Horse Driving Trials on Display
1 September 2011
Tony Gregory, B.H.D.T.A. Regional Representative for the Midlands, seized an opportunity to promote Horse Driving Trials to a wide equestrian audience when the Midland Association of Riding Clubs held their National Championships at Stafford College?s Rodbaston Campus over three days at the end of August.
The organisers of the Championships wanted evening entertainment for those members staying overnight and Tony marshalled a group from his local Club, the Wolverley and District Driving Club to provide this.
Drivers Carol Pawson (National Open Horse Competitor), Dawn Tebbett (National Open Pony Competitor) and Julie Wedgbury (Indoor Multiple Pony Champion) rose to the challenge enthusiastically.
In the first of two sessions Carol (see photo) and Dawn, in dressage mode, performed a sparkling Pas de Deux to stimulating music, a performance which drew spontaneous and enthusiastic applause from the knowledgeable audience. This was followed by a demonstration of cone driving, a course for which was speedily erected by an efficient arena crew also marshalled from members and friends of W.D.D.C. The highlight of this was Julie?s performance with her four galloping Shetlands which drew cheers from the spectators and such comments as ?cor! See ?em go!?
In the second session, performed in marathon gear, each turnout drove an obstacle twice (again efficiently built by the arena party), demonstrating various different routes and again amazing the audience with their precision and agile turns. Throughout the performances Tony Gregory gave a commentary explaining the sport, pointing out the differences in the various turnouts and giving details of how anyone interested could get into the sport, either as a competitor, back stepper or steward.
The organisers of the Championships were well impressed by the professionalism of the displays and congratulations must go to Tony and the W.D.D.C. for producing such excellent entertainment.