March 2006


The AGM will be held on Thursday 3rd May at Brighton HDT, at 6pm. The AGM paperwork will be posted out to all Full, Associate, Young and Company members before the end of March.


Is there anyone out there amongst our members able to offer professional expertise with regard to VAT? it would be extremely useful if we had someone suitably qualified willing to review the quarterly VAT return. Please contact the office if you feel you are able to assist us.


One name has been added to the list ? Mr Adrian Puddy has been upgraded from the Probationary Judges List to that of List 3.


All BHDTA Officials (Technical Delegates/President of Jury/Judges/Course Designers) are required to attend a Clinic once every two years.

We would like to advise that due to a misunderstanding some Officials have been advised that there is an upper age limit of 70. Please be assured that this is not the case, the current rule book (page 136, Annex 3A, 4.3) refers only to FEI Officials and NOT to BHDTA Officials.


Report of the Joint Working Party Council and Club Liaison Group

The Working Party met on February 2nd to consider reactions to the proposals put forward in December and went on to outline a procedure for elections and to establish a clear timeline for further consultation.

The need for elected Regional Representatives has been generally accepted and the following procedure should be adopted for their election. ? In November/December the current Representative to invite nominations from clubs in their region. ? Voting papers to be sent out by clubs to voting members, in January/February. ? Papers to be returned to club secretaries by the end of March and forwarded to the Regional Representative. ? Elected Regional Representatives to meet in April and to elect a member to be appointed to Council for a two-year period. A second person to be elected in the following year. ? The current Council would be increased by two.

The suggested timescale for implementation of these proposals is; ? Discussion at AGM in May. ? Discussion with clubs over the summer. ? Discussion and comments at Members Conference in October. ? Final proposals put to EGM in November. ? Election process to start immediately in order that the process is completed in time for the BHDTA AGM in 2008.

If you wish to discuss these proposals please contact the Chair of the Working Party: Barry Hilditch, 01924 848951


Held at the Unicorn Trust, Stow on the Wold

National and Club Judges were honoured to have Internationally renowned ridden dressage judge, trainer and competitor, Jenny Loriston-Clarke attend the first part of the Judges Conference held on 24th and 25th February.

Four lovely single turnouts were used separately in the indoor school, each showing some exceptional work, particularly for their level of training. For those watching, each turnout had entirely different issues on the day to enable discussion around their way of going. Jenny endeavoured to give her thoughts on what marks she would award to the work. More of this guidance would have been helpful. But she did state that judges must be positive and that she was often referred to as ?Generous Jenny?. She felt it vital that competitors did not go home feeling demoralised and emphasised the importance of giving feedback on the sheets to them, particularly when awarding the lower marks.

During subsequent discussion, some points arose that needed clarification, for example penalising competitors who have made an error of course in the ?driver? section under the collective marks, in addition to the five penalties for error of course awarded by the President. A list was made during the weekend of points that were not clear and hopefully clarification or guidance will be provided in the future.

Thanks must go to Vicki Irwin, Sara Simmons, Sarah Garnett and David Matthews and their horses for being such excellent guinea pigs.

The afternoon was spent discussing the level of training judges should be expecting to see in each test. It was agreed that the object of the Pre-Novice classes at club events must be to encourage participation, and therefore the emphasis should be on a flowing test with progressive transitions throughout, and animals would not be expected to be fully on the bit. It was suggested that at pre-novice level the groom should be allowed to stand if the vehicle did not have suitable seating on the back. Hopefully the Council will consider this, it was also proposed that grooms should be permitted to prompt the driver in this introductory level of competition.

Andrew Counsell then went through the changes to the existing FEI tests where some of the movements are split (particularly the halts and rein backs), thus changing the judging emphasis. It was noted that some movements in Test 8 for the four-in-hands (now called Test 8A) have been transposed, so competitors (and judges) in all classes are obviously going to have check carefully which test they are learning.

To finish the first day, David Matthews drove through the new Test No. 9 with his well-schooled cob ?Rosco?. He made the transitions into the new canter movement seem very easy, but showed how vital accuracy is going to be to the successful completion of this test.

The second day started with a long debate, led by Sydney Smith, about the required standard for presentation at each level. Everyone felt that at Pre-Novice and Novice level the judges are looking for an informal, tidy turnout with clean, safe and well-fitting harness and vehicle. A general comment was that, even at the highest level, the driver is often overdressed, particularly in a 3-phase or varnished vehicle, and perhaps more competitors should be encouraged to dress themselves and their grooms in tweed.

Concern was voiced about the lack of opportunities for new pairs drivers to learn about presentation and correct turnout, and it was suggested that the Competence Form that has to be signed before a pair can move from club to national competitions, should include a box confirming that a safety check has been undertaken.

Andrew Counsell then went through a long list of rule changes. Luckily the judges had updated their rule books in 2006 and therefore could make sense of all the new changes - but it is going to be difficult for all those who did not apply for the replacement pages last year! The new printed rules pages (and those for 2006 if required!) will be available at the end of March and will be sent out to all those who send an A5 stamped addressed to the BHDTA office.

It was noted that turntable locking devices on Dressage carriages are no longer banned, but there is a new rule prohibiting the use of all ?outside aids?, (Article 914), throughout the Event (i.e. for exercising, warming up or during the Competition). This includes auxiliary reins (draw reins etc), leverage devices and any brushes on the bit, traces etc.

There was a discussion about the significance of various horse welfare issues, including the use of ill-fitting low nosebands which could impede breathing. Judges were reminded that if an official has concerns about the overuse of the whip on the marathon, they can ask a judge to stop the competitor and give a warning. It was agreed that occasionally it is also necessary to stop and advise a competitor if they might appear to spectators to be over-zealous in their use of the whip when even hardly touching the horse.

This year?s was a very full conference producing plenty of suggestions for the Judges? and Rules committees to take back to the Council. But everyone was anxious to help the BHDTA in their endeavour to make the sport more inclusive and smooth the path for competitors from the grass-roots to international level.

During the course of the clinic, BHDTA Vice-Chairman Tony Bache presented HRH The Duke of Edinburgh with a set of tandem harness on behalf of the BHDTA to mark his retirement from major competition and as a token of gratitude for all he has done for the sport.



As found in the 2007 Year Book, page 13, paragraph 2 states that a Groom competing at National Novice (Level 2) must be BHDTA member - this is a mistake, they do NOT need to be a BHDTA Member. Only the Competitor (driver) has to be a member at this level.


Due to the changes in Class Structure for this season, the National Championships finds itself four Champion trophies short, two for the Intermediate Classes and two for the Advanced Single Classes. Sponsors for these new trophies are sought and would be welcomed ? trophies are being sourced at a similar standard as those already in place, i.e. solid silver salvers. The names, etc, can be added to the trophies as required by those sponsoring them.




The South East Area has been split into ?South? and ?South East?. Miss Georgina Frith is the Area Rep for the South and Mr Dick Carey the Area Rep for the South East. Area Boundaries will be looked at again in detail later in the year when a full list of Affiliated Clubs becomes available.


Georgina Frith, The Cottage, Oak Lane Farm, Partridge Lane, Newdigate, Surrey. RH5 5EE. Tel. 01306 631 561


Dick Carey, Parish Farm, Mill Lane, Hooe, Battle, East Sussex. TN33 9HS Tel Day:-01424 892 051


Steve Lucas, 62 Oakgrove Road, Bishopstoke, Eastleigh, Hants. SO50 6LN. Tel. 01703 617529


Edmund Goodwin, Talbot Farm Nursery, 75 Derby Road, Hilton, Derby. DE65 5FP. Tel. 01283 732755


Barry Hilditch, Bond Farm, 52 Barnsley Road, Flockton, Wakefield. WF4 4DW. Tel. 01924 848951


Audrey Barron, West Newton, Arbroath, Angus. DD11 5RQ Tel. 01241 872579


Berry McCrae, 11 Old Church Lane, Aghalee, Craigavon, Co.Armagh, N. Ireland. BT67 0EY Tel. 02892 651506


Scottish Points Qualifier Events:
Eglinton, Ayrshire - Apr 21-22
Dalmeny, Lothian - Apr 28-29
Falkland, Fife - Jun 9-10
St. Fort, Tayside - Jun 16-17
Dalswinton, Dumfries - Jun 23-24
Barskimming, Ayrshire - Jul 14-15
West Newton, Arbroath - Aug 25-26
Blair, Ayrshire - Sep 1-2
Thornton, Kincardineshire - Sep 8-9
Grass Roots Events, Club Events and Fun Events:
Lunan, Angus - Apr 15
Cothal, Aberdeenshire - Jun 3
Racks, Dumfries - Jun 2-3
Seacliff, North Berwick - Jul 8
Junior Chariots - Jul 21-22
Lourin Fair - Aug 19
For more information and details or telephone 0845 226 9498


200 CLUB Sheila Hawking is looking for members to join the BHDTA 200 Club. Application forms can be obtained direct from Sheila, in the Supporters Area at National Events or direct from the office. Please do join in as this enables the Supporters Group to do just that ? support your sport. You could of course also win!


Please email any enquiries to: or telephone: 02476 419 078