John Lloyd

The week before Chester Driving Club's Llanymynech Driving Trials on Sunday 22nd July, John Lloyd, ex-President of CHDT sadly lost his battle with cancer, supported throughout by his lovely wife Sue.

Their good friend Ann Connolly had organised this year's event which John had made his own for many years as Chester’s Novice Qualifier.

He always liked to choose his judges: Edwina Hart, Penny Wear and Lesley Goodden (who sadly lost Andrew her husband suddenly in April before our first event at Backford) all judged again this year with Philip Reeves joining them judging for the first time and his wife Janet judging Presentation. Carol Fearnley who he liked to design his cones again did a great job.

It was so poignant John died the week before his and Sue’s event. Everyone pulled out all the stops to make it a success. He was missed very much by friends old and new.

John was originally into showing prior to 1990, and it was Josie Evans from Caernarfon who suggested he join Chester and try driving trials. He was a very skilful driver and competed all over Britain for many years with Sue and their amazing Hackney cross pony “Willam”, winning British Champion Single Pony in 1993 and representing Great Britain three times at Windsor.

In 1993 they won at Lowther with the fastest marathon of the weekend with Willam . They were truly a force to be reckoned with!

Competition was fierce with “The Three Musketeers”, John Lloyd, John Garlick and Colin Walmsley pulling out all the stops at various events and remaining friends!

He was a feisty Welshman and told the most wonderful stories in the marquee on Saturday nights. A couple of tales Colin recounted were John and Sue’s first event at Cholmondeley Castle where they came up to the top of a bank to go into an obstacle to find a couple having a picnic with a rug all set up in the middle of the obstacle! Willam was like lightening and John yelled like mad for them to get out of the way!

At the same event there was a post and rails running alongside the dressage arena with an electric fence on top of it which his pony would go nowhere near – somewhat frustrating for dear John! These were the days of 5 section marathons with often 18 or 19 competitors in one class,  with obstacles not for wimps and scoring done manually . It was all great fun and a true challenge.

John was a perfectionist when it came to carpentry and building and one of his favourite expressions friend Ann Connolly said when it came to measuring it had to be “within a knat’s wing!”

He had great knowledge which he freely shared and as Edwina said he and Sue really put back into the sport with John as President of Chester until two years ago and often judging for the club with Sue as his writer.

He was always fair in his comments and helped people improve their driving. At the Qualifier he would ask Fred and Beryl Pendlebury to come for the weekend and Fred would impart much wisdom and use club member’s animals to demonstrate how to get the best out of them – Fred a real wizard with horseflesh.

Despite his illness bravely fought, his interest never flagged. Their close friend Ann Connolly drove his pony and he loved to hear how it went at competitions.

Chester is a very friendly club, like one big family and John will be so much missed. He was a real character and made a good President. All our love and good wishes go to Sue and the family. She was the most wonderful support as he valiantly fought to keep going.

R.I.P. ex-President John.

Sally Massey


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