Sophy White from Bristol driving a Bennington Carriage pulled by her Lusitano horse called Miosporo. Her Dalmatian Dizney (Sophy’s Girl), trots alongside.
The third Fenix Carriage Dog Trials will take place at Tenantry Farm, Rockbourne, Hampshire on 11th June. This visually spectacular event provides a wonderful chance to see lots of Dalmatians in action, all in a stunning countryside setting.
The purpose of the Trials is to provide a modern competition through which to demonstrate the Dalmatian dog's traditional role as a companion to horses and carriages in past times. It is both an endurance and obedience event and all competitors must do a basic obedience test, from their horse or carriage, with their dog as part of the Trial.
Dalmatians have traditionally been used to accompany and guard people travelling by horse and carriage. In the early 1900s, seeking to preserve and test this heritage, Americans began to run road trials. The Dalmatian was tested in its ability to run beneath the coach. The purpose of a Carriage Dog Trial is to demonstrate the use of purebred Dalmatians as a companion to man in one of the roles they have been bred to perform.
Competitors compete as ridden handler or in a carriage. The Kennel Club Breed Standard states, "the Dalmatian should be a carriage dog of good demeanour, capable of great endurance and a fair turn of speed". These qualities are essential to his successful use as a horse/rider and horse/carriage escort.
As well as the competition itself on the 11th, The British Dalmatian Club will again be holding a 'Dalmatian Fun Day' on Sunday the 12th for which entry is free. Activities during the weekend will include carriage following instinct tests, fun dog events, a carriage dog display and line dancing demonstrations.
If you ride or drive with your Dalmatian, why not consider competing to qualify your dog in this working competition?
Basic camping is available. For more information and for entry forms see www.carriagedog.org or contact Alison Burgess on 01435 813267.