Dave West

8 October 2020

It is with great sadness that British Carriagedriving reports the passing of Dave West who died peacefully at home on 6 October following a short illness.

Dave and his wife Lesley started driving with the Midlands Driving Trials Group (now Midlands Carriagedriving) in 1988, when their son Robin groomed for Lesley with her Shetland pair and Dave groomed for Sue Taylor with her pony. Later, after first being appointed Vice-Chairman, he took over the role of Chairman in 2012.

Dave was hugely popular and gave an enormous amount of time, energy and often wise counsel to the sport of horse driving trials, both at club and national level. His vast knowledge and good humour will be greatly missed by all who knew him, and also by those to whom he may have been a passing acquaintance, as he fulfilled so many roles within the sport.

In addition to his time as a British Carriagedriving Council member, he chaired the Competitions Committee and fulfilled the roles of Safety Officer, Technical Delegate and Course Designer at national level.

Dave and Lesley at the World Pony Championships at Catton Park in 2005.

As a course builder, who could forget his devilishly tricky cones courses? Always the man ‘to go to’ for advice and help, he travelled many miles to view potential new event venues and was a regular sight as he drove round on competition days in Lesley’s Land Rover Defender.

At home, and during club competitions, Lesley was always at his side as an invaluable event secretary and they made a perfect team. Our hearts and minds go out to her at this sad time.

Dave and Lesley received the BC Chairman's Award in 2009

British Carriagedriving Chairman, Chris Smith, paid this tribute to Dave: “Dave West will be much missed by everyone involved in Horse Driving Trials, both for the amount of work he did for the sport at every level and for the good humour with which he did it. It was a privilege to work with him on Council and I always valued his depth of knowledge, wise words and enthusiasm. I am sure that all members of Council and of British Carriagedriving generally will join with me in sending sincere condolences to Lesley at this sad time.”

L to R: George Spencer (MC President), Robin Neilson, Dave West  (MC Chairman) in 2018

Midlands’ President George Spencer added: “On behalf of Midlands Carriagedriving Committee and members, a huge thank you to David and Lesley for the immense amount of work they have done both at events and behind the scenes; we look forward to Lesley continuing to be part of our club.

Rest in Peace, ‘Mr Midlands’.”

Lesley has asked that should anybody wish to make a donation in Dave’s memory, it be made to the Severn Hospice ( as they provided wonderful at-home care during Dave’s final days.

Obituary by Wendy Nix.
Photos by Kingswood Associates (top and bottom) and British Carriagedriving (centre).