David Smith’s BC Rules Quiz April 2020

Following the cancellation of Spring Camp 2020 due to the Corona Virus lockdown, David Smith constructed the following quiz, which covers a selection of British Carriagedriving Rules.

It was intended to help prepare members for the proposed 2 day driving trial at Charlcotte Farm later in the year.

On 7th April, having given members a chance to research the questions within the BC Rulebook, the following answers and comments were added.

Q1. What are we deemed to acknowledge and accept as being paramount when participating in our sport?      

 This is the welfare of the horse and comes under the code of conduct. It covers horse management, training methods, farriery and tack, transport and transit

Q2. What is the minimum age of a groom for a 12-14-year-old athlete driving a single pony?                     

18 – all the other eligibility ages are in article 912 on page 10 of the rules    

Q3. Name 4 items of dress that are obligatory for athletes to wear in dressage and cones?                                    

Hat, gloves, apron and jacket. We could also discuss the two 2 “styles” of dress, i.e. Town and Country and what goes with what

Q4. What can athletes and grooms not wear on the marathon?                                                                

Shorts – There are concessions made in dressage and cones for very hot or wet conditions but shorts on marathon day are taboo! See page 12, Article 928, 2.1

Q5. What is the penalty for the athlete not carrying a whip in dressage and cones?

5 penalties. That’s Article 928, 4.2.

Q6. What is the penalty for the athlete for not carrying a whip on the marathon?

There is no penalty, its optional, that’s 928, 5.1.

Q7. What is the minimum height for ponies?

There is no minimum height, I have watched Julie Wedgbury canter a whole section A to make the time with a team of little ones! Article 930, 2.

Q8. When is breeching compulsory?

[2 answers] – Single horses / ponies and if the turnout has no brakes. Article 937, 1.1

Q9. What is the minimum width of a carriage for the marathon in all classes?                                            

125cm – Article 937, 4.

Q10. What is the minimum distance allowed between equines and carriage?                                              

50cm – This is Article 940, 1.1.1, It also states that the distance to the fender roll can be 40cm minimum

Q11. Which two bits [ bridles] are not allowed?                                                                                               

Bit-less bridles and hackamores are taboo. Article 940, 8.2.

Q12. Who can give outside assistance in dressage and cones?                                                                     

Not a trick question, the groom is allowed to advise the bell has rung! It’s easy to not hear it when under stress and I recall asking my groom several times and they don’t answer!! Article 945, 2.1.2.

Q13. Who can give outside assistance in the marathon?                                                                             

Any one on the carriage. It’s worth reading Article 945,3 as there are exceptions!

Q14. List 6 words to describe what Judges are assessing from equine[s] and athletes in dressage.                                                                                                                                     

Article 954, 17 deals with this. Looking for obedience and lightness, Regularity, Contact, Impulsion, Straightness, Collection and Accuracy. [ I should have read this years ago ] 

Q15. Which classes have a stationary safety check during warm-up?                                                           

Novice, Evolution and young horse classes. Article 949. 2. You would be eliminated if you forget to present for this

Q16. In dressage, what are the penalties for: 

a. Groom speaking or indicating?     

Elimination (Big E)

b. Boots/bandages                                   

10 penalties

c. Dropping or putting down the whip     

5 penalties

d. Whole turnout leaving the arena          

Big E – All to be found with others in Article 957

Q17. Name the three competitions in a driving trial?                                                                                  

Driven dressage, Marathon and Cones

Q18. What are the three sections of the marathon?                                                                                               

Section A, Transfer and Section B

Q.19. What pace [s] can you use in Section A of the marathon?                                                                    

Any pace including canter – however, canter is not permitted in the final 300m of Section B  

Q20. What speed in km/h is to be achieved by ponies in sections A and B of the marathon?                         

Section A, 14km/h and B 13kh/h – Article 960.2. covers this. Calculate by hand or go to: www.mikewatts.com/hdt/mt1/mt.html in order to upload the app on smart phone, which will calculate minimum, maximum and average times for each kilometre travelled. Being under the minimum or over the maximum will incur penalties. At least one stop watch is required but some teams have one for the driver and one for the groom.

Q21. List 4 items of signage you would expect to see when driving the marathon?                                     

 Start and finish of course, direction arrows, compulsory turning flags (CTF) and kilometre markers. You want your groom looking for these ahead of you in order to monitor speed against stop watches and ensure you don’t miss a CTF, I have seen it done by experienced drivers whilst the adrenalin is flowing!

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