The third and most exciting phase is the "Obstacles".

These are posts and rails which make "gates" which have to be negotiated in order - A, B, C, D, E. Two obstacles are built in the ring with a common start/finish gate between them in the centre of the ring. The competitors walk the obstacles (on foot) to choose their routes and then they compete against the clock, in reverse order, the class leader going last.

When all the classes have driven obstacles one and two, they are changed into obstacles three and four. The obstacles and gates may be changed around to make obstacles three and four or you may drive the same obstacles again. Again, the competitors choose their routes and drive the obstacles in their classes and ranking.

This section is scored one mark per second that the competitor is in the obstacle zone. There is usually one knockdown for each movable element and they are scored at five marks each. All other penalties are as per the ICD/BHDTA rules. Any penalty marks are added to the times taken for the obstacle to produce the final score for this section.

In this phase a good groom/backstepper is important - they can remind the driver of the route and balance the carriage by leaning in around the corners.

See also

Obstacles thrill