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Articles

Carriage Dog Class


2019/07/01


Wayne, driven by Heather Johnston with Aries the dog

KT Barnabus, driven by Laura Lawson with Mae Mae (dog), Pam Anderson and Chrissy Daniels

Naughty Pierre MPHA, Charlotte Mangum

Naughty Pierre MPHA, Charlotte Mangum

Naughty Pierre MPHA, Charlotte Mangum
Photos by Nancy & Tommy Brannon

Saturday night (June 8, 2019) at the Germantown Charity Horse Show featured the Carriage Dog Class. Nearly all horse owners love dogs as much as they love horses, and most have at least one dog as a companion. It is only natural, then, that carriage drivers want to take their dogs along when they drive. At Pleasure Driving Shows, the Carriage Dog Class has become increasingly popular.

The purpose of this class is primarily to judge the suitability of the dog as a companion. It is meant to be a fun and entertaining class but there are real judging criteria that should be understood and followed by officials and competitors.  The performance of the horse counts for 30% and the overall impression of the turnout, including the dog, count another 10%. The suitability of the dog counts for the remaining 60%.

Only one dog is allowed per entry, and the dog may be of any breed. While this is not a costume class, if drivers "accessorize" their canine, it must be done in a way that enhances the turnout.

The dog may ride in the vehicle, either standing, sitting or lying down. He should be quiet, well behaved and appear to enjoy the ride. The dog may wear a leash, but the dog must not be tied to the driver, passengers or to the vehicle. 

The dog should in no way interfere with the driver; nor should the driver be distracted by the actions of the dog.  What is preferred is a well trained companion dog that politely and calmly accompanies the turnout, riding in the vehicle.

The Carriage Dog should not be confused with the Coach Dog, which is a working dog with the very specific job of guarding the vehicle, equipment and the horses. The Carriage Dog, on the other hand, is foremost a companion and is welcome to ride with the driver or passengers on the vehicle. Its only task is to stay with the turnout, remain under control, and of course, look very cute!

Winner: Aries the dog and Wayne, driven by Heather Johnston
Second: KT Barnabus, driven by Laura Lawson
Third: Naughty Pierre MPHA, Charlotte Mangum

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