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Equestrian centre near Grantham hosts British Indoor Carriage Driving Championships for first time

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Arena UK, near Grantham, hosts the British Indoor Carriage Driving Championships for the first time on Friday, April 1 through Sunday, April 3, with spectators admitted free of charge.

Since 1998, when the sport of horse driving trials first came indoors with a winter season of one-day local events, Indoor Carriage Driving-UK has made more than 250 national champions, aged eight to over 80.

Ponies from 29in to horses over 17 hands (68in) compete in three phases, performing driven dressage, driving accurately through a course of cones and then through four ‘obstacles’ as fast as possible.

Carriage driving (55285429)
Carriage driving (55285429)

More than 100 of the top drivers from 20 regions compete for National Championship titles in 13 classes for the first time since 2019, owing to the pandemic suspending the sport. Ponies 44in and below have their own Small Pony Supreme Championship with singles – one pony – and pairs – two ponies side-by-side – testing their mettle.

Friday and Saturday mornings start with the well-trained accuracy of driven dressage – ‘Precision & Paces’ – followed by agile negotiation of the cones course. The speedy obstacle driving takes place in the main arena from about 1pm each day.

Saturday afternoon is when the Supreme Championship is decided in a thrilling finale, showing the horses’ athleticism and teamwork between the driver and groom on the carriage at its finest, up close and personal.

Sunday is for obstacle driving for all other classes, including the small ponies – the mighty minis – novices, young drivers and veterans. There are also classes for four-in-hands and the rarely seen tandems – four ponies and two ponies in line.

Horse & Country are live-streaming from the main arena. Results are published live online. There is lots to see with trade stands, carriages, harness and driving equipment in the setting of Arena UK’s world class facilities.

Spectators are welcome every day, free, and there is no charge for parking.

Find out more at www.indoordriving.co.uk

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