Trials

Chris Cleland in the Bronze Groom Handler class with her dog Fonzi running behind a pair of Shetlands in the speed exercise at the nationals in 2007.
Alex Cobb wins the Bronze Road Dog class with her bitch Maya at the 2009 Yorkshire Carriage Dog Trials.

The purpose of Carriage Dog Trials is to demonstrate the use of Dalmatians in one of the roles they have been bred through the years to perform: that of a companion, decoration and guard for horses and carriages in past times.


It is both an endurance and obedience event and all competing dogs must do a basic obedience test alongside their handler's horse or carriage. The aim of the obedience test is to replicate, as far as possible, modern horse and carriage working environments, where the dog must be under the handler's control at all times. The endurance element tests each competing Dalmatian's stamina and capacity for work. It is essential that the dog shows willingness and enjoyment of its work throughout the trial.


So, the trials comprises an obedience and an endurance test for the dog, and includes vet checks.


These are the distances and times (with the US equivalent) for each class:

Awards Distance Max Time Allowed Vetinary Check US Equivalent
Road and Carriage Certificate Nil n/a n/a Road and Carriage Certificate
Bronze 10km 80 mins Start None
Silver 20km 3hrs Start, 10km and Finish Road Dog
Gold 40km 6hrs Start, 20km and Finish Road Dog Excellent