Barry Hilditch

11 January 2021

With great sadness we share the news that former BC Chairman Barry Hilditch has passed away on the morning of Sunday 10th January. He fought his illness for many years, always had a positive outlook when you spoke to him and was never heard to complain.

Although not a carriage driver himself, Barry contributed to the sport in a great many ways.

He was a school teacher in London before moving to the North East, where he finished his career as a headmaster. He met and married Judy, who worked in a racing stable, and his two daughters caught the equestrian bug and became involved with the Pony Club. Barry was a family man and loved spending time with his grandchildren.

Over 20 years ago, when their daughters gave up riding, Judy took up carriage driving and was ably supported by Barry on the back step.

As an active member of North Eastern Driving Trials Ltd., Barry became involved with the British Horse Driving Trials Association (now British Carriagedriving) in 2007, when he joined the Competitions Committee. He was co-opted to the Council later that year and elected in 2008.

He was invited to join the Finance and General Purposes Committee later that year and he worked hard to promote a closer relationship between the governing body and the affiliated clubs. He always gave great consideration to any new proposals which he considered carefully with an unbiased opinion.

In 2011 he accepted the role of Vice-Chairman and, following the AGM in 2014, at a time when the Association was experiencing some turbulence, stepped up to take on the role of Chairman. He proceeded to exert a calming influence on the membership and steer the Association into its new identity as British Carriagedriving.

After a full nine years in office, where he made a significant contribution in so many areas, Barry retired from Council at the AGM in 2016. One area which he monitored regularly was the number of entries in each class over the year and the total number of entries year on year. He kept a table detailing this information and shared these with the membership at the associationís annual conferences, although he did admit that compilation of the 2020 data was not particularly challenging.

As Chairman for many years of the North East club, Barry was the driving force behind many of their events. When his health deteriorated he retired as a backstepper but continued to steward regularly at both club and national events.

The sport of horse driving trials has come to the end of an era with the loss of Barry and our thoughts and prayers are with Judy and the family at this time.

Barry's funeral will take place on 29th January, with close family only. Donations to Cancer Research UK in Barry's name will be most appreciated by the family.