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Gladstone Driving Event Returns, September 19-21

Gladstone, NJ—August 29, 2003—The Gladstone Driving Event, one of the nation’s premier equestrian driving competitions, will return to Hamilton Farm Golf Club and Equestrian Center, home of the United States Equestrian Team (USET) Headquarters and Olympic Training Center, in Gladstone, NJ, September 19-21.

Many of the world’s leading drivers and horses will compete in a variety of carriage driving events, featuring the 2003 USET Four-in-Hand Championship, among whose contestants will be the drivers on the United States’ 2002 World Championship Silver Medal team.

The 2003 Gladstone Driving Event will also host the Northeast Regional Finals of the Bellcrown North American Preliminary Pony Challenge as well as the Fédération Equestre Internationale (International Equestrian Federation – FEI) North American Driving Challenge for singles, pairs, and four-in-hands.

Competition begins on Friday, September 19 with the dressage phase, a test in which horses must respond to subtle signals from drivers and show a willingness to go forward with energy, elasticity and grace.

On Saturday, September 20, the same horses and drivers take to an exciting cross-country marathon course. The course of maze-like obstacles challenges the drivers’ skills, as well as the courage, agility, and fitness of the horses. It is a race against the clock, as each section of the course is timed.

The event culminates with a cones phase on Sunday. In this final phase, horses and drivers are required to carefully negotiate a course of gates and water splashes, and to wind through a narrow route defined by cones. The course allows only inches between the cone markers and the carriage wheels. Time is also a factor, so the round must be fast as well as accurate.

In addition to exciting equestrian carriage driving, the 2003 Gladstone Driving Event also features a dog agility fun match on Saturday and a children’s fair on Sunday, which includes face painting, pony rides, carriage rides, autograph signing, and a petting zoo. Boutique shopping and other family activities will be available throughout the weekend. For literary lovers, there will be a special book signing by Barbara Weir, author of the new mystery novel, The Fifth Wheel.

The Gladstone Driving Event, the nation’s oldest equestrian combined driving competition, is sponsored by the Gladstone Equestrian Association (GEA). Formed in 1985, the GEA, a New Jersey non-profit corporation, sponsors clinics on driving, course equine health, and endurance, training to educate the public on the diversity of horse sports, and provides grants to drivers to help make American drivers a leader in the international equestrian arena.

For more information on the Gladstone Driving Event, please call the Gladstone Equestrian Association at (908) 234-0151or visit the GEA website at


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