Canadian Equestrian Team - Driving Competes in Marathon Phase at World Equestrian Games

Sunday, October 10, 2010
Posted by Julie Cull, Equine Canada


Lexington, KY—Canada’s four-in-hand drivers, Darryl Billing of Milverton, ON and Debbie Laderoute of Calgary, AB, competed in the exciting Marathon phase of the Combined Driving today, October 9th, at the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games (WEG).

The Marathon consists of three sections. The first is a 6.84 km trot course that has an optimum time allowed window and 15 compulsory flags. The second section is a mandatory 1 km walk that also has an optimum time allowance. At the end of the second section is a rest area.  It is here that horses are inspected by veterinarians to ensure that they are fit to compete in the final section, which is comprised of an 8.49 km course featuring eight obstacles, referred to as hazards, and 22 compulsory turning flags.
Heading into the Marathon with 75.52 penalties from the Driven Dressage test, Laderoute guided four horses owned by Fred Mannix, Vaspari, an eight-year-old Canadian Sport Horse gelding; Salina, an 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding; Ramondo, a 12-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding; and Vitanna, an eight-year-old Canadian Warmblood gelding, around the three sections of the course. Laderoute received 250.21 penalties on course, giving her a two-day total of 325.73, for 22nd place.

“Everything started well for Debbie, but unfortunately one of her horses slipped a little in the final hazard and got his leg caught over the trace,” said chef d’équipe, Bill MacGillivray. “Unfortunately, her groom had to come off, which resulted in penalties and a lot of time. The horse remained calm and Debbie did a great job.”

After incurring 272.38 penalties in the Marathon and 68.74 for his Driven Dressage test, Billing and his own Dutch Warmblood geldings, eight-year-olds Victor and Villeroy, 10-year-olds Thunder and Tornado, have a two phase score of 341.12 penalties for 23th place.

“It was awesome. I had a hard time slowing them down, and they are almost ready to go again,” said Billing following his return from Marathon.  

As a team, Billing and Laderoute are currently sitting in seventh place.

WEG Combined Driving Event is comprised of three phases, Driven Dressage, Marathon and Obstacle-Cones. The final placings are determined by the driver with the lowest combined number of penalties throughout all three competitions for individual results. To determine ranking among nations, the best two scores by the team drivers who have completed all three competitions can be used. The nation with the lowest total penalty points wins.

For the Canadians, the Driven Dressage test occurred on October 7th, which was followed by the Marathon competition today, October 9th. Tomorrow will be the final day, featuring the Obstacle-Cones in the morning, followed by awards and closing ceremonies.

For more information on Combined Driving and the World Equestrian Games, visit the official WEG site www.alltechfeigames.com.

About Canadian Driving Committee
The Canadian Driving Committee (CDC) is the national governing body for driving in Canada. CDC's objective is the development of athletes, both human and equestrian, for recreation and competitive sport. CDC develops and manages national programs for coaches, licensed officials and rules based on safety, welfare of the horse and fairness in competition. CDC is a member of the Equine Canada Sport Council. CDC members are elected on a rotational basis by the Regional Council which is composed of members from each region of Canada, elected annually.

Photos:  Billing and Laderoute  Photo Credit — Cealy Tetley, www.tetleyphotography.com