The eagle is fine for pleasure shows, not so good for CDE. The Dartmore set up with the wagonette back is not really a CDE vechile either. I assume you can remove the seats to give the groom some place to stand. I would consider again black seats. Black gets really hot in the sun.
The Eagle was originally designed as sort of a cross-over vehicle
Capable of doing plesure shows and then turning around adoing CDE
It doesnt work
The wheel base is too long to be effective for CDE and the springing is basic elliptical and a rather rough ride XC
Its a really nice pleasure vehicle and the wagonette is nice to carry more people
BUT you have Newfie ponies that really arent that big so you need to consider the weight and scale of the vehicle as well as its ultimate use
A more suitable and cheaper Amish made and priced vehicle is the Flyer
Shorter wheelbase and overall lighter vehicle but it only has a backstand for the groom - no seat at all
Best bet for price is to keep close tabs on the pre-owned market and get the word out that you are looking
70K, yikes. I have one Country Gig which I started doing everything with. I used it for Pleasure Shows, CDE, Traditional Drive, and everyday, until I thought the pony was ready for a 4 wheeler and I could afford one. Then I bought a used pony batmobile. Now I use that for everyday and CDE, all phases because I can't take 2 vehicles and my pony and ATV to one show, and use the gig for Pleasure shows. Tops, I have 7K in vehicles, not 70K.
I'd be driving a 13.3HH Black Newfoundland Pony, or a pair of 12.2 mares of the same breed.
the Eagle is only $4500 (base price) and a dartmoor is $10K, so the eagle seems a better choice.
Anyone have one of these? I'm hoping to do pleasure classes and CDEs.
I can vouch for the Pacific Dartmoor!!! Takes a beating and keeps on and on!!! Drives like a dream! Easy to clean and maintain. So well made. If you need anything Bill and Suzanne will treat you right...I am waiting on my Pacific Gig to be delievered next week in time for the National Drive!!! So this will be our 2nd Pacific Vehicle...Yes they are pricey but you won't have to buy another forever! Our 13.2 hand pony pulls the pony size with no problems. Also fits our 14.1 hand cob stallion nicely too.
I don't personally have experience with Pacific carriages but I've just read their specification and it seems to me that their "Dartmoor" pretty much would do and perform how you'd need it to for single pony cross country phase.
They look pretty well spec'd and manufactured from what I can see. As such I'm entirely confident that it would serve well for single pony.
However is the weight correctly quoted? If so then it's very light and specified at only 330 lbs is a lot less than would be permitted say for pairs fei or here for any national Driving Trials.
Here and the fei, should be 225 kg for a pair of ponies. That's about twice the weight they've quoted.
It's o.k. for a single though as that should be minimum of 90 kg or 199 lbs. But you need to be aware that if you have ambition you'd not be able to use it for both singles and pairs of ponies.
Though I do understand that over the water it's sometimes permitted to drive lower levels in carriages that aren't permitted higher level - seems mad to me to allow higher risk vehicles at lower level but hey ho.... it's the way of the world! You may though want to check out the rules of the competition level you're thinking of entering.
I personally think though it's pretty much not really possible to get a carriage that will suit a single and a pair and all phases too without having something you can really adjust to such an extent that you've virtually paid as much as buying 2 or 3 carriages.
You should also note that the track width is right on the minimum for the marathon phase. Again that might not bother you but if you're a novice you might want something that adjusts so you have stability when you need it.
Also again you need to appreciate that for fei it would need to be 138 cms for phase A and C