A Cones Course is one part of a combined driving event. Course length ranges from 500 to 800 meters, depending on the area available for setting up the course. A course may contain up to 20 elements, the most common of which is a set of cones with a ball set atop each cone. Each element is numbered, with a red number on the right of the desired direction of travel, and a white number on the left side. The numbers indicate the order in which each of the obstacles is to be driven.
After the whistle sounds, the driver passes through the start gate (in the correct direction) and proceeds to drive through the numbered obstacles in the correct direction and order, then passes through the out gate. Time on course is taken. Depending on the level of the driver and the size of the equine, there is a specified allowed time for each entry. If the time on course is within the allowed time, no time penalties are given. If a driver is over the allowed time, then time penalties are figured at .5 penalties for for each second over the allowed time. In addition, one or both balls down at an obstacle adds 3 penalties to the score.
Each entry has the track width of their wheels measured. Then depending on the level and horse size, a value is added to that track width, and the course is adjusted to that value; i.e., the distance between the cones making up each obstacle is adjusted to the setting for that driver. This way, drivers in the same class with different sized carriages, all have the same amount of clearance in an obstacle for their vehicle.
Example of a CONES COURSE