Meet the Judges

Richard James

Richard has been actively involved in equestrian disciplines from an early age and for the last 50 years has owned and driven horses and ponies as singles, pairs, tandems or four-in-hands. He has been a member of the Hackney Horse Society for many years and is currently on its Council and its Championship Show Director. Among his many other achievements, Richard was appointed by the International Equestrian Federation (FEI), the world governing body for equestrian sport to its international panel of judges and technical delegates for horse driving trials in 1980, he retired in 2011. In 2007 was awarded the Annual Worshipful Company of Coach Makers and Coach Harness Makers Award and elected a liveryman of the Company.

Alastair McNinch

A current British Driving Society Judge and former BDS Council Member, and current Hackney Horse Society Director, Alastair is a well-known proponent of private driving. Having formerly judged at the prestigious Horse of the Year Show, Alastair continues to be at the forefront in the private driving world, judging numerous shows throughout the UK and is a well respected for his fair view and unbiased opinion. His daughter Alison, carries on the family tradition in the private driving ring, having qualified again this year for the Harness Horse of the Year and she continues to do well in the ring elsewhere in the run up to these championships.

Jeff Osborne

Jeff’s company, Osborne Refrigerators is the familiar name that has been a major equestrian sponsor for many years in all spheres. Jeff has been the main sponsor of many Horse of the Year Show classes, as well as sponsoring the British Driving Society National Championships, set up to encourage grass roots, junior, trade and show classes. Jeff has also been a competitor himself in the show ring in some guise for over 60 years. Originally competing in various show jumping classes at county level, and self-confessed speed demon, he became involved with scurry driving. He set up and currently chairs the Osborne Scurry Group, which has its championships at the Horse of the Year Show. Jeff is also a great supporter of the traditional side of driving, and has had much success both in the private driving and trade rings with his turnouts, including taking part in Attelage competitions, both in the UK and abroad. He is also a passionate advocate of the Hackney Breed, having shown his own Hackneys with great success over the years. His current passion though lies in the sport of scurry driving, and he is still to be seen competing even though now in his 80s.

Barbara Stockton

Barbara has been a judge with the Hackney Horse Society for approximately 30 years and retired in 2019 after five years as the Society’s Chairman. A complete Hackney aficionado, she has been exhibiting Hackneys since the 1970s. Along with her husband, Rod, they have shown their own Hackney horses and ponies both in hand and in harness and she has also driven for a number of other people, with countless successes in the ring. In the last 15 years the Stocktons have concentrated on driving and producing their coaching team of Hackney horses. They show them and attend many coaching meets and undertake annual extended road tours, put to the road coach The Monarch, in aid of various local charities. Barbara and Rod also breed Hackney Horses running the Halloughton stud, with the aim of re-establishing the traditional coaching type of Hackney.

Fiona Powell

Fiona organised the first East Anglian indoor driving competition in 2002 and followed that with taking on the job of EACDG Secretary for ten years. She is a probationary National Course Designer, UKCC level 1 coach, and has driven ponies single, pair and tandem in competition, showing, Trec, attelage and driving trials at national and club level, winning the BC National Reserve pony tandem and Fenix Carriages Driver of the Year titles in 2017. She is a project management trainer and non-executive director of the East of England Co-op.

James Broome

James has progressed through the ranks of Horse Driving Trials, starting in the Novice Single Pony Class and now 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 has been a member of the BC Council for 8 years, and now holds the position of Vice Chair. Probably his biggest accomplishment since being elected into council was the successful rebranding of the former BHDTA into British Carriagedriving. As a UKcc Level Two Coach, James meets lots of newcomers to the sport of driving and takes a hugh pride in explaining to these people the plethora of carriage driving opportunities available in Great Britain.