The initial meeting of the New Zealand Carriage Driving Society was held in 1983. Isabel Cochran explains how the sport has grown and evolved. Carriage Driving September 2019 issue.
In those days, the predominant field driving was Traditional Showing, held within the Agricultural Shows. As the awareness of Combined Driving grew, there were local clubs who felt that there needed to be a parent body to produce and maintain a set of rules and guidelines for all aspects of driving.
The NZCDS was formed and very shortly after affiliated to Equestrian Sport New Zealand and through this, has access to the FEI. The Society magazine, “The Swingletree”, was first published in 1984. There have been visits from prominent overseas drivers and officials, the most prestigious being when Prince Phillip was entertained by a driving demonstration while he was here with the Queen in 1985.
Owing to our isolation, we have mostly had Trans-Tasman opportunities, and over the years, drivers from both countries have ‘crossed the ditch’ on exchange visits, and performed well, with borrowed turnouts. There have also been training and judging exchanges.
A cone course competition is run with South African Carriage Driving, where each country uses the identical course, and the results are jointly collated.
One driver has also represented us in Argentina in an FEI competition.
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