…….Ooops! Things don’t always go to plan!

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Minutes of AGM meeting held at

The David Broome Event Centre

Thursday 12 November 2009

are available if you contact us



Drivers / Grooms and Third Party Insurance

The note below is my interpretation of the insurance cover offered by BHDTA and how it relates to Drivers and Grooms. It is by no means a definitive statement and I can readily pass on a copy of the full policy for you to try to decipher….. Given that it has taken about eight weeks to get to this level of understanding you will hopefully understand my caution.

The notes below do not relate to the winter inside out driving series as insurance cover is provided by the Indoor Driving Company, rather to the summer series.

The BHDTA policy provides 3rd party cover for the Driver and his equipe, by either being a full member or by being a member of a BHDTA affiliated club. The ‘equipe’, I take to mean the horse(s), carriage and groom. Thus by default the groom is covered by the drivers 3rd party insurance. That said, in conversation with the BHDTA broker it would be a brave person indeed to compete without having their own specific insurance cover. So my strong recommendation is that if you are a groom I would seek to join a BHDTA affiliated club to avail yourself of the 3rd party insurance cover.

On a separate note - at club level there is no obligation (as I understand) for drivers to carry 3rd party insurance. Again in this day and age this would be a very foolish thing to do. The broker did mention that some clubs choose to run closed events where to enter the driver must be a member of the host club or any other affiliated club to the BHDTA, more to ensure that they are protected than for any other reason. This is
something I will take up with the committee when we next meet.

Club Annual Dinner - 11th December 2009

Club members and friends thoroughly enjoyed an evening of good food and excellent company at the Club's Annual Dinner on 11th December at Broomie's Restaurant. The chef and his team treated us to a delicious three course dinner, beautifully presented.

Confusion among guests about forgotten choices of menu was minimised thanks to Erica's "master list". What would we do without her?
Quite why blowing up balloons, then releasing them so that they make funny noises whizzing round the room is always so amusing is a mystery but doing this whilst waiting to eat caused much hilarity. There was even some discussion as to the quality or otherwise of this particular batch of balloons, some diners proving to be experts in this specialist field. So the tone was set for a light-hearted relaxing evening.

Over the years the club has become famed for the after dinner cabaret provided by some brave individual members. As coffee was being poured, a bearded stranger arrived swathed in a big old coat, with a hat crammed over his head. He wore wellies and carried a bucket of gardening tools. He was coughing unattractively, a lot. Had a local from Crick wandered in? This figure was then joined by an apparition kitted out in cycling lycra and helmet pushing a scooter. Who could it be? These two persons sat down as if they were at home and read their newspapers, chatted and told jokes. As we all laughed we quickly realised that was John and Wendy Weaver in disguise. Next, Sue Johnson entertained us with some delightful gentle poems (with backing from Graham Hemmett), on the perennial driver's theme of dressage and a horse's way of going.

James laid down his guitar for this year and instead talked us through a video of his exploits at the World Championships in Germany this summer. It looked awesomely huge in every way from the dressage arena with its five judges to the massive solid obstacles and fiendish cones course. The video was excellent and together with James' insights and commentary gave us a flavour of competing at this level. Our next "indoor" event may now seem a little tame!

Simon thanked Erica for her sterling work as our Secretary and Felicity and Graham for managing event stewards and not forgetting John who
has done such a wonderful job on the club trailer and keeping all the equipment in order. The raffle was drawn and the many prizes duly

Appreciative thanks also went to the Broome family for so kindly hosting the dinner and making such a comfortable and pleasant venue available to us.

Our Trip to Germany

Sunday 9th August

Lorry packed and we set off. After over 12 months of planning, the day finally arrives and we hope that we have remembered everything that we need. Extra things to normal include special In- Hand bridles for the trot up, an FEI Legal equine first aid kit, a new wheelbarrow (rather than the large recycling bin that I usually use), and some new lamps for the carriage. Lorry has had a full check, including a new Tachometer, starter motor and solenoid. We have horse passports, people passports, ferry paperwork, event paperwork and border paperwork. We
also had to remember insurance papers, driving licence and breakdown cover. Alex, Jade and I have had the fairly tricky job of packing suitable clothing for an event that we have no idea what the weather will be like and also, we have no idea on how formal the evening events will be.
We leave during the Senior Jumping Championships of Great Britain, with approximately 1500 on the showground. Just before we leave, our commentator announces that we are leaving and we receive hundreds of "Good Lucks" from the show jumpers. As we leave, we all get a few butterflies hoping we have remembered everything. Anyway, the lorry starts and we are off. This evening we are driving to Dover where we will get the ferry to Calais, where we are staying for the night before travelling on to Germany tomorrow. We are going to meet Sue Mart and her team from Bennington at the stables where we have planned to visit a nearby pub for tea. Good team bonding we thought. Two hours into the trip and we have a blow out on the M4. Most annoying, but fortunately the European breakdown cover that I had arranged for the trip also included 7 days’ cover prior to travel. All I had to do was make a single call to the insurance company, NFU, and the rest was sorted out for us. The Highways Agency arrived to block of the traffic on the left hand lane so that the rescue man could fix the offside tyre. All in all it took 2 - 3 hours, not helped by the fact that the Highways Agency seemed to have no idea other than waiting for a gap in the traffic before they could start coning off the lane. After 25 minutes of trying I offered to lend them a hand which they treated as though I had asked them for a kidney and I duly returned to our "camp" on the side of the road. It did serve a purpose because after giving me a lesson in roadside safety, the Officer miraculously found a gap in the traffic, the lane was blocked and the rescue man put a new tyre on. Owing the this delay, we didn't arrive at the stables in Calais until about midnight, although Team Bennington very kindly got out of bed and helped us to sort the ponies out when
we arrived.

Monday 10th August

8am we leave for Germany and apart from some new roads in Antwerp that my Tom Tom was not aware of, the journey was fine. We arrive at the British Camp in the showground and, as we have been warned, we really do not have much space. There is a lot of flapping around deciding who should park where and after what seems like an eternity, consensus is reached and the caravan and lorry is parked, ponies
taken off and sorted and the unpacking begins. The mood of the camp is electric with the Swiss team parked opposite and the Australian team of Jessica Meredith parked next door. The only problem that we encountered at this point was that one member of the team, who shall
remain nameless (!) must have used more electricity than Wembley stadium. This meant that every time a certain kettle was boiled, everyone's electricity tripped off. However, after playing Rubic's Hook Up with Simon (Sue Denney's brilliant backstepper), we found a way to ensure that everyone had an uninterrupted supply.

Tuesday 11th

The office opens officially this morning so there is little more queuing for wristbands etc. We get our event numbers which are printed on plastic which look amazing. Those of you that were at the event in July will be aware that I had a problem with my carriage. Whilst I really don't think that it was a major problem, Ronald Hazell (a club member who currently competes in the Novice Horse class) kindly offered to help me out with buying a new Kuhnle carriage. However, the tricky part about this was that the carriage was going to be delivered straight to the event, which meant I wasn't going to have any time to practice on it. It duly arrived at about 5pm, and then we took the ponies for a play in it. They were wild and not really a pleasure to drive. I think that is because we normally have quite a routine when we go to events and now, that routine was out of the window. The dressage times for Thursday or Friday were still not up so we didn't know which day we were actually going to be competing on, which did make things a little difficult to plan for. They did start to get a little better towards the end but not exactly what you want when you're at a World Championships with a brand new carriage!

Wednesday 12th

The Trot Up was quite an extraordinary experience. As well as having the final of 3 practice trot ups this morning with the ponies, the team vet decided that we should all be walking our ponies around for 45 minutes before we actually trotted the ponies up. This was so they would have settled a little and ponies with some stiffness would improve with a bit of walking. The other nations must have had the same idea because there were at least 200 ponies in the warm up arena, some walking, some trotting. I felt as though we were at the Royal Welsh! When the time finally arrived, it had been more like an hour since we arrived in the warm up arena, we were all called to go to the final warm up arena, next to the actual trot up. Again, there were loads of ponies in quite a small space, and some were getting a little frantic, but most were getting generally cheesed off with it all, because by now, the sun was shining and I think most of them were quite confused as to what was going on.
The actual trot up went along fine, with all the British ponies passing, and the judges actually commenting on how well turned out our ponies were. I would have to say that my role in preparing the ponies was to go out and buy a breakfast roll for Alex and Jade, whilst they plaited, brushed, scrubbed and buffed every inch of each animal, who did look amazing.
The biggest heart failure of the day was when they requested that Sue Mart's pony was measured. If the pony measured above 148cms, Sue would not be allowed to take part in the competition. It was a very nervous time for the whole team, but the pony passed and all the Brits were now ready to compete.

Once the trot up was complete, it was the first chance that we had to walk the obstacles. I really don't think any of us, including those in the team that have competed at other World Championships, were prepared for the sheer magnitude of them. Each obstacle was breathtaking and quite frankly, enormous. For me, this was great because my ponies like to move on, but because they were so different to the way that British obstacles are built, I wasn't sure how they would react. For instance, right in the middle of one of the obstacles was a full sized cow which had some electric wires connected to it. We were all sure that it would "Moo" when each turnout went passed it, and I was quite
sure that Barney would have a complete mental breakdown if it did "Moo". I'll bring some photos of the obstacles to the Christmas dinner for everyone to see because they really were something to behold. At the evening meeting, we found out that Julie Camm (singles), Sue Denny (singles), Sue Mart (singles) and Anna Grayson (pairs) were to do their dressage on Thursday, and myself (pairs) and Faith Szczuka (fours) were to compete on Friday. For me, this was disappointing because I knew that my ponies needed to do something and were really starting to go off the boil. It also meant that we would not have a free day like the others to learn the enormous obstacles. Tonight was "Nations Night". This meant that each nation had a table in which to present a finger buffet of food from their countries. On offer on the British table was Pimms, Pork Pie, Stilton and Cheddar with biscuits, Scotch Eggs and Eton Mess. Each driver had been asked to prepare something for the table. Our offer was 150 Welsh Cakes, which had been cooked and brought over by our support team of Mum, Dad, Mary, Ian, (Mum's friends), Ronald and June Hazell. The best things about the evening though was walking around the other tables and sampling their foods. Of particular note
to me was the American BBQ, the German Beer, French Wine, Norwegian kipper with a schnapps chaser and the Belgian's chocolate. The Norwegian offering of Fford Horse with a hint of Dartmoor was almost certainly a "joke", but a little to close to home for me to try that one. As we weren't competing the following day, we were in charge of clearing up the table at the end of the night. This meant a late one for Alex, Jade and I, but the party was brilliant and the atmosphere really friendly.

Thursday 13th

For the Broome Camp, today was a hard day of walking obstacles including trying to establish the incredibly complicated route between the obstacles. The team trainer, Wilf Bowman-Ripley together with assistant Chef D'Equipe Sara Howe had walked every route in every obstacle and measured each route with a measuring wheel. Each of these routes was then put up in Jill Holah's (Chef D'Equipe) awning. This was a great help as whenever we were stuck with an option, we were able to look at the exact distances between the gates. With some of the gates over 100ms away from each other, this did save a lot of walking Julie Camm, Sue Denney, Sue Mart and Anna Grayston all did their tests today, the best of the bunch being Anna who finished the day in second. Anna was really happy because during her one handed collected trot circle, one pony decided to go the wrong way when it came back to the board. With a mistake like that, it really did show how good the rest of her test was. It was a pleasure to watch and it gave me a huge amount of confidence, as we have been getting very close to Anna in the run
up to the Championships. Sue Mart also did a great test, which left her in the top 10 and was the top of the Brits in the singles.

Friday 14th

Today begins with an early start to begin the preparations for today's test. With Anna in second place on 45 marks, we were hoping for a mark below 55, or even below 50 with a bit of luck. That would then leave us in a good position to attack the marathon and try and ruffle a few feathers. There were three warm up arenas, one for 60 minutes before each drivers' test, then one for 30 minutes before the test, and then a final one for the last 10 minutes before you enter the arena. My ponies, Barney and Alfie, started the warm up really well which was worrying because they are normally hard work. I then worked them for the next 45 minutes or so with the team trainer Wilf until we could move into the final arena. This is where the problems started. The horseboxes were parked in between arenas 1 and 2, which meant that we had to walk past them 10 minutes before we went in the arena. At this point, my ponies decided that enough was enough and, just like the preceding few days, it was now time to return to the lorry. When I walked them in the other direction towards the arena, they were most uncooperative and became a little bulshy. To be fair, they have been worse but I knew that we were going to need a lot of smoke and a lot of mirrors for the 5
international judges not to notice that they were charging every time I turned them towards home. As we entered the arena the atmosphere was great and suddenly I thought "This is going to be OK". I faked my best pretend smile at the judges as I saluted and off I went. All was fine until we turned towards home for the first time and then things started to go wrong. The ponies got a little strong and I knew that they hadn't saved their "A Game" for today. It wasn't TOO bad, but I knew that it wasn't as good as we could do and the marks reflected that. We ended on 63 marks and at that point, all hopes of an individual result for me were basically out of the window. However, as long as we weren't eliminated, our results from the next two phases could count towards the team total. With some solid marks in all classes for the dressage, team hopes were high.

Saturday 15th

Sue Denney was the first of the British Team to compete and was one of the favourites in the singles class. She did not let anyone down, being the fastest through most of the obstacles. There were plenty of fast drivers, but at this level to dominate to the extent that she did was breathtaking. Then disaster struck. Sue finished way under the minimum time. She must have known that she was under for the last 300 meters or so because she also picked up another 10 penalties for stopping. In total, for this mistake, she received 26 penalties. Complete nightmare. I believe that 3 out of the first 8 starters finished under the time because the course was so very difficult to judge. I think that because the obstacles were so long, and the run in and outs were also long, combined with the 10,000 people watching, I think the drivers must have just galloped for longer at each obstacle than they usually do. When you calculate that with 8 obstacles, what would normally be a good pace between obstacles left people with over 2 minutes in hand. For me, I had to use this information so that I did not make the same mistake. Alex and I looked at the map and calculated exactly what time we should be leaving each obstacle. Once this was done, and some supporting words to Simon and Sue, Team Broome set off in search of “Start A” The scenery of North Germany was quite frankly wasted on us as we were concentrating on timings more than we had ever done before. The mood was a little tense, but we completed A and D within
the times and were met at the halt by the team vet Holly, and team trainer Wilf. I spoke to Wilf about some of the routes we had discussed the day previous and as he had had the benefit of watching the earlier drivers going through he told me the routes that I should take. The undertone of everything that he told me was, "Just Go For It Lad!".

I think that it was only during my first year competing with Fred as a single at some club events that I have ever experienced a hold up at an obstacle, and because of this, I wasn't exactly sure what the process involved, other than the obvious. We were two obstacles in and the ponies were flying, really flying. They rose to the occasion and were concentrating on my voice through the huge cheers of the massive crowds. Our adrenaline was pumping like a novice skydiver. Then came the hold up. "Please wait!", ordered the official. I must have had a pretty blank look on my face as he said it because he immediately repeated himself. After a little confusion we were moved off the track and
asked to wait for a few minutes. Now the ponies were really confused as, for them, halting during Section E was unheard of. However, three minutes elapsed, I restarted my stop watch and we went on our merry way. Obstacle 3 was less than 100ms away so it was quite difficult to get back into the rhythm of it all.

The next 2 obstacles flew past and we were probably a little up on time but as obstacle 5 was built on a huge bank, Alex and I decided to do the 5th obstacle and let the ponies have a good walk after that to get their breath back. Then...another hold up! Two in a day seemed most annoying but the worst was ahead. Still not really knowing the correct procedure when in a Hold Up, I decided that stopping my stopwatch had to be a sensible option. I clearly signalled to the official when I was stopping my stopwatch so that he knew when to start our Hold Up Time. After the initial annoyance of being held up again had past, we noticed that there was an ambulance in Obstacle 5. This was terrifying
because first neither of us had ever experienced this before, and secondly because we couldn't see what had happened to the driver and backstepper, and indeed what state of health (or not) they were in. What can only be described as Very Difficult Times followed as we circled and circled the field waiting to be asked to continue. After 4 minutes, a young Swiss driver arrived and after that, every 4 minutes, another driver arrived in the field with exactly the same facial expression as the one previous. It was quite a surreal experience of competitors from different nations all joining the What The Hell Is Happening Here Club. We just acknowledged each other and continued to circle the field. "James Broome!", shouted the British Judge officiating the Hold Up and I duly sprang into a trot and made my way over to him. I asked if I could have a couple of minutes to warm them up as I had been waiting for ages, and also asked if he could start his watch at the same time as I started
mine. As I passed him, I gestured in an over the top fashion when I wanted him to start his stop watch. "Twenty Two minutes!", he explained frankly. "When did you start your watch please Sir?", I asked trying to convey the technique that I had used to deal with the Hold Up. "Twenty Two minutes after I stopped it", came the reply. At this point, I really had no idea if the time that my trusty watch was displaying was accurate or minutes late. That little problem quickly evaporated as I started the gallop into the Huge Hill obstacle, the first driver to drive it since The Accident. The ponies shot around and although we took the corners on the hill very cautiously, the ponies went well and we got out safe.

Obstacle 6 was really dusty and the route that we had chosen (quite risky but quick if we got away with it) worked well. We charged around and, apart from bashing my beautiful new carriage on a rather solid metal post, it went well. We were actually starting to feel quite confident. Only two obstacles to go and the ponies were going great. Apart from the two hold ups, which were not our fault, the times so far must have been quite good. Obstacle 7 was the one with the cow which we thought might Moo. It didn't, but I think the thought of it did contribute to us getting a rein over a post. Perhaps not, but the rein went over the post nonetheless. There was no way we could unhook the rein without Alex getting off and so that was another heap of penalties for us, about 10 seconds plus a further 10 penalties for Alex getting off. If it hadn't been the World Championships I think that I might have a stern talking to by Alex because I trotted off just a fraction before she was properly on. Not early enough for her to time her run and jump, nor late enough for her to be properly holding onto the rail, just in that slight moment in between when anything could have happened. (I only realised this later when I watched the video of it all). Obstacle 8 went well and we went on to finish Section E within the times allowed. IF can be a big word and it was today. What was a certainty was that the experience was immense and I felt that the ponies proved that they could be competitive at this level.

Sunday 16th

The cones course was hilarious. That was the only way that I could deal with it. I'll see if I can dig out the course and I'll bring it to the Christmas dinner. Even Boyd Exel had reservations on it. Not only did the course include a Devils Dyke, a double box, a double Zig Zag and a seemingly impossible stepover, the time allowed was so tight that no one could figure out where to make the time up. We walked it and walked it until we knew it, and then I walked it again with Wilf, who basically explained that I wasn't to take my foot off the accelerator.
Those of you that know Barney and Alfie will know that keeping a cool head is not really their strong point. It was for this reason that I decided to leave Barney in the stable and use Fred for the cones. He is a little older than the other two, and is much more level headed. I decided that his influence would be useful because I could push him forward and he wouldn't blow his mind.

Drivers drove and cones fell. Hardly anyone was coming home within the time. Even Sue Denney, who in all the years that I have seen her has never finished with time penalties in the cones finished 3 seconds late. This was still a great round, and if it wasn't for the hiccup on the marathon, she would have won individual silver. We went in and as soon as we turned towards the start line, Alfie started to canter. Pair drivers will know how hard it is to negotiate cones when one pony is trotting and one is cantering, so when Alfie point blank refused to trot I thought I might have issues. It must be said that on this occasion, Alfie got it right. Complete with flying changes through the two Zig Zags, Alfie motivated Fred into a lovely light canter and we flew around the course. We got to number 16 before having one down, and then repeated the offence at number 18. We finished about 5 seconds under the time. This meant that, in the cones phase, we finished 7th in the World.

The closing ceremony was amazing and a joy to be part of, even if the famous German attention to detail didn't stretch as far as time keeping this evening All the drivers had a party and spent the evening wandering around the other nations’ camps and generally unwinding and reflecting on the week's competition Personally, I feel as though I learnt a great deal from the trip. There were lots of highs and plenty of lows, but I feel that, the day everything goes right, we could seriously ruffle a few feathers!



From the Secretary



At the end of July, I had the great pleasure of accompanying Elizabeth and Macduff on a sponsored drive around the lovely Badminton Park.
There were about 25 invited turnouts and the drive was through the deer park, seeing hundreds of deer, past the famous lake, which actually looked a lot smaller than when it’s being used for the famous three-day event! We drove through woodlands and around cornfields and passed a beautiful hunting lodge. The wide tracks had been mown and sign posting was very good, so no need to get lost. The going
was just right apart for one or two soggy places through the woods.

Macduff behaved perfectly and at one point was so enjoying himself that he volunteered a canter! The drive was about 9 miles and it took us just under 2 hours, taking it steady. Turnouts were set off in 5-minute intervals and it was only towards the end that we caught up with the previous horse, which slowed us a little. The weather was not too hot, a little overcast but dry - perfect for driving. The day ended with lots of cups of tea and a fantastic array of cakes, which the organisers and some drivers had provided!

Revised horse passport law, from 1 July 2009

Main changes:

All foals and any older horses not previously identified must be microchipped when a passport is applied for. All late applications will be signed out of the food chain.

Ponies on Dartmoor, Exmoor and the New Forest will not need to be identified unless treated by a vet, as long as they stay within the designated area. Special arrangements are in place for when these ponies are first moved from these areas.

If the passport is not available when your vet comes to treat your horse, they may not be able to use drugs banned from the food chain, e.g. Phenylbutazone (bute) and must use an alternative product.

If you own or look after horse you must be able to produce a passport without delay in the event of an inspection.

Your passport must accompany the horse at all times other than when stabled or out hacking.

For more information: Visit: www.direct.gov.uk/horsepassports
Email: helpline@defra.gsi.gov.uk
Or call: Defra on 08459 33 55 77

BHDTA rulebook

A new 2009 BHDTA rulebook has been published. This is based on the 2009 FEI rulebook and incorporates all previous changes and additions. The rulebook can be downloaded from the BHDTA website at www.horsedrivingtrials.co.uk but cannot be printed. A printed version is available for purchase from the BHDTA merchandise section.

Gloucestershire Horsewatch

Because of increasing public concern, in the Autumn of 2008, Gloucestershire Police set up a dedicated website called Horsewatch. It has been designed to provide people in the equestrian community with practical advice for tackling potential equine crime, crime reduction strategies and useful contacts such as their local police co-ordinator. The website may be found at

If any member of the public would like to receive messages concerning equine crime, please contact the co-ordinator Mrs. Judith Robinson by
Email (there are no costs involved), on: robinson.hillside@btinternet.com

Alternatively, contact PCSO Tania Shuttleworth 91061, at Newent .Police Station, telephone 0804090-1234 ext: 5251.

Calling IHDT Junior Members!

In 2008, 16 children from England and Wales went to Austria to take part in the Junior World Trophy (JWT).

The English team brought back the bronze medal. In 2008 The Channel Cup was held as a warm up event for the JWT, held in France in May mainly for the French and Belgians. One English competitor entered, Frank Campbell, he won his class and Sara Howe also went along to see the event first hand.

In 2009 The Channel Cup will be held at Ashfields Carriage Driving Centre, Essex. French and Belgian drivers are expected to come over for the event as well as having competitors from all over the UK.

The Channel Cup is a competition for young drivers born between 1991 and 2000 based on rules drawn up by The International Collective for Kids Driving (ICKD). It is an arena based 3 phase competition much like the events run by Indoor Horse Driving Trials (IHDT). The main difference is that the marathon phase also includes cones, a bit like world cup driving, except the cones must be driven in trot only. The format is very user friendly for children of all ages, with simpler dressage tests for younger competitors while the cones and marathon can be quite technical so that there is a challenge for the older competitors especially when they are under pressure!

This is to give you advance notice of the competition. The organisers hope that all IHDT junior members will enter this new event and experience the format ready for the next Junior World Trophy in Turin in 2010. A schedule will be available shortly. UK competitors will be asked to enter as individuals with teams being put together once the entries have closed.

If you would like British Young Drivers to come and give a presentation to your club or a group of juniors about the competition please let me know. If you would like a schedule when they are available please contact me - Mary Jane Campbell, Entry Secretary, campbells@ramsland.plus.com

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