Our 2021 Carriage Driving Awards Judges

As we enter our fourth year of the carriage driving awards, we would like to welcome to the judging panel our new chair Andrew Counsell along with Caroline Douglas and Neil Wray. They join, Fiona Powell, James Broome and Jeff Osborne forming the 2021 Carriage Driving awards judging panel.
Andrew Counsell, CHAIR

Andrew has been involved with horses and ponies for more than 50 years. Starting out with the Pony Club leading to a professional career in eventing, show jumping and dressage. In the late 1970s he continued with carriage driving taking his LHHI. During this time, he competed in both show and competition c driving. Andrew became a BDS judge in the early 1980s. A change of career in 1986 saw him move into college education, becoming Principal of the Duchy College in Cornwall. Alongside this new career he became a national driving trials official and an FEI international driving judge in 2006. He has now officiated at over 160 international events, including 19 World Championships and World Equestrian Games. During his time in the college he chaired an RDA group and became a national RDA Driving instructor and inspector. Andrew is now chair of British Carriagedriving.

Caroline Douglas

Caroline joined the BDS in 1961 becoming a judge at 19. She became an FEI judge in 1975, judging in the UK and abroad. Caroline considers her greatest driving achievement was being invited to exhibit the team at the World Driving Championships in Switzerland in 1974 and to drive the standard setting test for the Presentation and Dressage phase of the Championships.

Caroline served on the BDS Council, on the test and training, judges, award board, access and rights of way and show committees. In 1998 Caroline was chef d’equipe for the British team at the first World Para Driving Championships in Germany.

Caroline ran her own BDS approved training establishment, Caroline is an international AIAT judge, a national TD and Director of AIAT GB.

Fiona Powell

Fiona is a driving trials organiser, competitor, ICD-UK publicity officer and She is a UKCC coach. Fiona organises indoor driving competitions. She the East Anglian Carriage Driving Group secretary, and founded Inharness magazine. She drives single, pair and tandem, becoming Fenix Carriages Pony Tandem Driver of the Year in 2017. Fiona enjoys showing, trec, and attelage in England and France, and reports regularly for Carriage Driving. Fiona encourages people to join in, whatever their ability, age or background, and gets as much pleasure watching a seven or a 70-year-old driver’s enjoyment as she does when one of ‘her’ drivers represents Great Britain.

James Broome

A former vice-chair of British Carriagedriving, international competitor and UKCC Level Two Coach, James progressed through the ranks of horse driving trials, to competing internationally in the horse four-in-hand class.

As a professional equestrian event organiser, it was a natural step to develop his love for the sport of driving into running driving events, which originally began with club level events and culminated in being asked to run the 2018 BC National Championships.

James was a member of the BC Council for nine years. Probably his biggest accomplishment since being elected into council was the successful rebranding of the former BHDTA into British Carriagedriving.

Jeff Osborne

Scurry driving expert Jeff of Osborne Refrigerators has been a major sponsor in equestrian sport for more than 35 years. Jeff is much more than a businessman with an interest in all things equine. A lifetime association with horses, he has, as a rider, competed at the highest level in show jumping and showing, been awarded the British Equestrian Federation Medal of Honour, the Ryans Son Trophy and Horse of the Year Show Equestrian Personality of the Year.

Many years ago he swapped the saddle for the box seat and is now one of the leading double harness scurry drivers in the country. As the owner of a considerable carriage collection he has also won both the Harness Horse of the Year and, the National Light Trade Championship.

Neil Wray

I was born in to an equestrian family, and whilst I have a wide
range of equestrian xperience, most has centred around carriage driving. Growing up in the 1970’s my parents produced teams for coaching and driving trials. In addition to competing, we also ran a business providing carriages mainly for films and TV but also for weddings and funerals, which we still
run today.

Since my early 20s, my main competitive focus has been showing, where we have been lucky to have some great horses and win some major titles, mainly with harness horses.

In 2018, I became the chairman of the British Driving Society. My main aims for the society being to return it to financial viability, make it welcoming to all, promote standards, and work with other harness societies to make carriage driving a stronger sport for all.