Punchestown Racecourse will be the venue for Ireland’s first CAI-B (driving) competition since 1997 for four-in-hands, pairs and single horses and ponies.

The event (1-3 June) will host international tandem and junior classes, as well as being a national competition.

The competition takes place a week after the international eventing at the venue.

Europe’s tandem drivers have competed internationally before, but only when invited to certain events.

“I’ve been told this is the first time a tandem class has been run under FEI rules,” said organiser Sarah Mullins.

Following the success of Britain’s junior national championships, the FEI has also approved special junior classes for drivers from 16-18 years old with single horse and pony turnouts. This will be the first time the classes are run under FEI rules.

There will also be an Irish national class for 12-15-year-olds.

“It is a great opportunity for young drivers,” said international four-inhand driver Barry Capstick, who trains Ireland’s juniors. “I hope drivers from Britain and Europe will support the event.”

This news story was first published in Horse & Hound (26 April, ’07)