National Drivers - Come to Hopetoun and join the party !
20 April 2004

The preparations for Hopetoun 2004 are shaping up nicely. As most people will know by now the Hopetoun event on 27th to 30th May  this year is a very special one, as it is to be shared by the BHDTA National competitors and the International Paralympic Committee?s Carriage Drivers with disabilities. But don?t be misled into thinking that this may slow the pace on the marathon or lower the standards of dressage ? on the contrary, many of the IPC competitors compete at National level in their own countries.

The fact that we are this year hosting the 4th IPC World Carriage Driving Championship has allowed us to really go to town and make this an event of full international standard. Our course builder Ian Gilbert has upgraded the obstacles, which will be imaginatively dressed to a high standard and has done yet more drainage and road works on the site. We will also have foreign judges on the panel for the national event. We have many more trade stands booked and are providing a full catering service in the main marquee as well as a fast food outlet in the stable area. Some of you will also be pleased to hear that we have re-negotiated access to the most scenic exercise route in the country, through the Hopetoun House policies and along the Firth of Forth.

For those of you that have not been before, Hopetoun is a fabulous venue, with ?Scotland?s Finest Stately Home? as a backdrop. The obstacles must have the best views on the circuit, right over the water of the River Forth to the Road and Rail Bridges. All this, just off the motorway and really not that far north.

On the social front we have a busy schedule of events organised, which will be open to National and International drivers alike. Sponsors, helpers and officials are of course also invited. To start with we have an Opening Ceremony on Thursday 27th May 6.30pm, after the IPC World Championship drivers have finished their Dressage. This will involve the Voice Products Millennium Coach, a Parade of Nations, and a Junior Musical Drive and will be followed by a grand Reception with wine and canap?.

On Friday, after the National Classes have done their Dressage, it is the turn of the International Competitors to play host at an Evening of Nations, where they invite all of you to come and taste their national specialities. Suffice to say that Glenmorangie, one of our sponsors, donated a case of whisky for the British table !

Saturday will see all classes do their marathon and, to attract the crowds from Edinburgh and around, we have laid on a full program of arena attractions also. These include the Chariots of Fire display, dog handling, a falconry demonstration, private driving and much more. There will of course be the usual Ceilidh on Saturday night.

On Sunday, cones will be going full bore in two rings, with a break in the main arena for the World Championship Closing Ceremony around mid-day.

So there you are - the result of an enormous amount of planning, work and fundraising by the whole membership of the Scottish Carriage Driving Association. This has been a real community effort and all I can say is: ? Come on folks, get those entries in, pack the lorry and join the party !?

Anneke Wallace
Chairman, Hopetoun organising Committee

A reminder that the Hopetoun Horse Driving Trials event will be a qualifier for International Championships as required under Article 931 of the FEI Rules for Driving Events for Single Horses and Horse Teams. CLICK HERE for more information

Visit the official Hopetoun website at and the Scottish Carriage Driving Association at