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This discipline, also called the long reins, comes from the use of the horse with carriages for transport, for travel, for war…
The transformation into sport is due to the President of the International Equestrian Federation, Prince Philip of Edinburgh, a great lover of carriages and, born the discipline, the First World Championship was held in 1972 in Munster, Germany.
Born to compete for the four-wheeler, this discipline also included the pariglie (two horses) and the single shot in a competition that is usually divided into 3 tests, as a classic complete riding competition.
The crew consists of the driver, who leads the horse with long reins and, to help him on the way, by one or more groomers.
It starts with the Dressage where, in a rectangle of 100 X 40 meters, the competitor must have the carriage perform pre-established figures at the pace, at the gathered trot, from work and at the extended trot.
It continues with the Marathon, no more than 16 kilometers, traveled for a part at a speed set for the second free pace and where, at the end, are placed obstacles delimited by poles, doors or other fixed elements.
The third conclusive test requires great precision and skill because it is a path with moving obstacles marked by cones surmounted by balls that, if dropped, generate penalties.
There is also a national test, the Derby, which combines fixed and mobile obstacles along the same route.
The referee sits next to the driver for the duration of the competition and the final score is awarded not only based on the technical result but, for example, also from the maintenance of the carriage, the driver’s clothing, the condition of the harnesses and so on.
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The carriages used in the various tests are different: in Dressage and Mobile Obstacles are used traditional carriages that ask for an elegant and formal clothing by the driver and groom while in the Marathon and in the Derby a specific, robust carriage is used. enriched with current accessories with, for example, disc brakes and hydraulic suspensions, more or less like the one pictured above.
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