A solid year for Midlands Carriagedriving
20 November 2017


by Wendy Nix


British Carriagedriving
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At the recent Midlands Carriagedriving's AGM and Competitors? Conference, held on Sunday 12 November, Chairman Dave West reported on a solid year for the club despite having to cancel the one-day event at Anslow in April and the two-day event at Belvoir Castle in June.

The four other competitions had gone ahead as planned and all had generated a profit. Treasurer Mike Hawley presented the financial accounts which showed a small deficit on the year overall while funds remain in a healthy condition. Additional expenses in 2017 included further investment in the club's website www.midlandscarriagedriving.co.uk and the purchase of electronic timing equipment for the cones phase.

Next season, competitors and stewards have much to look forward to although the first competition, held at Catton Park, will be bitter-sweet. After more than 20 years hosting driving trials on the estate, April 2018 will see the last event at the South Derbyshire venue, which on this occasion will include Novice qualifying classes for the National Championships. Changes in farming policy and a crackdown by the authorities on how many days of non-agricultural events can be held at Catton mean we will be saying a sad farewell to Robin and Kate Neilson to whom the sport owes so much.

In June the club will be visiting Osberton Estate near Worksop, a new venue for the club but one that has been used in former years of the sport. The popular Onley Grounds Equestrian Centre with its permanent facilities, including a farm shop, and superb catering will feature in both August and September, the former being upgraded to a Regional Event and the latter playing host to the club's championships to round off the season. In between those dates will be a visit to Widmerpool with its unique path to and from the water obstacle.

Other dates on the club's calendar will include driver training from Peter and Emily Bennett plus a further weekend of driver training mid-season. In the New Year there will training sessions for judges, stewards and backsteppers.

Lesley and Dave West. Photo by Kingswood Associates.

At the end of the day's proceedings, annual awards and points league rosettes were presented by the club's President, George Spencer, while Mike Hawley presented Dave West and his wife Lesley ? who deals with all event entries and mountains of paperwork to ensure smooth running at competitions ? with ?Thank You? gifts.

MC awards winners. Photo by Kingswood Associates

2017 Midlands Carriagedriving award winners (Club Championships):

Michael Bale Trophy Pre-Novice Sandra Jackson
Gateway Trophy Novice Philip Wright
Weston Trophy Intermediate Claudia Bunn
Jill Neil Trophy Open Pony Megan Wheeldon
Geoff Samson Trophy Open Horse Karen Scott-Barrett
Ben & Zog Trophy Pony Pairs Emma Burton
Roger Godfrey Trophy Teams Emma Young
Malcolm Thomson Trophy PN Dressage Bob Auton
Peter Jones Trophy Nov Dressage Philip Wright
PJ & F Shield Int Dressage Claudia Bunn
Peter Jones Shield Open Dressage Karen Scott-Barrett
Geoff Bridgen Memorial Best Marathon Megan Wheeldon
Bennington Presentation Presentation Helen Jordan & Caroline Saunders
Chairman's Trophy Outstanding Help  David Hitchcock

For a full list of trophy and points league winners and further information on the club's activities visit: www.midlandscarriagedriving.co.uk