The 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games (WEG) Combined Driving Event is for four-in-hand drivers and Canada will be represented by two drivers—Darryl Billing of Elmira, ON and Debbie Laderoute of Calgary, AB.

Billing qualified his own Dutch Warmblood geldings, eight-year-olds Victor and Villeroy, 10-year-olds Thunder and Tornado, 23-year-old Hudson, and 18-year-old King.

Laderoute qualified with six horses owned by Fred Mannix—Vaspari, eight-year-old Canadian Sport Horse gelding; Salina, an 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding; Ramondo, a 12-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding; Vitanna, an eight-year-old Canadian Warmblood gelding; Lucky Boy, a 17-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding and Calduro, an 18-year-old Holsteiner gelding. Laderoute’s team will also include Filadoro, Penny Manser’s eight-year-old Westphalian gelding.

Billing and Laderoute have attended many of the twelve qualifying events in North America since January 2009, with the last being Iron Horse CDE on August 1, 2010. In order to qualify for the Canadian Team, each driver and horse must compete in all three sections of the combined driving competition and not exceed a maximum of 70 penalty points in driven dressage. Each driver may enter up to 10 qualified horses on the nominated entry for WEG. However, they must select five of those nominated horses for the definite entry, which must be filed before October 2, 2010. Prior to each of the three competitions the driver may choose any four of the five horses to be used.

WEG Combined Driving Event is comprised of three sections, driven dressage, marathon and obstacle-cones. The final placings are determined by the driver with the lowest combined number of penalties throughout all three competitions for individual results. To determine ranking among nations, the best two scores by the team drivers who have completed all three competitions can be used. The nation with the lowest total penalty points wins. There will be two days of driven dressage on October 7th and 8th followed by the exciting marathon competition on Saturday, October 9. The final day will include the obstacle-cones on Sunday morning, October 10, followed by the prize-giving and closing ceremonies.

The Canadian Driving Team will be supported by Chef d’équipe Bill MacGillivray of Limehouse, ON, and Team veterinarian, Dr. Tricia Arnold, who is originally from Calgary, AB, but resides in Oregon.

“Canada, after a long absence in World Champion Four-in-Hand competitions now has a team competing at the World Equestrian Games,” said MacGillivray. “Deb Laderoute and Darryl Billing will be giving their best efforts during the entire competition. I hope that their participation at WEG will encourage other Canadian equestrians to start driving.”