The official newsletter of the British Horse Driving Trials Association

  June 2003 on-line edition

George becomes Vice-President

The BHDTA Chairman Tom Pettifer announced at the AGM that, following his decision to retire from the Council after 24 years? service, George Bowman is to be the first Vice-President of the Association.

Tom said ?We are deeply indebted to George for all that he has done for the sport over so many years, and hope that we can still rely on his knowledge and expertise to help us continue to take the sport forward?.

George was not present at the AGM, but a presentation is to be made to him in due course to mark his retirement from the Council.

?New Look? Lowther for 2003

Not only will competitors find many changes at this year's revitalised event at Lowther, so will the spectators.

Strenuous efforts have been made to find a slightly less testing route for the Marathon, although inevitably this means, sadly, no more visits to the Fells. The course remains on the flatter ground near Askham for Section A. An all?grass Section C, without any major hills to climb, will lead on to a new start of Section E and George Prince's radical obstacle section - five bold new obstacles in one line on the right hand side of the avenue, with loops to the left. Spectators will have a special entrance to a new viewing area, with once again three obstacles down by the water.

The best vantage point will be a difficult choice, but the provision of a shuttle bus service from Thursday should make life a lot easier for everyone.

To complement George's marathon obstacles, Roger Alway will be providing an interesting and exciting Cones day on Sunday.

Amongst many new faces at Lowther this year, Mike and Rosabel Rayner take over the task of Stable Managers.

Show Director Robert Benson has gone to a great deal of trouble to address most of the problems that have arisen in recent years, and let's hope he is rewarded with a large entry and a very successful event.

Strongid-P Indoor One Day Event Finals by Bev Huntington

Lynne Harrington takes Long-Awaited Title at Last

It was time again for the climax of the Strongid P Indoor Carriage Driving season at Keysoe. The largest final so far saw some 80 competitors do battle for the National Championship Titles.

Open Ponies

Lynne Harrington from Hertfordshire was hoping to go one better than her runner up position in the Open Pony Class at last years final. Lynne's groom and joint owner of ?Ace?, Sammy Page, competes the 16 year old Welsh Cob in ridden dressage competitions during the summer months, and was unbeaten at Medium level last summer. ?They all laugh at us when we get out of the lorry? Sammy told me ?until we go down the centre line that is!?

Lynne was to have strong competition from current outdoor National Pony Champion Amanda Saville, of ?Chariots of Fire? fame, and 15 year old Philippa Howe, who also competed in the Junior Class. It was all nail biting stuff, which had us on the edge of our seats. Lynne told me her heart was in her mouth as her carriage went up on one wheel making the dash for the finish. However, her score could not be beaten and the win was hers, she also took the Supreme Championship for the first time.

Open Horse

Roger Warren, who is based in Newton Abbott, Devon was one of the drivers hot on the heels on current Indoor National Open Horse Champion Barbara Nadin. Despite a strong challenge from Scottish Open Horse driver Ian Bertram, who unfortunately tipped going for the final gate, Barbara drove swiftly through the final obstacles to take the title for the fourth time with her delightful Welsh Cob ?Henry?


Amanda Saville arrived in force with her Junior entourage. These four young drivers had been trained by Amanda throughout the winter and were a force to be reckoned with. The highest placed Scottish Junior driver was Olivia Dernie from Lockerbie who finished second in the Juniors and fourth in the Novice Pony.

However, it was current National Indoor Junior Champion 15 year old Philippa Howe from Kent, who won the class, retaining her title with Morgan mare ?Priceless?. This beautiful mare had been competing in National Tandem Classes in 2001 by Philippa's mum Sarah, who was also competing at the final. This talented youngster also managed to take the Reserve Championship on only her second visit to the final. She told me she hopes to go one better next year!

Novice Horses

David Rockall who is based at Karen Bassett's Nottinghamshire yard, was driving Karen's ex team mare ?Fuzsa?. David managed to take the win over the final two obstacles, beating Jo Munden from Berkshire and her beautiful Hackney Gelding, ?Odd Socks? into second place.

Novice Ponies

Anna Sadler finally took the honours in the Novice Pony Class despite strong challenges from Janice Parker, Nicola Blandin and Olivia Dernie (Junior). Anna drove ?Happy?, one of Anna Grayston's team of ponies, swiftly through the last two obstacles to secure the Novice Pony Championship.


The Pairs Class kept the crowd on the edge of their seats with Scurry driver Gareth Roberts driving Welsh Section A ponies ?Lady? and ?Tramp? to a second victory, retaining their title in the Pairs Class.

Gareth, who is based in Hertfordshire, was the first novice driver to win the Scurry Class at the Horse of The Year Show last year.


Tandem driver Minta Winn, from Sussex, was thrilled with her win with Welsh Section A ponies, 16 year old ?Willie? and 10 year old 'shen?. She managed to fight off strong challenges from Sara-Jane Cook and Amanda Wells to take the title.

All done until October when it starts all over again!

Yeoman's Toyota Brighton HDT  by Roland Clarke

With some changes to the site layout, the Yeoman's Toyota Brighton Horse Driving Trials on 2nd-4th May got the 2003 national season underway. Although the lorry park remained in its usual location, the arenas and obstacles were moved to near Stanmer House. The downside was the long walk from the parking, but the setting and Antony Petitpierre's seven new obstacles made it worthwhile.
Friday's rain and wind threatened even the marquees, and there was concern about obstacles 3 and 5 sited on slopes if the rain persisted, but fortunately Saturday was dry.

For those with their sights on the World Combined Pony Driving Championships in Austria, this was the first selection event for the Pony Teams, Pairs and Singles.
Emily Bennett led the Pony Teams from the front, winning the dressage with her Welsh section C and D team, finishing a close 2nd behind John Pickford in the three-section marathon, and achieving the only double clear in the class. Despite his marathon win, John could not catch Anna Grayston, both having 15 penalties in the cones.

After finishing 6th and 10th respectively in the dressage, Ursula Hirschberg and Georgina Frith, driving ponies from their teams, challenged for the lead in the Pony Pairs with fast marathons (3rd and 4th). But they were unable to catch National Champion Jo Rennison, who capped another win with her first national double clear.

A 45 dressage kept Julie Camm out front in the Open Pony class, at her mare ?Pannau Pandora's? first national. Liz Rowe with her 2002 Pony Tandem Champion leader was 2nd sharing an equal flying 1st on the marathon with Amanda Saville.

Dressage usually gives Sarah Garnett an opposition-silencing start and even John Attenborough could only halve her 21 points lead, despite Sarah having to cope with a keen horse intent on demolishing the cones. Boyd Exell will probably drive them at Hopetoun with the World Championships the target.

Even with youngsters in his Gelderlander team, Boyd was unbeatable in the Horse Teams, taking every phase. But his double clear was not alone as Dick Lane, chasing throughout in 2nd, sneaked one in by a nail-biting second.

Open Horse National Champion David Matthews started 2003 as he finished last season. Despite doing dressage in torrential rain for 5th place, Mandy Colbourne finished in overall 2nd after a good marathon, ahead of Di Hayes, who drove the only double clear.

Danielle Twitchen led the Pony Tandems from start to finish, ending on a double clear, and Fred Pendlebury took the Horse Tandems.

At their first National, Sara Simmons, a mainstay of Team Frith, won the Novice Pony and Anna Lord won the Novice Horse, both with times through the obstacles matching many of their experienced counterparts.

Max Zaloumis of Yeomans Toyota, as Dick Lane's marathon passenger found the experience "really enjoyable. This is unique. The event has been more than we expected."

Hopetoun House HDT by Mary Kusin

The sun shone on Hopetoun this year and the organizing committee had put in a great deal of effort to improve the general layout. The marquee and event office are now situated overlooking the new arena with a road created specifically for access to this area. Dressage and cones took place in here for the first time and a viewing area had been created for spectators outside the marquee.

The marathon route, wending its way through the picturesque estate paths, was enhanced by the rhododendrons and azaleas in full bloom. Excellent views were also gained of the Forth rail bridge as competitors made their way along the start of section E. All the obstacles were situated in the deer park this year which made for a much easier access route. If you had time, you could admire the herd of roe deer grazing under the trees, as you mentally recited your route through the next obstacle!

As a keen competitor as well as course builder, Ian Gilbert brings a wealth of experience to the course. The obstacles are beautifully constructed with a wide variety of challenging options while you are never left without an escape route if necessary. Some fast times were put up through the obstacles in all classes but the fastest marathon of the day, a massive 9 penalties faster than anyone else, was recorded by Boyd Exell driving Sarah Garnett's horse pair. In the horse teams class, spectators were puzzled to see quantities of steam following Robert Bowman's carriage after the water obstacle. This turned out to be a binding brake which forced him to retire.

Sue Mart won the Bellcrown Challenge for the fastest single pony in obstacle six, the Bellcrown Bunker, where a golfer stood holding a ball, which doubled as a knockdown element. Amanda Saville won the "Jack in a Box" No. 2 Challenge for the fastest single pony through obstacle 2, while Andrew Smith, Chairman of the Scottish Carriage Driving Association which organizes Hopetoun Event, won the No.1 Challenge prize donated by Brockham Harness Club for the fastest novice driver through obstacle 1.

A live ceilidh band provided the entertainment on Saturday evening. The marquee was filled with revelers but sadly no-one did anything sufficiently embarrassing to be worth reporting here. Many thanks to everyone who supported the raffle.

We had the best of the weather on Sunday with blue skies for most of the day. Course designer Ian Bertram had set a challenging but fair cones course which proved influential, especially when an unfortunate cone down reversed the order in the pony pair class.

Earlier in the day Andrew Smith, the SCDA Chairman and one of the event organizers, had won the Novice Driver (Horse) class while his wife Carole secured victory in a hard fought battle in the Novice Driver (Pony) section - very much a case of his and hers on this occasion. Carole also won the Thistle Trophy for the lowest score achieved by a Scottish Competitor.

Owen Pilling of Owen Pilling Graphics, the event's main sponsor, enjoyed the lap of honour from George Bowman's carriage.

Everyone headed home on Sunday having enjoyed an exceptionally friendly and well run event, the standard of which deserves a few more competitors from both North and South of the border in 2004. Hope to see you there!

Landrover International Driving Grand Prix at Royal Windsor Horse Show by Felicity Vero

This year's Landrover International Driving Grand Prix at Royal Windsor Horse Show attracted an excellent foreign entry in the horse classes, although the pony classes only saw a handful of visitors.

Thursday's Dressage was driven in lovely sunshine - ?Make the most of it?, everyone said! First to go was the national class for Pony Tandems where Sue Skeggs took a narrow lead over Lesley Cox. The following Horse Pairs class was truly international with the top six places all going to overseas competitors. After Amanda Saville had cheerfully provided some lunchtime entertainment - which she also did on Friday in worsening conditions - the Horse Teams drove their Dressage. Boyd Exell, fresh from a win at Brighton , took the lead from Harry de Ruyter (Ned) with Dick Lane the best of the British in third.

Unfortunately, come Friday, the weather took a definite turn for the worse! Nevertheless, three British competitors filled the top places in the Single Pony class - Sue Mart, Amanda Saville and Sue Corlett.

The Single Horse class was led by Anne Violaine Brisou (France), out to make amends for losing out on the individual gold medal at the World Singles Championships last year. Great Britain filled second and third with Jimmy Robson and David Matthews, but there was only 2.6 penalties between first and third.

Experienced Belgian driver Mia Allo won the Pony Teams Dressage from Emily Bennett and Anna Grayston who were equal in second place. HRH The Duke of Edinburgh was fourth at this stage.

Ulrich Spenneman (Germany), winner of the Pony Pairs class in 1999 and 2000, took the lead after Dressage ahead of last year's winner Jo Rennison. Fred Pendlebury drove an outstanding test with his horse tandem to head the national class.

By this time most stewards were wet, cold and fed up, but a little party in the Supporters? Tent raised spirits! Thank you RWHS!

With all the rain, it was decided to shorten Section A and slow Section C on the marathon, resulting in revised marathon times - another minor headache for the secretary! However, on the whole the marathon drove well, despite poor conditions, though the rain might have contributed to the electronic clocks on the obstacles failing to work as they should. There were very few casualties, though some competitors made the odd costly error - poor Boyd Exell had the misfortune to lose his groom off the back of his carriage - again! The water obstacle drove much more smoothly this year, although John Pickford had to retire with an injured pony and George Bowman's new leaders were very reluctant to get their feet wet without help from one of the grooms. As always it was a pleasure to watch Aart van der Kamp's little team of Shetlands tackle this obstacle and they were only four seconds slower than Emily Bennett's fastest pony team time through the water! Sadly Emily was then eliminated for missing a gate in the last obstacle.

The rain did eventually stop, but early on Sunday morning the Show Committee took the decision to cancel the rest of the show, only allowing the Driving to continue in Home Park. This is not the first time that this has happened, although thankfully this time the cones did take place in the proper arena and not in a hard car park!

The Single Pony class was very tight with only 1.09 penalties between Amanda Saville in the lead after the marathon and fourth placed Sue Corlett. Des Sheridan, lying third for Ireland, was wrongly eliminated in the cones but after re-driving the course he moved up to take second place overall and win the cones phase. Sue Mart was the overall winner of this class after a lovely clear round.

Ulrich Spenneman maintained his lead throughout the competition to give Germany a win in the Pony Pairs class. Although Jo Rennison (Great Britain) gave him a good run for his money, she could not improve on her second place.

Lesley Cox won the pony tandems with her grey Eriskay ponies, while Aart van de Kamp (Ned) took the pony teams for the second successive year from Mia Allo with Anna Grayston in third.

Anne Violaine Brisou maintained her lead throughout to win the single horse class from last year's winner, David Matthews.

The Horse Pairs were very close, although disappointingly Great Britain did not feature in the top six. Ben Gosschalk took the lead after a storming marathon despite his injured knee, less than a cone separated the first four. In the event it was another win for France when Pierre Jung, third after Dressage, took the class. Fred Pendlebury enjoyed a comfortable win in the Horse Tandems from Pat Cooper.

Little more than one penalty separated Harry de Ruyter of Holland and Boyd Exell (Australia) after the marathon, with last year's winner Felix Brasseur (Belgium) and Karen Bassett (Great Britain) separated by less than a cone in third and fourth respectively. All went clear in the cones, although Boyd and Karen

had time penalties. But the overall placings remained unaltered, Harry de Ruyter regaining the title he last won in 1998.

For some it may not have been the happiest Royal Windsor, but at the end of the day we were all privileged to be part of this wonderful occasion held in the superb setting of Windsor Castle.

Iberic Cup 2003

Sadly there were no British participants in this year's Iberic Cup competitions in Lezirias (Portugal) and Montenmedio (Spain) at the beginning of April, but the organisers gave their usual warm welcome to participants from Belgium, France, Hungary and the home countries. The Iberic Cup is awarded on the basis of the combined scores from the two events.

Felix Brasseur (Belgium) won a close contest with Portugal's Frederico de Beck for the horse team trophy. Portugal's Ana Cristina Guerreiro and her lovely pair of Dutch horses were neck and neck with Belgium-based Erika Szabo from Hungary going into the cones in the last competition, but an impressive double clear - the only one of the whole event - round the tricky course secured victory for Ana Cristina. Andre Herman from Belgium led from start to finish in the Single Horse class with his attractive Lusitano horse.

Next year the organisers have ambitious plans to combine two weeks training in Montenmedio prior to the first event there, to be followed a week later by the second leg of the Iberic Cup in Lezirias. What a wonderful opportunity for those who have the time to be able to spend some three weeks at the wonderful facility near Cadiz!

Boyd Finishes Second in World Cup

After a superb performance in the final qualifying round at s?Hertogenbosch (Holland), Boyd Exell was lying in second place in the overall standings as he set off to Gothenburg in Sweden for the final of the World Cup.

Having been unbeaten in four qualifying rounds, Germany's Michael Freund had amassed sufficient points to secure the title even before the final competition. But he is such a competitive driver that he was determined to try and maintain his unbeaten record for the series. In the event, Freund was beaten into second place in the final competition by Christoph Sandmann of Germany who put up a superb performance to complete the only clear round. Boyd finished in third after two knockdowns although with an exceptionally fast time.

Sadly local hero, Thomas Eriksson, was eliminated for an error of course.

Despite his third place in Gothenburg, Boyd had scored sufficient points overall to finish as the runner-up in the World Cup, just one point ahead of Sandmann.

Boyd has enjoyed a very successful winter season with Fred Pendlebury's veteran team of cobs and is full of praise for the horses? exceptional talent for this type of competition.

The 2003/2004 indoor campaign starts again at Stuttgart in November, but team drivers have to finish in the top ten in the World Cup Points League based on the results of specified outdoor Horse Driving Trials during the summer of 2003 in order to secure one of the coveted places on the circuit.

National Championships

Plans are well in hand for this year's National Championships at Windsor. New title sponsor Craghoppers are very generously supplying fleeces for all the stewards, and each National Champion will receive an item of clothing for themselves and their groom (two grooms in the case of the teams).

Last year's newly constructed marathon obstacles will undergo some minor modifications, new decoration and re-flagging by course designers Barry Hunter and Roger Alway to give a new look for this year. Some obstacle sponsorship has already been agreed, but there are still some obstacles available - with or without the possibility of erecting a hospitality marquee alongside. Anyone interested should contact Nigel Dipple (07831 272397).

Denis Williams is hoping to again persuade local garden centres to dress some of the obstacles - which was done to such great effect in 2002.

Barry Hunter will be designing the cones course, and this year the cones phase will be run in two arenas simultaneously.

Sadly Simon Baker is unable to continue the sponsorship of the Private Driving Championships through his company Voice Products, and we would like to take this opportunity to thank Simon for all his support over the last six years. These competitions were Simon's brainchild to bring together competitors from all driving disciplines, and this aim was admirably achieved in 2002 when the Novice Horse/Pony Championship was won by regular Driving Trials competitor Rosemary Neale with ?Ruckham Henry?.

Stewards? Training Day at Lowther by Sheila Hawking

Twenty-eight people attended the Stewards? Training Day held at Lowther at the beginning of April organised by Robert Benson, Show Director of Lowther Horse Driving Trials. Instruction was by Philip Bateman, ably supported by Diana Brownlie, George Bowman and Jim Corbett ? in fact quite a celebrity affair!

First Philip went through the instructions for obstacle stewards, during which many questions were asked. The stewards were then divided into groups as if at an event for timing, obstacle drawing etc. Meanwhile George Bowman IV and brother Barnaby alternately provided the 'real? competitor ? sometimes driving correctly, at other times making a deliberate mistake, really testing the stewards.

After a busy 2? hours we were entertained to soup and sandwiches at The Queen's Head, Askham.

On behalf of all present, I thank most sincerely Robert Benson, Philip Bateman and the Bowman family for giving of their time so generously.

Junior Clinic by Jenny Mackenzie

The BHDTA Easter Junior Clinic, supported by Baileys Horse Feeds and the Worshipful Company of Saddlers, was held at The Unicorn Trust Equestrian Centre, Stow on the Wold. Aimed at all ages and abilities, the clinic really put the juniors through their ?paces?.

It all began with exciting tales of masked highwaymen and runaway coaches, as Mark Broadbent from Fenix Carriages gave a fascinating introduction to coaching. His talk provided an insight into traditional coaching methods and explained how driving has developed from an uncomfortable form of transport into the current sport of Horse Driving Trials.

On the second day all the turnouts lined up for a quick driven assessment, from which we were then divided up into three groups - Whips, Wheels and Collars. The three instructors, Barry Capstick, Anna Grayston and Georgina Frith, devoted lots of time, energy and enthusiasm into helping each of their groups. In the morning the turnouts had an individual dressage lesson, followed by cones in the afternoon, then the dreaded ?Two Minute Cone Competition?. This consisted of a cones course made up of three circles and a slalom. The aim was to drive as many pairs of cones as possible within the time. However, any cones knocked down added time penalties to the score. The overall winner was Clare Taylor driving 'star?.

The groups then had the opportunity to practise the dressage test which they were to perform the following day. Everyone's attention suddenly turned to last-minute memorizing of the test, which was quite a task !

After driving the test we then had a talk by an Equine Nutritionalist from Baileys Horse Feeds. We discussed the type of work and feed driving horses require. Each of our horses/ponies was then weighed using a weight tape, and their condition and individual dietary needs discussed. This was very useful as it took a lot of the mystery out of feeding, and enabled the group to consider the diets of a range of different types, breeds and ages of driving animals. We also focused on the particular needs of a horse competing in three-day HDT's, for example additional supplements and electrolytes. Many thanks to Baileys for sponsoring the clinic and providing a wealth of nutritional information.

The last day began with obstacle building in the indoor school, the instructors talked us through the advantages and pitfalls of some of the routes we had chosen and suggested new alternative routes that somehow none of us seemed to notice!

We then practised driving obstacles, trying to get quicker and quicker each time, all in preparation for the looming competition in the afternoon. After lunch we had the opportunity to put together everything we had learned over the two and a half days. This began with driving our dressage test outdoors, followed by a short cones course, then indoors to drive the obstacles. Everybody thoroughly enjoyed this and there was a great sense of team spirit.

Can I say a big thank-you to everyone involved who made the clinic so much fun.

Midlands Driving Trials Group - Thoresby by Keith Harding

?A great start to our season at a lovely venue,? was a frequent comment by competitors at Thoresby Park on 26th/27th April for the opening competition of the Midlands Driving Trials Group. The sixty plus entries included seven teams, nine pairs and four tandems. Although only a club event, the national competitors set a high standard of turnout for the dressage on Saturday ? giving club drivers something to aim for.

Paul Hart won the national novice horse qualifier with Fiona Powell winning in the pony section. In the horse teams Dick Lane's first place in the marathon failed to overhaul Boyd Exell's 33 point dressage score ? this being the best dressage score of the day.

Elisabeth Greensmith and her team produced yet another great competition, found over sixty people to act as stewards and even got the weather to turn out right.


There are the following additions to the list of affiliated clubs printed in the 2003 Year book:

BRISTOL HORSE DRIVING CLUB Chairman ? Mr Michael W Wall, 32 Beechwood Avenue, Hanham, Bristol, BS15 3QW Tel ? 0117 9611009 Fax ? 0117 9672822 Email ?

JUNIOR CHARIOTS Secretary ? Rosemary James, 1 Grant Avenue, Lockerbie, DG11 2EH. Tel ? 01576 202510 Fax ? 01576 610248 Email ?

LINCOLNSHIRE CARRIAGE DRIVING GROUP Secretary - Mrs Beryl Marshall, 1 Court Leys Cottages, Brandon, Grantham, Lincolnshire, NG32 2AY, Tel - 01636 629134

Note: The above should not be confused with the Lincolnshire Driving Trials Group (secretary Linda Turner).

Change of Secretary:

WEALD HARNESS CLUB - Heather Nestel, Little Goldwell Oast, Goldwell Lane, Great, Chart, Ashford, Kent, TN26 1JS. Tel. 01233 620080 Email -

Change of Email address:


Sarum & Forest Harness Club

The BHDTA Novice Qualifier and Club Two-Day Event will be held at Rockbourne, Wiltshire on 19th/20th July. For schedules Tel/Fax : 01747 850235.

Shepway Harness Club Dates

  • Sunday 1st June - Cow Gate Farm - Hawkinge  mini ODE ( 4 obstacles )
  • Sunday 6th July - Hardres Court - Upper Hardres mini ODE
  • Sunday 24th August - Parsonage Farm -Bekesbourne mini ODE
  • Saturday 6th September - Shepway's 21st Birthday Party
  • Sunday 20th September - Cow gate Farm - Hawkinge ODE ( 6 Obstacles )

Please note that event secretary Jackie Durkin has moved to: 3 Old Court Cottages, Aylesham, Canterbuy, Kent. CT3 3HP. Tel. 01304 841979

Brockham Harness Club

Borde Hill, one of the country's ?truly great gardens? is the new venue for Brockham Harness Club's Two-day Event, which takes place over the weekend of August 30 & 31. Set in over 200 acres of spectacular parkland near Haywards Heath, Borde Hill provides a wonderful location for horse driving trials.

More than 4,000 spectators are anticipated on Sunday, since the driving trials coincide with Borde Hill's popular annual Kids? Animal Fair.

Course designer Andrew Simmons is currently creating six exciting obstacles, one of which will incorporate part of Robertsmere Lake, set in a glorious position just below the Tudor mansion house. J Martin Johnson of Bellcrown Carriages, a keen supporter of Brockham Harness Club, is one of the main obstacle sponsors and his obstacle is to be shaped in a giant B to be named ?Begin with a Bellcrown at Brockham?.

Dressage and cones will take place on Saturday with the marathon running on Sunday. This event is a national novice qualifier and a qualifier for the southern area club championship.

Trade stands, entertainers, arena activities and a vast range of catering outlets will support the weekend to make it a great day out for everyone.

Various sponsorship opportunities are still available to cover all types of budgets, trade stand bookings are currently being taken and schedules for the competitors are now available.

Borde Hill is just a few minutes drive from Haywards Heath and accessible by main line rail services from London and the South Coast.

For information visit or telephone Nigel Dipple on 07831 272397.

East Anglian Carriage Driving Group Fiona Powell

?I love East Anglia in the Spring-time??

East Anglia has already seen two events in April. Our new committee, spurred by end-of-season zeal last year, rashly decided on a training day and one-day event at Easter followed by our Euston Park two-day event:, but our hard work has paid off with enjoyable early season competitions.

Landowner Dan Squier's aptly named ?lazy wind? of Essex at Doggetts didn?t discourage 11 turnouts and 50 ?on-foot? supporters on the Saturday. The BHDTA made a donation towards the cost of Jo Meech's Stewards? Clinic, Mike Watts? Backsteppers? Training (or ?How to be better than a sack of potatoes? ? get your own copy from, Tom and Rita McGregor's dressage, cones and obstacle walking and Claire Bourne's Harness Fitting and Presentation Tips. The roaring log fires and cosy atmosphere of the Old Farmhouse were also appreciated in the evening, when Marion Squier and friends produced a superb home-cooked meal.

The one-day event's six obstacles and a water splash drew 18 starters. Stewards proved a rare breed but enough of Dan's neighbours and friends were mustered. Amanda Wells retained her early lead in Open Pony, followed by Janet Seaman and Fiona Powell. Novice Pony class was laid waste by Christina Curran's broken spring, and eliminations, and won by Claire Taylor, junior, second Alma Webb, third Diana Irwin.

Euston Park, Thetford, is always a popular early event, with quick-draining. sandy tracks. In March we built National-standard obstacles in the park, in easy reach. Lynne Harrington led Open Pony all the way. She, Jill Wood, second, and Jenifer Barker-Simson, third, were the only non-eliminated finishers. Novice Pony entries proved more resilient and serious ups and downs in the early stages were between Janice Parker, Yvonne Farmer, and juniors Holly Stile and Claire Taylor, Janice eventually taking the upper hand, followed by Holly and Claire, with new member, Jill Williams, fourth.

Forthcoming events:

31 May & 1 June - Doggetts, Rochford, near Southend-on-Sea (only about 20 miles from the M25's J29 or J30). Novice Qualifier at Keysoe, 14/15 June. 'sandringham Club? and Team Challenge?, 5/6 July, with the chance to drive the National course in a much more relaxed, informal atmosphere. Details and entry forms from or call Fiona Powell, 01473 735732 for fax or postal forms. Late entries accepted: please call first.

BHDTA Club Incentive Schemes

The BHDTA Council has announced that the membership "commission" scheme is to be continued. Any club introducing a new member to the BHDTA (as an Associate member or above) will receive a "commission" payment of £20 per new member, provided the application is made on a special form.

The opportunity to apply for an interest-free loan is also to continue. Clubs with over 50 BHDTA members on their register may apply for a grant of up to £500 from the HDT Special Development Fund towards specific capital expenditure. The loan is repayable over a four-year period.

Clubs can also apply for a grant of up to £200 for training purposes. Further details from Sydney Smith, Chairman of the Training Committee, Tel. 01451 831052.

Chester Horse Driving Trials Group

  • June 7-8 Mostyn Estate, Mostyn, Nr Holywell, Flintshire
  • June 21-22 Porth Y Post Riding School, Anglesey.
  • July 5-6 Yew Tree Farm, Poulton, Chester, Cheshire (NOVICE QUALIFIER)
  • July 19-20 Broad Oak Farm, Broughton, Nr Chester, Cheshire
  • Aug 2-3 Swinford Farm, Barrow, Nr Chester, Cheshire
  • Aug 16-17 Frankton Grange, English Frankton. Shropshire
  • Aug 30-31 Leverhulme Estate, Thornton Hough, Wirral
  • Sept 6-7 Henbury Hall, Macclesfield, Cheshire

For further information please contact: Membership Secretary/general enquires -Julie Fergusson on 01490 450205 (e-mail or Entries Secretary: Heather Hulme on 0161 4273328.

White Horse Harness Club

The two-day event to be held at Manor Farm West Overton, Nr Marlborough will also be a Southern Area Championship qualifier and host National novice qualifier classes on 26th & 27th July which are open to everybody.

Schedules are available now from WHHC Secretary and further details via the web site at:

Scottish Outdoor Season Under Way

The Scottish Carriage Driving Association's outdoor points league began with Anne and Ian Gilbert's event at Eglinton Country Park, Ayrshire on 3rd and 4th May. Diana Brownlie had given a stewards clinic on the Saturday morning ( which included an entertaining in-obstacle "staged" domestic between the guinea pig turnout driven by SCDA Chairman Andrew Smith and wife Carole on the back step!) and she then stayed on to judge.

There was an excellent turnout of competitors and helpers, and following the dressage and cones on the Saturday, the evening saw a lovely buffet followed by an entertaining evening of dancing and matchmaking ?la ?Blind Date?. The results of the date of the mystery couple thrown together as a result (and their identity) will be reported on following the Falkland event in June!

The three-section marathon on Sunday was over mostly woodland/parkland tracks with a little roadwork and six testing obstacles put together by Hopetoun coursebuilder Ian Gilbert and his team. As to the weather - don?t ask !

The following weekend saw the circuit move to Ian Bertram's event at Dalmeny Estate on the shores of the Forth Estuary, Edinburgh, a stones throw from the Hopetoun National venue. An even larger entry enjoyed the somewhat challenging dressage arena, and the beautiful setting for the cones on a lawn right beside the beach adjacent to the Forth. Marathon Sunday was warm and bright and saw the competitors driving across Lord Roseberry's beautiful Estate, with the walk over the road through the golf course and Section E including six difficult obstacles.

Many thanks to the organisers and all the stewards and helpers at both events . Roll on Hopetoun! All results, photos, SCDA news on

South Downs Harness Club's 25 Years

This year, 2003 marks the South Downs Harness Club's 25th Anniversary. Keith and Grace Randall recall how the Club was started.

Driving was beginning to increase in popularity and a number of like-minded enthusiasts felt there was a need for a local Carriage Driving Club. An informal meeting was held at the Gordon Rooms, Goodwood on 1st February 1978, attended by approx 100 people. A steering Committee founded and organised the club until July 1978 when the constitution, rules, finances etc. were formalised and a full Committee elected (of which three are still active members today ? Michael Camp, Keith Randall and Peter Linfield). On 19th March 1979 20 turnouts enjoyed the first social drive around Goodwood Estate.

In 1979 the Club had 200 members and the first Open Show was held on 19th August 1979 at the Weald and Downland Open Air Museum, which was then in its infancy with Chris Zeuner as Director. Sixty-five turnouts entered the 11 classes with 24 on the Concours d?Elegance.

Goodwood Estate hosted One Day Events for several years, the then Lady March being a keen whip. The Lisa Joyce Event, named after Colin Darby's groom who was tragically killed when she fell from a horse, started at Stansted Park Estate and is now held at Dounhurst Farm Carriage Driving Centre. In addition we still hold the Open Show at The Weald and Downland Museum, and have added a very successful Horse Driving Trial with Novice Qualifier at Downlands, a popular Members Only Show, a series of Dressage and Cones competitions, and an Annual Sponsored Drive at Cowdray Park. We also have Social Drives around the West Sussex and Hants area most weeks through the year.

Our membership currently stands at around 180, with whips from all disciplines of carriage driving. We are very proud of our club and the work it does in promoting our sport.

US Morgan Horse Society Visit

A group of American carriage driving enthusiasts from the Morgan Horse Society enjoyed the company of members from Brockham Harness Club following their visit to Royal Windsor Horse Show.

The club hosted a small champagne reception at Denis Williams? stables in Wexham, followed by dinner at a local old English pub in Eton.

During the reception guests enjoyed a ridden Dressage display with Lisa Weller riding Clever Clogs a dutch warmblood Grand Prix horse.

Before they left, Brockham Chairman Nigel Dipple presented the visitors with an information pack about the club and the BHDTA, and other useful facts about carriage driving in the UK.


The 2003 AGM was held on Thursday 1st May at Sussex University and attended by some 30 members. Appointments to the Council were ratified as follows:

Ian Douglas, Edmund Goodwin were re-elected for a further three years, Sydney Smith for 12 months. Tom Pettifer was elected to Council for a full three-year term having previously been a co-opted member.

Geoff Woods retired from Council, and a presentation was made to him in recognition of his efforts and time spent working as a member of Council and for the past four years as the Association's Treasurer.

At the Council meeting immediately following the AGM Derrick Mayes was co-opted to Council and elected by Council as the Association's Treasurer. Council elected Ian Douglas as the new Vice-Chairman.

Council Meeting Dates

The dates for future Council meetings in 2003 are: 11th June, 20th August, 6th October

If any members have any points for discussion by the Council, they must advise the office at least two weeks before the meeting date.

Committee Changes

The make up of the various Committees, usually decided at the Council meeting immediately following the AGM, will be announced in the next newsletter. Council agreed that this subject was of such importance that it should be left to the next meeting when sufficient time could be given to discuss it in detail.

DEFRA Passport Legislation

Members will have heard or read in the equine press that EU legislation is being drawn up requiring every equine to have an EU approved passport by 1st January 2004. The BHDTA has been lobbying for the absolute minimum information to be included in these passports in order to keep the cost down for our members. The passports are required as the horse is regarded as an agricultural animal on the continent, ie primarily a food producing animal. Each passport will contain medical records, for example if your Vet administers a Class 4 drug or one that has not had the necessary (and extremely costly) drug testing, then the passport will be endorsed with 'not for human consumption'. One such drug is Phenylbutazone - commonly known as 'bute'.

The BHDTA are part of this consultation process and we will report further as soon as we are able. In the interim our considered opinion is to advise our members to do nothing at this stage. The BHDTA is not currently and has no plans to become an approved passport issuing authority; there are however 53 such organisations. The British Horse Society (BHS), The British Driving Society (BDS) and the British Equestrian Federation (BEF) will all be able to supply these passports. We will keep you updated as information comes to hand. For further information please see our own web site and those of the BHS, BEF and DEFRA.

Equine Herpes Virus (EHV) paralytic disease

At present there are no official restrictions imposed by DEFRA as a result of the reported cases of EHV paralytic disease and there are no restrictions on the movement of horses.
The BEF's Director of Sports Science and Medicine, John McEwen, advises individuals, yards and show organisers to continue their normal activities but to take sensible precautions regarding infected yards or yards in close proximity to an outbreak.
Isolation of infected yards is essential but fortunately the virus does not travel long distances through the air and infection is mainly by contact with infected horses.

Information about the disease and the regions where infected cases have been identified can be found on the AHT web site ( which is regularly updated.



World Single Horse Championship 2004

The venue for this championship is now ?torp (Sweden) 21st-27th July (two weeks earlier than previously notified). There will now be two selection events in 2003 (Alnwick and Catton Park) and two in early 2004 (to be notified when the 2004 calendar is confirmed).

World Horse Teams Championship 2004

This Championship has now moved to Kecskemet (Hungary) on 4th-8th August. There will therefore be one selection event in 2003 at Catton Park, and three early in 2004 (to be notified when the 2004 calendar is confirmed).


The 2003 season is under way, although we have had a mixed start. Brighton, re-branded with a new sponsor, main arena removed to the top of the park and new well-constructed obstacles, was well received, but Royal Windsor suffered the vagaries of our early season's weather.

Anneke Wallace and her organising committee at Hopetoun are to be congratulated, a beautifully sited and constructed new arena, first class marathon course and obstacles, produced an event of the highest quality. New hard accesses in the showground and hundreds of tons of stone in soft areas along the marathon course provided an insurance for the future this event so richly deserves. What a pity that the event was not better supported by competitors. Those who did not travel north to this excellent event on this occasion should make the effort next year. It is an easy journey - dual carriageway all the way from Devon!

The disappointing attendance at the AGM and following Members' Open Meeting gives concern. Whilst there were no contentious matters to be decided, one feels that the opportunity for Members to interact with the Council and express their opinions was missed. Practicality requires this meeting to be held in early season, although as Company Secretary Peter Bridson advised, changes to Company law may omit the requirement for an AGM in the future, nevertheless constructive members' meetings are of value.

Please continue to support fundraising for this year's World Championships, there is still a long way to go.


Single Pony Training Clinic, Keysoe by Rosemary Neale

March at the College Equestrian Centre, Keysoe, is normally like the North Pole but this year the sun shone on the nine hardy and hopeful single pony drivers and their grooms who braved the elements to take part in the first clinic to be organised by the drivers themselves. The clinic was the brainchild of a group of drivers who got together at the BHDTA Conference to make some plans for the Combined Pony World Championships this year. The group decided on some fund raising ideas (please buy our T-shirts and notelets!!) and also felt that we needed to start our competition preparation early. The College Equestrian Centre was decided as the venue because we were able to get it cheaply, thanks to the efforts of Sue Squirrel and Rosemary Neale who live locally. The College offer a free one hour hire of their indoor school for people who volunteer to write for their dressage judges, little thinking of the deviousness of carriage drivers! So Sue and Rosemary spent winter Saturdays in chilly judges? boxes, accumulating hours and donated their rewards to the clinic ? and learnt a lot about dressage in the process!!

We secured the services of Di Hayes and Karen Bassett to help with dressage and obstacles and they were both marvellous role models and so generous in sharing the immense fund of knowledge and experience they both have. Mark Winder set up a testing cones course (outside!) and coached us all through it Evenings were not wasted and we learned from Di and Karen about their experiences of international competition, watching a video of Conty kindly loaned by David Matthews, and hearing a discussion on Presentation from BDS judges Derek and Sharon Wootton.

The three days were a very intense and enjoyable learning experience with the added bonus of making some really good friends into the bargain! Everyone helped each other wherever possible and also learnt from each others successes and mistakes and the increase in team spirit has already been felt in the class. Whoever makes it on to the team for the Championships will go with the support and good wishes of all their ?mates? in the single pony class.

Our thanks go to everyone who helped and gave their time ? how about another one next year?

Official Clothing

The official British team supporters clothing is available for purchase at events. The sales are raising valuable funds towards the cost of sending the drivers to the
World Championships later this summer. For instance approx. £100 was raised as a result of sales at Royal Windsor Horse Show, so persuade your friends to buy!

Prices: Polo shirts £18,  Baseball hats £12

?Name the Teddy? Competition

Edmund and Joan Goodwin would like to thank all those who supported the fund-raising effort for the ponies going to the World Championships by entering the ?Name the Teddy? competition.

The selected name was ?Tom? (no disrespect to our Chairman!) and congratulations go to the winner, Mary Robbins.

World Combined Pony Championships

14 - 17 August

The Chef d?Equipe for the British team is now confirmed as Bob Johnston, his assistant will be Rosemary Neale. Ren'schoop has very kindly offered to act as ?team interpreter? for the trip.

Karlstetten is 5 miles from the capital of Lower Austria, St Polten.

Event Website:

Tourist information - Contact:  Website:


The Golden Hippo Trophy

A magnificent new trophy has been donated to the BHDTA. The Golden Hippo Trophy was originally presented to HM The Queen by The President of Liberia, and became a driving trophy at the Royal International Horse Show (first for the hackneys, and then for the Driving Trials). It was recently rediscovered and permission was given for it to be used as a trophy by the BHDTA.

It was agreed that it should be awarded for 'sportsmanship in adversity? and a small committee was set up to decide an appropriate recipient - not an easy task.

HRH The Duke of Edinburgh kindly agreed to make the presentation at the Brighton Driving Trials Reception, and was surprised to find that he was infact the recipient. The award was made in recognition of his unfortunate elimination at Royal Windsor Horse Show in 2002 when the nose of his leader broke the timing beam mid-obstacle.


British Equestrian Insurance Brokers Limited (BEIB), the international equestrian Lloyd's broker, has recently announced that it is becoming part of Thompson Heath & Bond, the AIM listed broker. All staff and directors will continue to work for the company.

BEIB have been extremely successful in developing group liability and personal accident insurance programmes, as well as offering the unique ?one-stop insurance solution? for all types of equestrian activities.

Simon Mackaness London Market Director said, ?BEIB will continue to operate from the Head office in Tonbridge and have representation in the City. We look forward to being part of a larger well-respected group and the benefits that will give us in this difficult insurance market. To further develop our position as the leading Lloyd's equestrian broker we hope to continue to grow BEIB over the next few years, both organically and by acquisition?

The No. 1 Challenge!

Brockham Harness Club, organisers of the very successful South of England Carriage Driving Fair, have again organised the ?No. 1 Challenge?. The club will present a limited edition driving cap and rugby shirt to the fastest competitor through Obstacle No. 1 on the Marathon in a different class at each of the national horse driving trials during 2003.

The winner at Brighton was Novice Pony driver Fiona Powell.

At Hopetoun House the award went to Novice Horse competitor, Andrew Smith.

Details will be available at each event and on

?Jack in the Box? No. 2 Challenge

Following on from the Brockham Harness Club No. 1 Challenge - ?Jack in a Box? will make an award to the fastest Open Pony competitor and groom through obstacle 2 on the marathon, at each National Event. The prize is two ?Jack in a Box? Polo Shirts with the emphasis on the fact that the groom also gets a prize.

?Jack in the Box? is run by Open Horse competitors, Ian and Frances Collings and supplies driving accessories.

The winner of the prize at both Brighton and Hopetoun was Amanda Saville and her groom.

Charity Gala Polo Match

Guards Polo Club are hosting a Charity Gala Polo Match in aid of Riding and Carriage Driving for the Disabled on Sunday 29th June 2003, Smiths Lawn Windsor. BHDTA members may purchase tickets in advance at special rates from Susan Bailey 01344 883355 Email: All proceeds from these sales go to RDA.

Windsor Sponsored Drive

Nearly 200 drivers from as far afield as Blackpool, Leeds and Devon gathered at Smiths Lawn, Windsor Great Park for this year's Windsor Sponsored Drive. The grand rosettes were kindly sponsored by Mrs Gillie Simpson and the completion certificates by The Hon. Peter Bick.

The participants, who included HRH Prince Philip with his team of Fell ponies, really appreciated the fine weather and glorious setting. The course consisted of six obstacles and a 15 km drive through the Deer Park.

We are indebted to the Crown Estate and to all the stewards who helped to make this such a memorable occasion. A total of £18,000 was raised, and at the BDS Annual Show on 22nd June cheques will be handed over to the various charities. Winner of the Taffy and Tartan Trophy was Brian Gates from Leek, Staffordshire, who raised a staggering £1,513.


Many thanks to the supporters who have donated the new set of international cones, balls and numbers to the Association. These were first used at Royal Windsor and will be carried in the scoreboard trailer and used at the events at which the trailer is present.

FEI Scorers? Clinic

We understand that there may be an FEI Scorers? Clinic taken by international scorer Philippe Lienart at Jardy (France) immediately prior to the World Horse Pairs Championships in September. Participants may have the opportunity to assist with the scoring for the Championships.

More information in due course.


Members will be aware that Bouvet have been supporting driving for some years. In particular they have very generously supported the party held at the National Championships as well as providing prizes - which they will be doing again in 2003. Ray Baron has very kindly organised the party on behalf of Bouvet, and has generated sales which have benefited the BHDTA.

Ray has requested to hand over the job, and his place is being taken by Derrick Mayes.

If you would like to order the bubbly prior to the Championships - perhaps you have a wedding or party coming up - please contact Derrick Mayes on: 0118 9883256.

SADDLE UP Gallops On!

Over the past 2 years equestrians have made a huge contribution to spinal cord research by raising more than £120,000 for the Saddle-Up Campaign! Our thanks go out to everyone who has contributed over that time. 2003 will see continued support for Saddle-Up from the British Equestrian Federation and its member bodies and it is hoped that individual equestrians will continue with their superb fundraising efforts.

If you want to organise your own Saddle-Up event in 2003, Spinal Research has produced a new Events Pack with posters and sponsor forms available from:

Spinal Research, Bramley Business Centre, Bramley, Guildford, Surrey GU5 OAZ. Tel: 01483 898 786.  Email:   Charity No: 281325


Dear Editor,

What a lovely surprise I had when I discovered that I had won the top prize in the 200 Club Draw!  I joined up at the Conference for the first time, so I should encourage anyone who hasn't done so already, to contact Sheila Hawking and join the 200 Club; if it worked for me, it might be your turn next.

Thank you Sheila for all your tireless work for the BHDTA

Yours sincerely

Judi Ralls


A tribute to Vivienne Rome from the Pony Pairs and all her driving friends

It is with sadness that I make this tribute to Vivienne who had fought her illness with courage and fortitude.

Vivienne was a great competitor in the pony pairs; she had worked hard with her ponies and with Margaret as her groom they made a great team. Vivienne's success was proved by her results. She won a number of national competitions; she was the Pony Pairs National Champion; she had driven at Royal Windsor Horse Show; and had competed abroad. She was a very popular, genuine and fun-loving competitor, enjoying winning but also always ready to congratulate whoever else won. We met Vivienne through the carriage driving and she became a very special person to Edmund and I.

At one competition Vivienne came back from the marathon thinking she had gone wrong in an obstacle, but on looking at the score board it was not recorded. Vivienne could not rest until she had been and checked it out, only to find that she had not gone wrong. This just shows what a genuine competitor Vivienne was. I could go on ? the story of the currant cake and the episode at the score board all happy memories of Vivienne.

Our thoughts must go to Jock and the family who were always very supportive of her in her driving and must feel very proud of her achievements. I hope they will find great comfort knowing just how much she was respected and thought of in the driving world. She will be greatly missed.

Joan and Edmund Goodwin

Walter Lorch - My Friend and Mentor by Karen Bassett

Life is full of surprises, and when I closed the door on the British Spotted pony team era, I knew what I wanted to do next - but the big question was how. I heard through Peter Bennett that a gentleman called Walter Lorch had a pair of driving horses and that his groom/driver had left - Why didn?t I have a chat with him? The only problem was that I was packing for a six-week trip to America. I thought about it on the plane over, and a gut feeling made me phone a friend and ask them if they would approach Walter on my behalf. Walter liked the proposition and agreed to meet me on my return in November 1990. A new door opened. Walter agreed to upgrade his current turnout in to a team. With the full support of his wife Diana and daughter Janet, the Muschamp Trakehner Driving Team was formed.

Walter Lorch was enchanted by the history of the Trakehner horse and how they made an epic escape from Prussia to safety in West Germany during the war. Only about 50 horses survived the journey. A strict breeding programme was enforced to regenerate the breed and Walter became the first person to import a graded Trakehner stallion into Britain. The Muschamp Stud was founded

Walter's interest in driving was inspired by the birth of twins; ?Percy? and 'sony? were an instant matched pair. Walter competed himself in the early days but realised that his own shortcomings, usually resulting in elimination, were holding back the success of the pair of horses.

One of the many things Walter enjoyed was giving young people an opportunity in life. There were several grooms and helpers who were given the chance to compete over the years. But the biggest opportunity was the chance he gave me. Walter stood by me through thick and thin. There were times when I felt like giving up, but even in adversity Walter would always see the bright side and encourage me to go on. He had a great sense of humour and rapport with the young, and we had so many good times together. I remember one winter in the snow when Black Park was closed to horses for the winter. Bearing in mind that Walter was at the time in his late seventies, he decided we would use the horses to tow him around the park on his skis. We certainly had fun - and the park wardens knew exactly whose door to knock on!

Finally our hard work paid off and the successes started to come. For Walter the point of total job satisfaction came when I made it on to the British Team at the World Equestrian Games in The Hague.

Walter's dream was realised, but for me I wanted to continue. Yet again he came up trumps, and allowed me to continue under my own steam. Walter remained very supportive financially as well as morally, and he was always giving me ideas on how to improve my team.

I was fortunate to know him for the last twelve years of his life, but his whole life had been such an adventure. His inventive mind was respected and renowned worldwide. He was an ideas man although not all of his ideas were practical and some were impossible. His depth of knowledge on a variety of subjects from cooking, water science, horses and carriages, led to many published books.

Walter's philosophy on life was that all things were possible. And this is what made him the special man that he was. He told me so many stories from his younger days and his generosity touched so many.

For me he made a dream came true.

The next issue of CARRIAGE HORSE will be published in early August 2003
Deadline for articles and contributions - 15 July 2003

All items to be sent to BHDTA Office or preferably e-mailed to:

This publication has an independent editorial policy and is intended as an open forum for BHDTA members. All letters and reports from members and clubs of the BHDTA are welcomed and will be published where possible, although some editing may be necessary if space is limited. Letters will have the right to reply in the same issue if considered appropriate. Anonymous, defamatory or objectionable letters will not published. Unless the contrary is shown, the views expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of the BHDTA or its Council.