At a recent meeting of the BHDTA Council, a proposal from the Competitions Committee to incorporate International CAI-B Events at Brighton and Catton was accepted. The classes to be included as International are Horse Team, Horse Pairs, Single Horse and Pony Teams, and these will run alongside National Classes for the other categories. This decision was taken against the general background of the FEI suggesting that we should have more International Events and International Officials in this country. The progression of officials is already being addressed and with the exception of the necessary foreign judges, all other officials required can already be found within the BHDTA.

Many members will be aware that some new proposals for fundamental changes to the sport of Horse Driving Trials were put to the FEI Driving Committee earlier this year by an Ad Hoc Working Party. Some have been tried during the summer, and they were discussed at the Open Forum at Riesenbeck in August. Although some of the more radical changes have been rejected by the FEI Driving Committee, the FEI are obviously seriously considering a total change to the Marathon format; the new FEI Bulletin informs us that it is to be compulsory in 2002 for a trial period of one year for all international events, except the 2002 World Championships for Horse Teams and Single Horses, to run their marathons in accordance with the new proposal, i.e.

The Marathon will consist of TWO sections only:

Section A = Current sections A & B combined.
 Distance6 - 9 Km
 Speed (Horses)One Km calculated at max 6Km/hr, remainder calculated at 15 Km/hr
 PaceAny pace for entire section
Section E
 Distance1 Km for every one obstacle (section to include between 5 & 8 obstacles) i.e. max length 8 Km
 Speedas current rules, except there is a "window" of only 2 mins (currently 3 mins in FEI Rules, NO WINDOW in BHDTA Rules)
 Paceas current rules (i.e. any pace except for trot last 500m)

Before responding to the FEI on this formula, the BHDTA would like to take the opportunity to hear the views of competitors at next Saturday's Members' Conference at Newcastle.

Although the overall Marathon length would differ very little from our existing three-section Marathons, competitors should consider that under the new format the total emphasis of the Marathon would be on the obstacles, i.e.:

? No more five section marathons
? No timed walk sections
? No fast trot section
? Any pace virtually throughout the marathon (except last 500m of Section E)

The FEI have, however, confirmed that the Horse Teams will have a full five-section Marathon at the World Championships at Jerez, and the Single Horses will have a three-section Marathon at their Championships at Conty. We are still awaiting confirmation about the Pony Teams.

The BHDTA Council were unaware of these intended changes when they agreed to run the two CAI-B's at Brighton and Catton next season, but, unless there is a change of heart within the FEI, the new format will be compulsory at these events as well as at Royal Windsor Horse Show which is a CAI-A.

The Council will be asking for your views at the Conference. If you are not attending, but want to have your views taken into account, please e-mail the BHDTA Office at

DON'T FORGET - Also on the Agenda for discussion is the team selection criteria (discussion paper printed in the last issue of Carriage Horse).

The Members' Conference takes place at The Holiday Inn, Seaton Burn, Newcastle upon Tyne, on Saturday 13th October and starts at 3.00 p.m.