For our final driving discipline, we are exploring the type of driving where you can find the biggest and strongest equines showing off!
Draft horses have been used on farms and for transportation for thousands of years and are known for their incredible strength and pulling capability. It’s no wonder why they consistently have been a popular choice for carriage driving for centuries. To honor the humble beginnings of the draft horse, Draft Show Hitch classes show off the best of heavy draft breeds either in single, team, tandem, unicorn, four, six or eight-in-hand.
Any team of draft breed can compete in these classes but some of the most popular breeds seen are Belgian Drafts, Percherons, Clydesdales, Shires, and Suffolk Punch Drafts. A wagon, either antique or modern, is used for the teams of horses while a two-wheeled cart is used for singles and tandem. The carriage, harnesses, and accessories will compliment each other, and all equipment is judged on cleanliness. Horses are impeccably turned out and will have beautifully colored plaits in their manes and tails.
Drivers in these classes will all follow a pattern, which is usually the same for every class. Each hitch will enter one at a time and follow each other around the ring. The judge will watch each hitch go both directions and is scored based on the horses’ performance, their compatibility together, and turn-out, as well as the driver’s performance and the carriage presentation. It is always fun to watch the six- and eight-horse hitches go around the ring in absolute unison!
We hope you enjoyed learning all about the wonderful world of Driving. There are so many amazing disciplines and types of driving that people can get involved in. It truly is a sport for everyone! Make sure to keep your eye on the BreyerFest Blog as we start to release some more exciting information about the event in the coming weeks.
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