Carriage drivers line up for battle of the border
CARRIAGE driving is the quiet achiever in Australian horse sport.
It is the harness answer to eventing, comprising three sections: dressage, the marathon (including roads and tracks and obstacles (in lieu of jumps) and cones (the equivalent of showjumping).
Showing just how popular the sport is, competitors from five states recently took part in the second annual “battle of the border” level two combined driving event at Mullengandra near Albury.
The event was held on the magnificent property of long-time supporters of the sport Ross Carbery and Miriam Bentley and attracted 81 entries from Victoria, NSW, South Australia, Queensland and Western Australia.
There were also two international competitors, Jung I Min (South Korea) and Australian-born international driver Tor van den Berge, who competes alongside world champion Boyd Exell in the Netherlands.
After the incredibly wet spring in the eastern states, the weather gods smiled and competitors were treated to warm and dry conditions for the entire event.
The organising committee went to great effort to try and emulate European atmosphere with a market place, a Friday evening street party and international-style courses.
Winner of the prestigious Prince Phillip Memorial Trophy was Gail Bain from Yass, NSW. This is awarded to the best performance by an open single or multiples competitor.
A highlight of the event was Tor Van Den Berge’s performance in the horse pair class.
Tor drove a pair of horses owned by Ross Carbery and Miriam Bentley. An appreciative crowd witnessed a very polished dressage test by Tor but were most excited by his fast and accurate driving in the marathon section. Tor was the overall winner in this class.
At the conclusion of the event Tor stayed on to do a week-long clinic at the venue. Those who attended were thrilled with the progress they were able to see after Tor’s assistance.
Download full results
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