Sandringham National Driving Trials and FEI CAI-2*
09 April 2018

by Julia Crockford


British Carriagedriving
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Sandringham hosted not only the horse driving trials, which was the final qualifier event for the Pony World Championships selection, the Young Driver Championships, the Coaching Club of GB and D’Attelage driving and the East Anglian club also ran a two day event over this very busy weekend.

Arriving on site, the water obstacle was completely bone dry having had a prolonged dry spell without rain but we needn’t have worried, the weather changed overnight on the Tuesday evening and by Wednesday evening the water obstacle was overflowing!

Thankfully the rest of the weekend was glorious.

Dressage on Thursday afternoon and all day Friday saw several beautiful tests driven.

Robert Buck, Tara Wilkinson & Alan Clarke (all in the selection for the Pony Worlds) with scores around 47, with Wilf Bowman-Ripley with his horse fours on a score of 45.25.

In the Young Driver Championships, Collette Holdsworth led the way with a brilliant score of 44.13.

A longer than usual lunch interlude allowed the Coaching Club to parade in the main dressage arena before setting off on their 16km road drive with a stop at the Royal shooting lodge for drinks and canapés, before returning to the main park to be introduced to the large crowd of spectators who had gathered to watch this inaugural event.

The Saturday marathon was another very hot and dry day, although the going was reported as perfect.

The obstacles, gated by the course designer Barry Hunter, had plenty of options and made for some interesting and flowing driving.

Tara Wilkinson, driving Emma Burge’s pony pair, put up the fastest marathon of the day 139.79 closely followed by Robert Buck.

The Young Drivers drove a shorter marathon and only 6 of the 8 obstacles, with Collette Holdsworth driving a cracking marathon on a score of 78.17.

The cones course on Sunday was interesting and challenging with narrow options, two oxers and two slaloms all driven in the main arena, again in brilliant sunshine.

There were eight double clear rounds driven throughout the day across all classes.

D’Attelage enjoyed their time at Sandringham, parading in the main arena and driving a road drive followed on the Sunday by their cones driving.

The whole weekend was very enjoyable and two things made this weekend particularly special. Sue Johnson score collecting on her quad, with her little dog Timmy riding up front with her. Timmy wearing his special goggles so that his eyes don’t dry out in the wind, was stopped by so many people for photographs that Sue decided to collect donations for the driving para Olympians and throughout the weekend collected close to £300.

And Wilf Bowman-Ripley giving a ride to Stephen on his winning round, made one little chap and his family so very happy – well done Wilf.


Adam Wyllie and Eddy. Photo by Sara Jane Hayes

Sara Clough. Photo by Sara Jane Hayes.

Sue Johnson and Timmy. Photo by HeritageSnapper

Wilf with Stephen. Photo by Amy Mundell.

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