See also Eacdg Class Progression for Eacdg rules on assessment and class changes.

EACDG - Rules Regulations and Reminders - updated 2022

The club uses the governing body, British Carriage Driving, rules with some variations as listed below. Rules are intended to ensure fair competition, taking health and safety guidelines into account, and to ensure the safety of all competitors, officials, supporters, spectators and others. When you enter an event, you accept the rules and agree to abide by them.

Please remember these rules, abide by them yourself and encourage others to do so: it is not the responsibility of the committee to enforce them. As a competitor you are responsible for the safety, behaviour and insurance of your groom/s, supporter/s and friends and family and pets as well as yourself. Not every circumstance can be envisaged and the committee's decision is binding in all cases.


1. The driver and groom and anyone riding or on a carriage must wear properly fitting and secured hard hats for cones and marathon phases. We strongly advise wearing of hard hats for dressage as no time will be given when finishing dressage to starting cones to change hats. (You will not be marked down in Dressage for wearing hard hats).

2. Back/body protectors must be always worn for marathon sections for adults and for under 18's.

3. No person under the age of 14 may be on the carriage apart from young drivers competing in their relevant class.

4. Drivers must have third-party insurance which covers them for attending and taking part in our events. Being a driving member of the EACDG or of the BC or any affiliated BC Club covers the driver.

5. You must have fire extinguishers to a capacity of 3kg minimum at your horsebox, caravan, or tent, keep it accessible and know how to use it.


6. A Horse may not compete if its sensory hairs have been clipped or shaven or in any other way removed unless individual sensory hairs have been removed by a veterinarian to prevent pain or discomfort for the Horse. Areas of hair that must be clipped, shaven or removed to allow veterinary treatment are exempt from this rule Art 932: 2, BC Rulebook 2022

7. Horses and ponies must be at least four years old to compete.

8. Animals must be vaccinated: passports may be checked at any event. The organiser may require the immediate removal of any animal which gives cause for believing it has any infectious condition or for which an up-to-date vaccination certificate cannot be produced upon request.

9. The welfare of horses and ponies is paramount and excessive use of whips, pressing of tired animals, and any other acts that are perceived to be not in the interests of equine welfare or to lead the sport into disrepute will not be tolerated. Public perception is also very important, and behaviour or actions that appear to be inappropriate are similarly to be avoided and may result in disqualification.

10. Please do not tie up your horse or pony to fences or posts at events because this can lead to injury, damage, and breakages: ask someone competent to hold him.


11. The same carriage may be used for competitions A and C (dressage and cones). Three-phase carriages, suitable two-wheelers and vehicles with pneumatic tyres are allowed, provided they are the correct track width (138cms for all pony and single horse carriages for dressage and cones, 125cms for the marathon and - usually - one-day events).

12. Lamps are not required for dressage or cones; however, you are welcome to use them.

13. Competitors should present themselves at the start of A on the marathon at least 10 minutes before their start time.

14. Mobile phones or two-way radios may be carried on the marathon section only.

15. Deliberate deviation from the marked course, whether controlled by flagged gates or not, will result in elimination.

16. Ignoring an instruction to stop given by an authorised official will result in elimination.

17. Grooms may take part from 14 years old, provided the driver is 18 or over, at the discretion of the parent and organiser.

18. Junior drivers from the beginning of the year they reach the age of 10 to the end of the year in which they are 25 may compete in singles classes. Junior drivers under 18 years must be accompanied by a responsible adult who is competent to take control in an emergency. Young drivers may be accepted subject to the BC rules for young drivers and at the committee's discretion.

19. Anyone between the age of 14-18 years travelling on a competing vehicle on which neither parent or guardian is present must have the signed authority of a parent or guardian.

20. It is the driver's responsibility to ensure their groom is physically fit, capable and experienced to be able to provide real assistance, rapidly, in the event of an emergency.

21. Drivers may compete more than once however the most experienced horse must compete first. Grooms also may go round the course more than once, provided we can reasonably schedule it.

22. Retiring on the marathon: competitors, including those driving hors concours, must inform the steward at the point at which they retire on a marathon course, and make sure it is reported to the TD or event organiser that they have done so. If it is not reported, we may end up spending a lot of time searching for you!

23. A novice competitor is a driver who has not competed in any (outdoor) open class or national driving trials event. Pre-novice and novice drivers are upgraded to open only at the committee's invitation and at their discretion. Novice and pre-novice drivers are restricted to competing with single turnouts although they may compete hors concours and take part in training.

Running events

24. A competitor who has reason to dispute or query any judgement, time or result, should refer the matter to the TD at the earliest opportunity, and not later than 30 minutes after the results of the event have been posted.

25. Club events strive for the highest standards however we may not have as many officials as national events. Any of the posts of PoJ, TD, CD Safety Officer, scorer may be combined.

26. The club will appoint people it considers competent to these roles. Members accept that officials may not be qualified to national event standards and may sometimes compete in the event or be related to competitors.

27. Mats are compulsory at Ashfields EACDG events. Please protect the grass.

28. Electric fencing is allowed at EACDG events, pens must not exceed 10' x 10' per horse or pony. Please use it with consideration for other people and animals and their safety and do not attach it to fences. Using a sign to warn people that the fence is electrified is a good idea!

29. A refund, minus admin charge is given only if you withdraw on or before the closing date. No refunds are given if you withdraw after the closing date unless you can provide a vet or doctor's certificate or documentation covering the reason for withdrawal. You must let us know as soon as possible or on or before the event date by email, text, or phone call to the event organiser.

30. New members: if you have never competed as a driver in a BC- affiliated event, you must be assessed before you compete. This is a BC rule, and it applies to everyone.

31. Photographs and videos may be taken at Eacdg events by us and third-party photographers and used to publicise the club's activities. They may appear on the club's website and materials, on other websites and in the national or local press. We will endeavour to use any material responsibly and will try to respect any wishes made known to us, but please treat events as public places in this respect and be aware we can't guarantee you won't appear.