Obstacles, Driven

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Driven TREC Obstacle Phase

Technical Details for Driven TREC Competitions

The Obstacle phase is designed to show the ability of horse and driver to handle situations that might be encountered driving while in the countryside. Internationally, this phase is known as Parcours en Terrain Varie (PTV).

Course: 16 obstacles
Scoring: 0 to 160 for the course, 0 to 10 per obstacle
Distance: 1.5km to 2kms
Time: Times are set according to the obstacles, terrain, and level of competition


The Obstacle phase is a timed exercise that has planned route disclosed before the start of the phase. Obstacles are marked with red (on right) and white (on left) flags. The start and finish lines are also marked with red and with flags. Riders are allowed to walk the course without their mount at permitted times. Any obstacles may be by-passed without elimination with permission from the obstacles’ judge while riding the course.


To perform all the obstacles in sequence within the time period allowed.

Course DesignInviting
Easy distances
and routes


Slightly challenging routes and distance



Obstacles combined

Routes tighten




Challenging routes

Time Allowed:AmpleReasonableA ConsiderationA Factor
Specific Rules
  • Correct dress is required
  • Helmets are required while in the carriage
  • Back protection “body protectors” must be worn while in the carriage during this phase for levels 3 and above
  • Authorized assistance includes use of the voice, stopping, and assistance of the groom
  • The whole carriage team must go through the start and finish lines as well as the obstacles for a score
  • The whip must be held in the driver’s hand
  • Any system to attach the driver or groom to the carriage is prohibited


TREC obstacles are scored based on 3 factors:

  • Effectiveness
  • Obstacle Type (Gait, Style, or Timed)
  • Penalties


The effectiveness score is about how efficiently the obstacle was completed. A well-balanced, quietly performed execution of the obstacle will score the highest points. Faults can be incurred during the approach to the obstacles and while performing through the obstacle.

The Descriptions and Scoresheets have the details for each Obstacle.

Obstacles Type

There are three types of TREC obstacles – Gait, Style, and Timed.

Gait Obstacles

Gait obstacles reward faster consistent speeds and include:

  • 3 Leaf Clover
  • Bank
  • Bell
  • Corridor
  • Cross Slope
  • Dip
  • Downward Incline
  • Downward Incline Start
  • Driving with One Hand
  • L Alley
  • Obstacle with 2 or 3 Gates
  • One Handed Figure 8
  • Pine Forest
  • Roundabout
  • Twin U Alley
  • U Alley
  • Upward Incline
  • Upward Incline Start
  • Z Alley

Points vary according to the level of competition. Breaks in the gait while performing the obstacles are scored according to the slowest gait performed.

Style Obstacles

Style Obstacles reward horse/rider teams that execute ideal performances. Style obstacles include:

  • Bridge
  • Colored Posts and Tops
  • Maneuvre
  • Turn on the Spot
  • Rein-Back
  • Water Crossing

Points accumulate according to the ‘ideal”.

Timed Obstacles

Timed Obstacles reward proper execution within a time frame. Timed obstacles include:

  • Immobility

The Descriptions and Scoresheets have the details for all Obstacles.


Penalties are consistent deductions with all the obstacles to encourage good horsemanship.
The Descriptions and Scoresheets have the details for each Obstacle.