Driving Valkenswaard International
8 - 11 June 2017... CAI3*-H2 & H4 WCupQ...The second edition of Driving Valkenswaard International (DVI) is set to take place Thursday June 8th until Sunday June 11th on the grounds of four-time World Champion Boyd Exell's beautiful training facility. This prestigious event for pair and four-in-hand horses was launched last year with huge success and has found a permanent place on the show calendar for both drivers and carriage driving enthusiasts.
World Cup Points
The DVI Organisers chose this weekend with the aim to offer a spectacle for the public.
“Indications show that we are going to receive around 30 four-in-hands and 40 pairs. We want the public to see this great sport and we want the drivers to have a competitive party weekend,” tells organizer Boyd Exell.
The team drivers can earn valuable World Cup points at the CAI three-star competition in Valkenswaard, which is also an important show in preparation for the World Pair Driving Championships in Lipica this summer. People will use the opportunity to show their Pairs to the international Judges who will be judging in Valkenswaard.
New fantastic viewing gallery
A new obstacle is being built at Driving Valkenswaard International with a substantial bridge to be used as a viewing platform for the public whilst competitors negotiate the obstacle underneath the bridge.
Successful Pro-Am Challenge
In 2016, Driving Valkenswaard International successfully hosted the inaugural edition of the Pro-Am Challenge, where a ‘Pro’ four-in-hand driver was paired with an ‘Amateur’ four-in-hand driver. This proved to be a huge crowd-pleaser and much fun for the competitors. This year the challenge will also extend to the pair drivers.
Teams will be formed by pairing a ‘Pro’ driver - a driver ranked in the top 15 on the 2016 FEI Top Driver Award rankings with an ‘Amateur’ – a driver who falls outside of the top 15. The top three teams in the standings after marathon will take part in a shortened cones course of 12 gates once the official cones has been completed Sunday afternoon.
The results from both drivers in the dressage, marathon and the shortened cones will be tabulated and the team with the least amount of penalty points will win the 2017 Pro-Am Challenge.
The main goal of the Pro-Am Challenge is to inspire the drivers to work together. Ideally the ‘Pro’ driver will take the time to help his/her teammate with among other things, warming up for dressage, or walking the obstacles and the cones course. “We need to encourage more collaboration within our sport to ensure the future of carriage driving,” tells initiator Boyd Exell.
The Pro-Am Challenge is made possible through the sponsorship of American couple Boots and Dave Wright from WeBoth Farms in Ocala.
Indoor Cycling Circuit
New on the DVI program is the Indoor Cycling Circuit where Drivers are challenged to participate with their navigator and back stepper to set the fastest time against the clock. On Thursday evening the indoor arena will be transformed into a bicycle obstacle course, where both competitors and their navigators and back steppers will strive for the fastest time and the chance to win a new electric bike!
Teams will be encouraged with upbeat music and spectators can cheer on their favourites from both inside the lounge and along the sides of the arena.
The pair teams will consist of the driver and his navigator, while the four-in-hand teams will consist of a driver, the navigator and the back stepper.
Grooms play an important role in Valkenswaard. As per 2016, a secret silent judge will watch out for the best turned-out horses during the horse inspection and the best cared for horses in the stables to rank horses on their turnout and grooming. The groom who presents the best horses will receive a prize.
Local and International entertainment
It wouldn’t be Valkenswaard without an extensive social program. After the draw for the Pro-Am teams and the Indoor Cycling Circuit on Thursday, the show will open with a Champagne Reception Welcome Party. Friday evening the Valkenswaard Carriage Museum just 5 minutes away will open their doors for the competitors and guests of DVI.
On Saturday night, the winners of the dressage and marathon will have their moment in the spotlight during the Competitors Party.
Wednesday June 7 Competitors arrive
Thursday June 8 Horse inspection & Dressage part 1 - Indoor Cycling Circuit & Welcome Party
Friday June 9 Dressage part 2 - Open house Valkenswaard Carriage Museum
Saturday June 10 Marathon - Prize giving dressage & marathon - Competitors Party
Sunday June 11 Cones - Prize giving Cones & Final - Harness horse show