Despite a difficult start in life, this wonderful little pony, against all odds, has achieved a truly incredible record. With Liz Harcombe, he has taken part in displays promoting the work of World Horse Welfare including demonstrations at Badminton and Olympia. At the other end of the scale, this remarkable pony has even introduced complete novices to carriage driving.
Helen has been a dedicated volunteer at Stella Hancock Driving Group for more than 30 years, despite working full time. Helen’s personal attributes came to the rescue of the group when it was at risk of closing. Helen is unfailingly kind and good humoured, welcoming all members and making them feel a valued part of the group, whatever their role. The club has been transformed under Helen’s leadership to a thriving and growing group which everyone looks forward to attending.
Stephie’s potential was spotted in 2017, on a college work placement to Chariots of Fire which led to full time work. Her in depth knowledge of equestrianism and her positive, supportive attitude ensure the best experience for all drivers, both able bodied and disabled. She is organised, versatile and completely reliable. The expertise she developed as groom and back-stepped to the late Amanda Saville inspired confidence in the drivers she supports now. She often puts her own goals on hold in order to support others.
This liver chestnut, 15.2hh Hackney Stallion is 23 years old. AKA Paddy has competed in ridden showing and dressage, in hand hackney classes, hackney wagon classes, private driving, light trade and both indoor and outdoor driving trials. He is an amazingly versatile horse with so many successes over the years that there are too many to mention. Last year, he came out of retirement and won the Four-Wheel Light Trade and gained his qualification to go to the BDS Championships 2017, where he won the Four-Wheel Light Trade class. He continues to compete.
Gilly and her Fell Pony, Stennerskeugh Smoke, are a well-known double act, not least as he is grey. In 2016, their first full season, they won eleven classes and took part in the Queens 90th birthday at Windsor, where Her Majesty took time to comment on his moustache. They also won the Edinburgh Prize for driving, an award presented by HRH Prince Phillip to the Fell Pony turnout internationally for their driving achievements that year. As a country turnout they are complimented in their 1906 Ralli car, restored about fifteen years ago, epitomising country elegance of a bygone era.
Leah entirely home produces her own ponies. Leah’s non-traditional vehicle is a two-wheeler, finished in black and maroon paintwork with black harness and reins, although the hand held ends are brown, for a more pleasing look. Her Dunn & Co pig skin hat belonged to her great grandfather. The rest of her attire is chosen with great care to contrast her bay pony and the colour of the vehicle. When Leah competes, it is with huge support from her family, particularly her mother and grandad. Leah always hopes to win, more from them than herself.
He was purchased by Antonia Gallop for just £350, they competed in Private Driving classes for more than seventeen years. He has also competed in horse driving trials with juniors, reaching the National Championships. He has amassed an impressive collection of rosettes, trophies and brasses. He came out of retirement to help a young driver at Smith’s Lawn, after winning her age group, and then won the Championship, so once again he met the Queen, sixteen years after meeting her as a six-year-old.
T Cribb and Sons Carriages have been in demand for funerals since the early part of the last century and the company was largely responsible for reintroducing the spectacle of horse-drawn funerals in London’s East End in the 1980s. They have more than 16 horses stabled at the Cribb family farm in Essex. Working in a pair or as a team of four, the horses and carriages are the most dignified and impressive cortege possible. They also provide carriages for events and have a history of success in competitive carriage driving.
For 33 years, the group has provided the thrill of carriage driving. Skills have been learned, memories made, partnerships forged (with people and ponies) and friendships developed. Ceffyl Du have competed or given demonstrations at a range of venues. This has resulted in many exciting trips, including Smiths Lawn, Royal Windsor Horse Show, National RDA Championships, Unicorn Trust and local Agricultural and BDS Shows.
Tara Wilkinson, or as she is also known, Yorkshire’s Golden Girl, had a phenomenal achievement in 2017 winning Individual Gold at the World Championship in Minden on her debut senior outing. Tara was just 20 when she did this and has helped raise the profile of British Carriage Driving in the international driving community. This exceptional girl is a shining example of how hard work, focus and dedication to the sport can pay off. And has a bright future ahead of her.
From more than forty years, Richard has represented every discipline, he has both organised and taken part in private driving, driving trials, coaching, tandem club, and road club, the BDS, BC formerly horse driving trials and he has supported the RDA. He represented our driving fraternity in many countries around the world in organising event and judging. As organiser of the BDS show, he produced record entries. He is a generous supporter of the Tandem Club. He brought Attelage to the UK, his hands on running of various road shows bringing all disciplines together, combining entertainment, education, and have a go at driving, bringing new people into the sport.
The sport of carriage driving owes a lot to Dick Carey – Dick is a builder – a builder of carriages, courses and confidence. His lifelong love of carriage driving began when he was a boy, learning to drive on a local farm. He took up an apprenticeship and trained as a carpenter and wheelwright. Then in 1966, Dick set up his own business at the same time, he purchases two ponies and decided to build his own carriage, this marked the beginning of his carriage driving competition journey, as he started to compete in horse driving trials with pony pairs and teams.
Over the years, Dick has made a name for himself as an accomplished course builder and innovative obstacle designed. He was involved with the organisation of the highly successful three-day national event at Brighton, where he started as the course builder, committee member and ending up as Chairman.
In 1977, he organised a musical drive with eight juniors and this was performed at the British Driving Society Show at Smith’s Lawn – this was the start of a sport that has continued to grow. Dick is a great thinker, one evening, he dreamed up the idea of running indoor driving trials during the winter months – just to keep things ticking over. The first event took place in Kent before long the concept took off across the length and breadth of the country from Cornwall or Northern Ireland, initially with Dick and a trusty team packing everything into a van, driving to venues and setting up courses. Twenty years on, it attracts 2000 entries every year from the twenty-one regional competitions held country wide culminating in the National Finals at Keysoe.
In his late seventies, Dick is still coming up with ideas but more importantly, he is a great ambassador for carriage driving. He supports young, old and novice drivers with his wealth of knowledge and encouragement, which can only mean there is a bright future for our sport.