... carriage driving news ... carriage driving news ...

End of season party
October 2006

Alive and kicking?

?Driving Trials ends a season and starts a celebration

Even without a party, it was going to be a year worth raising a glass to, and they came from every corner of the UK to join in our celebration of success. But to be honest, we never doubted it. Why would we, when we have an army of like minded people who are united through our fantastic sport?

On 31st October, a maximum capacity 150-strong audience spilled into the Avon Suite at Stoneleigh Park for a fun-packed evening.

It was thrilling to see such a true representation of our sport ? older representatives, juniors, council members, supporters, crew, drivers with disabilities, and World Champions.

Aside from providing a place to bring driving trials enthusiasts together - to chat, to dance, to be entertained, to reflect, to look forward - we had wanted to use this opportunity to recognise some of the unsung heroes and spectacular achievements of 2006, as voted by the audience. After a few sticky moments over what a ColemanBall might be, we were in business with nomination forms flooding in. To view the full listing of nominations, click here.

Award Winners

James Gambs picked up the award for Most Improved Junior, for his dedication, hard work and motivation to help, learn and get involved.

Jack in a Box went home with the Best Equine Equipment Supplier, with multiple nominations wishing them to be rewarded for their sponsorship at many national and club events, as well as for having ?everything you?d ever need? at an event.

Nigel Dipple and Sydney Smith were joint winners in the All Round Good Egg category. This award was aimed at paying tribute to people who have quietly and consistently contributed so much to the sport. Nigel, for almost single-handedly setting up SoECDF and for his tireless work to Brockham Harness Club, Sports Aid and so much more; Sydney, for her huge contribution to juniors and to training in general.




Best ColemanBalls Moment went to none other than Boyd Exell who spectacularly ran himself over with his own carriage!

Marcin Skrzydlewski fought off tough competition to pick up the Best Groom or Backstepper award, which he earned through going above and beyond the call of duty, particularly during the Hellendoorn World Championships.





That led us to the final award ? Best Driving Moment of 2006. And there could only have been one winner here. A hero?s welcome awaited Di, David, Ian and Paul as they took the stage to pick up their award to a standing ovation. It was a truly proud moment for all who were there to recognise them.


We owe enormous gratitude to very, very generous sponsorship. Our two lead sponsors were:
Lehel Horseboxes www.lehelcoachbuilders.com (venue)
Tattinger Champagne www.taittinger.com (champagne reception)
South of England Carriage Driving Fair www.brockhamharnessclub.co.uk (champagne reception)

Additional key sponsorship, aiding us in providing additional awards, entertainment and production, was given by:

Martin Wilkinson Saddlers contact: 01727 821020
Brockham Harness Club www.brockhamharnessclub.co.uk
Carriage Driving Magazine www.carriage-driving.com
Carriagehouse Insurance Co www.carriagehouseinsurance.co.uk
Colourworld www.colourworld.co.uk
Equifor www.equifor.com
Bennington Carriages www.bennington.co.uk
Ben Power Photography www.powersphotos.co.uk


The team of volunteers who assisted us in pulling off quite a feat in a limited period of time were Harry Luff, Rosemary Neale, Angela Flanagan and Sally Moreton. Huge thanks go to them all ? particularly to Harry.

Anything?s possible It struck me, as I was putting together this quick summary of the party, that with courage, belief and teamwork, anything is possible, especially when faced with a new opportunity.

I?m confident that Council will show the same courage, belief and teamwork to lead us into a new period of successful British Horse Driving Trials, which will continue to bring us together as friends and competitors ? alive, kicking and winning medals!

Rachel Stevens

Award Nominations

Most Improved Junior

  • Sonny Hillier: Sonny is completely self funded, shows 100% commitment and competed successfully this year having bought and broken his own horse.
  • James Gambs: Due to the hard work and dedication shown whilst helping Dick Lane and his horse team in the 2006 season.
  • Clare Taylor : has shown huge skill and improvement progressing well in both single and tandem disciplines
  • Jade Jeffrey : won the junior championships. Nominated for the improvement that she has made throughout the last season progressing from pre novice to novice horse and for the professional and quiet manner in which this has been done.
  • Ben Edmed: A brilliant driver who is kind and considerate

Best Groom or Backstepper:

  • Matt (Gi?s groom) - for his quiet, professional manner and for the way in which he cared for the injured horse during the accident at Ashfields.
  • Caroline Hicks - for her coolness under pressure
  • Marcin Skrzydlewski - for helping above and beyond the call of duty as a groom, a backstepper and a friend who was always there to help - particularly in Holland when he helped everyone else set up camp.
  • Jamie Windebank - even though he moans continuously and is very non PC, Jamie works his socks off at an event and his emergency safety harness is a real winner!
  • Rowena Coldwell - for the ongoing support she has provided to Terry Kirby both on and off the backstep Beryl Pendlebury - for her longstanding dedication to Fred

Best Equipment Supplier:

  • OPG Ltd : for supplying obstacle markers with small letters all around!
  • Equifor: Helpful, friendly, prompt service
  • Bennington : Always happy to help and get parts to you asap: very professional and create new things to help
  • WBR Carriages : Wilf and Zoe go to great lengths to help get the right carriage for you and to sort out any problems efficiently.
  • Jack in a Box : They have everything you ever need. They have been to many national and club events and provided sponsorship and prizes as well as giving excellent service to every customer.
  • Baileys : For their continuing support to young drivers which is crucial for the continuation of the junior championships
  • Fenix: For Mark's continued support to the National Points League

"Best Colemanballs" award:

  • Karen Bassett: at the national championships when one of her team put leg over trace?.etc
  • Marcin Skrzydlewski : for suggesting that Terry should 'jump' as Marcin was trying to lift him into a carriage.
  • Boyd Exell : for running himself over with his own carriage
  • Andrew Cowdrey : when ringing the bell at Alnwick as the wind blew the cones over midway through Barnaby Bowman's cones round, commented that Barnaby would have to hold still whilst the stewards replaced his balls.

All Round Good Egg award - aimed at recognising a person who has contributed most to the sport:

  • Rachel Stevens : shows us all up with her unfailing energy and good humour
  • Angela Flanagan : Offered her horse, carriages, horsebox and support team to Judi for the World Championships; drove all the way to Holland and then catered for the whole British team every day in Holland
  • Sydney Smith :for her huge and unwavering part in helping young drivers and her passion and help in training in general.
  • Nigel Dipple : Nigel almost single handedly developed the SofECDF, now in its 10th year, organised Sports Relief day at Borde Hill, Borde Hill Driving Trials and has contributed so much behind the scenes for so many years to the BHDTA with very little recognition.
  • Dick Carey : A good chap with lots of ideas Wilf Bowman Ripley: Support of the young drivers and scholarship programme

Most Memorable Driving Moment of 2006