Carriage Pleasure Driving Examined at USEF Annual Meeting

“Exploring the World of Carriage Pleasure Driving,” the third virtual session of the USEF Annual Meeting, gave listeners a glimpse into the Carriage Pleasure Driving world and the advancements being made to improve the industry. 

The USEF Annual Meeting runs January 13-15 in Naples, FL, with in-person events, but the organization is also hosting several virtual sessions via Zoom, with the aim of introducing attendees to “some of the diverse breeds and disciplines that are part of the USEF community.”

Karen Homer-Brown, chair of the USEF CPD Committee and Jill Ryder, Executive Director of Carriage Association of America and a USEF committee member, led the presentation, while Nicole Zerbee, USEF CPD Staff Liaison, facilitated the conversation with attendees. 

The session began with an explanation of different ways to get involved in the discipline, which included competing and spectating; hosting a show or clinic; visiting farms or collections; and promoting the discipline, including through social media. 

Homer-Brown and Ryder detailed that when it comes to horsepower, diversity is great in Carriage Pleasure Driving. WIthin the discipline, one can find great variety in breeds and even equipment.

“A Carriage Driving Pleasure Horse is not necessarily a pleasure horse; rather, a horse that is a pleasure to drive,” says Homer-Brown and Ryder. “[They] are upstanding, attractive horses of appropriate size for the vehicle, with high, sharp, stylish motion that is balanced and cadenced, yet showing good length of stride. The horses should have good quality with adequate substances.” 

Accomplishments made by the USEF CPD committee in 2021 were recognized, as three new driven dressage tests at the training, preliminary, and intermediate level were established. Additionally, five learning material booklets were created for readers to better understand the discipline. The five booklets cover the following topics: licensed officials booklet, driven dressage, obstacle driving courses, competition management and exhibitor information. 

Further education for judges clinics are being developed, and future plans for the USEF CPD committee include partnering with the Carriage Association of America for educational webinars and to develop a glossary of terms document. 

The session concluded with questions from the audience, ranging from the health of carriage pleasure driving horses to the carriage itself and how to properly maintain carriage pleasure driving equipment. 

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