Ashfields National Driving Trials
14-16 August 2020

Event report by Patti Atkinson

Phew – what a scorcher! - or at least it was for those competitors who arrived on Wednesday. Then Ashfields had everything with thunderstorms, humidity, sun and sometimes a very refreshing breeze. But most importantly what it had was the first National Event of 2020 and some great competition. It was brilliant to be out.

Covid posed many problems for the organisers but Zoe and Wilf managed the issues extremely well. There were foot operated water taps, a one way system at the club house, limited paperwork and sanitizing stations everywhere. All ‘Office stuff’ - times, maps etc were prepared a few days in advance of the event and the September event is expected to be totally paper free. Huge thanks go to them for enabling the competition to take place and a small presentation was made to them on Sunday morning as a Thank You.

Winner of the Young Driver class Amy Louise Matthews on the marathon at Ashfields.

A different layout for the 2 National dressage arenas left room for the cones course to be in place by Wednesday. This enabled competitors to walk the cones at any time when dressage was not taking place so rarely were there more than 4 or 5 people walking the course at the same time.

Colette Holdsworth, winner of the Advanced Single Pony class.

In the competition itself it was easy to see that this was the first event for many. Some drivers were ring rusty and some equines very pleased to be out - not always a benefit in dressage. The going in the dressage arena was soft, following those thunderstorms, but stood up extremely well showing very few marks by the end of the day.

David Matthews Jnr on the Marathon in the Advanced Single Horse class.

Saturday dawned damp and grey but luckily not as humid and most of the ponies and horses coped well with the muddy conditions. Lots of cleaning of carriages was needed!

The cones on Sunday was a lovely flowing course with some questions making the drivers concentrate.


Great competition, good craik, lots of laughs and some lovely horses and ponies. Already looking forward to September. (Entries close on 30th August.)

Dan Naprous, winner of the Horse Fours class.

Lucinda Scott, winner of the Open Pony class.

John William Ripley, winner of the Advanced Single Horse Class.

George Bowman Snr. competing in the Marathon in the Horse Fours class.

Wendy Wyatt, winner of the Novice Horse class.

Folke Rohrssen, winner of the Horse Pairs class.

Photos from the event by Evelyn Radnai of Event to Event Photography.