News

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We would like to ask members of the public to report anything suspicious to our non-emergency number 0845 090 1234

so that an incident can be created and any enquiries can be followed up, or

contact Melanie Campbell on the number below:

PC 695 Melanie Campbell

Horsewatch Co-ordinator at Gloucestershire Constabulary Gloucester South Police Station - (Quedgeley)

Email: Melanie.campbell@gloucestershirepolice.uk

Phone: 0845 090 1234 ext 4182

 

 

From the Secretary…

Team Toby - 26-29 June:  (See here)

Congratulations to Sue Johnson and Sue Morris, who were placed 7th in the World Para Driving Championships at Sandringham in June.

Badminton Drive - 6 July: (See here)

As usual John and Wendy Weaver greeted everyone with a warm welcome and tea/coffee and biscuits. John had marked out a lovely drive around Badminton Park which included some of the point-to-point course.

My young pony had a really good look at the first fence we came across, which was covered in blue plastic and was moving suspiciously!

The drive was attended by several new members who joined just before the drive -they had obviously heard how good it was! Lovely weather made the day just perfect.

After the drive we enjoyed our picnic lunch and a chat, sat in John and Wendy's very pretty garden. Our thanks to them, and to the stewards who patiently stood at road crossings and gates.

 

 

 

 

Last Summer Evening Event at Cricklands - 15 July: (See here)

Twenty four entries for this event; a few coming from the PCDG camp which was being held at the same time.

The Novice 100 test was driven in the large 100 x 40 grass arena. I was vey pleased with Herbie who I felt, did a really nice test although we didn't attempt the collected movements, and I was quite pleased with myself for remembering it all!

Although we had several down in the cones, as he was spooked by a couple of long white lines drawn on the ground from a previous event, but he made up for this in the obstacles.

Our thanks to James for organising these very enjoyable summer evening events and to the stewards and judges who make it all possible.

Fun Day at Putloe Court - 3 August:(See photos here)

The weather the day before was awful, so it was a lovely surprise to awake to really nice weather for the Fun Day. Jane and Robert Gillman very kindly invited us to their home for this event. Maggie Martin acted as secretary and Alan Hodge designed the courses.

The cones were laid out in the outdoor arena and were driven in the morning together with the dressage test. In the afternoon Alan built several games in one of the fields. Great experience for my pony, who is now getting used to more carriages around him, but I didn't think it wise to attempt to drive over two tarpaulins whilst keeping the near side wheels on a long plank, particularly knowing what he feels about plastic! - one to practice at home on foot first!

The event raised £83, all of which was generously donated to club funds. Thank you to Maggie and Jane and to all those involved in organising a very pleasant day.

ODE at Putloe Court - 14 September:(See here)

Another successful event put on by Maggie and Jane at Putloe Court. Three solidly built obstacles and one portable one for us to remember, which was challenging for some of us 'more mature' drivers!

Drinks with sandwiches and delicious cakes were provided and the day was perfect weather-wise. A Miele vacuum was generously donated by Robert Gillman, to Jacqui Pillinger who had the best score of the day. Huge thanks to Maggie, Jane and their team of helpers who made the day such a happy one.

Stewarding at the National Championships at Cirencester Park - 19-21 September: (See here)

A very early start on Saturday and Sunday.We had volunteered to collect the scores on Saturday, so were on the move from 9am until 6pm almost non-stop (We probably walked about 12 miles each!). Tiring, but very much enjoyed it as we got to speak to the stewards and saw a lot of the drivers through the obstacles. They looked very tight, but it was great to see the more experienced drivers and especially the pairs and teams negotiate these very expertly.

Sunday was more relaxing and we were able to sit comfortably, whilst watching for balls to fall in the cones (we were not very busy!). Even at that level one driver went through gate 9 instead of 19 and another went through gate 4 the wrong way! Heart breaking for them to get the big E! The turnouts all looked gorgeous.

There was a strong body of helpers who volunteered from the club and we were all delighted to watch James take home the Reserve Champion prize in the advanced horse pairs class. Congratulations to him and his team.

Fun Day at Tan House Farm, Berkeley - 28 September:

Our thanks to Janet for organising this 'fun' day enabling us to practice the new test. We are always made to feel so welcome.

The value of volunteering at the British Carriage Driving National Championships 2014

by Jane Hendy

When I discovered that British Carriage Driving were holding the National Championships right on my doorstep at Cirencester Park and they were keen to find volunteers, I jumped at the chance to sign up! 

Being fairly new to the sport, having only started driving my own pony at club level since last October, I felt there was an opportunity to be had and was keen to go and learn more. I managed to get ten of my friends who own horses but are not carriage drivers themselves to come along with me and I know they all had a fantastic time too.

On the Saturday we were all given our briefing at 8 am by Geoff Atkins on our roles for the day, a packed lunch full of yummy things, flask of hot water, tea and coffee to keep us going all day. Boy did we need lots of tea and coffee !!

The task of heading up time section E somewhat daunted me to begin with knowing that my responsibility was to keep the turnouts flowing throughout the day onto the obstacles section having rested for 10 minutes, seen the vets, marked up the green cards and prepared themselves for the 8 obstacles that lay ahead. My team and I were thrilled that for the first hour or so everyone went off on time as indicated on the printed time sheets.

Feeling very proud of ourselves …. it was all running smoothly we were able to chat to the competitors, help the backsteppers fetch water, liaise with the vets and the TD. All of a sudden we got a call on the radio to hold up any more competitors whilst the organisers attended to an incident on course. Poor Joseph Adams was just about to be counted down from his 3 minutes warm up time, to 30 seconds and then 10 seconds as we were about to send him off through the trees and down to the first obstacle, when we had to tell him he couldn't go !

Slowly but surely competitors started to fill our section and at one point it looked like there were about 15 turnouts includ ing pairs and teams just standing still not knowing what was happening. I am thrilled to say that my team kept the lines of communication open with all the competitors and kept spirits high, by making sure they all knew we were going to re-start as soon as possible. What could have been so daunting actually wasn't and because we all kept our heads, we were able to re-start and reduce the running time down to 3 minute intervals where possible and safe to do so, so that we could catch back up again.

All the competitors we spoke to thanked us so much for volunteering to help out which we thought was lovely. Chatting away to George Bowman and Boyd Exell in the three minute count down has to one of the most thrilling highlights of my carriage driving career so far !

After my section was finished, my team and I raced down to watch the sport's greatest drivers finish off the obstacle section which was just so exciting and being positioned very close together made for a thrilling end to a fantastic day.

I would urge anyone to volunteer if they get the chance as I learnt so much from being there on the Saturday and Sunday and am even more enthusiastic (if that was at all possible!) to progress through the ranks and compete at National level myself one day.

 

New Tricks!

By Alison Duneven-Gordon

At the beginning of this year, I decided to do something with my Mum's lovely little driving pony who was living a life of luxurious ease in the field while his cart and harness languished in the barn. My Mum had always been the driver but, for various reasons, hadn't been able to drive for some time and it seemed such a waste.

After 45 years as a rider, carriage driving is quite a culture shock but, luckily for me, Half Pint is an angel and has made my transition smooth indeed! We call him Half Pint because a) his own name, Duke, doesn't suit him, b) he's white, and c) he's half the size of my horses! Although he's 15, he's very inexperienced but hugely willing. This might be because the alternative life was to remain an amusing 'teddy bear' for the re-cycled race horse!

So, back in March, I went along to a BDS training session, the most brilliant outcome of which, was to meet Michelle who has become my friend and back-stepper, and a crucial member of the newly formed Team Half Pint.

In the space of a few short months, we have achieved quite a haul of rosettes for showing, TREC and of course, driving trials! Discovering Cricklands and the FODDTG was a revelation and we quickly realized that all three of us love trials the best!

All the photos we have show us grinning wildly (maybe not in the dressage as that wouldn't seem somehow appropriate) and we have enjoyed practicing the bits we – or rather I am not so good at (specifically cones!).

My reason for sharing all this with you, is to offer up a huge Thank You to everyone who has been so helpful, encouraging and friendly, and for the photos and video we've been sent. We've had a blast and are looking forward to next year. For now, Half Pint is having a well-earned rest, a chance to grow a thick woolly coat, and some time to just be a pony/ teddy bear again.

PS. We had another lovely day at Putloe Court recently and I thought the idea of issuing rosettes for the back-steppers was inspired – we couldn't drive without them!

 

World Para-Driving Championships - Sandringham 26 - 29 June 2014

Report by Sue Johnson

Well, what a week we have had!!!

We arrived on the Tuesday after a very early start of 0430hrs to miss the traffic. After the vet check to ensure Toby was fit to go in to the stables and setting up camp we had half an hour free to drive around on our mini quad bike to get our bearings before the first on many Team meetings.

On the Wednesday we had a 20 minute lesson with the team coach so as not to tire Toby out too much. Then we spent the rest of the day preparing food and displays for the Nations Night. This is where each nation brings food and drink from their country to share with the other competitors.

On the Thursday we had the "Trot Up" which is where the vets decide if your horse is fit enough to compete. We were all on edge and tensions were rising when we heard news that by10.00 am, four horses had already been spun... and one athlete! (This means they had been eliminated and sent home as they had failed the trot up.) I spent a few hours grooming Toby and washing his white feathers in a bucket to make sure he looked stunning. As I am not fit enough to run with Toby for the trot up, James Broome (my trainer) came to my rescue and showed Toby off to perfection. I stood next to the vet ready to answer any questions he may have but I needn't have worried. He just turned to me and raised his cap and said "Very nice horse". He then smiled and said Toby had passed. I was so thrilled I could have cried!

All the para-equestrian horses and ponies looked superb and Martha Hanks Nicoll, Ground Jury President, acknowledged the time and effort all Nations had gone to, to present themselves and their horses so well.

As we were walking back to camp Prince Phillip came back from a drive out with his Fell ponies so we quickly got a picture of Toby with the Prince in the background. The opening ceremony in the evening was a jolly affair, with Bettina de Rham, the FEI Director of Driving opening the World Championships in front of all drivers and supporters and with guest of honour, HRH the Duke of Edinburgh. He was obviously enjoying being with people who enjoy the sport as much as he does and he chatted to us all. The ceremony took place in front of the Chairman's Marquee and whilst our team was slightly disappointed not to be able to parade around the main arena with flags flying, they settled for a group photo and an impromptu performance of the National Anthem, which seemed to go down very well with the audience.

Friday dawned following a very wet night. The weather was not kind to us and although the rest of Team GB were able to drive their dressage test in glorious sunshine, by the time it was our turn the heavens had opened. It was not just a shower but torrential rain with thunder and lightning!!! I am scared stiff of this sort of weather and have been since I was a small ch ild when a neighbour's house was struck by lightning and caught fire. Anyway the hero of the hour was James Broome again who gave me great advice and explained that if Toby wasn't frightened of it, which he wasn't, then I had nothing to worry about as he would look after me. So by the time I was called in to the main arena Team Toby in our new jackets and hats were totally soaked to the skin but we didn't care. I put my trust in Toby and he listened to my rein commands. He really pulled out all the stops and considering these were FEI World Class judges we got a great score of 51.6. and even got some 10 out of 10 scores for our turnout.

I was so proud of Toby. This is a quote from the official Blog… "Sue Johnson and Sarah Baverstock also produced really good tests, particularly as this is their first World Championships and they both drove really accurate, solid tests to give them sub 55 penalty scores which, within this field of competitive experience, is extremely commendable." Result = 9th Place.

The rest of the day was spent learning the obstacles for the marathon in more torrential rain. I now know that the Team jackets are not waterproof so that will be one of my next jobs…to have them waterproofed!!!!!

Saturday and the final course walking started early at 0530hrs and the camp was fired up and ready to go. Toby did a cracking first half of the marathon which is roads and tracks and was well within the time required. We even had time to slow down and enjoy the smell of the lavender field as we drove through it. (It was actually really calming).

The support team has been brilliant throughout this event and this was even more evident today with Nicola (the Team Sports psychologist) and Viki (the GB Vet) were there to support us at the halt. Having extra hands to cool Toby off with cold water was such a help and Sue and I even had time for a drink of Lucozade and a handful of almond nuts to give us some extra energy.

The FEI vet checked Toby's heart rate and he was happy for him to continue with the rest of the marathon. The second half of the marathon is the really testing time trying to keep within the time and going clear in the obstacles. Toby was amazing and even though people driving ponies had complained of the obstacles being too tight, Toby just took them in his stride. He listened to my rein and verbal commands (some of which were very loud!) and we completed all the obstacles without any penalties and in the time. Result = 8th Place.

Quote from the official Blog…"The Sues – Johnson (driver) and Morris (backstepper) have reminded us all of why we are involved in this sport – not just for the competition, but for the fun we have doing it too. They have been a joy to have as part of our squad and you could see how much they and their wonderful cob Toby relish being on the course. They had a great drive and finished with massive smiles and hand punches in the air. Wonderful."

Saturday night was spent cleaning my carriage and tack which got very mucky going through the water obstacle and driving the cones course on my quad bike. There were 20 cones and they were very tightly placed, but then it wouldn't be a World Championship if they were easy!

Once again James helped me with the route to choose. We had been having lots of lessons on driving circles of cones and he showed me how to imagine we were just training again and to relax but keep focused. We finished off the evening by having a fish and chip supper with David Broome and his family which really relaxed me.

Sunday and we had all to play for. Nobody else was driving the route we had picked for Toby as they said it was too risky but we had to give it a go. I was third on, so warmed Toby up and then went in to the arena to massive applause from all of Toby's fan club. I saluted the judges and the bell rang for us to start. Toby took off like a bat out of hell and I held him up with the outside rein so he wouldn't fall around the corners and knock the cones. After the first slalom we were still clear. The route was in my mind as I had been remembering it all night. We galloped from one side of the arena to the other literally kissing the cones that were in our way. We sped through the second slalom and turned back sharply to take on the narrow set of cones on the route that nobody else would risk…we went through clear. Two more cones left but I remembered what James had said…"Don't switch off until you are through the finishing line". Cone 20 was at an angle but we cleared it at a canter and galloped through the finishing line to hear the most amazing sound….we had got a double clear, we were in the time by .8 of a second!!!! It was worth taking the risk of the tight route. I couldn't help but scream and punch the air. Team Toby had done it and this would put us up another place.

I had to wait for the rest of the Grade Two drivers to drive the course before we were told that as nobody else had gone clear let alone get a double clear we had won the cones competition. We were No.1 in the World at our grading!!!!! We were Champions!!!!!

Our lap of honour following the prize giving was amazing. Toby proved he still had plenty of energy left as we galloped around with me punching the air. What a Super Star my Toby is!!!!


The final result after all three phases was that we were 7th in the World at Para Grade 2. And Champion of the cones!!!!


Was it worth it? Was it worth the time, the pain, the tears and the expense of the last two years? YES!!!!


A very big thank you goes out to James Broome who has trained me from the beginning 5 years ago when I first learnt to drive. Thank you to Janet Macdonald for riding Toby for me to help him bend and hold himself so well.

 

 

WORLD SCURRY & TRIALS CHAMPIONSHIPS

SANDRINGHAM COUNTRY FAIR

13th& 14th September 2014

Confirmed World and European Champions from other carriage driving sports were making their way to Sandringham to try to become the Inaugural World Scurry & Trials Champion. Teams from Europe, England, Wales, Scotland, Jersey, Denmark and New Zealand were competing around a timed scurry&trials obstacle course to become the Team World Champions and the Individual World Champions.

So James Broome put together a team (which included some of our club members) for the World Scurry and Trials Championship. There were 8 nations and the Welsh team consisting of Emily Ham, Jane Logan, Melita Powell And Emily Curnock, who are all pretty new to the sport and they came 6th.

The junior team got a silver medal - Emily Curnock driving Top Dollar. One of our members, Alison Dascombe, competed as an Individual with Lady and managed a silver medal in the single pony category and a bronze medal overall. Many congratulations to her!

It was an arena challenge, a fast and furious cones course with some trial style obstacles thrown in along the way and is all timed against the clock, It is brilliant fun!

 

Drive at the Badminton Estate

hosted by John and Wendy Weaver

6th July 2014

By Angela Cherrington

Waking early on the morning of the Badminton drive, the skies looked a bit overcast and I was worried that we would all end up getting wet.  I need not have worried however, as it turned out to be a gloriously sunny day.  Club members met up, and parked in John Weaver’s lovely flat mown field.  Hot drinks and biscuits were provided, no doubt very welcome for those who had travelled a long way, like three hours from west Wales!  

After refreshment and a bit of a natter, fourteen turnouts of the seventeen originally expected got ready to set off.  This included three pairs turnouts.  John had worked out a schedule of departures at 5 minute intervals and I put a bit of a spanner in the works by asking to drive with Maggie Martin and Jane Gilman as Maggie’s daughter Caroline was back stepping for me, but it was great fun to drive together. 

John had told us that we would be taking a different route to former years, not taking in so much of the woods but I didn’t realise what a great route the new one would be.  I was surprised to turn left out of John’s gate and head off towards the A46, but after a very short distance we turned off onto a grassy track around a field.  This then led onto the Beaufort Point to Point course just before a downhill slope followed by a rise which was just begging to be cantered upon!


Coming to a gateway we left the course and crossed over the road to continue around and across fields and tracks of the Badminton estate and eventually on into the deer park. 

We did quite a bit of trotting and cantering and a few bumps in places meant Caroline had to hold on tight as she tried to video and take pictures.

There was a shorter ‘yellow marked’ route of around 7 miles and a longer ‘red marked’ route of about 10.5 miles.  We chose the latter which took in more of the park, going close by the lake and Badminton house before looping back to eventually take the lovely grassy ride known as Worcester  Avenue which provides an uninterrupted view from Worcester  Lodge to Badminton house. 

 

Pete and Colette Finch, with their lovely pair and Dalmatian carriage dog and Charlotte Wilson with her single pony, passed us in the park and we saw them coming back towards us round the loop up by Badminton house where they did make a beautiful sight.

In the park we saw a herd of beautiful deer and they startled and ran at the sight of carriages.  We hoped they wouldn’t run right at us as they ran from carriages on a different part of the route, which thankfully they didn’t.  There were also sheep in the park and a bit of a breeze gave us respite from the flies that were a bit troublesome on some other parts of the route. 

Stewards at several check points ticked us off on their last as we passed so we were sure not to lose anyone.  At Worcester Lodge someone came out onto the balcony and took pictures of us as we passed before leaving the park  via a wooded track and then across the road, where the Stacey family took care of our safety with the traffic and Simon tried to get a photograph of each turnout.  

 

 

We went straight across and through a gate onto long grassy tracks around the fields back to John and Wendy’s house.  The red route took in an extra half mile loop here.  I had been staying behind Maggie on the drive as Beauty can sometimes remember her early days of road racing if someone passes her but after ten miles of driving Maggie thought Beauty might be feeling a little less like racing so suggested I go in front for a bit with Jack.  Jack happily changed from following to leading and Beauty accepted it very well too.  We even had a bit of a canter without her getting too worried. 


Arriving back we attended to the horses’ needs and then assembled in the garden or the ‘porch room’ for our picnic and more nattering in the sunshine.  There was no charge for this drive but Wendy Weaver  invited members to consider making a donation to the Society for the Welfare of Horses and Ponies’ horse hospital if they wished and a bowl was provided to receive donations.

 I have driven and ridden extensively on the Badminton estate over the past 40 years, alone and in organised activities, and I have to say that this drive was one of the best experiences of them all!  John was explaining to me afterwards how everything had worked out just right with crop situation and fortuitous movement of grazing animals etc, so that we were able to take the route that we did. 

We are all very grateful to him for sorting everything out so that we could just drive, uninterrupted and in safety, and also of course for him and Wendy welcoming us to their home.   I know Maggie and I were still continuing to feel the happy relaxed effect of this outing even on Monday evening.  Any club members who didn’t make it to this drive missed a very memorable day.

 

From the Secretary…

BC Course Building Course - 30 March:


I shared a car with Maggie Martin and Jane Gillman to attend a Club Course Designers Course held at the Holiday Inn in Reading. It was one of the nicest, warmest days of the year so far, so it was rather bad timing that we had to spend the day sitting in a conference room!

Twenty people attended the course, which was taken by Steve
Lucas who has 30 years of course designing experience here and on the Continent. He explained some recent changes to the rules and spoke of the problems that can be experienced at club level (there are quite a few!) There were some interesting stories to be told by the more experienced course designers and drivers in attendance. The hotel provided us with a very nice buffet lunch and it was good to get off our seats for a short while! It was a long day sitting inside, plus the long car drive, but worth the trip. Many thanks to Maggie who did the driving.

Here is Maggie's report:-

British Carriagedriving Course Designers Clinic (South)

Erica, Jane and I attended a course builders seminar on the 30th March in Reading. We had a very nice drive up (and as the clocks leapt forward we were quite bleary eyed!!) and it was lovely to have the time to get to know each other better as show do days are a bit of a whirlwind on occasions.

We were made very welcome by the speaker, Steve Lucas, an international course builder, before joining the group made up of folk with a wide range (or not as far as Jane and I were concerned!!!) of experience and talent. The day was a mixture of talks with encouragement and suggestions for local clubs to use their imagination to find economical methods to add to their stock of resources - including raiding skips!!

We were also given an insight to the international scene with the extra complications and issues which present at that level. We were given a task to plan an obstacle course on paper and then the whole group helped with the evaluation, quite scary but very useful to do.

We all, I feel, benefited from the day and as I really like my stomach to be kept happy we were well fed and watered all day! I would recommend the day for anyone to attend and it helped me personally as a novice driver regarding the dimensions and distances for all three stages of driving trials.


Evening Event - 1 April:


There was a good turnout of 14 entries for the first evening event at Cricklands. The weather was dry and quite warm and the going was surprisingly good on the grass after all the rain we had recently. However, it was beginning to get a little dark as the last few competitors went round. The best performance of the day was Tony Clarke on his young Welsh pony with a dressage score of 17 (best of the day … again), double clear in the cones and fast times in the obstacles - a master of precision.

General Information and Club Rules:

New Members:
If you have never completed as a driver in a BC-affiliated event or IHDT event, you must have an assessment before you compete. This rule applies to everyone and is for everyone's safety. Assessments forms can be downloaded from www.horsedrivingtrials.co.uk. Our club assessors are Janet Macdonald and James Broome, or you can have the assessment done by any other appropriate person as long as they are attached to a BCaffiliated club. There will be a charge for this.

About sharing:
If you are sharing a carriage or groom with another competitor, please let us know on the entry form. Scheduling takes a long time, and we will always try to accommodate your needs. This is usually done the day before an event; if you make any changes please let the organiser know in good time.


Late entries:
Entries received after the closing date may be accepted if there is space. A £10 late entry fee will be charged.


Withdrawals:
Please let the organiser know you are withdrawing, so we won't worry about where you are when you don't turn up!


Weather:
Weather factors are beyond our control, and we will do our best to tell you as soon as we can if things change significantly. If in doubt, always check the Cricklands weather watch on www.cricklands.com for events at the David Broome Event Centre and at other venues, check with he organisers.


Your details:
If your contact details change, please make sure you let the club secretary know, especially changes to telephone numbers and email addresses.


Volunteer? Help?:
Without our wonderful volunteers we would not be able to run our events. However, we do need more, so if you would like to join in and help please ring Felicity Hemmett, who will guide you - 01454 415979.


Some "do's" and "don'ts":
 Don't bring any horse or pony to an event if it is not entered in the completion, unless you have first asked the organiser's permission.
 Children are welcome, but must be supervised.
 Do not take your dog into the dressage, cones or obstacles arenas.
 Hard hats must be worn at all times when on the carriage.
 Wear a helmet if you use a quad or motor bike.
 When warming up please be considerate of other drivers especially to those with less experienced horses/ponies.
 Drivers must have third-party insurance which covers them for attending and taking part in our events. Being a driving member of the   FODDTG or of BC covers the driver.
 The groom may not speak or communicate with the driver whilst in the dressage or cones arena. Except under special circumstances - see the BC rule book.
 Drivers should report to the steward 10 minutes before the start of the dressage. Failing to do this will incur penalties.
 Do not lunge or long-rein any horse or pony in the lorry park. Ask the organiser where you may do this if necessary.
 Do not trot from the lorry park to the practice areas. Keep on the tracks in walk.


A good read:
Mike Watts' (East Anglian Carriage Driving Group), 'Groom's Guide to Horse Driving Trials' - Download it free from Mike's site - www.mikewatts.com

First Aid Course - 28 April:
Sandra Fisher took 10 of us through a basic first aid course, held in The Gallery at Cricklands. It was interesting and a lot of fun and some of us were guilty of dissolving into giggles, when the loan male (John Weaver) had to bandage and put on a sling, without any 'inappropriate touching'!

There were a few things we had to do whilst kneeling on the floor which was a bit tricky for a few of us older ones who had various bits of us that weren't working properly!

It was a lot to take in on one day, but Sandra kept the day lively and I think we all finished feeling more confident that we could offer the right sort of help if needed. Thank you Sandra for making a serious subject fun.

Here is Elizabeth's report:-

First Aid Training - 28 April


As part of the Club training opportunities, Sandra Fisher (who often backsteps for Tony Clarke and also judges our dressage on occasion) offered ten of us a very enjoyable and at times hilarious day of instruction on the subject of First Aid. We all arrived promptly for a 10am start in The Gallery at Cricklands, a facility kindly provided yet again by the Broome family.

How Sandra managed to turn such a serious subject into fun is a mystery but she achieved just that. She believes that people learn more readily and effectively in a relaxed atmosphere. Our first practical exercise was to establish whether or not a casualty is breathing which immediately brought up the all important consideration of inappropriate touching which caused some mirth for everyone and embarrassment for one or two.

After establishing the priority of an open airway, we covered the latest method of CPR, diligently practising on dummies for this one. We discovered that placing a casualty in the recovery position can be accomplished with a gentle knack and not a great heave-ho.

During the rest of the day with only a short break for lunch, Sandra talked about bleeding, fractures, burns, and shock as well as medical episodes such as heart attack, stroke, allergies and asthma. Sandra was very imaginative in putting possible scenarios into an equine or carriage driving context.

The practical session on bandaging and making a suitable sling became very animated and even competitive. I for one learnt of the multiple uses of a triangular bandage so much so that I wonder if I should have one (or two or three) with me at all times!

Despite the light-heartedness, we all completed the day having acquired much useful and up-to-date knowledge and with more confidence in how to administer First Aid in an emergency.


 

Evening Event - 28 May:


This event was accompanied by heavy drizzle most of the time! We must say thank you to Felicity for organising the stewards and to those who came along to help, also to the drivers who helped after they had completed their rounds. Rosemary Burton who usually judges ridden dressage was judging driven dressage for the first time and she had to get her head round two tests as Sue Johnson was driving the para test in a large arena in preparation for the World Para Singles Championships at Sandringham on 26 - 29 June.

A HUGE THANK YOU to you all.


Evening Event - 17 June:


Lovely weather for this event and a lot of first-timers attempting the water (including us!) After outside assistance, provided by James and a very kind steward Maureen, who didn't mind getting her feet wet, (thank you to them), my pony then went through the water 5 times to negotiate all the gates. On the second attempt he flew through with confidence. Kathy and I couldn't have been more delighted.

Team Toby:


Congratulations to the two Sue's for qualifying for the World Para Championships on 26 June.

 

From the Chairwoman…

We are approaching our final summer event at CRICK, the foregoing events have been such fun. Thank you drivers and grooms and also THANK YOU stalwart stewards, you all make the event such a pleasure.

There is still much to enjoy – John's drive in early July, he does a lot of preparation to make the day enjoyable. Also for the first time we are to play with Jane and Maggie and I'm sure that will be very enjoyable as a ODE and also a fun day – we won't have time to be bored.

CLUB CLOTHING - You may have noticed that Graham and I are sporting green tops with the club logo at our events – you too can do this. Polo shirts in Forest Green cost £9.65p, plus VAT. Most other colours are available. Besides the polo shirt and blouse, also available are Rugby Shirts, Sweat Shirts, Hoodies, Fleeces and bog standard 'T' shirts, and some of these above are also available in children's sizes. Prices on application – pleast contact felicityhemmett@btinternet.com

Maggie and Jane at Belvoir Cast le
By Maggie Martin


This was a milestone birthday and I decided to grab life by the horns! As we regularly attend Burleigh Horse Trials and stay in a wonderful B&B it was decided that Beauty would like to 'have a go' at her first two-day driving trials event at Belvoir Castle organised by the Midland's Driving Trials Group, who are totally responsible for us catching the driving bug!!!

Our B&B host, farmer Adam, even cleaned out his barn for Beauty and she had a whole large circular bale of straw to herself and from the back of the barn she looked like a child's toy! Very kind of Adam as he cannot stand horses!!!!!

We were very fortunate to be given 'buddies', Rosemary and Ian. Rosemary kept close to me and Ian to Jane with Ian even struggling to alter the width of the carriage wheels for the dressage and cones. We could not have managed without their support.

The club, like most driving folk we have met, are very friendly and our grooms (Caroline and Sarah) became very friendly with lots of people whilst attending the Pimms party on the Friday night, but luckily were still able to perform their tasks to the best of their ability the following morning!!!!!! They even volunteered and helped with the cones section all of Saturday afternoon.

The two days were amazing, the weather was kind and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. We scrubbed up well with our new jackets and 'buckover bibs' and Beauty (plus carriage) was scrubbed and brushed to an inch of her life by our capable, if not blurry eyed grooms! I messed up the dressage by going wrong and Beauty jumped the sawdust cross marking 'x!'

The cones flowed well and we only had one ball down, a great achievement for us, though we are still a little slow. The marathon was incredible, we drove up hills and down dales with the most amazing views overlooking the castle and surrounding countryside. I only wish I had worn a head cam as I cannot describe adequately the experience. It was a little bumpy at times and it took Jane's shoulders a week to recover as she had to hang on for dear life, especially as part of the track looked a little 'rutty' so I followed other tracks and we slid sideways
down a hill ....... Beauty really enjoyed herself too and cantered across the flatter bits of her own accord, ears pricked all the way.

The obstacles were a bit daunting, with a nice wooden bridge and dragster cars as decorations on one of the obstacles. She took it all in her stride and we completed the both the marathon and the obstacles with no penalty points and well within the time limit.

So proud of our 'pikey pony' who came 4th in her section and I would like once again to thank all of the team which also includes Janet Mac for being so patient with us during our training sessions and for James for egging the oldies to 'have a go!'

Onwards and upwards!!!!!

SHAKEN BUT NOT STIRRED
By Sue Johnson

We went to our first outdoor two-day event of the season at Windsor and it was a selection event for the Para World Championships.
As Windsor were concerned about the ground being dug up due to the wet winter most of the distance work was on roads.

Toby went like the clappers in the marathon and really enjoyed cantering through the obstacles. We were so happy to get back in good time until the last gate of the last obstacle and then it happened… we had a tip up!!! The back wheel got caught on the totem pole.

Sue was amazing and ran to Toby's head to stop him charging off. He fell over but got up very quickly and I was trapped under the carriage. The strap of my lap strap was pinned to the ground by the carriage. As soon as somebody released it I was able to get out and the adrenalin kicked in. The shaft was on Toby's back so I lifted the carriage and made him safe.

Wilf Bowman-Ripley arrived on the scene and checked us over and agreed the carriage and tack was safe to drive back to the lorry park, so we went through the finishing line and walked back to our camp. Toby and I are rather sore and very bruised but we will live to fight another day.

I cannot thank my back stepper Sue enough for her quick thinking and ability to calm Toby. She has proved herself as a superstar.
Apparently if we had had delayed steering on our vehicle it would not have tipped in that situation.

Something to think of for the future when we win the lottery!!!!

 

From the Secretary…

The first event of the New Year had to be postponed because of the really dreadful weather. It was the right decision and the event was held the following Saturday (11th Jan) in brilliant sunshine!

Those who attended the club dinner on 17th January enjoyed a really super evening. This time held in the Gallery, which was warm and cosy. Our thanks to the Broome family for making this available to us. We were treated to wonderful food (as usual) and were entertained by some very talented members of the club - Angela Cherrington, writing and singing her own song. Sue Johnson reading a dialogue written by Joyce Grenville and Sue Morris reading a poem by Pam Ayres. James had devised a driving quiz, which some of us did very well and some of us not so well, but it was great fun. All very entertaining and we thank them for taking the trouble. Thank you too, to those who contributed to the raffle, which raised £50 towards club funds. We were delighted to be joined by Liz, David, Matthew and Alex Broome and James's two delightful little girls in their very pretty party dresses. It was good to get together socially, without being distracted by keeping the dressage test or obstacle routes in our heads!

The February IHDT event at Cricklands stayed dry and cold and had a very good turnout of competitors. The March and last IHDT event again had a very good turnout and the cones course included the bridge. This did not cause many problems and I was delighted that my young 4 year old walked fairly confidently over it. We didn't fair quite so well in the obstacles, as I drove too close and knocked a gate over, resulting in elimination, as we had to have outside assistance to move the obstacle before being able to move on. However, again, my pony coped with this well, so I was pleased with the day as we produced a good dressage and only one knockdown in the cones.

This month we are pleased to welcomed four new members to the club - Karen Scott-Barrett, Ralph Bailey, Peter and Janice Sidebottom. We now have 41 members, 29 of which are drivers and grooms.

From the Secretary...


This is our 40th issue! This was started by Andy Pilkington in the early days of the club and I took over in 2004 when Andy went to University. We very much want this newsletter to be for members and by members, and always welcome your photos, articles, poems etc., so please don't be shy - anything you think might be of interest, please send to me. We love hearing from you.

Janet and her family made club members very welcome at a Fun/training day at their home in Berkeley on 6th October. It was a really relaxed day and Janet even organized the sun for us, and as usual, lovely cake! A wonderful opportunity to practice the new winter test and drive a combined cones and obstacle course. Very many thanks to her and all the helpers for making this such a pleasant day.

The first IHDT qualifying event of the season started well with 28 competitors and some welcome new faces. It didn't rain as it looked it might have done some of the time! It was an interesting obstacles course which included some large puddles due to torrential rain the day and night before. However, the surface is so good that it was not at all slippery and dried out during the day. It proved to be some good water practice for some!

We couldn't run events at Cricklands without the help of judges, stewards, course builders, scorers and helpers, and to them we say a VERY BIG THANK YOU. We've said it before, but worth repeating, that the formula at Cricklands is appreciated by ALL, as there is no hanging around and those that travel far can get off home in daylight. We are very grateful to the Broome family for allowing us to use their wonderful facilities and for making us so welcome.

Twenty six competitors took part in the second IHDT event on November 24th. It was overcast and cold, but stayed dry. Unfortunately, the caterers let us down, so people were disappointed not to get their cup of tea and bacon butty!

Great to see little Leo back in form after his uncharacteristic wobble at his last outing!

Sunday 15th December saw the third IHDT event at Cricklands, with 30 entries. The first half of the day stayed dry'ish but the last few competitors got a drenching. An interesting addition to obstacles 1 & 3 was a water splash, not to go into, but to go around. A few equines had a good look at first, but mostly the obstacle drove well.

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