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inharness Magazine have launched a campaign encouraging drivers and back-steppers to go the extra mile and enjoy the countryside with their horse or pony team. Click <HERE > for poster; Click <HERE > for web site
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Reports on Past Events
Monday – Thursday Drives culminating in The 2019 New Forest Driving Weekend
Monday 23rd - Sunday 29th September (Click on photo for larger version)
The return of summer in the middle of September meant that hopes were high for a good week, but oh dear, did the weather have other ideas? From chilly nights and bright, sunny days to warm muggy nights and the forecast of rain, rain and more rain!
Nevertheless, the first drive of the week to Deerhurst Cottage attracted ten turnouts with many more people arriving by car. The rain held off until after lunch had been enjoyed on the lawn, and it only started drizzling as everyone put to for the return journey. Many thanks to Peter and Georgina Burrows for their hospitality and organisation.
The forecast for Tuesday was dire, and deterred all but two turnouts, comprising of the AC, AAC and two former AC’S, who are obviously made of sterner stuff! However the rain never did arrive, and the sun even came out at lunchtime as the intrepid four were joined by sixteen car followers. Thanks to Sarah Surplice for her hospitality, to Peter and Georgina for their organisation, and to Felicity Singleton for stewarding.
Wednesday morning was very definitely WET!! Given the weather, host Sally Edgar was pleased to see four turnouts arrive, along with others arriving by car. Generous contributions to the raffle raised £100 for the DDA. Thank you to everyone, and to Sally for her hospitality and organisation.
An out-of-the-forest drive was organised for Thursday, one of only two processional drives this week, the others all being Spider Drives. The venue for this one was Bramdean Common, and the nine turnouts departed for a ten mile drive along the lanes to Ropley and West Tistead, with a coffee stop halfway. The rain stayed away until most of the horses were loaded back onto their transport. Thanks to Mark Shaw for planning the route and to Sam for organising this one.
Thursday evening marks the beginning of the Annual New Forest Driving Weekend, and this year the evening social was supper and skittles at the Mortimer Arms, Ower. Fifty-four people enthusiastically threw themselves into the skittles competition, the men’s team being victorious on this occasion. The top scorer of the evening was Ken Bull.
Beaulieu Road is traditionally now the venue for Friday’s Spider Drive, where the Wellow Friends of Cancer Research UK ladies await to feed everyone. Ten turnouts braved the inclement weather, and were joined by others who came by car. £134 was raised, less than last year, but unsurprising with the weather meaning people were generally less inclined to venture out. Many thanks to Gill and Dave Shorter and Felicity for stewarding.
Twenty-six members and friends attended the Friday Dinner at the newly refurbished Forest Park Hotel in Brockenhurst. By all accounts the meal and the venue were very good, so a return visit is planned for next year. Grateful thanks to Sue Craufurd-Kennedy for organising a great evening.
A lovely drive to the far side of the New Forest on Saturday morning culminated with a lunch stop at John and Di Moore’s home at Highwood, near Ringwood. This is a lovely spot and to be able to sit on the terrace looking down at the ponies happily munching hay was an absolute joy! Thank you to John and Di for their hospitality, and to Sarah Simmons and Jo Wateridge for stewarding.
Saturday evening’s social was Supper and Musical Bingo, organised by Sam, at Minstead Village Hall. Forty-four people joined in, and the winners of the rounds were Jo Wateridge, Martin White and John Singleton. Well done to them. Thank you to Sam, and to The Artisan Hog Roast Company for the catering.
Although there were twenty entered, only thirteen turnouts assembled at Janesmoor for ‘Sunday Best’, this year judged by John Carter. John was a big part of driving week in the past, and has many happy memories of driving in the New Forest. Everyone looked very smart, albeit donned in wet weather gear!
Ten turnouts elected to do the Short Drive through Salisbury Trench and King’s Garn Gutter Inclosures, a total of just over five miles. This was led by Sam Searle driving the grey New Forest pony Sundew Mat(aka Perry), who went on to win the trophy for this section, with Jenny Dyer and Drizzle in reserve.
Two turnouts joined Roger Page on the Longer Drive which went out through Fritham, down Ragged Boys Hill to Holly Hatch Cottage, returning to Janesmoor via Cadnam’s Pool. The winner was Roger Page driving Carole Brewster’s Grayswood Sioux Chief, with Josie Saiers and Rocky in reserve.
The Pretty Polly Plate, kindly donated by the late Barbara Mills, for the best coloured pony was awarded to Sue Vella with Ardnacoille Lady.
A big thank you to Sue Craufurd-Kennedy, Sarah Jones, Stuart Johnstone and Felicity for stewarding, and thanks also to Sarah who kindly supplied the welcome drinks as the turnouts returned from their drive.
Everyone agreed that it had been a fantastic week, and many, many thanks must go to those who made it happen including Sam Searle AC, Ginny Parker, Sue Craufurd-Kennedy, Georgina Burrows, and everyone else who helped organise and steward.
BDS Hampshire Area Show -
Sunday, 18th August 2019
Gothic novels typically open with the phrase: “It was a dark and stormy night”. Despite BBC Weather’s optimistic forecast, the sky remained heavy on drama at daybreak, during the journey to New Park Farm Showground at Brockenhurst and right up to the gate where a warm welcome awaited. What came before may have put off the day entries, but for those who came (and there were many) the rain obligingly stopped at the scheduled time of the first class.
This year, the Hampshire BDS Area had the use of both the East and West Rings of the showground. The East Ring held the show classes. The West Ring accommodated a large cones course for show competitors to use between 10:30 and 1:00, consisting of either Clear Round Cones (Class 9) or Optimum Time Cones (Class 10). Rosettes were awarded afterwards, kindly sponsored by Westons Animal Feeds. These classes were primarily a competition for show competitors, with simple rules, and usefully served as a warm-up on both reins and as a winding-down exercise.
In-Hand Potential Driving Horse, Pony or Donkey (class 1), kindly sponsored by our AC Samantha Searle, launched the show classes. Judged by Mrs. Valerie Hall of West Sussex (who also judged the ridden section of the Ride and Drive class), four ponies and a donkey came forward. The 2018 winner, Fielden Nutella (Section A) kept the honour along with the Trophy for another year, with Vikki Stanley’s Alfred in second place, while Charlie Adkins showing the donkey Rikita du Bocage (placed third) was awarded the Uncle Mo Trophy. Class 2A was the riding section of the new Ride & Drive class (sponsored by Tom Parker Farms) that attracted two entries and much discussion among spectators. The final class results, however, would come later after the driving section.
The first driving class of the morning was Novice Horse or Pony (class 3), sponsored by Mr. and Mrs. S. Jones and judged by Mr. Barrie Luck of Kent. Three ponies and two horses that had not won first prize in harness before 2019 came forward to vie for the Longfields Challenge Trophy. The winner was Section D Grayswood Queen of Hearts driven by Ginny Parker, with Di Siviter in second with Blue. Four of the Novice Class entries joined another three entries for Class 4 Exercise Vehicles, including the two Ride and Drive entries that followed immediately after. The class was kindly sponsored by Mrs. Gail Johnson and potentially there were Osborne Refrigerator and Victoria Food Company Qualifiers to be awarded. First place went to Carly Smart with Penrheol Goshawk and second to Sue Vella with Ardnacoille Lady. These two stayed in the ring to contest Class 2B of Ride and Drive, the driven section judged by Mr. Barrie Luck. Taking into the account the overall impression of the turnouts ridden and driven, the winner was Carly Smart with Penrheol Goshawk and second Sue Vella with Ardnacoille Lady.
In late morning the Class 5 Private Driving (Open), with five turnouts, began to gather in the collecting ring. This class was kindly sponsored by Burley Wagon Rides and there were numerous Osborne Refrigerators and Victoria Food Company Qualifiers available. Due to the number of entries the class was not split by height, and entries could qualify for the Overall Show Championship and Hampshire Area and Young Driver’s Championships. The winner was Joe Rowe with hackney Noddyvyse Temptation, with Judy Ralls and Oakhaze McClintock second. Class 6 (Concours d’ Elegance) followed immediately afterwards. This was sponsored by Mr. And Mrs. D. Shorter and judged by Mrs. Lisa Lovell of Riding for the Disabled. First place was Joe Rowe (Noddyvyse Temptation). Second was Gill Shorter with Bobby.
There followed the lunch break, during which time there was the draw of a new Grand Raffle organised by Mrs. Lisa Lovell and Mrs. Stephanie Woodhams. A percentage of the proceeds raised would be donated to the New Forest Driving for the Disabled Group. The lunch break gave organisers time to set up the tasks required by the judge to demonstrate the obedience and flexibility of the turnouts in the first afternoon class, Pleasure Driving Class 7. This class was kindly sponsored by Mrs. Susan Craufurd-Kennedy. There was a Victoria Food Company Qualifier available, and the winner would receive the Barbara Mills Memorial Trophy. All entries would receive a Carriage Driving Magazine rosette. Three entries came forward for this class. They were given instructions about their show, including passage through a “gate” of two cones spanned by a rope, and reining back into an area indicated by further cones. The winner was Di Siviter with Blue, with Carly Smart second with Penrheol Goshawk. Alison Tilbury with Driving for the Disabled pony Jerry (third) was given the proceeds of the raffle money available to the New Forest Driving for the Disabled group by Mrs. Stephanie Woodhams, and during the lap of honour, she placed it into the red collection bucket at the ringside. The final show class before the Championships was Class 8 Coloured Horse or Pony kindly sponsored by Mr. Stuart Johnstone with the definition of “coloured” being wide-ranging. Three entries came forward, with Carly Smart driving Penrheol Goshawk taking first place, and Chanie Matthews with Banjo second.
The Championships brought the day to a satisfying close. First was the Hampshire BDS Area Championship, kindly sponsored by Mr. and Mrs. R. Page, with The Grayswood Shield to be awarded to the winner. Potential competitors were the highest-placed Hampshire Area members from driven show classes. The winner was Joe Rowe and Noddyvyse Temptation, with Gill Shorter reserve.
Secondly there was the Junior Championship, won for a second year by Chanie Matthews and Banjo. She will keep the Angela Maskell Memorial Trophy, sponsored by Maskell and Son Farriers, for another year.
At the end was the Overall Show Championship, contested by the first and second place winners from all driven show classes. Winner was Joe Rowe with Noddyvyse Temptation, who received the H. L. Woodhams Memorial Trophy kindly sponsored by Mrs. S. Woodhams. Reserve was Carly Smart with Penrheol Goshawk.
The show is becoming an established and much-anticipated part of the driving season, and by the end of Sunday, there was talk about next year. Classes are tweaked, added, moved around the schedule, and the format refreshed from one year to the next, which adds to its popularity. Credit for the show’s success goes to many people, first and foremost to Miss Caroline Douglas and her very able team whose energy has given the show shape and direction. Chief Steward Mrs. Sarah Jones with her considerable show experience keeps competitors and judges alike fully briefed during classes. The show is most grateful to Mr. Barrie Luck, the Private Driving Judge, and to Mrs. Valerie Hall, the In-Hand and Ridden judge of Ride and Drive. Sophie Adkins very kindly agreed to provide commentary and announcements throughout the day. A big thank you must also go to the many others from the Hampshire BDS Area who volunteered their time and effort to continue to make this show the success it is. Everyone will look forward to 2020. (Carole Brewster) <PHOTOS> <SHOW RESULTS>
Young Driver’s Day - Saturday,
3rd August 2019
Twelve children aged between five and fifteen attended the Young Driver’s Day held at Lowhill Farm . They were all eager to learn and very attentive, so were an absolute joy to teach.
We were delighted that sponsor Charlie Reeves came to present the awards. The best young driver was 8 year old Samuel Older, while the most improved on the day was judged to be 11 year old Ellie Page.
Many thanks to organiser Sam Searle, to Sue and Roger Page for the use of their facilities, and to Josie Saiers, Teresa White, Sarah Simmons and Claire Holland for the use of their patient ponies. A big thank you also to everyone else who helped to ensure the smooth running of the day.
Summer Driving Camp -
12th - 14th July 2019
In perfect weather, the second BDS Hampshire Summer Driving Camp made a return to Lowhill Farm. This camp is proving very popular, with familiar faces from last year amongst many of the nineteen campers.
Arriving on the Friday afternoon gave everyone the chance to settle in before walking the dressage and cones course in readiness for competition the next day.
Nearly sixty people came on Friday evening to tap along to Country and Western singer Mickey Page, and enjoy the lovely Hog Roast that had been emitting a tantalising smell all day.
The Treasure Hunt on Saturday morning, deviously designed by Sue Page, was great fun and certainly caused some head-scratching! Getting twenty-three people driving round the whole farm searching for little plastic ducks, before eventually working out that they were in a water tub back at the start/finish was very clever .A new track through the woods added extra interest, complete with the Teddy Bear’s Picnic scene all laid out. Who knew there were so many different fictional bears? The winner by a small margin was Sue Vella, who was also the only one to find the hiding place of the mysterious eggs!
After lunch and a rest for the ponies, it was time for the serious bit. The dressage, judged by former AC Sarah Jones, produced some very good tests with the worthy winner being Jeanette Parker and Geronimo.
A lovely flowing cones course, by courtesy of Chris and Karen Laing, was a joy to drive with several close to the optimum time. The victor here was Elaine Brown with her diminutive pair of mini - Shetlands.
Ponies fed and watered, it was time for everyone to relax and unwind and, with the entertainment Sam had planned, it was fun and games all the way! Along with a fish and chip supper, came an eighty-five foot inflatable assault course, coconut shy and other funfair games, and Tug of War, which was actually won by the ladies this year!
Up bright and early Sunday morning – well early anyway – it was time to walk the Trec skills, accompanied by Sam who explained what was required in each. Five of the skills had to be long-reined, then the whole course of sixteen was driven. This took some concentration as the skills were very varied, including going over a wooden bridge, apple bobbing, road works (complete with diversion) and the ubiquitous trampoline padding that always causes much consternation! There was even a ‘policeman’ at the roundabout asking questions related to The Highway Code.
The winner of the long-reining was also the winner of the driven skills, and that was Emily Wain with her lovely traditional cob.
Sue Page had again prepared a quiz, always guaranteed to generate lots of discussion between team members! This was followed by tea and cake, which were enjoyed while the scores were being added up for the accumulator.
There were rosettes and prizes for all the separate disciplines, as well as sets of hand-made egg cups for the winners, and a commemorative vase presented to the Champion both sponsored by Grayswood Carriage Driving Centre. The overall Champions were Jeanette and Jim Parker, with Emily and Steve Wain in Reserve. Both Jeanette and Emily were presented with beautiful sashes which, along with the rosettes, were kindly sponsored by Hartland Carriages.
Huge thanks to hosts Sue and Roger Page, to everyone, and there were many, who helped set up, judged, stewarded, scored, catered and helped in so many ways. Of course the biggest thank you must go to AC Sam Searle who worked tirelessly to organise and run such a successful camp. Thank you everyone. The planning has already begun for next year! <PHOTOS>
Four-in Hand Drive from Kent to Brockenhurst - June 2019
Congratulations to BDS member Dave Padgett who last month took a week off
work to drive his team of Friesians to a roof seat brake from his home in
Sevenoaks, over 100 miles to Pam and Tony Truder’s old home in Brockenhurst.
Dave was very close to Pam and Tony and organised this trip in their memory and to raise money for Cancer Research UK. He collected a staggering £5,174.12 in total from ‘Just Giving’ and from donations en-route.
Well done to Dave, his companions on the trip (Gerard and Ian) and to the wonderful Herc, Guido, Bones and Sheriff.
What a fantastic achievement!
The Interval Drive at
Bisterne Manor - Sunday, 2nd June
Bisterne Manor is a private estate situated in the New Forest National Park with exceptional views and surroundings. Seventeen turnouts, by kind invitation of Hallam and Lal Mills, took part on this drive of just over 9 miles long. Everyone enjoyed their picnics at the venue before setting out at intervals with a map. We were helped immensely by signs along the route pointing us in the right direction, part of which took us along the banks of the river Avon and the water meadows, through woodland, farmland and country roads. The weather was perfect, even though we had a short shower, the sun soon came out again. We would all like to thank Hallam, Lal and Sue Kennedy for arranging this superb day. Also to the stewards that gave their time to help. £250 was collected from those that attended. These funds will be donated to Bisterne Church. (Alison Tilbury) <PHOTOS>
"Oh to be 70!" - Pam Baker’s 70th Birthday Spider Drive - Wednesday, 22nd May
I never thought I would ever say that!
A while ago, I mentioned to Sam Searle, our AC and Roger Page that I would love to drive my wonderful horse Diesel across Hampton Ridge in the New Forest to the High Corner Inn on my 70th birthday. Well, that was it! Sam took up the reins in her exciting “anything is possible” mode and before I knew it, my birthday had become a BDS. event.
We set off from Janesmoor Pond, New Forest, and drove across to Hampton Ridge via Fritham. The day was glorious and the views to the Isle of Purbeck and Salisbury were spectacular.
Roger led our little group with his pair of cobs, Philanderer and Mildred, put to a wagonette. Our four wheel exercise vehicle was next with Diesel, followed by Blue with owners Jon and Di Siviter in a similar vehicle. It was lovely to be accompanied by friends from Grayswood Farm: Ginny Parker, Carole Brewster with her camera, Sam Searle, Jane Ellis, Roger and Maurice Page, and my partner Stuart Jarvis.
When we arrived at the High Corner Inn, ten other turnouts had arrived. We had a wonderful welcome from approximately forty-five fellow carriage drivers, family and friends. After a welcome lunch and birthday cake outside in the sunshine with everyone, we set off back to Janesmoor Pond, a round trip of just over twelve and a half miles.
Thank you to all those who came to the High Corner Inn to celebrate with me. A special thanks goes to Jim Mason who was our steward on the day. (Pam Baker) <PHOTOS>
Bluebell Drive -
Good Friday, 19th April
The annual Bluebell Drive was held, as usual, at Manor Farm, West Stratton on the most beautiful warm sunny day. Organised by Terry Newman, who is brilliant at producing interesting circular routes, the drive headed the other side of the M3 on headlands, tracks and quiet lanes towards Woodmancote and then on to Popham Wood for lunch. Ten turnouts enjoyed the sight of the vibrant bluebells along the fourteen mile route.
An added bonus on the way back to Manor Farm, was tea and scones on the lawn at the front of Stratton House, by kind invitation of Belinda and David Stride. Overlooking the lawn stands the very impressive grade II listed portico, the only remaining part of the former Manor House demolished in 1961. A very grand setting for tea, and thanks to Belinda and David for their hospitality.
Terry made his usual collection and £136 was raised in donations for Naomi House Children’s Hospice. Many thanks to Terry and his family for a wonderful day.
BDS Easter Egg
Treasure Hunt - Sunday, 14th April
Under bright sunlight and a chilly April wind, 15 turnouts gathered at Lower Soldridge Farm, Medstead in pursuit of Easter Eggs.
As an early season drive with horses and ponies not all up to their peak of fitness, it was an ideal outing. Turnouts were sent off at intervals down the road, able to set their own speed within the context of traffic rules and terrain. If instructions for the seven mile circular route were followed, then there was no danger of getting lost. Ten coloured tokens (to be exchanged for eggs) were hung at intervals described in the instructions, although everyone was warned that some locations could be tricky. As we approached the first “egg” deposit, there was a discussion about what constituted “overhanging branches” as there seemed to be a lot of them on the rough track, and how challenging the location of the tokens would be. Anything colourful and slightly out of the ordinary such as discarded drinks cans were examined from a distance and dismissed. Another occasion for discussion was ‘For Sale’ signs put up by a rather prolific estate agent associated with the location of another egg, and the temptation to delve into bushes near the first such sign. The trail took us past the Watercress Line and into interesting landscapes, and there were sufficient intervals between the “eggs” to enjoy the change of scenery.
Once back at the Farm, the egg tokens were handed in to be exchanged for chocolate eggs and the, now very collectable, china egg cups made and painted by Sam with a little help from her friends and family! We then enjoyed the ultimate equestrian gourmet feast at The Pottery Pantry tearoom adjacent to the horse boxes. There was a choice of bacon and sausage, just bacon, or vegetarian cheese butties, apple pie and cream, and a special Easter birds nest sweet. The perfect end to an enjoyable day.
Many thanks to Sam Searle and all the helpers doing vehicle and harness checks, stewarding and serving food.
BARBARA MILLS : <CLICK> for a Reflection of a past AAC.
TONY & PAM TRUDER : <CLICK> for a Reflection of long-standing Family Members.
IAN WICHALL : <CLICK> for a Reflection of a long-standing Member.