The object of these competitions is to maintain the art of traditional driving, using original traditional carriages (built before 1945), to develop it’s
image and help the lovers of this sport to improve their skills.
The competitions has three phases: A. Presentation - B. Road drive - C. Cone driving
To take part in a traditional driving competition (CAT) or international driving competition (CIAT), the driver and the groom must be at least 12 years old. Between 12 and 16, the driver must be accompanied by an adult. Each driver who takes part in such a competition must be in order with statutory requirements( membership, engagement).
To compete the driver must have evidence of comprehensive insurance (third party liability including cover for carriage driving.) and horses, ponies and donkeys must be correctly vaccinated, chipped and have an identification card or passport. Otherwise they will not be able to take part in the competition. Heavy horses can take part in the category of horses but only for a whole season. Horses can only take part in the category of heavy horses if they are inscribed in a national studbook of heavy horses.
The jury is composed of a president and one or two AIAT certified judges . It guarantees that the rules are properly observed.
Only the President of Jury has the authority to eliminate what they consider to be a potentially dangerous turnout (including stressed or badly behaved horses, inexperienced drivers, dangerous carriages, badly fitting harness). The Veterinary can only give information to the President of the Jury.
Original traditional old carriages (before 1945) are marked out of 20 points (coefficient 3), reproductions and others are marked out of 20 points (coefficient 1). The competitor’s number must be clearly visible on the carriage. A participant who gives wrong information of his carriage will be disqualified.
The same driver accompanied by their groom(s) must drive in all three phases or will be disqualified. The number of grooms(in grooms clothing or otherwise) must be minimal:
- Single, Pair, Tandem or three horses: one groom,
- Unicorn, Pickaxe, Four-in-hand or more: two grooms.
The complete turnout cannot be changed in any way (horse, carriage, number of grooms, harness) during the three phases. Any changing is penalised by 20 penalties. The change of driver will cause the elimination. The driver and the grooms must wear the same clothes, except if it rains. The whip, adapted to the team (short or long reins) will be kept in the hand during the event. A whip that is not held in the hand, or that is not adapted to the team, will be penalised by 10 penalties. A horse or pony may only be driven once in each phase during the event. It is mandatory to participate in the price giving ceremony, except when the president of the jury has previously agreed through exceptional circumstances, to excuse the competitor. Any outside assistance during the entirety of the competitions may result in a disqualification.
Each turnout is judged at the halt individually by each of the judges as per the official Presentation Sheet.
Boots and bandages on the horses are forbidden. (10 point penalty)
A competitor arriving after the time indicated on the schedule for the presentation of for the Routier, receives a 5 point penalty.
The Routier is to test the skills and knowledge of the driver and the ability to drive at a steady pace in normal circumstances. The route will be suitable for all type of carriages on good tracks.
The distance should be between 12 kms and 17 kms and less than 9 kms for donkeys and without interrupting the itinerary.
The driver must respect the Highway Code at all times and he drives at their own risk. The maximum speed is:
6 km per hour for donkeys.
9 km per hour for small ponies - up to and including 1.32 m (13hh) and heavy horses and great donkeys. 11 km per hour for ponies - over 1.32 m (13hh)
13 km per hour for horses. - (over 14.2hh)
11 km per hour for heavy carriages (Coach).
The Technical Delegate only can reduce the speed as a function of the topographic and prevailing conditions. He will inform the judges. The time allowed will be + or - 1 minute.
For example: official time = 65 mins. Allowed time = between 64 and 66 mins.
Each second over or under the time allowed = 0.2 penalty point.
There is a maximum of 5 natural or artificial obstacles (PC) The last one must be at least 300 metres before the finish. (taken from official AIAT list)There is a 5 point penalty for the driver who stops in the last 300 metres.
A driver will be disqualified if they drive through a PC on the Road Drive or through a gate of the cone driving before the competition. All help in a PC is penalised by 10 penalties. Using brakes is not allowed in a PC and is penalised by 10 penalties. Each destruction of the PC before, during or after the execution of the figure will be punished with 10 penalties. The figures of the PC must be executed directly and in one movement (except reining back). E.g.: One handed circle is executed in one circle, the drinking glass, straight on between A and B.
C. Cone driving
The cone driving competition is to test the skill of the driver and of the obedience and agility of the horses on a given course.
The area should be on flat firm ground of between 6000 – 8000 square metres and provide safe driving conditions.
The speed is 180m/mn for heavy horses, tandems and four-in-hands. 200m/mn for the others and 160m/mn for donkeys. The use of brakes is not allowed during this phase. If used, a 10 point penalty will be applied.
The competitor may not stay in the arena more than twice the time limit allowed for the course, after this they will be asked to leave.
The course will have a maximum of 20 gates. No obstacle with bars is allowed. The distance between each gate of the zig zag is at least 12 meters.
The width of the gates:
For a 2 wheeled vehicles, the wheel track width + 30 cm;
For a 4 wheeled vehicles, depends on the track of the rear wheels and of the distance between the front and the rear wheel banding:
Width between the wheel banding
less than 40 cm from40cmto59cm from60cmto89cm
from 90 cm
Winchester with heavy horses
Width of the Gate
track width +30cm track width +35cm track width +40cm track width +45cm total width 230 cm total width 250 cm
Distance between the wheel banding
If competitors inspect the course within 1 hour of the cone driving they must be dressed as for the competition. If not: 5 penalty points. The driver must salute the Jury before the start of their round but not necessarily at the end.
Exceeding the time limit: 0.2 point/second.
Missing the starting gate: 10 penalty points and must start again.
Each ball knocked down: 5 penalty points and on any one gate there is a maximum of 5 penalty points .
The gates must be negotiated in numerical order and cannot be crossed again. If a gate is taken twice: 5 penalty points. (in either direction)
If a driver misses a gate, they can retake the gate, before continuing on to the next gate without penalty points. If they have already taken the next gate:10 penalty points. Each gate taken or not taken, if knocked down: 5 penalty points. The clock is stopped when the Jury bell is rung until the gate is re-erected. A gate partially taken without any balls knocked down: 5 penalty points. Any incident even when not noticed by the driver may be indicated by the Jury in which case, the driver must correct it and continue whilst the clock continues without interruption.
If the driver forgets to go past the finish gate: 10 penalty points. As long as the driver has not gone through the finish or has not gone out of the arena, the clock continues.
A refusal at a gate is not penalised.