It is with great sadness that we report the death of Joe Moore on Sunday 28 April.
Moore's contribution to carriage driving in general, and horse driving trials in particular, is truly inestimable. While serving on the committee of the British Horse Society when the Horse Driving Trials Society was formed, he went straight onto its committee and remained there for the next 30 years, serving as Chairman for eight years from 1988-1996. He was therefore constantly in the forefront of the evolution in the sport that has taken place over the last three decades.
When the sport of horse driving trials was first introduced into this country, however, Joe's initial involvement was as a competitor. He was asked to take part in an event at Stoneleigh to provide competition to select a British team to compete in the World Championships. His appetite whetted, he continued to compete over the next few years with a pony team and then a horse team. A turnover one year at the Lowther Horse Driving Trials in an obstacle sited in a deep hollow, led to it being known to many as Joe's Quarry!
Joe was also a regular competitor in the 1960s and early '70s in light trade, advertising his family's transport and haulage business with a furniture van he bought for the purpose. He competed in private driving and was also one of the first competitors in scurry, winning the Championship at the Horse of the Year Show twice. With his team of Dartmoor ponies, he played the part of Father Christmas at Ascot and also at the Christmas Show at Olympia for many years.
It was in these years, too, that he took part in displays, driving either a team or a unicorn, at a number of venues, often abroad. With the team of Gelderlanders he bought from Holland in the early '70s, he competed not just in horse driving trials, but also in coaching marathons winning the Dave Jacobs Challenge Cup at Aldershot Show four years running. Being an active member of the Coaching Club, he regularly attended their meets and also found time to take part in the now famous Rocket Run, begun by Sir Dymoke White. Twice he won the Championship at the British Driving Society's annual Show at Smith's Lawn. One of his greatest pleasures came from driving his team, uncompetitively, simply enjoying a quiet few hours along the roads around his home.
Joe's involvement in horse driving trials became ever more time-consuming as he travelled nationwide to find new venues for national events, many of which he helped to organise. Giving up competing himself to administrate the sport, for 20 years or so he was the chef d'equipe for British teams competing in World Championships and he also served on the FEI Driving Committee. Somehow he also found time to be a national and international judge in horse driving trials, as well as judging private driving and coaching.
On the Committee of the London Harness Horse Parade for many years - an event incidentally in which he also regularly used to exhibit - his interest in harness horses was far-reaching. It was on his initiative that the obstacle driving competition for heavy horses got underway and he helped to formalise the rules for this. He was the committee of the Royal Windsor Horse Show for some two decades, its Show Director for much of that time.
Over the years, Joe continually put his hands deep into his pockets to help the sport he loved, providing personal financial support in many areas. He dedicated his life to the furtherance of horse driving trials and should be remembered as one of its greatest benefactors as well as a stalwart ambassador.