What can you all tell me about the driving event in Bromont? The website seems to be transitioning and I can’t find anything about anything. Vendors, tickets, list of entries, what the experience is like as a spectator, etc. ?

I’ve booked a hotel and plan on attending but would love to have some concept as to what to expect.

Here’s a link to a recent competitor update, if you follow Mary Phelps’ site she usually posts all the published updates, sometimes better than horse show management.

I’m pretty sure Jennifer matheson is managing Bromont this year and she’s pretty good at updates, but honestly, sometimes they are just sent out on WhatsApp to competitors.

However, assuming it has lower levels in addition to the 1*/2*/3*, the schedule should be as follows (this is based on the US schedule/classes):

Wed afternoon FEI jog
Thurs - FEI dressage, advanced, intermediate
Fri - lower levels dressage (training/prelim)
Sat - marathon, typically starts at 9am, lower levels go first, so training, prelim, intermediate, advanced FEI 2* then 3*
Sun - cones, lower level to upper levels

The dressage can be moved around depending on the numbers, but typically there more advanced goes on Thursday, and within each day, the sequence is h lower to higher levels, meaning the 4 in hand FEI 3* should be the last on Thursday. #butnoguarantees as well as the last drivers out on sat and Sunday.

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I just looked at the prize list and it says the 100m tests are Thursday and 80m tests on Friday which is means that trng, prelim, intermediate AND any FEI team (4 horses) will go on Thursday and all the rest of the FEI will go on FRI. This sounds unrealistic to me because that is going to be a very long day on Thursday and typically you do want to give the people who have the more technical and advanced routes all of Friday to go over their marathon plan, so I expect that this might change. It just so happens that the last time bromont ran, the more advanced horses went in the hundred meter ring and the less advanced horses went in the 80 m ring. But along with covid turning the world on its head so did FEI dressage tests, which all moved from 100 m to 80 m starting this year (with the exception of the 4 in hand which has a 2-year exemption from the requirement). Which is all to say that may have just not been correctly updated in the last prize list that was used as a template for this prize list!

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Thank you for this! Can I ask, what’s the idea behind the 80m and 100m rings? Which is considered to be “easier” to ride tests in?

At the team level it’s a significant level of difficulty to be in an 80m, and I understand they are hoping it doesn’t get implemented.

From a single/pair perspective they both have advantages and disadvantages. There’s nothing fun about holding an extended trot across a 100m arena compared to an 80m. But the 80m tests still utilizes all the letters and they are very close together compared to the 100m. The FEI tests have transitions that show up in 15m, so the tempo of change comes up quick and it feels like you have no time to think.

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Thanks for sharing all the news DMK. Having competed with Fours and Tandems, shrinking the ring sounds ugly! Singles and Pairs are just so much more flexible in any given situation, than Fours can be. Like putting sports cars against Semi trucks that JUST TAKE UP A LOT OF ROOM! Ha ha If you want the movements, they need distance to show their best, hence the 100 meter arena size. With big movers, it can still feel like “you ran out of room” very quickly!

I can see 80 meter arenas being easier on organizers, but the Fours are a huge draw in audience appeal. All dressed up for Dressage, they are very impressive! Seems like everyone tries to see them go in all the sections. Sure hope they back off on that rule change.


We have shown at Bromont for many, many years but have missed the past 2 years due to COVID. Now this year we have our sisters wedding date (which has also been postponed for the past 2 years!) on the same day so we will be missing it again!

But Bromont is a great show and venue and they tend to get a good amount of entries and a handful of 4 in hands. Their website has not been good for many years so I’m going to assume it will be the same this year as well.

The town is great and everyone speaks french and english there fluently since its a tourist town with skiing in the winter and horse events all summer.

The dressage day takes for ever as I recall the last time we were there our time was about 6pm. The dressage is on a grass field across the road from the facility. They did have the 2 arena sizes then but it looks like a lot of shows are going with the 40 x 80 now for all levels for singles or pairs. We are actually happy about it as we don’t have the room at home for a 40 x100 m ring and we want to move up to intermediate but it was holding us back. We hope to step it up this year since we can now practice those tests at home.

Enjoy and have fun at Bromont! You will love it.


Fours still go in the 100 meter ring. The 80 meter tests take less time to perform and I believe this was one of the factors in FEI changing ring size. As an organizer it’s a relief not to deal with the large court or change ring sizes, as an advanced single pony driver I like being in the small court with the new 3*singles test. Lots to do, makes you think ahead and keeps my pony focused.

Wish we could go, just too far a drive from North Carolina. Some of my favorite judges will be there! Enjoy!

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DMK says the Fours only have a 2yr exemption to keep the 100 meter ring. I am hoping they change the Rule to keep the 100 meter ring beyond the 2 years for Fours and Tandems. You will not see the exceptional movement in the smaller ring from the longer Multiples in scrunchy spaces. Takes some distance to “get up to speed” for extensions when they are so long, coming out of turns or slow movements. They just won’t look so amazing in 80 meter rings.

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2 or possibly 1 year, I read that hoefnet summary a few brain cells ago!

But the Florida winter rumor mill had most of the top drivers firmly opposed with about as much emotion as they opposed the cantering in pairs that was quickly reversed, so if we place any faith in rumors, there you go!

Pegasusmom, I agree, I’m starting to put together the 2* test (in between ridden dressage days) and I think I like the smaller ring more overall.

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So I’m sitting here trying to plan for my upcoming jaunt to Bromont, and I need help in a couple of areas. Firstly, I’ve never followed competitions all that closely and have no understanding of what all the acronyms (CAI, CAIU25 etc.) and 2*, 3* etc. all refer to. Even just pointing me in the direction of online resources that explain everything would be appreciated (I so identify with Michael Scott - The Office - when he says to Oscar, “Why don’t you explain this to me like I’m five?:laughing: )

Secondly, as someone travelling with a NHP (non-horsey person), are there other area attractions or places worth going to/seeing/eating at in the general area?

Good luck on the joys of FEI names! But short version:

If it says “C(insert a letter)I” that means it is an international event governed by the FEI, like CAI CDI, CCI, CSI and so on (the A is the driving designation, presumably from some French word that means combined driving, D is dressage, CI is eventing and S is show jumping). You will see some variation of the CxI in all FEI sports. If it has an O at the end it’s an official FEI, like CSIO, meaning championship or other very high level affair.

U25 means a class for drivers under 25 years

Stars are simply the designation of the level:

1* = lowest level international event, equivalent to US intermediate, anything below that is not governed by the FEI (to be utterly confusing, there can be higher level international classes). 1* is just a CT, does only dressage and cones, but you have to do two 1* before you can enter a 2*

2* is effectively “advanced” and is the same as the 3 star when it comes to marathon and cones, although I suppose the course designer could make the course different, but he isn’t required to and all the speed/width and gate rules are the same. The only difference is the dressage test. For singles that mostly means no collected canter work in the 2* . Drivers must complete three 2* before they are eligible to enter a 3*

3* is the highest level dressage test (of you see a single horse canter in, not stop and transition to a collected trot at X you are watching the 3* test.

National classes (in the US, but the prize list looked like CAN follows the format) are as follows:

Training - only trotting allowed on marathon, gates A-D

Preliminary - gates A-D
Intermediate - gates A - E
Advanced - broken into novice and regular advanced (national class may or may not be offered at a CDI, but they use the 2 and 3 star dressage tests) - gates A-F, and
both 2 and 3* do gates A - F

For the lower levels you will often see them go through F (or E for trn/prl) on the way to some other gate because those gates don’t exist for them. But for gates that apply to your division, you must pass sequentially through them, red on right. If you go through C on the way to A, too bad so sad, that’s the Big E for you (eliminated). If you go through a gate backwards and correct it by going through it correctly you get a bunch of penalty points along with all the time penalties you accrue, of you don’t correct it, the Big E for you! Also once you have gone through a gate correctly it is considered dead and the driver may go through it in any direction without penalty (and we do that often).

Enjoy! I have a few friends up there competing and I’m super jealous!


Thank you, thank you @DMK :raised_hands: I so appreciate you writing all that out - and in layman’s terms too. All that info has a better chance of sinking in, now :smile:

I don’t know a lot about driving competition, but I do know about the FEI naming convention.

Actually, the first “C” is for “Cours” = “Competition”

The second letter is the discipline
“D” for Dressage
“S” for Saut (Jumping)
“C” for “Complet” (Complete = Eventing)
“A” for Driving (According to Wikipedia the A is for “Attelage”)
“E” for Endurance
“V” for Vaulting

The third letter is the scope of the competition
“I” for International
“N” for National
“A” for “Amicable” (friendly) with just 2 or 3 nations
(N and A are not seen much nowadays, but they used to be quite common. We used to have quite a few CCNs in the US.)

“O” means Official, such as Olympics, World Championships, and continental Championships (such as European Championships)

Then the number of stars identifies the level (difficulty) of the competition, in most disciplines ranging from 1* to 5*. Driving apparently only goes up to 3*.

Wikipedia has an article on Combined Driving ( ) which seems comprehensive, but I don’t know enough about driving to know if it is accurate.

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One more thing, in CDEs, dressage scores are not an inverse like eventing. 48 penalty points is roughly equivalent to 70%. Also if you follow ridden dressage or eventing, don’t expect to see the same kind of scores, I’ve seen an entire show without anything above training getting a 70% and there’s not too many drivers that ever see the 80’s. Driven dressage judges are tough!

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Friend competing at Bromont, called to let us know the Border crossing from Michigan to Canada went easily. Very smooth and no issues with getting across. Just sharing if anyone is considering competing in Canada.