Winter Indoor Training
with Rosanna Walters-Symons and Roger Campbell
in association with British Young Drivers
22 October 2017
by Jane Hendy
Barely back on British soil having represented Team GB at the FEI World Pony Championships in Minden, Germany in
August, Roger Campbell and Rosanna Walters-Symons set about organising their own training day supported by
British Young Drivers.
The magnificent setting of The Unicorn Trust in the heart of the Cotswolds at Stow-on-the-Wold played host to a group of eager drivers on Sunday 22nd October, all keen to brush up on their driving skills.
Rosanna explains the reason behind the event. “We’ve both been discussing the idea of holding a joint clinic all year - I think the idea first came up over a few gin and tonics last New Year’s Eve! Our rationale being that between us we bring a wealth of experience across horses and ponies, singles and multiples, so by joining together we would be able to offer something for everyone.
Furthermore, there are very few active trainers in the UK who are also actively competing at international level. We want to share our knowledge, experience and the latest training methods with other drivers to both improve their enjoyment of the sport and increase the overall standard of driving in the UK.
“Our aim is to appeal to all ages and abilities from beginner to international level - between us we have the skills and experience, whether you drive single, pair or four-in hand.”
Jane Hendy and partner Richard “Sid” Fairweather were among two of the drivers who decided the opportunity was too good to miss, being only an hour away from the venue and booked in for two lessons, Jane with Rosanna and Sid with Roger.
Both drivers have had a season of competing outdoor at Scurry Trials and inside-out events at the David Broome event centre run by James Broome and Bedfordshire Carriage Driving club hosted by David Titmuss.
They felt that the training day would really help with their indoor season and plans to both drive at British Carriage Driving events in 2018.
Jane commented, “I can’t believe that 45 minutes of driving with Rosanna made all the difference, she brought me right back to basics as I felt my dressage needed improvement. I was finding it hard to get the correct level of bend from my pony, Tiff.
Rosanna made me see that driving using my core and better position of my hands meant that my pony would become rounder and start to work through her back.”
Roger took Sid and his pony, Pat, through the 2017/18 dressage test and made sure he was aware that he could make little changes, but this would see his marks improving. It’s just little tweaks but made the whole picture look so much better said Sid.
Rosanna and Roger are looking to hold the next training clinic in February. They think this is good timing to enable them to work with drivers who want to sharpen up before the Indoor National Championships, as well as those that are just getting going again after the winter and are looking ahead to the outdoor season.
Rosanna commented, “for our first joint clinic at the end of a season we were pleased with the turnout. We had a range of abilities from relative beginner to drivers aiming to represent Great Britain in the near future, so that was great to see.
The feedback we received from everyone who attended has been great so hopefully they’ll spread the word and we’ll see more new faces in February!”
Roger and Rosanna grew up just 2 miles apart on the south coast of Devon. They have both been active participants in the British Young Drivers programme from a young age and rose up through the national ranks winning eight National Championship titles between them.
In 2013 they qualified to represent Great Britain together at the World Driving Championships for Ponies in Pau and then again at Breda 2015 and Minden 2017. Neither have ever finished outside the top 10 at a World Championship, with Rosanna winning Individual Silver in 2013 and both winning Team Bonze in 2015.
Roger now lives in Minden, Germany, where he lives and trains his team of Welsh Section A ponies. Rosanna has just completed a PhD in Sport Psychology and competes her German Sports pony, Hurricain.
For more information on the next event, please contact Rosanna on firstname.lastname@example.org