The national horse driving trials season gets underway this weekend with the traditional opening in Brighton (2-4 May).

Competitors of all ages will travel to the south coast for this popular event, sponsored by Yeomans Toyota, which will see someof the country’s top drivers contesting the three phases of dressage, marathon and cones.

The Brighton trials include classes for novice and open single ponies and horses, as well as pairs, tandems and teams of four, with a special trophy and rosettes for the highest placed junior drivers.

Fast times win prizes

The 2003 season sees the introduction of two new challenge series with the fastest competitors through the first two obstacles on the marathon each receiving a prize.

In the “Carriage Driving Fair No.1 Challenge”, Brockham Harness Club, organisers of the popular spring driving fair, will award a limited edition driving cap and rugby shirt to the driver who completes obstacle one in the fastest time. To ensure all drivers get equal chance to win, a different section will be eligible for the competition at each national event.

The “Jack in a Box No.2 Challenge” is only available to open pony competitors. The driver and groom from the fastest turnout through obstacle two at each event, excluding Royal Windsor, will each receive a Jack in the Box polo shirt, from the carriage driving accessories company owned by Ian and Frances Collings, who are BHDTA members and Open Horse competitors.

To find out more about the Brighton Horse Driving Trials visit: www.brighton-horse-driving.org.uk

For more information about horse drivingtrials visit: www.horsedrivingtrials.co.uk