Hardy Zantke started driving as a boy at his grandfather’s home in East Germany, where his grandfather had a local drayage company, which was still operated with draft horse teams shortly after World War II. After immigrating to the U.S., Hardy picked up driving as a competitive sport. Based in California, he competes throughout the United States. He was first alternate of the U.S. team at the 1993 World Pair Driving Championship in Gladstone.
Hardy is a retired transportation executive who is also active on the organizational level of the sport and for the last 12 years has been co-organizer of the California Classic Combined Driving Event. He is a member of the ADS (American Driving Society) Combined Driving & Dressage Committees, the USA Equestrian Driving Committee, the USET (United States Equestrian Team) Driving and Active Drivers Committees. He served as Chef d’Equipe for the U.S. Team at the Four-In-Hand World Championship in Waregem, Belgium, in 1996 and the World Equestrian Festival – CHIO in Aachen, Germany, in 2001.
He is an ADS- & USAE-licensed Combined Driving Judge and one of the few judges who is also an active competitor, usually with his pair at the Advanced level but also occasionally with his team. He writes a popular column in Driving West Magazine and is a contributing writer for the German driving magazine Pferde Fahren Sport and is also a sought-after driving clinician. He was recipient of the American Driving Society’s President’s award last year for his contributions to the sport.