attend the World Equestrian Games. I had tickets for the driving series. The driving consists of 3 parts: dressage, marathon, and cones.
The first part of the driving series was the dressage driving. The dressage took place over two days. The judges look for a good turnout (how good everything looks) and how well the dressage test is driven.
The marathon driving was day three of the driving series. The marathon tests the stamina and fitness of the horse The marathon usually consists of 3 to 5 sections. The section E is the hazard/obstacle section. The hazard section of the marathon draws the biggest crowds.
I was lucky to find a spot in the front row at the Head of the Lake hazard. Marathon hazards include water, tight turns around trees or man-made obstacles, hills, or fences and pens. Drivers are scored on how quickly they can negotiate through the hazard. They also must find the fastest way throught the hazard. Points are deducts for too much time spent in a hazard.
The last phase of the driving is the cones. The cones is an timed obstacle course. The course must be driven with the red cone on the right and the white cone on the left. The cones are just a few centimeters wider than the wheels of the cart. Each cone has a ball balancing on the top. Points are deducted for knocking the ball off the cone.
The scores from all 3 parts of the driving series are combined to give a final result. In all three parts, scores and times are converted into “penalty points”, which are then added together. The competitor with the lowest penalty score is the winner.
For more information about the World Equestrian Games, visit www.alltechfeigames.com and www.usef.org
Here is a video of Chester Weber on the cones course.