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Combined Driving a Success at the Kentucky Horse Park

Misdee Miller and her pair of Dutch Harness

horses in the “Head of the Lake” obstacle on

the marathon. Todd Draheim is navigating.

(photo by Jennifer Singleton/

The Carriage Association of America)

Lexington, KY − The inaugural Lexington Combined Driving Classic, held October 4–7 at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, KY, was a resounding success. Fifty-nine competitors braved unseasonably warm temperatures and a bit of rain on the first day of dressage, to compete for top honors in 13 classes.

Three years from now, also at the Kentucky Horse Park, the world championships in four-in-hand driving and seven other horse sports will be contested at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games 2010.


Each phase of combined driving offers something unique. On the first day, traditional carriages, top hats for the men and beautiful dressy hats for the ladies, and formally dressed grooms hold sway while the horses and ponies are put through their paces in the dressage test. The driving marathon on Saturday features thrilling speed and courage as the horses and drivers navigate the maze of each marathon obstacle. On the final day, precision matters most as each competitor must navigate an obstacle course with mere centimeters of clearance between each set of cones.


The following drivers won their respective classes at the 2007 Lexington Combined Driving Classic.


In the preliminary division:

Muffy Seaton (SC) - single pony 

Deborah Roberts (NC) - single horse

Leslie Bebensee (KY) - pony pair

Misdee Miller (KY) - horse pair


In the intermediate division:

Debbi Schuster (OH) - single pony

Bill Allen (SC) - single horse

Ray Mansur (SC) - pony pair

Gavin Robson (Australia and OH) - four-in-hand horses


In the advanced (FEI) division:

Kylie MacGillivray (Canada) - single pony

Courtney MacGillivray (Canada) - single horse

David Saunders (FL) - horse pair

Elizabeth Keathley (TN) - four-in-hand ponies

Chester Weber (FL) - four-in-hand horses


The international panel of officials included Klaus Christ (president of the jury) of Germany, Diana Brownlie (judge) of Great Britain, Martha Nicoll (judge) of the U.S., Philip Bateman (TD) of Great Britain, and Richard Nicoll (course designer) of the U.S.


Susan Gilliland, who will be organizing the driving portion of the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games 2010, was the event organizer, and Leslie Hernandez was in charge of organizing the event’s many volunteers.


Be sure to attend the second annual Lexington Combined Driving Classic, October 2–5, 2008, at the Kentucky Horse Park.


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