Showing a Belgian - Halter & Cart

Really posting for a friend :sunglasses:
My “Faux Grandson” neighbor & his Dad have 2 Belgians they plan on showing this season :crossed_fingers:
I may get a chance to drive one in Ladies Cart :grin:
They have Draft experience, used to have Clydesdales they showed in halter classes, not driven.
My questions:

  • For a halter class, are mane rolls & rosettes required? Tail bows?
    *For Ladies Cart, I see fascinators worn, along with hats. If I wear (black) dress pants which is more appropriate?
    As my regular Driver is a mini, I never get to wear a big-brimmed hat :sleepy:
    Would having 19H on the lines let me go for a bigger statement?


I am no help to your question but darn this sounds like so much fun. Will you please share photos when you do this?

How fun!!

I’ve attached some pictures of line and cart classes for Belgium at the Royal Winter Fair.

For line classes, tails are done but not manes for the mares. Stallions and geldings had manes and tails done (this was for all draft breeds - they have Clydes, Percherons and Belgium classes at the Royal). I don’t know the proper rules, but I have seen the classes go and that’s what I saw. Perhaps just the “males” were done as they used to be the only sex that was allowed to show in harness. I know things have changed and mares are now allowed to show in cart and in pairs and 4’s. But years ago it was only geldings and stallions.

The ladies get so dressed up for the cart classes! It looks quite funny to me but they sure do look fancy! I couldnt find any photos from the Royal, but I’m guessing as some of these classes are run at night, they get very dressed up. Very formal, lots of sparkle etc. It seems more like a country type turn out through the day. It was the same when I showed Welsh ponies to drive - if it was an evening class, no hat, very formal jacket and turnout. Lamps lit. If it was a day class, less formal of a jacket (depending on carriage/turnout of course) and I would wear a hat. Lamps not lit.


I admittedly have no experience showing drafts, but I think the answers to your questions largely depend on what organization a particular show is governed by. For instance, if the show is recognized by the American Driving Society, consult their rulebook for specific rules pertaining to that division. You could also contact the organization that oversees Belgian breeding, registration, showing, etc. But, the best place to start might be the organizer/manager of any show you’re going to enter; they should be able to tell you where to look for the information you need, especially if it’s organized by a club or circuit that has its own rulebook. Have fun!!!

Thanks All! :grin:

@trubandloki IF I am able to, my test run will probably be at our County Fair.
I have driven (for pleasure drives) friends’ DraftXs, but nothing the size of this guy!
There will be pics :wink:

@DiamondJubilee I have gone to Draft Finals with FGS for the last 3yrs, including Regionals for the 8-Horse Hitches of Belgians, Percherons & Clydes.
But thanks for the pics. Looks like manes & tails get done for halter.
There will be a local rinkydink Draft show in May for the halter classes, so braiding probably not required.
But that will be practice for us both!

The shows he wants to do are part of a Belgian & Draft circuit, not at all ADS.
I have seen (& :scream:) the Uber-Short cocktail dresses some of the ladies favor. And the sparkly Prom Dress getups as well.
Considering the lack of suspension in the carts & the loft of the desired gaits, there is NoWayOnEarth I will wear anything besides black slacks < also acceptable. And the strapless look is not for me.:crazy_face:
This is how I will NOT dress:

This is who I’d drive:
(gal - not me - in the pic is 5’9")


What a fun opportunity for you!
My two cents about the driving: black dress pants and a big hat, definitely. But please, for the love of Dog, not a sleeveless shirt. Even super skinny people have “arm jiggle” holding lines in a cart and I always cringe. :upside_down_face:

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@Laverne77 Trust me, at 70yo, the LAST thing on display would be my Bingo Wings :laughing:

@goodhors had a great story about DH judging Ladies Cart where entrance to the ring had a speed bump, gal in a tubetop bounced over & Whoops! the girls were freed! :flushed:
She had the aplomb to shift lines to one hand, stuff things back in & continued on her way.
Talk about Wardrobe Malfunction :crazy_face: