British Driving Society
Dorset and South Wiltshire BDS




Past Events

Talk by Gary Docking
Thursday 12th March 2020

It was a packed house at the Bere Regis Sports Club on 12th March when Gary Docking came to Dorset to tell us of his passion for horses and driving. In what he called 'a trot through' his driving life, he began by describing his early days. Born and bred in Cornwall, he was part of a family where horses were an important element, both on the farm and in the hunting field. He was particularly influenced by his grandfather – a real rascal apparently – who had the innate ability to 'talk horse'. Long before Monty Roberts was in the public eye, grandfather was using similar methods (which he would call 'common sense') to train horses. Soon Gary's passion for horses took root and grew – and is still as strong as ever.
Later on, when Gary's interest in carriage driving was sparked, he learnt his driving skills from prominent figures such as Cynthia Hayden and Bill Vyse, and his enthusiasm for the Hackney horse eventually took him into the show ring, where his family background in the theatre stood him in good stead!. Today, of course, he is well known for producing and showing every kind of horse or pony and his reputation goes before him.
Gary went on to regale us with anecdotes from the ring, including an amusing description of having to chastise a stubborn horse and being surprised by a quiet voice at the ringside advising him to 'be patient'. When he turned to look, there was a lady in a headscarf, flanked by corgis!   Oops!

All in all, it was a really enjoyable evening, rounded off by a good look at photographs of some of the turnouts that have been through Gary's talented hands, and the chance to talk to him in person.
Many thanks to Alison Trevett for organising the visit and giving us such a treat.

Skittles Evening
February 2020

Another great evening playing Skittles at Cobham Sports and Social Club
Not as many people this time, 15 of us gathered and enjoyed a splendid evening.
We were divided into two teams and had plenty of practice as time flew past and before you knew it it was your turn again!
It was very competitive with lots of cheering, groaning and laughter.
We had a break allowing us to mix and chat to friends, and to enjoy a first class finger buffet, despite our best efforts we to leave some!
After this we continued with the game, as some had to leave a bit earlier than others, players started to change teams to keep numbers equal, therefore it was difficult to declare an outright winner. Anyway we could all go home claiming victory
All in all, a very enjoyable evening.
Our thanks to Ann & Terry for organising this.
Gill Smith

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Christmas Dinner
Saturday 21st December 2019

Despite the foul weather, at least it wasn't snow, a good crowd enjoyed our annual Christmas meal at Cobhams Club at Merley. Some people had travelled quite a distance to be there. A good meal and slick service. Considering the size of the venue and the other events taking place last night I would say a remarkable achievement. Thank you Ann & Terry for another successful gathering.

Sue Prust

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Area Annual Meeting
Thursday 5th December 2019

Thirteen members attended the Annual Meeting, which followed its usual format. Minutes can be seen  on our website.

Pony Drive
Thursday 14th November 2019

Sixteen pony drivers came under starter's orders at Bere Regis Sports Club on Thursday 14th November, to shake, rattle, and roll the dice and race to be the first to draw a completed pony, to varying degrees of artistic excellence and anatomical exactitude.  About a dozen rounds were played with the two highest scorers on each table moving on to the next table, which made for a very sociable and entertaining evening.

Thanks must go to Wendy Richards, for master-minding the game and for being starter and chief steward, and to Ann James for organizing the event.  A jolly good time was had by all.  Dave Shorter won the Pony Drive by quite a number of lengths and Michael Trevett won the best turned out, much to his (and everyone else's) amazement.

Michael Trevett

BDS Bingo Night
Thursday October 10th

It was 'Eyes Down' for a fun evening as a good crowd of us studied our Bingo cards – some of us rank amateurs and a few well-versed individuals – while Terry James did stirling work as our Caller.  He certainly knew how to keep  us giggling with his specialised calls and we all quacked when he gave us 'Two Little Ducks – 22'!
Sue Wiles had done a grand job organising the nuts and bolts of the game – many thanks to her – and the winners were offered a choice of lovely prizes in sparkly re-cyclable wrapping.
Needless to say, there was some horsey chat in the intervals as we caught up with our BDS friends and reflected on the lovely summer driving season we had this year. Now we look forward to the coming winter evening events and plan our driving goals for 2020.

Interval Drive from Holtwood Stables, Wimborne
Sunday 15th September 2019

What a glorious sunny day we had for Dorset's last interval drive of the season, very kindly hosted by Mrs. Sue Prust at Holtwood. 6 turnouts had a wonderful drive of nearly 9 miles of quiet roads and forestry tracks and although it was very warm, a lot of the drive was shaded by trees which made it very pleasant. On our return with our picnics we had tea and cakes and needless to say a chat to put the world to rights!!! Grateful thanks to Sue and Ann James for a great day.
Chris King

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Interval drive and cones at Dogdean Farm
Sunday 11th August 2019

Fine weather and good company made for a lovely day, enjoyed by all, thanks to Ann and Terry James who hosted and arranged the event. In the morning eight turnouts took part in the interval drive which took us along Forestry tracks as well as a few lanes. On our return, after a short lunch break, we negotiated a cones course arranged by Sue Wiles and Tony Munt, and ended the day with tea and cakes. Thank you to everyone involved in the organising of this enjoyable event.
Val Bull

Cones results:
1st: Dave Bull with Holly
2nd: Dave Shorter with Bobby
3rd: Jen Vaniwaarden with Ann James's Billy

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Interval Drive from Gussage All Saints
Sunday 21st July 2019

What a lovely drive we had! The weather was perfect, the venue ideal, and the countryside around Gussage and Wimborne St Giles was looking at its high summer best. Eleven turnouts gathered at Southfield, courtesy of Chris King who had kindly organised the event, and we set off at intervals on the eight-mile (ish) drive, most of which was on private estate tracks through delightful scenery. The route took us past fields of standing crops, ready for harvest, through cool woodland dotted with pheasant pens, alongside a lake culminating in a chattering waterfall (swans standing sentry!), through Lord Shaftesbury's parkland and out onto the lane that took us through the pretty village of Wimborne St Giles and on to Gussage. And a lovely surprise awaited as we were welcomed back to Southfield where Chris offered us all a glass of Pimm's. We are so grateful to him for his kindness and, of course, to Lord Shaftesbury for allowing us access to his land.
These events can only take place with the help of volunteers 'on the ground' and we thank Ann and Terry and their helpers for making it a memorable day.
We very much hope to be invited back on 2020!

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BDS Dorset & South Wiltshire Area Show
Sunday 9th June 2019
Turnpike Showground, Motcombe, Dorset

Wow, what a wonderful show we all had – good entries, hugely generous sponsors, a super crowd of spectators, and a fabulous ground crew, and all on a dry, bright Summer’s day – who could ask for more!

We welcomed both many regular competitors and some new ones to this year’s Area Show.  With its quiet, friendly atmosphere and spacious showground, the show is always popular with competitors bringing out new turnouts and this year proved to be no exception.  Amongst the novice horses and ponies, Jackie Bennett’s Chocolate Inspiration with Roly Connolly, Hannah King’s Aquilas Tiny Mutiny, Christopher King’s Lisboy Yankee, Wendy Johncey’s Zoe and Zelda with Joanna Broadbent, and Victoria Morris’ Cwmfys Midnight Express were all class winners.  Vicky’s Welsh Section C pony topped the line up in three classes, impressing both Georgie Green (editior of Carriage Driving Magazine) who judged the Concours d’Elegance, and BDS judge Angela Sixsmith in the Mountain & Moorland and Private Driving classes.

This was Angela’s first judging appointment after a break of five years while she was chairman of the BDS, and with the high standard of the turnouts and fair numbers forward in each class, she was kept busy.  The busiest whip of the day was Sophie Matthews, who competed with three separate Shetlands, while the busiest pony was Gillian and David Shorter’s Welsh Section C Bobby, who contested eight of the day’s 13 classes, including two Cones classes under the watchful eye of judge Terry James.

The Exercise Vehicles was the biggest class of the day, where Angela awarded the red ribbon to young driver Chanie Matthews, with her family’s smart cob Banjo.  Chanie went on to repeat her 2018 success by once again being crowned Area Champion, ahead of Sophie Matthews (no relation) in Reserve spot.  Sophie was also Reserve Champion in the Points Championship, just behind Hannah King who headed this special championship which marked the show’s 10th Anniversary.

The day ended with seven super turnouts forward for the Show Championship.  Vicky Morris’s pony capped a fantastic showing debut to be Reserve Champion, while John F Vyse made his trip to the show from Potters Bar very worthwhile, as his skewbald stallion Archie, to a London trolley, oozed presence to be crowned Show Champion.

This year’s show ran like clockwork thanks to the hard work of Bill Dawson, Lynda Ferguson, David Guy, Ann and Terry James, Gordon Jones, Tony Munt, Trudie Phillips, Hilary Sandon, Gill Smith, Sandy Smyth, Michael Trevett, Julia Trim and Linda Young, and not forgetting photographer Helen Lorentzen who captured it all on camera.

Financially the show finished £82.70 in the black, thanks to the good entries and our extremely generous and much appreciated sponsors:-              

Jenny & Geoff Allen Saranna Cogswell  Lin & Bill Dawson
David Guy Ann & Terry James Anne & Gordon Jones
Chris King Sue Mitchell     Tony Munt & Sue Wiles at Highsteppers
Sue Prust   Wendy Richards  Hilary Sandon
Gill Smith Sandy Smyth   South & West Wilts Hunt
Victoria Foods (Bristol) Limited   Clare Wigmore at Carriage Link

In light of the success of this year’s show, and having already received very welcome pledges of support for next year, please put Sunday 7th June 2020 in your diary.  If you have any thoughts or suggestions for next year’s show do please get in touch.  With very many thanks.
Alison Trevett - Show Secretary      Tel: 01258 881295 (evenings and weekends)

Click here for results

Click here for Photographs by Helen Lorentzen- Dorset Equestrian Photography

To order copies please contact Helen on Tel: 07870 391039 or E-mail:
or via Facebook

Showing Master Class
Sunday 19th May 2019

Sounds serious doesn't it! But the main thrust of BDS Panel Judge Sally Barlow's class was that
And she certainly entertained a good crowd of us with her advice on how to do your best in the ring without stress or huge expenditure. She did it by using the 'spot the mistakes' method, with the help of three turnouts: Karen and Chanie Matthews with Banjo, Gill and David Shorter with Bobby, and Vicky Morris and groom Tom, sadly without the pony who was unable to be there.

First, Sally went through all the classes scheduled for our Area Show on 9th June, explaining what the judge would be looking for and answering questions from the audience. Then, first up in the wonderful indoor arena at Half Moon Stud were Chanie and Karen with Banjo put to his pleasure driving vehicle. At first sight a lovely turnout but, intentionally for the purposes of the Master Class, Karen and Chanie had adjusted their normal turnout so that much of it was wrong. The audience was challenged to spot the errors – for example Chanie, the whip, was dressed as if for Ascot, she had no apron and was carrying a holly whip. Banjo was in a patent leather and brass fittings full collar, and the vehicle was not carrying spares.
In such a turnout the whip should be subtly dressed in country attire, with an understated hat and an exercise whip. Banjo should be in exercise harness with white metal furniture to match the carriage.

Next came Vicky, showing us her stunning Irish spindle-back gig and to-die-for leather show harness – all very mouth-watering even without the pony.
But, once again for the purposes of the demonstration, on closer inspection of the turnout, amongst other errors Vicky was dressed too casually, wearing a hard hat and – wait for it – sparkly gold shoes...
For Private Driving classes or for the Concours d'Elegance the lady whip should be smartly although not ostentatiously dressed, with a tastefully smart hat and preferably wearing a skirt beneath the apron. The groom should be appropriately smart, wearing a bowler and gloves.

Lastly, Bobby the pony came bustling in, put to a delightful 1902 Stratford Cart in green and yellow, driven by Gill  with her husband David as groom. As Sally Barlow pointed out, this turnout has broad appeal and could be shown in a variety of classes or enjoyed on drives out. It is a genuine original vehicle with no pretensions, which this summer will be taking its place at an Attelage meeting at Sandringham, no less.

This turnout was then joined by the previous two, both  this time in their normal correct turn out, and the day ended with a 'mock' show with Sally judging and Alison Trevett pointing out the accepted procedure in the ring. Then, following many thanks to Sally and her helpers, and to Alison for organising the event, we adjourned to the tea urn and reflected on what we had seen and learnt. Judging by the enthusiasm in the ranks, we should see a healthy number of entrants to our Show this year!

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Dressage and Cones Competition
Sunday 5th May 2019

We were really lucky with the weather, which was perfect for horses to do the dressage and cones competition. Everyone had a fantastic day with dressage in the morning and two goes at the cones in the afternoon. All the drivers and grooms came out with smiles and at the end of the day rosettes were shared with all.
Thank you to Ann and Terry for hosting the day, which meant we had a lovely venue, along with Barbara and Jane judging and helping us all to improve. Next year it would be lovely to see more competitors having a go with either young horses or people who are new to the discipline.

What a marvellous day we had last Sunday at the Dressage and Cones competition held at Dogdean Farm.
Smiling faces all day.
Many thanks to all helpers especially our judges Barbara and Jane, their input was really appreciated by all of us.

Dressage:                                                                    Cones
1st.      Sue Wiles         Joker                                        1st.      Sue Wiles                    Joker   
2nd.     Gill Shorter       Bobby                                       2nd.    Jeni Van Iwaarden        Billy
3rd.     Sue Wiles        Charlie                                       3rd.     John Turner                  Lennie
4th.      David Shorter   Bobby                                       4th.     Gill Shorter                   Bobby
5th.      Molly Turner      Lennie                                      5th.     Molly Turner                 Lennie
6th.     Keith Damon     Big Ben                                     6th.     David Shorter               Bobby
Combined Scores
1st.       Sue Wiles        Joker
2nd.      Gill Shorter      Bobby
3rd.       David Shorter  Bobby
4th.       Molly Turner     Lennie
5th.       Sue Wiles        Charlie
6th.       Keith Damon    Big Ben

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Quiz Evening at the Rising Sun, Wootton
Saturday 16th March 2019

Where were all our Dorset & S Wilts Quizzers????

A total of 28 BDS members turned up, 25 from Hampshire but only three from our Area. So we split into six teams and had a lot of fun fielding the challenging questions set by Quizmaster Rick Patrick. In the end our little Dorset contingent did well, their team coming 3rd.
So it was an enjoyable evening and we hope more of you will join in next time!

Bowling Evening
Friday 22nd February 2019

An evening spent at the American style bowling alley at the Cobham Sports and Social Club.
A good turnout of 24 included Members from Dorset & South Wilts, Somerset and Hampshire.
2 teams played - gentlemen v ladies although some of the ladies had to play on the gentleman’s team. The match ended with the honours even.
The buffet gave everyone a chance to chat and catch up on all the local gossip, whilst those more interested in bowling had the rest of the evening to improve their bowling skills on the 2 alleys available.
All in all a very enjoyable evening.

Christmas Dinner
Saturday 22nd December 2018

Our Area Christmas Dinner was a great success and proved to be more popular than last year with 45 members and friends attending. The weather was fairly mild which was favourable to those who had driven some distance to attend. The Cobham Club is a busy venue, catering for our Dinner as well as other events on the same evening and the meal they laid on for us was excellent with good choice, quality and size of portions. Well done Ann for booking at Merley. Round tables with about ten people on each make for sociable dining and Ann managed her place settings so that everyone was in a group in which they felt included. To finish the evening there was a raffle in aid of the Air Ambulance and the table that I was on did seem to have rather a large share of the prizes!
Sue Prust

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Cheese and wine evening
Thursday 8th November 2018

A relaxed get-together for a good chat and a chance to catch up with horsey news at the end of the outdoor season. Memories of years gone by were stirred as albums of photographs brought along by  Ann James and Sue Prust were passed around, prompting anecdotes and stories from way back!
The cheese and wine went down a treat, the only disappointment being a missed photo opportunity as our Area Commissioner was caught pulling a pint...
A total of 17 members were there, with plenty to talk about, comparing notes on the year gone by and reflecting on the way forward for the Dorset & S Wilts Area of the BDS.
Thanks to all those involved in the organisation and preparation of this enjoyable evening.

Talk on Attelage by Richard James
Thursday October 9th 2018

Our first evening meeting of the year and Richard James's reputation as an interesting and amusing speaker ensured a good attendance at this talk. Sharing his long-held passion for 'Attelage', Richard kept us enthralled as he explained how drivers from all over Europe, with horses from Shetlands to Shires, gather for a two or three days' jolly encompassing competitive classes as well as social events, all enjoyed in a relaxed atmosphere against the backdrop of a stately home or chateau. The aim of Attelage (evident in its translation – Traditional Driving) is to keep carriage driving  alive in its traditional form. The first Attelage meet was held in 2008 in France, but events are held in various European countries, where  differing nationalities display their own traditions of carriage and harness.
Judging by the number of questions from the audience, Richard's talk certainly sparked interest, and we thank him for a really interesting and informative evening.

Our newest member, Paula Edwards, has only been driving for about six months but is already well and truly hooked! She had always loved horses and enjoyed Pony Club activities as a youngster but  when she reached retirement she decided to take up carriage driving and hasn't looked back...'It's definitely not a flash-in-the-pan', she says, as competitive driving beckons!

Here she reflects on the Interval Drive from Holtwood Stables:

Interval Drive from Holtwood Stables
Sunday 9 September 2018

Sunday 9 September was a special day as it was my first event since joining the BDS. Having recently taken up carriage driving under the excellent tutelage of Sue Wiles I was keen to see what being a member would entail.
Sun shone on the 9 beautiful turnouts who experienced the delightful countryside available from Holtwood Stables near Wimborne, owned and kindly made available by Sue Prust. What a delight to trot past beautiful thatched cottages, along quiet lanes and sun dappled tracks through the forest. We returned to Sue’s stables to be met by Ann and Terry who provided, what I now know to be a BDS ritual, tea and cakes. It’s amazing how much of an appetite can be produced from driving a horse and carriage through the countryside.
My first experience was enough to ensure all future Dorset and South Wiltshire event dates are already in my diary. Thank you to everyone for their kindness and friendly greetings.

Following the drive, a collection was taken up in aid of a fund to help finance specialist treatment for Louise Downing, who is facing a battle with inoperable cancer. Those of us who were at the 'Evening with Barbie Hooper' event at Dogdean Farm earlier this year will remember the superb dressage display given by Louise riding Ann James's Hanoverian Edward.
The collection raised £200, which has been deposited into the fund.

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BDS Trec
Sunday 5th August 2018

A huge thank you was given to Ann James for organising and hosting the BDS Trec at Dogdean Farm, Dorset on Sunday 5th August 2018. Those who braved the hot sunny day enjoyed a pleasurable timed drive through shady enclosures and local roads using written instructions and a map. We all got back safely.and then completed a further test of our driving skills both in the dressage arena and in completing a varied selection of obstacles. To end this thoroughly enjoyable day, we enjoyed a cup of tea and.home made cakes provided by Ann after the results were announced.

  • 1st Alison Trevett
  • 2nd. Katyi Harvey
  • 3rd. Sue Wiles
  • 4th. Ann James
  • 5th. Jeni Vaniwaarden
  • 6th. Peter Preen

Peter and Sue Preen

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Drive from Gussage All Saints
Sunday 15th July 2018

Well, last year it poured on us in a deluge from above at this drive, but this time the sun shone, there was a light breeze and the countryside in this hidden part of the world was charming, if a little parched!
Singles and multiples came along to enjoy this special day and, once again, there were several youngsters joining in – hard hats to the fore...    Heaven has got to go some to beat a perfect summer's day in England, shared with good friends and horses we love. Topped off, naturally, with a cup of tea and a slice of cake!
Our thanks to Chris King and Lord Shaftesbury for allowing us on private land and we hope very much to be invited again next year.

Sandy Smyth

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Report on Gussage All Saints Drive
By Molly Turner aged 8.

We met at the field where the Grown-Ups gave us our Map for the drive and made sure we were safe. We all got ready to drive.

I drove my pony Lenny, he was very pleased to be out with his BDS friends, enjoying the countryside on this pretty drive. We started up a long hill - perfect to keep my pony settled. My Daddy ran the route with us so I had someone to follow.

We had plenty of space and time to enjoy the countryside and look in people’s gardens. I loved driving Lenny through the grounds of the big house and past the lake - very pretty.

We were welcomed back to the Lorry park and asked if we’d had a good drive, we washed Lenny and Daddy off and then went in for a lovely tea.

Thank you everybody for a lovely afternoon - so nice to be dry this year and we hope everyone can come another year.


Interval Drive and Hog Roast
Sunday 1st July 2018

Once again this ever-popular drive was a great success, attracting 22 turnouts – singles and multiples – to Highsteppers in Pallington, by kind invitation of Tony Munt and Sue Wiles. The weather was perfect and the route took us along woodland tracks – and through water at the Moreton ford. Among the participants this year were several youngsters, including two BDS Junior Whips, and one group who took part 'en famille', with a turnout flanked by two out-riders.
Always heartening to see young people taking an interest in carriage driving.
Many thanks to Tony and Sue and their team for another great day and a scrumptious hog roast!

Sandy Smyth

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Dressage to Music – An Evening with Barbie Hooper
Thursday 28th June 2018

This may have been a 'non-BDS' event, but plenty of Area members came to Dogdean Farm to enjoy an evening of sunshine and sheer enjoyment! Along with a strong contingent from the riding community there were approx 35 in the audience and Barbie Hooper, ably assisted by musician Julia Taylor at the keyboard, kept everyone entertained with her commentary which accompanied demonstrations of ridden and driven dressage. Michelle Beck driving her stunning grey mare Katy was first in the arena, illustrating how the natural pace of a horse can be matched to appropriate music, followed by Ann James's smart turnout showing their paces nicely on 'home ground'. A ridden demonstration was  given by Katie Edwards riding Barbie's very active, perfectly disciplined Palamino Welsh cob Sammy and finally the audience was treated to a show of the 'real thing' by Louise Downing riding Ann's 17.3hh Hanoverian Edward, who has qualified twice for Hickstead Masters Championship, been to the Nationals and qualified for Regionals at every level and is now working towards Prix Saint George.
Altogether a fascinating evening, rounded off by a 'gather and blather' accompanied by coffee and cake as the sun went down. Many thanks go to Ann and Terry James for hosting the event and granting use of their large arena and to all those working behind the scenes to prepare their horses for this presentation.

NB One message emerging strongly from the evening was that driving to music can be FUN!
Wouldn't it be great if we could all have a go?

Sandy Smyth

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BDS Dorset & South Wiltshire Area Show
Sunday 10th June 2018
Turnpike Showground, Motcombe, Dorset

This year’s Area Show at the Turnpike Showground, Motcombe disappointly attracted just half the number of competitors and entries that our bumper 2017 show enjoyed, but bathed in sunshine from the first class of the day through to the last championship, it was a very enjoyable day for competitors and spectators alike.
Under the watchful eye of judge Modris Kesans, first to collect a red ribbon was David Shorter, with his wife Gill’s Welsh Section C pony Bobby, in the In Hand Driving Horse or Pony class, ahead of new BDS member 13 year old Abigail Griffiths, showing 10.3hh pony All That Glitters.  Three of the day’s 13 classes had just one competitor forward:- Andy Brown in the Ride & Drive, Ray Glen in the Novice Horse or Pony, and Joanne Parrett in the Light Trade.  The two Cones classes, skilfully master-minded for us again this year by Vaughan Manners and Hazel Lappin, were also sadly lacking in entries, with just two competitors in each.
More accustomed to driving cones courses, newcomers to showing, Ella Parker and Sam O’Sullivan swopped their normal scurry driving to, as Sam described it, ‘give showing a go’, and Ella won the Novice Newcomer Whip class in style with the full moving Hackney pony Stapleford Hightime, ahead of Chanie Mathews driving her family’s cob Banjo, who demonstrated that he is the ultimate mother / daughter share.  Mum Karen has enjoyed success at this show with him previously, but this year only got to drive him in one class, while 14-year-old daughter Chanie made her driving show ring debut contesting three classes and winning the biggest one of the day, the Exercise Vehicles.  With confidence visibly growing Chanie had Banjo working beautifully to later collect the Young Driver Championship and went on to also head the Area Members Show Championship, where 2017 champion Liz Coombes, driving her super pair of Dartmoor ponies Stourton Bryony and Stourton Bracken, had to settle for reserve this time, although she had successfully defended her title in the Pleasure Driving class earlier in the day.
The afternoon classes saw traditional carriages to the fore, kicking off with a win for Pauline Holcombe and her hackney pony Westbourne Highflyer in the Concours d’Elegance, judged by Maggie Pennington.  Victoria Morris with Welsh Section C pony Drysiog Daniel AP Jet impressed Modris in both the Mountain & Moorland and 13.2hh & Under Private Driving to head these, and Kathleen Hill led the Over 13.2hh Private Driving.  These three, together with Joanne, Ella, Chanie, and Liz made it an all-lady-whip Show Championship line-up for Modris to consider and filling the ring they all sparkled in the brilliant afternoon sunshine.  Modris appeared to select his Show Champion fairly easily, but Reserve Champion was more difficult to decide upon, leading to a run off between Joanne and her donkey light trade turnout and Chanie.  In a final flourish Chanie added Reserve Champion to her earlier haul of honours and Victoria was crowned the 2018 Show Champion.

The low number of entries of course impacted on the finances of our show and unfortunately the expenditure outstripped the income by £278.75.  However this loss was greatly reduced thanks to the hugely appreciated financial support from our very generous sponsors:-

Jenny & Geoff Allen     Saranna Cogswell
Lin & Bill Dawson   David Guy
Ann & Terry James     Sue Mitchell
Tony Munt & Sue Wiles at Highsteppers        Sue Prust
Wendy Richards Gill Smith
Sandy Smyth South & West Wilts Hunt
Michael Trevett at Winterborne Horsebox Co. Jen VanIwaarden
Clare Wigmore at Carriage Link  

Alongside our hardworking judges, the show ran smoothly thanks to the tireless work of our fabulous team of stewards, comprising of Lin and Bill Dawson, Ann and Terry James, Trudie Phillips, Hilary Sandon, Gill Smith, Sandy Smyth and Michael Trevett:  Massive thanks to all of them for their vital help and also to our catering ladies Linda Young and Julia Trim, and also to Helen Lorentzen who spent the day behind her camera recording all the day’s action.

Thank you to everyone who participated in and supported this year’s show.  We will be venturing forth again next year and therefore please put the following date in your diary:-
Sunday 9th June 2019.
If you have any thoughts or suggestions for next year’s show do please get in touch.

Alison Trevett - Show Secretary
Tel: 01258 881295 (evenings and weekends)  E-mail:

Click here for Results

Click here for Photographs by Helen Lorentzen - Dorset Equestrian Photography
To order copies contact Helen on Tel: 07870 391039 or E-mail:
or via Facebook

Fun Day at Holton Lee
Sunday 13th May 2018

Once again the Holton Lee Carriage Driving Centre for the Disabled kindly allowed us to organise a Fun Day in their lovely grounds. Turnouts could take part in an interval drive through fields and woodland and there was a challenging course for those who wished to compete in the accumulator cones or just to 'have a go'.
Winner of the accumulator cones was Sue Wiles; 2nd: Karen Matthews; Joint 3rd: Alison Trevett and Jen VanIwaarden; 5th : Jen VanIwaarden; 6th: Nick Dardani.

Cones Training Day
Saturday 21st April 2018

The training day was held at Dogdean Farm which is a mere half mile away from our yard so we were able to drive our pony Woody there and not bother with the lorry. Once there we took him out of the cart and tied him up so he could enjoy a haynet. Meanwhile, we helped ourselves to a welcome mug of coffee and some biscuits and studied the cones course which had been carefully set up in the lovely large arena. There was much checking of measurements between the cones to get everything exactly right for us.

When we were all gathered together, Sue Wiles and Tony Munt walked us round the whole course and in great detail described how to approach each numbered set of cones, what to look for and how to find the correct angle. It was very informative, especially for us as we had not done cones or had any tuition before.

There were 10 turnouts taking part during the day, and each whip got three attempts at the course, with tuition from Sue. It was not a competition day, but a chance for everyone to learn and hopefully improve with each go. Among the participants were two junior whips, one of whom, aged 8, drove her wonderfully decorated pony with stars on his bottom! When it was our turn, Woody had a couple of spooks at the mirrors at the end of the arena, and once in trot, it was obvious that this was harder than it looked as some of the angles were slightly challenging to us beginners! However we managed to get round with a maximum of three down out of 10 and so thought that wasn't too awful for a first time.

We really enjoyed ourselves at this event, and would like to thank Ann & Terry for hosting it and Tony and Sue for their excellent tuition and help throughout the day.

And the sun shone, what more could we ask for?

 Maz Edwards.

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Dorset vs Hampshire Inter-Area Quiz
Saturday 17th March 2018

The imminent arrival of the 'Mini Beast from the East' didn't deter the 31 folk who ventured from across Dorset and Hampshire to Vines Kitchen at Sturminster Marshall near Wimborne, for the return match of the Dorset verses Hampshire Area Quiz. Following a warm welcome from organiser Michelle Beck, in front of a roaring log fire we enjoyed a delicious, hearty supper served by Beth Driscoll and Amelia Skeats.

Beth then swapped her chef's hat for that of quiz master and with her quick wit created much hilarity as she struggled to read out some of the 'University Challenge' standard questions, which rendered many of us quizzers confused and bemused. After much head scratching and many laughs, it was the topically named 'It was Putin what done it' Dorset team of Michelle, Jo Hannington, Sarah Oakley, Robert and Barbara Sampson and Jane Stanley that triumphed, well ahead of 'The Dorset Smugglers' led by Ann James, who just pipped 'The Hampshire Hopefuls' in third place. So, after two matches, Dorset is currently leading 2 - 0, but Hampshire have already lain down the gauntlet for a return match later in the year.

Huge thanks to Michelle for master-minding the evening and to Beth, Amelia and their helpers at Vines Kitchen for making us so very welcome. As we left, the snow flurries were gaining pace but nothing could dampen the joy of a very jolly evening.

Alison Trevett.

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Equine First Aid Talk by Peter Aitken
Thursday 8th February 2018

"A big thank you to Peter Aitken BVetMed MRCVS from Dorset Equine Veterinary Services, for a very informative talk on Equine First Aid, kindly organised by Sue Wiles and Tony Munt of Highsteppers.

This was held at Bere Regis Sports Club on Thursday, 8th February 2018,where we had a very good turn out.

A wide range of topics were covered, including but not exclusive to bleeding, wounds, lameness, eyes, colic, choke and Azoturia (tying up). In addition to this Peter had highlighted some very useful lotions and ointments to keep in your medical kit.

Thank you to all involved and those who attended to make this another successful evening.

Gemma Sant

Bowling Evening
Friday 26th January 2018

A first for me going bowling and, much to my surprise, I loved it.
We met at Cobham Sports and Social Club - 20 people in all - and teams of four were soon arranged and the fun began. Each member of each team had 10 attempts, and what looked so easy proved very difficult, as the bowls had minds of their own!

Quite a lot of noise as the bowls thundered down the alley, and quite a lot of noise from the members when they were successful or, as in my case, cries of frustration!

The evening sped by.  We were able to tuck into an excellent finger buffet, which kept us going between turns and also gave opportunities to talk to friends and acquaintances.

Thanks must go to Terry, who got everyone organised (sort of), standing in for Ann who was greatly missed, being unwell.

It became a very close competition, the winner being Sue Wiles, 2nd Melanie Thomas 3rd Val Bull.

In all a most enjoyable evening.

Gill Smith  

Christmas Dinner
Saturday 16th December 2017

What a lovely Christmassy time we had,when 34 people arrived at Cobham Sports and Social Club to enjoy a lovely festive meal with good company. 

We were all greeted at the door by our AC Ann and her lovely husband Terry with a glass of Prosecco or orange juice. The room was tastefully decorated and there was music in the background, not too loud, so every one could hear themselves talk.  And there was certainly a lot of chatting and laughter.  The meal was superb, well-presented and served with a smile. The staff were very attentive and friendly and nothing was too much trouble.

There were some lovely prizes in the raffle - as always, many were definitely going to make for a tipsy Christmas!

Many thanks to Ann and Terry for organising a wonderful evening, which was enjoyed by all.
Gill Shorter

NB A cheque for £65 – half the proceeds of the raffle – was sent to Cancer Research UK.

Click here for photos

Area Annual Meeting
Thursday 7th December 2017

A total of 17  members attended our Area Meeting which was followed by a social get-together, with ideas for the coming season exchanged.
Minutes of the meeting can be viewed on our website.

Talk by Robert Sampson at Bere Regis Sports Club
Thursday 9th November 2017

Robert Sampson and his family have had a lifetime of experiences with Percheron horses and he shared some of those memories with members of the BDS at the Bere Regis Sports Club in November.

The talk was very interesting and there were many photographs to see, some of which showed large teams of Percherons harnessed together to work the land using a variety of traditional farm machinery.

The evening was well supported and Robert welcomed questions from members throughout the talk which was much appreciated. 
Peter Preen

Talk on Rural Crime
Thursday 19th October 2017

Braving the wind and rain, 18 members came to Bere Regis to listen to a presentation by PC Claire Dinsdale of Dorset Police Rural Crime Team. An excellent speaker, Claire used a screen with slides to illustrate the points she was making about the risks of different kinds of rural crime and what can be done to discourage it. Describing incidents involving theft of tractors, trailers and quad bikes, sheep-worrying, poaching and livestock/wildlife attacks, she certainly raised our awareness of risk and the need to keep a step ahead of the criminals. And it is often regular criminals from urban areas who are involved – the 'romantic' image of the jolly poacher looking for a rabbit or two for the pot is totally out of date.
The message that kept recurring during Claire's presentation was that rural crime, however minor, must be reported. If the incident is not reported, the crime doesn't exist. Unfortunately, there is a reluctance in rural areas to involve the police and Claire stressed that reports could be made anonymously or via Crime Stoppers.
Following the presentation, Ann James thanked Claire on our behalf for an enlightening talk, and the evening was rounded off with a raffle in aid of Dorset & Somerset Air Ambulance.

Treasure Hunt
Sunday 8th October 2017

The sun shone out of an October blue sky as nine turnouts arrived at Chilbridge Farm and collected their list of Wendy Richards' wonderfully baffling clues for this year's Treasure Hunt. It has been held since 1991 in aid of The Brooke, and is definitely one of our most popular drives. Wendy had produced the clues in rhyming couplets, which had the teams scratching their heads over puzzles like 'Outside a cottage you'll see a well. Polly put something on it – what is it? Please tell'.
The eventual winners were announced at the cream tea which followed, and were:1st Peter Preen; 2nd The Hampshire Maidens; 3rd Mary Ford; and 4th Roger Page, All participants were given a rosette and Roger Page thanked Wendy and her team of helpers for all the work which had gone into making this a really enjoyable day. Another great success, Wendy!

Sunday 10th September 2017

Well, the weather was looking decidedly dodgy on this Sunday morning with a few spots of on and off rain, but we managed to get round the 9 mile route and stayed mostly dry.

In total there were 6 turnouts for the drive, mostly singles but including a pair of Freisans with a rider alongside.

Starting off on rural lanes passing some beautiful thatched properties, we headed down to Lower Row and past Hayters Feed Merchants. From there we went up and over Holt heath by road and along to Whitesheet.

Once at Whitesheet we were off road and onto gravel tracks and so away from any traffic. There were several gates to open so the backsteppers got some well needed exercise!

Driving through the Plantation we had just the sound of the birds and the ponies hooves, we even saw a Buzzard at close quarters. Looking at our new “toy”, a milometer, we were doing approximately 7.5 mph in trot

The route was well marked with Arrows and we were given a map to follow but it was nice to see a couple of stewards at some of the gates to help us back out onto the road.

Once back on the highway, we retraced our steps back to Holtwood. All the cars and traffic we met today were well behaved, patient and polite but we pulled over whenever possible to let any cars pass us safely.

Once back at base and with our trusty ponies all tied up with a well-deserved haynet, we all tucked into hot drinks and wonderful homemade cakes, which were lovely!

After cake we went and had a look in Sue’s tack shop, (more like Aladdin's cave!) and I came away with a lovely new yard coat for a bargain price:)

All in all a good drive and a well-run event, so a big Thank you to Sue Prust for kindly hosting this event and to everyone else involved in the organisation and the very important “Making of the Cakes” !

Maz Edwards

Click here for photos

BDS Dorset & South Wilts Trec
Sunday 13th August 2017

On a lovely sunny August Sunday 11 turnouts participated in the 2017 Trec at Dogdean Farm. There were all colours and sizes of horse and pony, two-wheeled and four-wheeled vehicles with those new to Trec right through to seasoned Treccies.
Once we had all been given our maps, instructions and start time, the competition started with presentation of the turnout to the judge. Stuart Johnstone checked the harness, carriage, spares kit, hi- viz etc, and then wished us good luck as we left on the drive.
The drive was an eight-mile circular through the village and into the woodland, then heathland and back, driven to an optimum time.
We then commenced the skills. Three skills were in the manège, a one-handed 20m circle, figure-of-eight and a rein back overseen by Chris King. Then a move out to the field where we had to do a fast walk and a slow trot over a designated distance, negotiated a bridge, a 60th anniversary obstacle, posted a letter, drove under an arch, halted with a wheel on a board and on to the cones overseen by Terry.
And to finish the day the prize-giving with tea, coffee, scones and some rather lovely cake.

Whilst enjoying our coffee and cake Stuart talked to the group about road safety from his standpoint as both an HGV driver and carriage driver. One thing that he stressed was the need for hi-viz on the front of the horse so the horse could clearly be seen at road junctions.

A big thank you Ann and Terry for the fantastic venue and organisation. Thank you also to all the judges and stewards without whom events like this could not be run. Everyone was helpful, friendly and very supportive. I did both the drive and skills with my horse and was kindly allowed to do just the skills with my very novice pony.

1st Kayti Harvey
2nd Jeanette Parker
3rd Alison Trevett
4th Sue Wiles
5th Michelle Beck
6th Paul Edwards

Michelle Beck

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BDS Diamond Jubilee Drive and Tea
Sunday 23rd July 2017

We were privileged to be invited by Lord Shaftesbury and Chris King for this Jubilee Drive from Gussage All Saints which took us across some of the normally out-of-bounds Wimborne St Giles estate. A lot of planning had gone into this event. - Chris King had kindly prepared a flat field for parking lorries and trailers, and Ann James with her helpers had produced a splendid Jubilee Tea with a celebratory cake and had designed special pale blue and silver rosettes for the occasion.

And then the rain came! Just as the first turnouts were setting off, and it got heavier and gustier as the drive went on... but we made the best of it as the route took us through beautiful countryside and parkland. Tea on our return was especially welcome and although we would have wished for sunshine and a light breeze, we kept our British 'stiff upper lip' through the rain and wind!
Many thanks are due to Ann and Terry and the team of helpers, and to Chris King for arranging the drive, and preparing the field - we hope very much that we can come back to Wimborne St Giles and a drier drive next year.

Click here for photos

Interval Drive and Hog Roast
Sunday 2nd July 2017

Once again, this popular drive attracted a high number of turnouts, with 23 singles, five pairs and one team arriving at Highsteppers in Pallington to take part in the interval drive along beautiful woodland tracks, eventually fording the river at Moreton and then finishing with a short road drive back to Highsteppers. Many thanks to Tony and Sue and their helpers for making it such a great drive - the route was well marked and there were stewards at road crossings to help us. And of course the scrumptious hog roast was a welcome treat at the end of the day!

BDS Dorset & South Wiltshire Area Show
Sunday 11th June 2017
Turnpike Showground, Motcombe, Dorset

Click here for Results

Click here for Photographs by Helen Lorentzen - Dorset Equestrian Photography
To order copies contact Helen on Tel: 07870 391039 or E-mail:

Holton Lee Fun Day
14th May 2017

A record 14 turnouts came along to our Fun Day, held once again at the kind invitation of the East Holton Carriage Driving Centre for the Disabled at Holton Lee. The drive took us along a well marked route through fields and woodland, with glimpses of the sea beyond. And everyone could 'have a go' at the fun cones course set up by Ann and Terry James, with the eventual fastest time being achieved by Charlotte Bull.
Many thanks to the staff at Holton Lee and all the helpers who made this such a good day.
Valerie Bull.

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Harness Fitting, Nutley Farm
30th April 2017

We all met in the barn at Nutley Farm for the harness clinic given by Tony Munt and Sue Wiles. Various horses and a pony with many and different sets of harness were used to show a very interested audience the correct way to fit and harness a carriage horse. The use of different bits was explained in great detail, with much discussion all round.
This was followed by a practice session for those who had never done it before, with all the intricate details explained.
Putting to with the horse and carriage was followed by a break for tea and coffee and cake.
The barn was ideal as we chose the only day for at least a month when it chose to rain.

Our thanks for a very interesting and informative day to Tony Munt and Sue Wiles and to Ann Roots for providing the facilities.
Terry James

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Talk on equine nutrition
23rd March 2017

Lorna Edgar and Jo Revell from Bailey's Feeds gave us a fascinating insight into the way the horse's 'insides' work and certainly made us think hard about what level and type of  feed is best for each individual animal. We were taken right through the digestive system (so to speak!), starting with the importance of the mouth and teeth in producing saliva – the first stage of digestion – to the oesophagus and stomach, the small intestine, the hindgut and the large intestine. We learnt how to use 'body condition scoring' in a critical analysis of the horse, scoring for fat and muscle in order to establish the feeding regime needed, which should be linked to the workload and temperament of the horse.
All in all, a most interesting evening, which was rounded off by one-to-one Q's and A's with Lorna and Jo and a distribution of lovely Raffle prizes.

Wareham Forest Drive
19th March 2017

Wareham Forest is our first drive of the season and in spite of a chilly and overcast Sunday, eight turnouts  enjoyed a good day out with members coming from Dorset, Hampshire and Wiltshire.
The route was approximately 10 or six miles though forestry and open country with distant views across the forest.   All gates on the route had been opened, making the drive flow smoothly.
Amongst the participants there were a team of Shetlands, pair of Dartmoors plus singles of different shapes and sizes, all of which enjoyed themselves and arrived back safely.
A big thank you to Yvette and Hazel  for their time and effort planning and marking the course and all who helped on the day.
Ann Harfield

Hampshire – Dorset Quiz
5th March 2017

We had a lovely evening at the combined Hampshire – Dorset Quiz evening. There were 8 teams in all and Dorset was well supported with 3 teams.  The questions were really good, difficult to make us think.  Lots of laughter was heard from all the teams.  After winning Dorset are to host a return match.  Hampshire did such a good job that Dorset have a high standard to live up to.
Jen VanIwaarden

Talk by farrier Andy Brown
16th February 2017

Did you know the horse's hoof is made of compressed hair? And that there are nine bones in the horse's leg below the knee? Or that you can compare the structure of the hoof with that of a pork pie?!These were just a few of the interesting facts shared by farrier Andy Brown in his talk 'Happy hoof, happy horse' and he went on to explain that care of the horse's feet should be in the main down to common sense. The hoof being the foundation of the horse, it should be comfortable and uncontrived with the shoe fitting as naturally as possible. Also important, said Andy, is giving the horse two or three months' rest during the year, with shoes off.
The talk was followed by a lively question-and-answer session addressing issues such as remedial shoeing and the pros and cons of not shoeing at all.

Christmas Lunch
11th December 2016

Once again our Christmas lunch was at The Fox Inn, Ansty, where 24 members enjoyed a festive meal and good company. The Carvery produced its usual bounty and lunch was followed by a raffle of lovely prizes, several of them with an alcoholic theme! The occasion, as always, provided an opportunity to meet and chat with old friends and to reflect on the year gone by.

To see photos click here

Area Annual Meeting
8th December 2016

It was a foggy night, but 21 members gathered at the  Bere Regis Sports Club for our Annual Meeting which this year was chaired by Sue Wiles. She opened the proceedings by reading out a letter from Area Commissioner Dryden Pennington explaining that he was not well enough to attend but had asked Sue to stand in for him. He sent his best wishes, his thanks for our support and a glass of bubbly for each of us.
The meeting then took its official route and Minutes can be accessed on our website.
The evening was rounded off by a scrumptious buffet, and we each raised our glass of Dryden's generous gift as we toasted him and looked forward to a new season of carriage driving.

To see photos click here

'Thrills and Spills'
3rd November 2016

A nail-biting evening watching videos of competitive driving at its thrilling best but including hair-raising footage of crashes and crunches, some of them involving well-known names (and one Royal!). Thanks to Tony Munt for putting together the show and keeping us on the edge of our seats – it certainly gave us plenty to think about!

Skittles Evening
Thursday 15th September 2016

Another sociable evening, with two teams of four (including the barman!) flexing their muscles and Dave Bull achieving the highest points.

Demonstration of Multiples.
Sunday 14th August 2016

A very interesting and instructive morning with Tony Munt driving a single, pair, and a threesome.  Later in the day spectators were able to 'have a go' and drive the combinations through a cones course, with Tony and Sue Wiles giving them guidance – it's not as easy as it looks!

Trec - Dogdean Farm
Sunday 17 July 2016

We couldn't have asked for better weather. 11 turnouts arrived at Dogdean Farm to enjoy the Trec. As usual, a first class venue.
On arrival we were all issued with a map and directions, plus a summary of the skills which would be attempted on our return.
We started with an 8 mile drive. From the farm we set off up through the village of Colehill before entering Cannon Hill, a forest area owned by the Forestry Commission. All the tracks are gravel and well maintained. We drove through wooded area and open heathland before returning to the road. On the homeward journey we passed the Barley Mow pub, where several small steam engines had pulled in for some refreshment. I did think that maybe Ann had arranged this as an extra skill.
Back at the farm, after taking a little time to cool down, the skills were next. Opening and closing a gate is something we all do, but to get your pony to stand quietly, seemed to be achieved by most.
The scarecrows didn't seem so scary, but how many ponies get to see a camel!  (a large wooden one).  Onto the bridge and then a trot, walk, over a set distance trying to do both at similar speed.  Cones to finish off.
No trip to Dogdean Farm is complete without the get together for a chat over tea and cake. A lovely day was had by all. Big thank you to Ann and Terry, and not forgetting the helpers.

Gill Shorter


I would like to say a VERY big Thank You to all the helpers at the TREC on 17th July.
Maureen and Hugh for doing the Safety Inspection, Hilary (who came up from Somerset) and Wendy. Carolyn, Yvonne and Mike (liveries at Dogdean) who kindly offered to help as we were very short of Stewards.
Where are all our BDS Members?
Finally Terry, who not only manned a forest barrier, but oversaw the Skills and collated the points.

Winner     Katie Harvey
2nd          Michelle Beck
3rd           Tina Squire
4th           Tracey Griffiths
5th           Gill Smith
6th           Di Bruce   

One competitor remarked that her horse took no notice of the scarecrows or the camel, but a Friesian cow near the bridge was a step too far!!

Ann James

Interval drive and hog roast.
Sunday 3rd July 2016

Once again this event, hosted by Tony Munt and Sue Wiles, proved super-popular, with 31 turnouts – singles, pairs and teams - taking part in the mostly off-road drive.  They came from near and far - as far as Warwickshire in one case - and one local couple enjoyed the drive so much that they went back home to fetch another pony and went round again! Many thanks to Tony and Sue and their team for organizing the drive and the food - all much appreciated.

BDS Dorset & South Wiltshire Area Show
Sunday 12th June 2016
Turnpike Showground, Motcombe, Dorset

Click here for Results

Click here for Photographs by Helen Lorentzen - Dorset Equestrian Photography
To order copies contact Helen on Tel: 01258 818207 or E-mail:

Sunday 26th June 2016

Back in the Spring of this year our Steering Group decided we couldn't let the Queen's 90th birthday pass without marking it in some way, and Ann  and Terry James very kindly offered to host a birthday drive and tea at Dogdean Farm on 26th June. The invitation was to join the drive and/or the gathering round the tea table so while six turnouts enjoyed a 6½-mile outing round the country lanes, a total of 34 guests arrived for tea. They were greeted by a very realistic cardboard cut-out of Her Majesty with Prince Philip, and the table was decked with Union Flag decorations – plates, paper napkins and all. In pride of place was the birthday cake, beautifully and patriotically decorated and the table was laden with plates of sandwiches and tea cakes. Once we were all gathered, Dryden proposed the Loyal Toast to the Queen and we all raised a glass of Champagne to Her Majesty, after which Ann cut the cake for us all to share.
It was a slap-up tea! And we all echoed Dryden's thanks to Ann and Terry for putting it on in such style, as well as organising the drive.
Finally, everybody there was presented with a birthday rosette and it was agreed that a great day was had by all!
Sandy Smyth

Queen's Birthday Drive

Sunday 22nd May 2016

After Saturday’s full on non-stop rain, we were very relieved to wake on Sunday to find the rain had stopped and we had a dry and sunny day ahead of us for the Fun Day.

A fairly healthy turnout of 10 or so participants arrived to enjoy the day.

The woodland drive was made a bit longer this year, taking in more of the natural beauty of Holton Lee.  Although only about 3 miles, the route was very twisty in places with some fairly sharp turns and some clever negotiation was needed around the numerous tree stumps and natural hazards of the forest.
Plenty of wildlife was available for the sharp-eyed! A large herd of deer (including one white one) were spotted enjoying the sunshine.
Some chose to do the drive twice around to make the most of it.

Next we were challenged to a small obstacle course and horses were asked if they would kindly walk over a blue plastic tarpaulin then negotiate an S bend of poles then over some thick mats. Not things you tend to encounter every day!

The cones course was fairly challenging with 12 to go through and again some sharp turns and tight angles through the pretty narrow width course.
Again everyone was encouraged to have as many attempts as they wished.

The weather held out for us right through to the afternoon and it was lovely to finish off with getting the chairs out, picnics ready to eat and friends to chat with.

All in all a great and enjoyable stress free day!

A big well done to the volunteers and helpers of Holton Lee RDA driving group who make this event happen and run it so well.

Written by Maz Edwards

Fun Day at East Holton Driving Centre By Marie Stuart (The Photographer)
click here to view the photographs

East Holton Driving Centre saw the first fun day of the BDS season on Sunday 22nd May. Many horse boxes arrived at Holten Lee, from Poole, Weymouth, Wimborne and surrounding areas to ride the set course and have fun in the obstacles. I arrived at 9.30am to take photos of the day’s events.  Nick, Keith, and Anne welcomed me to the centre, explaining where the best places would be to take good photos.  I couldn’t wait to get my camera equipment and get started. when a couple welcomed me at my car with a cuppa which they had just brewed, waiting for their horses to arrive. 
They told me about driving and how often they went to other locations to partake in similar events and what to expect. As the horse boxes arrived, so I started taking photos. There were quite a few riders, horses and carriages eager to ride the course.   I didn’t realise what kind or how big event I was covering and when Keith gave me a map of the course it looked quite a fair length. So I headed out towards the trees after taking a few shots of the early comer’s as I didn’t want to miss the action. The map indicated a fair walk to get to the best spots.
There were many ideal photo spots with large stones, marshes, trees and open fields and when I stopped to hear the horses hooves coming my way, I was delighted to see groomed horses and riders in silk caps, driving the course.  The excitement on their faces as they tackled the twists and turns of the track and large steep hills over Holton Lea course.
After moving around from location to location and capturing the riders. It was time to see the obstacle events take place. Not knowing what to expect the drivers move between number cones in a very tight system. Videoing here would be my idea choice of documenting this event. I had enough time to video a couple of horses and riders before I had a turn on a horse and carriage. I was given the biggest horse and carriage to experience at first-hand what it was like to ride around a tight maze of cones. Holding on tight, at full steam ahead I was driven around the field and then swishing back and forth in the cones and hanging on so I wouldn’t fall off.
What an amazing fun experience I had with such friendly people, who driving horses is there passion.  The homemade Victoria sponge that worked its way around the many families was absolutely delicious and made a great ending to a wonderful Photographic day.

Skittles Evening
14th April 2016

A fun evening was enjoyed by the 26 people who attended the first Dorset/Wilts Area BDS Skittle Evening at the Social Club at Winterbourne Stickland on Thursday, 14th April..... 22 of the 26 took part in the skittles tournament, 2 teams of 11, headed by Maureen and Yvette. 

Three rounds of skittles followed, Pete and Dave both achieved a 9 with their first balls. The scores remained pretty equal over the evening, but there was good competition between the two teams.  At the end of the tournament the singles results were – Dave, Hazel and Jim with 20 pins, Keith got 21 pins down, Michael 22, and there was a tense play-off between Terry and Tony, who had both knocked 23 pins down. 

In the final Tony (who says he has never played skittles) took the title by knocking down 8 pins, against Terry's 7.... exciting end to a very enjoyable evening.

Why not come along and try your hand at skittles and meet some like minded people at the next Skittles Evening to be held in the Autumn, at the Social Club Winterborne Stickland.. friends/family welcome.

Whips & Grooms course at Nutley Farm (Anne Roots Yard)
17th April 2016

We had a fun, friendly and informative day out with Sue Wiles & Tony Munt giving us some hands on tips and advice for our turnouts.

There was about 10 people in attendance on this beautiful, bright sunny but cold day at Nutley Farm.

We started off with a talk by Tony on the necessity of regular maintenance for our vehicles. They should be checked that nothing is missing, broken or needing repair. Brakes should be regularly tested and checked (without the horse in) also wheel bearings, tyres and the general overall condition of the cart.

We went on to how to correctly fit harness and how it too, should be regularly cleaned and inspected to assess any wear and tear and if any repairs are deemed necessary.
It was an interesting exercise to also harness up a horse with a harness that DIDN’T fit, so that we could all learn how to adjust it.

Coffee break followed with some very tasty homemade cakes all round!

After coffee we progressed onto putting to. Learned what the grooms’ role in this was and also the importance of Hi Viz if driving on the roads.
We discussed the need to let other road users know where you going and how to signal to car drivers if you are turning left, right or slowing down. Or indeed if you want them to slow down!

Once the horses were in the carriages we went outside to the fabulous arena!

After they had warmed the horses up we were encouraged to get on the back step of each to feel the difference in pace between the beautiful Friesian and the impressive Gelderlander, and to learn how to lean to help to balance the vehicle on the turns.

There was an obstacle course set up in readiness and most of us stepped up to have a go. The Friesian was fairly steady and had a lovely balanced rhythm and was not too scary! The Gelderlander (who is quite a new addition to Sue & Tonys stable) was much faster with a bigger stride and he turned very quickly around the obstacles. It was either a big smile or a very scared look from the person on the back!

We finished off the day un-harnessing the horses and washing them off and having more cake and a good chat!

Written by Maz Edwards

Pony Drive
Thursday 3rd March 2016

On a cold Thursday evening the Pony Drive was held at  Bere Regis sports club. You may wonder what a Pony Drive is. It’s a fun evening involving a game more commonly known as a Beetle Drive.  Wendy got us all organised into groups of four sat around tables. Everyone has a pen and paper also a dice. To start you need to throw a six so you can draw a pony's body, each number on the dice corresponds with a pony's body part, tail eyes legs etc. Taking turns we each started our ponies if you were lucky enough to get the right number!  I threw a four, three times in a row which meant that my pony could have had three tails! When you or a player in one of the groups has finished their pony, you shout PONY! The game stops, you add the parts you drew to get a total. The two people on your table with the highest score move to the next table. The game then repeats about six times.
A Pony Drive is a fun way to get to speak to lots of people that maybe you wouldn’t normally speak to because everyone is moving tables throughout the evening. A great way to get to know fellow carriage drivers and make new friends.
Finally we added up our total scores, Michael whizzed around the tables during the evening - his total score was 230 which made him the winner, well done Michael .Wendy then judged our artistic talent and Dave  won the best pony drawing .
I was glad I had made the effort to attend a very sociable evening and it was great to catch up with everyone.
Thank you Wendy and Jim for organizing it, and Terry for arranging the raffle.
Our next evening will be a skittles night at the Winterborne Stickland Sports Club on 14th April at 7.30.Why not come along for a game and a chat .
Hazel Lappin

Christmas Lunch
Sunday 6th December 2015

Once again The Fox Inn did us proud, and 28 members enjoyed their meal in a festive atmosphere, rounded off by a splendid Christmas raffle organised by Ann and Terry James. After lunch, our outgoing AC, Peter Douglas, was presented with a special bottle of malt whisky, and an accompanying shot glass engraved with the BDS logo, in recognition of his years of work for our Area, and a  floral bouquet was presented to his wife Sue, with thanks for all her much appreciated  support.
Sandy Smyth

Area Annual Meeting
Thursday 3rd December 2015

Despite the bad weather, 19 members came to Bere Regis for our Annual Meeting, where the formal proceedings included Area Commissioner Dryden Pennington's report on the events of 2015, with thanks to all host and helpers. There had been an encouraging 42% response to his questionnaire, sent to all members, which had highlighted an appetite for Fun Days, Educational Events, Junior Whip Days and Trek and these would be on the agenda for Steering Group meetings. Dryden confirmed that Area membership now stood at 102.
The Treasurer's Report from Ann James showed the Area to be once again in a relatively comfortable financial position, although slightly down on last year.
Full Minutes will be circulated in advance of this year's Annual Meeting.

Quiz Evening
Thursday 19th November 2015

A most enjoyable evening, thanks to inventive questions from Wendy Richards and Ann James. Five teams took part and questions were on equestrian topics as well as plants, birds, Dorset places, and general knowledge. The evening was split into two sections, the winning team in the first section being Wendy & Jim Richards, Terry James and Valerie Bull. The second section was won by Michael & Alison Trevett, Dryden Pennington and Keith Damon.
Prizes for the winning teams came in the form of chocolates, which were shared with the 'also-rans'! 
Dave Bull

Evening meeting with William Reddaway
Tuesday 3rd November 2015

Our 2015 Autumn/Winter season of indoor gatherings kicked off with an evening meeting at Bere Regis Sports Club, where 20 Area members and guests welcomed William Reddaway from Gloucestershire, whose talk about his ‘Ride Round England’ with his horse Strider, was both entertaining and inspiring.  There were many highs and lows on this impressive seven month journey covering nearly 2,700 miles, to the four corners of England, all without the aid of a backup vehicle or crew.  Such exploits as bringing a city centre tram system to a standstill, to miles of walking in hand, had the audience gasping with horror one minute and laughing out loud the next.  The ride and William’s subsequent talks are raising funds for the Wormwood Scrubs Pony Centre, Riding for Disabled Association and the Family Holiday Association. The audience showed their appreciation with a donation of £206, adding to the £75,000 already raised and towards a target of £250,000.  To find out more see
Alison Trevett

Sunday 11th October 2015

Hosted by Jim and Wendy Richards, this was the 25th Treasure Hunt organised by them and it was, as always, very well attended, with 16 turnouts taking part. The weather was kind, the off-road driving delightful and Wendy's clues were as challenging as ever! The day was rounded off by a scrumptious tea, when the winners were announced as: 1st: Roger Page; 2nd: Peter & Georgina Burrows; 3rd: John & Di Siviter; 4th Dave & Charlotte Bull                                  

Wendy and Jim have long been very active supporters of The Brooke, an international animal welfare organisation dedicated to improving the lives of working horses, donkeys and mules in some of the world's poorest communities. In 27 years they have raised an astonishing total of    
£37,000  through all sorts of activities, including the Treasure Hunts. As well as fund-raising, they have actually been to see what The Brooke has to cope with in remote and impoverished areas of the world, experiences which have fuelled their determination to do something to help. In recognition of their work they have been invited, later this month, to meet HRH The Duchess of Cornwall, President of the charity, after which they will enjoy a tour of the Royal Mews, followed by a Monty Roberts demonstration. Watch this space for a report on their day...

Sandy Smyth

Marlpitts Drive

On Sunday 13th September 2015, with quite wet weather forecast, 11 turnouts well equipped with wet weather gear, found their way to West Milton, Bridport, to enjoy a drive both on and off road. The route this year gave an option of eight or 12 miles, with most taking the long route. There were 9 single turn outs, the resident pair of cobs, and Tony Munts impressive 4 horse team of Gelderlanders. Teas and coffee were available to begin with and following the drive all sat down to roast lamb from the farm, together with roast potatoes, followed by home-made cake.
We were fortunate to have our British Driving Society Area Commissioner Dryden Pennington, and Noel Danagher, AC for Devon, to support us on this occasion.

Phil Worley

Marlpitts Drive 2015

Marlpitts drive 2015



The morning of the drive from Dogdean  Farm was wet to say the least.  As we sat at breakfast the rain was really heavy and lashing the window.   Shall we go we debated?  Yes of course we would, we must put up with a little discomfort for the sake of our hobby.  So Jake was loaded on to the lorry, all be it a little reluctantly.  So armed with wellingtons, waterproof leggings and coats we set off through the heavy rain.   Along the way the road was flooded in several places and we began to wonder if we would even be able to get into Ann’s field let alone out again. We must be mad.
By the time we arrived thankfully the rain had eased to just a drizzle. There were already 4 other brave turnouts there getting ready to drive.   Ann welcomed us and showed us to our parking spot, we decanted Jake and the carriage and made a quick coffee which we drank while putting the harness on.  During this short time the rain stopped and the grey clouds were being replaced with some blue sky, hooray.
We fitted Jake with his reflective martingale and hat, donned our own waterproof reflective jackets and set off up the hill to head for the forest where a kind steward let us in through the barrier.  From then on we had a wonderful drive along the forestry tracks, the sun was shining the air was clear but it was not hot, and it was fly free.    Stewards saw us over the road crossings so we were all safe at the necessary places.There were 8 turnouts who made the drive which was about 8 miles, with a fair chunk of forestry tracks, as well as quiet lanes.
We were joined later in the day by an 9th turnout who just joined us take part in the challenging cones course that Ann and Terry had laid out for us to tackle upon our return from the drive.  We all had several attempts to get round and had good fun.
The day came to a close with a gathering in the barn for some catch up information from A. C, Dryden Pennington, a good chat and banter with friends and fellow drivers and the most important tea and some super homemade cakes that were eagerly enjoyed by everyone.  
We made the right decision in the morning, having had a lovely drive,  good fun and spent time with friends.  That’s what driving should be all about.
And yes, we did get back out of Ann’s field with no problem.
Thank you, Ann and Terry for the venue and all those who gave up their time to help.  We can’t do it without you.

Hugh Blakemor

Demonstration day at Kingston Maurward
 Sunday 9th August 2015

We hope everyone enjoyed a brilliant day seeing all the different driving combinations:
·         Single
·         Tandem
·         Troika
·         Reverse pickaxe
·         Team of 6
·         Team of 8
·         Pair
·         Unicorn
·         Team of 4
Not only did we see all the combinations but anyone who wanted to from the BDS could sit upside Tony and have the chance to drive.
I asked one of the BDS members who had got off the Troika from having a drive what it felt like. He had the biggest smile and said he had driven a pair with Tony and thought they felt like a Ferrari but the troika was like a Ferrari on steroids and he loved it. Adrenalin rush or what! And that was only at walk.
The owners, helpers and grooms were amazing to get this organised but I think the biggest thank you needs to be to the eight horses that did all the hard work. They came from two different teams of 4  (Tony Munt and John Davies) and had never worked together before, but you would never have known it, they were amazing. I think extra carrots for all and a scratch on the neck.

Jen Vaniwaarde

Kingston Maurward

Kingston Maurward

Kingston Maurward

Highstepper Drive
Sunday 5th July 2015

What a lovely day for a drive through Moreton Forest (even the weather was just perfect). I always love going through the forest and then finished it by going through the ford, but it was especially lovely for me this year as my pony was back in work after injury. There was loads of turnouts, I heard someone say about 30 I think. We got to meet Dryden our new area commissioner as we started and finished, and I know we were smiling from ear to ear when we completed it.

The hog roast from Tony and Sue gave everyone a chance to talk and catch up. I know that they had trouble with the hog roast and Sue  (plus helpers) did miracles to get the meat cooked in time. Thank you to everyone who helped to get the drive organised and gave us all such a lovely day.

Jen Vaniwaarden

BDS Dorset & South Wiltshire Area Show
Sunday 14th June 2015

Turnpike Showground, Motcombe, Dorset

A record number of entries for our Show this year, with strong classes keeping the judges busy in two rings and (thank heavens!) fair weather all day. Alison Trevett and her team of helpers had worked hard to make the Show a success and their efforts were rewarded by the numbers, enthusiasm and standard of the competitors. And plans are afoot for 2016...

By the way.... did you spot the printer's error in the last Newsletter's Show report? BDS Chairman Angela Sixsmith's long journey to our Show at Motcombe was, of course, a round trip of 460 miles, not 46! Many apologies, Angela, and thank you for your support.

Sandy Smyth

Click here for the Results

Click here for Photographs by Swingletree Photography
Prints are available to order by contacting Swingletree Photography direct

BDS FUN DAY 10th May 2015

Hosted by East Holton Driving Centre ( RDA ) and by kind permission of Holton Lee.

The day was hugely successful, enjoyed by all and enthusiastically supported by our new area commissioner. The event took place entirely within the grounds of Holton Lee consisting of a short off road route through woods and fields, followed by ‘have a go” cones and obstacles on a low key help yourself basis.
In all, nine turnouts attended plus one disabled service user.
For quite a few this was a welcome return to a site that was used for shows and events run by the late Margaret Newell a few years ago.

Many thanks to all the helpers both BDS and RDA and especially  Jonnie and Jane who gained permission and liaised with Holton Lee estate.

The enthusiasm is certainly there for us to hold future events but we need to get our request into Holton Lee early- watch this space!

Keith Demom

BDS QUIZ EVENING November 13th 2014

On Thursday 13th November, 18 members met at the Bere Regis Sports Club for a quiz evening. After time to get a drink and have a chat we divided into teams of four and the fun began.

Round 1 were questions about our local areas, surprising some of us with what we didn’t know, or couldn’t remember! The scores were to be a accumulative, so every point mattered! Next was a general quiz, followed by a round devoted to what one knew or didn’t know about the BDS. The final round was general knowledge.

Peals of mirth echoed round the room and disputes between different members of the team as to the right answer were frequent! It was a most enjoyable evening, with much laughter and amazement as correct answers were announced. Table four were the overall winners (Allison& Michael Terry & Jim) and were presented with their prize of a large box of chocolates, which they shared with everyone.

I would recommend others to join in when another evening is arranged as it is great fun, and there is always time to chat, meet up with friends and catch up with latest news.

Thanks go to Wendy Richards and Ann James for arranging the questions and organising the event.
As always there was an excellent raffle!!

Gill Smith.

Interval drive from Marlpitts Farm, West Milton, September 14th 2014

Eight turnouts attended Helen Minter's drive on September 14th, in lovely weather, with several members from both Devon and Somerset. On arrival we were offered tea and biscuits, before setting off on an interval drive of 12 miles round very pretty lanes through the village of West Milton, then we were off road over old turf downland and tracks. All the off road was over the Mappercombe Estate owned by Victor Crutchley.  Abig thank-you to Victor for letting us enjoy his estate. On returning to the start, having settled the ponies, we were given a lovely hot casserole on Helen's patio while we all caught up on our drive. lt was nice to meet Victor, who joined us for the meal. A big thank you to Helen and her helpers for a lovely well organised drive in Dorset.

Interval Drive and Hog Roast at Highsteppers. Pallington, July 6th 2014 

A great day out for the many turnouts who took part. Perfect weather, and a wonderful woodland drive, including fording the river at Moreton. Thanks go to Sue Wiles and Tony Munt and their team for the planning and organisation that made it such a success, and for the feast that rounded off the day!

Training Day, Kingston Mauward 2014

The Training Day at Kingston Maurward in May proved most instructive, as Naomi Harbach gave turnouts and spectators the benefit of her knowledge and expertise.Many thanks to all the helpers.

And once again the Interval Drive from Pallington  in July was a great day out for the many turnouts who took part. Thanks go to Sue Wiles and Tony Munt and their team for the planning and organisation that made it such a success, and for the feast that rounded off the day!

Sadly, the Interval Drive from Dogdean Farm on August 17th was cancelled, due to lack of numbers.

Christmas Lunch Sunday 8th December 2013 

A total of 37 people booked in for our Christmas Lunch at The Fox at Ansty and enjoyed a thoroughly good meal. As usual, there was a great deal of chat and humour, and a very good raffle, organised by Ann and Terry, concluded  the event. We have already  booked  for 7th December this year.

Treasure Hunt Sunday 6th October 2013

Wendy and Jim Richards organised another well planned Treasure Hunt at Chilbridge Farm on a warm October day. As usual Wendy had produced a challenging list of clues to be found along the routes. At the conclusion of the day  a delicious cream tea  was thoroughly enjoyed by all. It was sad, however, that very few of our Dorset members managed to turn out on the day. Wendy has kindly agreed to organise another event  in October this year, and it would be nice if we could  provide more support for all the hard work Wendy puts in.

Wareham Forest Drive 15th September 2013 

Six turnouts made the effort to take part, despite an uncertain weather forecast, and all returned safely back to base to enjoy a group picnic with much chatter and laughter. All went well till the rain arrived and we all loaded up and left for home as the heavens opened.

Many thanks to Peter Douglas for his help in marking the route, and to everybody who contributed to making the day a success.
Ann Harfield.

PS. This was the first event that Ann had laid on, assisted by Rod, and it was a great success.
Peter Douglas

BDS Dorset Trec, August 11th 2013 by kind invitation of Ann and Terry James

Angela Atkinson writes: The sun was shining and a nice breeze blowing as the 10 turnouts competing in the Trec arrived at Dogdean Farm. After checking in we were given the order of the day and went off to inspect the Skills course, then put to and completed the first part of the Trec – the Presentation. Then it was off through the farmyard to the start gate and out on the drive up the road and on to Forestry tracks. We had to be aware of time and distance as you have to complete the drive in a given time limit. Fortunately for me, my groom was keeping a keen eye on the time and our position on the map and let me know if I could let the pony walk for a bit or if we needed to push on. We made all the check points and managed to arrive back at Dogdean Farm in good time.
Then it was off to the arena and an exercise involving a one-handed 20-meter circle and a figure-of-eight, followed by the final test: the Skills course. This involved driving through parallel poles on a right-handed angle (without touching the poles!), driving over a wooden bridge, doubling back and driving through an obstacle, then driving close enough to a table to allow the groom to pick up an envelope, on through an obstacle course and getting alongside a post box so the groom could post the envelope. Next was a timed walk and trot section and the final task was a cones course.
Having completed everything, it was time to wash down the pony, give it a well-earned haynet, then gather in Ann's garden with our picnic. There was a  lot of jolly conversation and everyone enjoyed the chance to socialise. Finally, out came the cakes (much appreciated),  together with the rosettes. Ann and Terry announced the placings and Peter Douglas, on behalf of everyone there, thanked Ann and Terry and all their helpers for organising yet another super Trec Day at Dogdean Farm.

Results: 1st: Yvette Cheeseman; 2nd: Angela Rickards; 3rd: Michelle Beck; 4th: Neil Edwards; 5th: Janet George; 6th: Gill Smith.

BDS Dorset Area Show
Sunday 16th June 2013
Turnpike Showground, Motcombe, Dorset

There is always plenty of opportunity to get involved with our BDS Dorset Area Show, either as a sponsor, competitor, steward, or spectator.  This year saw more folk than ever before on the Turnpike Showground at Motcombe, with many wearing two or more ‘hats’ and one notable couple donning all four and more!

Under a mediocre June sky, the classes kicked off with the In Hand Driving Horse or Pony Class, with five entries forward.  Sadly we didn’t reach entries of double figures in any of the classes, but nonetheless the competition was keen in most and BDS panel judge Jane Brightwell struggled to separate the entries in quite a few.  As has become the norm at our show, we welcomed several turnouts making their show ring debut.  Just six Dorset Area members competed, but the entries were swollen with competitors from surrounding counties and also as far afield as Norfolk and Kent.

The biggest class of the day was the new BDS Red Rover Show Drive.  The 4½ mile route took competitors around Motcombe, where they received a warm welcome from the villagers out lining the lanes to greet them in the afternoon sunshine.  Not only did Jamie Bailey and his Dutch KWPN Tom lead the drive, setting a good pace for everyone, he also headed the honours when the competitors returned to the showground, taking first place ahead of Richard Berry and his tandem of New Forest ponies.

Earlier in the day, Dorset Area member Lee Hughes had made his show ring debut with his coloured cob Danni, and was thrilled to win the Novice Newcomer Whip class and take second in both the Exercise Vehicle and Novice Horse or Pony classes.  His young groom, son Callum, provided one of the most joyful sights at the show: He did an excellent job supporting Lee and his permanent broad smile was delightful and the whole family was clearly enjoying their day.

Callum was one of six grooms forward in the show’s new Grooms Championship, where Jane Brightwell found her champion in Edward Elliott who qualified while grooming for his wife Julie driving her Morgan, GWM Duchess of Monico in the Over 13.3hh Private Driving class.  Julie had earlier won the Concours d’Elegance class, which was judged for us by Fanny Charles, the editor of the Blackmore Vale Magazine.

Sandy Smyth’s groom Nicki White took the reserve in the Grooms Championship.  Sandy has enjoyed success at our show in previous years with her cob Boris put to a trade vehicle, and the move this year to a 4-wheeled pleasure vehicle was equally successful.  They won the well contested Pleasure Driving class and went on to head the Dorset BDS Area Championship.

The Show Championship was the crowning glory of a great day, with the seven turnouts forward looking spectacular in the large ring.  The championship ribbon and £100 prize went to Jamie Bailey’s Tom, driven this time by his cousin Charlie, making the family’s trip to Dorset from Kent well worthwhile.

The show simply wouldn’t be possible without all the fabulous support it enjoys.  Gillingham & Shaftesbury Agricultural Society was once again the most affable host.  Our incredibly generous sponsors put nearly £800 in the pot towards the £1,200 cost of staging the show.  The team of hardworking stewards included Sheila and Ron Clarke, Keith Damon, Sue and Peter Douglas, David Guy, Janet and Roger Howard, Ann and Terry James, Carol and David Mann, Gill Smith, and Michael Trevett.  Sheila Clark and her team masterminded all the catering in spectacular fashion; Sheila’s Orchard Park provided the ring decorations; Saranna Cogswell provided us with a marquee; and Sue Prust sported her camera all day to record the action: Massive thanks go to all of these and all those who contributed to a fantastic show.  On the financial front, we didn’t quite break even, with a loss of £37.01.

A question for you – should we do it all again in 2014?  Please let me know what you think.

Alison Trevett - Show Secretary
Mill House, West Street, Winterborne Stickland, Blandford Forum, Dorset, DT11 0NT
Tel: 01258 881295 (evenings and weekends

Click here for Results
Click here for Photographs

Sunday 29th July
BDS Trec at Dogdean Farm, Wimborne, by kind invitation of Mrs Ann James.

Jen Van lwaarden writes:
I have been asked to write about my experience at my second Trec, the first one being on the previous weekend. Being a novice whip, I still make mistakes and my wonderful pony (and of course excellent groom) look after me. We are still finding out the things we really enjoy doing well, Trec is one of them! We had a wonderful day at the Wimborne Trec and the weather was just right. We started with the drive, which had a little bit of roadwork and then lovely forest tracks. We managed to keep to time, even though we misread the map – sorry if our tracks took anyone else the wrong way. Then we came back to a 10 minute rest and then the to the pace control and obstacles. My pace control was not that good, with my trot being too fast and the walk being slow, but now I know what I have to work on. Obstacles I really enjoy doing, and we all have a laugh doing them. My long-suffering groom gives me directions and then remembers l do not know my left and right! Ann and Terry had organised a wonderful day and made me feel really welcome. They had even organised two rosettes for each place so that, when we came second, my groom had a rosette as well as my pony and I. It was a fab day and I will definitely be back next year.

Sunday 1st July
The Queen's Diamond Jubilee Drive

Laid on by Tony Munt, ably assisted by Sue Wiles, members of the family and a host of volunteers was a great success. A superb 11 mile drive through the forest around Pallington and the Bovington Training Area, which included a Ford around 60ft wide, was enjoyed by us all.

After the drive Sue and Tony had a Hog Roast and refreshments laid on which was enjoyed by all. The British Driving Society provided Queens Diamond Jubilee Rosettes for all Turnouts.

BDS Dorset Area Show
Sunday 17th June 2012
Turnpike Showground, Motcombe, Dorset

In any report of an event it is tempting to give a blow-by-blow account of the day's proceedings, but hopefully you will have already seen such reports of our 2012 Area Show in the BDS National Newsletter, Carriage Driving Magazine, or the Blackmore Vale Magazine. Hence here, amongst our Area members, I would like to take a different approach.

When so many events have been hindered or even halted by the 2012 summer (and I use the word loosely!) weather, our Dorset Area Show on Sunday 17th June must count as one of the lucky few taking place under blue skies and sunshine.

The superb Motcombe showground was our venue once again, where the Gillingham and Shaftesbury Agricultural Society went to great lengths to ensure we had good ground conditions and also provided all the vital facilities including the ring equipment, the first aiders the loos, and the gate steward. Their Show Supporters Club took care of all the catering. All this for a fee of just £365.. Huge thanks must go to this team, the main players of which were Sam Braddick, Brian Bennett, Linda Young and Julia Trim. Without their hospitality and input the show would not have been possible.

Activity on the showground bean shortly after dawn with the setting up, and our stewards, Michael Trevett, Ann lames, Terry James and David Guy, all did a fabulous job and kept the Show running smoothly throughout the day. Well done and thank you.

Our BDS judge Roger Jacobs also did a superb job, with several competitors praising the advice and suggestions he gave them. As much as we enjoyed having Mr Jacobs with us, I received a card from him thanking us for providing him with one of his nicest judging appointments to date. We welcomed back our 2011 Concours d'Elegance judge Carol Besent, this time to judge in dry weather rather than battling with the wind and rain of last year's Show.

Our Show was well blessed with entries; thank you to the 17 competitors who gave us a total of 30 class entries - far more than many shows have received this year. However, while some classes were well contested we had just one entry forward in others, which was disappointing.

Our Show hosted a total of 12 end-of-season championships qualifiers, with all three of the Victoria Food Company Championship qualifiers being awarded, and we wish Liz Coombes, Pauline Holcombe and Jen Van lwaarden good tuck at the finals at The Hand Equestrian Centre. Four Osborne Refrigerators BDS Championships qualifiers were awarded, and again good luck to David Bull, Liz Coombes, Sue Courtney and Vanessa Neal when they go forward to the finals at Addington on 22nd September.

For the first time in the four year history of our Show, 2012 has seen the finances come out on the right side, rather than make a loss. £32.67 is a modest profit, but a profit nonetheless! The Show relies heavily on its sponsors and a massive thank-you goes to each of our sponsors (detailed in the results listing) to Kathleen Hill who made a donation and BDS HQ who also contributed.

We have enjoyed good Shows in the past, but with this financial outcome, the excellent weather, the good competition, the support and the fantastic team that worked so hard to make it all happen, I think 2012 has been perhaps the best yet. Any BDS Area would be proud to end their show with the spectacles that our Dorset Area and Show Championships provided at the end of our day.

Attention is now turning towards 2013. Please contact me if you have any thoughts and suggestions.

Alison Trevett - Show Secretary
Tel: 01258 881295

Click here for Results
Click here for Photographs

Thursday 17th May 2012

Talk and Demonstration by Ginnie Ince, Human and Equine Therapist. Organised by Hazel Lappin and Hugh and Maureen Blakemore, with tea, coffee and cake laid on (thank goodness, as it was a very cold and windy night) .We had a very good turnout of 22 members, despite the weather.

Ginnie gave us an excellent talk accompanied by a full demonstration on Maureen's cob, explaining what she was looking for and where she thought there were minor problems. Despite the pony being initially not sure of what was happening, by the end of the session Ginnie had her dozing off…  The evening ended with more hot drinks and a general discussion on members' questions.

Sunday 6th May 2012
Training Day at Kingston Maurwood.

We had a full house of nine turnouts for our training day, a mixture of new whips, others who had had very little training, and those who wanted refresher training. We also had a very good turnout of spectators, some who were looking to take up driving and some who had come along to listen to the instructor.

Caroline Douglas was, as always, brilliant, giving each turnout time to settle in whilst watching their every move before giving them a full briefing on the advice they requested and then going on to give them further advice that would improve their driving skills. In all cases the whips left the arena feeling that they had learned a great deal. In the case of the spectators, again, it was a matter of "you are never too old to learn", Our sincere thanks to Caroline for a wonderful day.

Thursday 8th March 2012

Our speaker, farrier Andy Reader-Smith, certainly captured his audience with an interesting review of the role of shoeing in the horse's well-being and action. It seems there's an awful lot more to caring for equine feet than many of us know, and Andy's enthusiasm for bringing his own brand of holistic analysis to every horse he shoes was refreshing. He began his career as a teenager in New Zealand, shoeing working horses on sheep and beef farms, then worked his way across the world to Dorset, and is now competing regularly at world championship level. An interesting selection of shoes were on display, and audience questions came thick and fast!

One tip from Andy's 25 years of experience we might all take on board: it's a good idea to take the shoes off your horse for a while every year to rest the feet.

Thursday 9th February 2012

Visit by six Dorset County Council Rights of Way Officers. There were 32 members in attendance. Maps and charts were on display and a talk was followed by questions and one-to-one discussions. A thoroughly enjoyable evening was had by all.

Sunday 4th December 2011

The Fox Inn at Ansty was again the venue for our Christmas Lunch. A variety of starters and puddings, a superb carvery for the main course, it was certainly a feast to satisfy everyone, some more than others. The conclusion was a raffle with a lovely selection of prizes organised yet again by Ann and Terry James, many thanks. The volume of the chatter at the tables indicated that a good time was had by all.

Area Annual Meeting
Thursday 1st December 2011

As they say, "The best laid plans etc.", with ten minutes to go before start time we were hunting around for more chairs, new members mingling and being made very welcome, and a nervous A.C. hoping his first Annual Meeting would go well. I am glad to say that the members were enthusiastic, and participated in the discussions regarding the past season and out thoughts for 2012. The meeting was followed by an excellent buffet and a great deal of chat amongst the members.

Thursday 27th October 2011

Our speaker, Edward Roland, from Balanced Horse Feeds, was arranged by Hazel Lappin. Edward spoke about the horses digestive system and process, how this relates to practical feeding, including the importance and role of fibre in the horses diet, the types of forage, compound foods and how best to select the correct feed. As you can imagine we had a full house at the meeting with lots of questions from the members.

Sunday 9th October 2011

Another wonderful day at Chilbridge Farm by Wendy and Jim Richards. Yet again the weather was excellent and the clues challenging. A drive of around ten miles, depending on how well you coped with the clues, around wonderful countryside. Having finished the drive, washed down and cleaned up, it was into the barn for a superb cream tea, raffle and the usual banter. All proceeds from the day were donated by Wendy to the Brooke Hospital for ponies and donkeys.

Sunday 18th September 2011

A drive of approximately 9 miles around the Wareham Forest organised by Yvette Cheeseman, assisted by Hazel Lappin. Although not the best of weather the drive was thoroughly enjoyed by all. The route allowed for our Whips and Grooms to enjoy the scenery and our horses and ponies to go at a steady pace. By the time all the turnouts returned the sun had come out and we were all able to sit around and enjoy our picnics. Another wonderful day out.

Sunday 31st July 2011

It was great to see some of the familiar faces from previous years returning to take part in this year’s BDS Trec at Dogdean Farm, but in addition we welcomed some newcomers, giving a total of twelve turnouts to take on the challenge posed by host and organizer Ann Poole-James.

Blessed with good weather, the whole event had an air of relaxed fun, but careful attention to the instructions throughout was needed by the whips and their grooms if maximum scores were to be achieved.  This included being ready at the allotted time for the initial safety inspection, under the watchful eyes of Tessa and Stuart Johnstone, where points were gained for clean correctly fitting harness and vehicle, and safety equipment such as hard hats, spares and florescent gear on the whips, grooms, horses and vehicles.  After the inspection Mavis and Jackie saw the turnouts off out the gate at intervals for a drive of eight miles, much of it on forest tracks and to be completed as close to the optimum time of one hour and twenty minutes as possible. When they arrived back at Dogdean several whips reported having got a bit confused with the directions and map, but despite the odd extra loop here and there everyone made it safely back, having seen Dawn Harry, Sue Pulford, Ray Ellery and Janette Dacombe at the various check-points, and roving stewards Wendy and Jim Richards, en route.

The trick to the final phase of a BDS Trec is for both the whip and groom to walk the course on foot ahead of getting ready for the safety inspection, so you know just what is ahead of you when you get back from the drive.  The ‘Blakemore Bridge’ which we have seen at previous Dorset events was amongst the eight skills this year, and a bit like Marmite, the horses either loved it or hated it and the cardboard cut out camel at the barrels received serious eye-balling from some horses as well.  The one handed figure of eight at a collected trot sorted out those whips who could from those who couldn’t – with a single circle you might get lucky, but not here!  The only timed skill was to trot as slowly as possible in a straight line between two markers and then walk back as quickly as possible, with points gained for the two closest times.  Chief scorer Terry James had Keith Damon, Linda Baker and her friend all closely monitoring everyone’s round.
With the horses unhitched, washed down and munching happily on their hay nets we gathered for the prize giving.  Terry admitted that he had had to make some tweaks to the scores because everyone had done so well and there was hardly anything to separate the competitors, but in the final reckoning the results were:-

                                                1st        Alison Trevett
                                                2nd        Hilary Sandon
                                                3rd        David Bull
                                                4th        Ruth Kent
                                                5th        Simon Wills
                                                6th           Donna Rideout

We were really chuffed to bring home the lovely trophy Ann and Terry presented to us, which will forever be a reminder of a fantastic day out with our cob.

As ever, huge thanks to Ann, Terry and everyone who made the day possible.  Just prior to us leaving Ann was mumbling that having organized Trecs since 2003 this might be the last one ever at Dogdean Farm, but worry not, having spoken to her since, she is talking about changes for next year – so if you missed the 2011 event be sure to look out for the date in 2012.

Alison Trevett

26th June 2011

Ann & Terry had yet again organised a warm sunny day at Dogdean Farm  for the 13 turnouts to drive dressage and cones.   The turnouts were very varied,   from small ponies on their first outing, to large experienced horses, including two pairs, as well as whips driving for the first time at an event.  The dressage judge was extremely helpful going to talk to each turnout before they left the arena giving them useful help and information on their performance.  There were two tests that could be driven giving everyone plenty of opportunity to practice their skills.

Terry gave every one a challenge with his stiff cones course.  It could be driven 3 times, one “have a go” for practice, one clear round and one timed which caused some excitement.

The day was rounded off with tea, cakes and much discussion about the days proceedings before prize giving and a chat about forth coming events.

Thanks to Ann & Terry for all their hard work which was enjoyed by all who attended.

BDS Dorset Area Show
Sunday 12th June 2011

Turnpike Showground, Motcombe, Dorset

Click here for Results

Click here for Photographs

Evening Metting
Thursday 10th March

Another well-attended meeting which, judging by the volume of sound, we all enjoyed. We started off with our Bring-and-Buy session which created a lot of interest - thank you to all those who set up their stalls. This was followed by an update on the Dorset Show from Alison. It really does sound as though it will be a super event. Please remember that, in addition to entries, we also need volunteers to assist on the day.
Further details on forthcoming events were given by Ann, Hazel and Yvette (see Forthcoming Events), and then we had an Open Forum and Quiz to round off the night.

Evening Metting
Thursday 10th February

My first  evening meeting as the new A/C. My nerves  eased gradually as the numbers swelled and the noise level grew -  a good sign. Twenty-six people in all,  including visiting non-members. Anne and Terry were very busy running the raffle and collecting  donations from our visitors.

Rachel Norris, our Speaker, was super. She had a vast knowledge of her subject and put it across in a manner that kept her subject clear and interesting to all of us for just over two hours. Lots of questions from the floor, and several people  lined up at the end to ask further questions.

Sunday 12th December 2010

The Fox Inn at Ansty was the venue for our Christmas Lunch, a wonderful venue and a superb menu. Starters and puddings were individual choice and the main course was a carvery, providing a splendid choice of meat and vegetables. It was certainly a feast to satisfy us all.

The Fox Inn is already booked for this year.

Sunday 10th October 2010

Another wonderful day at Chilbridge Farm, hosted by Wendy and Jim Richards. How they manage to ensure such good weather is a mystery, but it is always a nice sunny day for this event. As usual, the clues were difficult enough to stretch the mind and ensured a varied and interesting drive. A superb cream tea was laid on after the completion of the event, with a raffle, all proceeds from which were donated to the Brooke Hospital for Animals.

Saturday 28th & Sunday 29th August 2010

With low entry numbers it was decided to abandon Saturday’s planned training day and supper, and also Sunday’s dressage class, and run just on the Sunday at Hazeldene Farm.

Our hosts Maureen and Hugh Blakemore made us very welcome and Sunday’s action kicked off with individual training sessions with Barbara Nadin and an opportunity to practise cones and obstacles around the excellent courses that Maureen and Hugh, together with Philip and Julie Renfrey, had built.

After some hefty rain showers at lunch time, the afternoon classes ran largely under blue skies.  The four obstacles on the timed drive were superbly built, and with up to six ‘gates’ on each, proved to be good tests of driving skills as well as memory.

Thank you to Maureen, Hugh, Philip, Julie and Barbara for a truly fun day, and also to Wendy and Jim Richards and Sarah Best for stewarding.                                     

  'Have A Go’ Cones Timed Cones   Timed Drive  
  Clear Rounds: 1st Hilary Sandon   1st Hilary Sandon  
  Hugh Blakemore 2nd David Bull   2nd Alison Trevett  
  David Bull = 3rd Bill Dawson   3rd David Bull  
  Ann James & Alison Trevett   4th Hugh Blakemore  
  Hilary Sandon 5th Hugh Blakemore   5th Ann James  
  Alison Trevett 6th Ann James   6th Bill Dawson  
Overall Points
Show Champion   Hilary Sandon
Joint Reserve Champions   David Bull & Alison Trevett

Sunday 1st August 2010

According to a ‘Trec-spert’ (aka someone who competes at a lot of Trecs!) the Dorset BDS Trec at Dogdean Farm is amongst the best.  Therefore it was no surprise that there were good entries and good competition on the day.

Tessa Johnstone and Ann Mouland oversaw the initial safety inspections and then turnouts set off at intervals for a drive of nearly eight miles, much of it on forest tracks, and to be completed as close to the optimum time of one hour and 20 minutes as possible.  Hosts Anne and Terry James had been inventive with the eight skills tests in the final phase, with dodging the ground markers and the crossing of a bridge being amongst the most influential on the scores.

Charlotte Honeybun driving her coloured cob Jack, with mum Jane grooming, took home the trophy kindly provided by Terry.

  1st   Charlotte Honeybun
91½ points
  2nd  Hilary Sandon 
  3rd Roger Page 
  4th Alison Trevett
  5th Maureen Blakemore
  6th Stuart Johnstone

Thank you to Ann and Terry for organizing and hosting yet another fabulous Trec and also to Tessa, Ann and the many others who made it a great day.

BDS World Horse Welfare Visit
3rd July 2010

World Horse Welfare

Members from Dorset, Somerset, Wiltshire and Devon visited World Horse Welfare's Glenda Spooner Farm near Somerton on 3rd. July 2010, where they met Chive, an 11hh, 7year old Welsh Section A driving pony looking for an experienced driving loan home under their Loan Scheme.  Further details on the World Horse Welfare website

BDS Dorset Area Show
Sunday 13th June 2010
Turnpike Showground, Motcombe, Dorset

Click here for Results

Click here for Photographs
Mark Coutts Photography

Sunday 30th May 2010

Just three turnouts were able to make it to this new event in the Dorset Area calendar, which allowed each of us to have lots of goes at the dressage tests and the cones.  Very many thanks to Ann and Terry James for hosting a superb day, also to Julia Liles who judged the Dressage classes and provided each turnout with some expert advice, and all the other helpers, including Ann Harfield who filmed and kindly gave us each a DVD of our performances.

  Class 1 - Dressage Starter Test 1   Class 2 - Dressage Preliminary Test 2  
  1st    Alison Trevett     1st David Bull  
      2nd Alison Trevett  
      3rd Hazel Lappin  
  Class 3 - ‘Have A Go’ Cones   Class 4 - Timed Cones  
  Clear Rounds:   1st Alison Trevett  
  David Bull   2nd    Hazel Lappin  
  Hazel Lappin   3rd    David Bull  
  Alison Trevett      

Sunday 2nd May, Sunday 25th July & Sunday 15th August 2010

These three interval drives, from Winterborne Whitechurch, Marnhull and West Knoyle, were all well supported, with eight or more turnouts enjoying drives of varying lengths, at their own pace, on country lanes and off-road.

Thank you to Michael Trevett, Carol Cuff and Sue and Peter Douglas for hosting these events and to their helpers, and also to the landowners.

Due to changes currently being made in Wareham Forest,  it was decided to postpone our September drive.  Organiser Yvette Cheesemen hopes to reschedule the drive for Spring 2011.

Sunday 25th April 2010

Caroline Douglas was our instructor for this training day at Kingston Maurward College indoor school.  Several familiar faces enjoyed training with Caroline, but we also welcomed some new members and new horses, including a young pony who had a lungeing session.

Thank you to Caroline and all those who helped make the day possible, including BDS HQ who provided a £100 grant towards the costs of the day.

Evening Meeting
Friday 19th March 2010

Jim Green, Watch Manager of Hampshire Fire & Rescue Service’s Animal Rescue Team left us in little doubt about his passion for the job when he came to talk to us about the Team’s work.  Illustrated with photographs and video footage of actual incidents, Jim outlined the procedures they adopt and how the pioneering work of the Team is leading the way in which rescues are conducted, through their training programmes both in the UK and abroad.  What was most intriguing was the animal psychology involved in carrying out successful rescues, and indeed the impact of the psychology of the humans present, most notably that of the animals’ owners and handlers –
this is no place for an hysterically screaming owner!

This was a serious subject presented in an entertaining and highly informative manner, and thanks to the generosity of the 22 folk present, from the proceeds of the raffle we were pleased to make a donation of £65 to the Team’s work.

Quiz & Supper
Friday 26th February 2010

This evening gathering saw a good and enthusiastic crowd of nearly 30 of us wrapping our grey cells round Fran Fornai’s excellent quiz questions and  dingbats.  Sue and Peter Douglas, together with Michael and Alison Trevett (alias ‘Dumb, Dumb, Dumber and Dumber Still’) triumphed, with Ann and Terry James and Sue Prust a close second, and in third place Wendy and Jim Richards with Felicity and John Singleton.  Thank you to Fran for providing the quiz and also to everyone who contributed to the supper.

Sunday 13th December 2009

The Fox Inn at Ansty, near Dorchester, looked after us very well, providing nearly 40 of us with an excellent Christmas lunch.  It was a convivial affair, and thank you  to Ann and Terry James for running the raffle, which, thanks to everyone’s generosity raised £100 for Area funds.

Friday 4th December 2009

Twenty-five members attended this important meeting, where there was lively discussion about our events in 2009, and excellent ideas and suggestions put forward for 2010. It was good to hear from Ann James that our Area funds are in good shape, and Rights of Way Officer Dorothy Webb provided an update on her work on our behalf.

Thank you to everyone who attended the meeting and also to
Yvette Cheeseman, Ann James, Hazel Lappin and Dorothy Webb who joined forces to provide the buffet.

Minutes of this meeting will be circulated ahead of the 2010 Annual Meeting

Thursday 12th November 2009

Anyone thinking this evening meeting was going to be a dry old lecture on all the security measures we know we should have in place but perhaps don’t, would have been sorely disappointed! In an interesting talk Moira Connolly and Dave Brown of the Safer Neighbourhood Team at Wareham Police Station gave good practical advice and showed us some innovative products for protecting our property and animals. It was reassuring to hear of the low numbers of actual crimes in the equestrian world in our neck of the woods; it seems there is a lot of rumour and speculation, not least the recently reported plaiting of horses manes, which it was feared was a method used to mark horses as potential targets for theft. Not one of these horses has actually been stolen and it is now thought that the plaiting is connected to some form of pagan ritual.

Of the 25 folk at the meeting, those of us not already registered with Horse Watch took advantage of the opportunity to join, free of charge, and are now receiving regular updates from the Horse Watch ringmaster of problems in the area, together with details of suspicious vehicles calling at yards, offenders suspected of committing crimes, etc.

To find out more, contact Anita Rigler, Horse Watch ringmaster at or Tel: 01202 226214.


September & October 2009

Preparations for the Road Driving Assessments kicked off with an evening meeting on Thursday 10th September, at which Caroline Douglas explained to 25 or so folk the finer details of the test. Training days followed at Dogdean Farm on Saturday 19th and Sunday 20th September, kindly hosted by Ann James, where Caroline gave individual tuition to nine whips with their turnouts, and a further six arranged their own training on different days.

The day of judgement, test day, was Saturday 17th October, when 11 candidates came forward. Having travelled to Dogdean Farm that morning from Norfolk, our examiners, John Parker, Chairman of the BDS, and Susan Townsend, quickly put the candidates at ease as the assessments got underway. After harnessing up and putting to, each turnout went out on a road drive, and on return unhitched and unharnessed, all under the scrutiny of the examiner, and all the while answering their various questions.

Congratulations to the following who successfully passed the Road Driving Assessment test:-


Mark Bartlett 
Maureen Blakemore
Charlotte Honeybun
Cathy Lister
George Rendell

Hugh Blakemore
David Bull
Ann James
Clare Mouland
Debbie Warren

Huge thanks to Ann, who not only hosted the training and test days, but also took on the co-ordination of everything when sudden ill health grounded Alison Trevett. Thanks also to Caroline for all the time and energy she gave so willingly to preparing everyone for the test. And thank you to Pauline Filler, Terry James, Tessa Johnstone, Anne Mouland, John Parker, Nick Poole and Susan Townsend.

If you would like to take the Road Driving Assessment please contact Alison Trevett. Given adequate interest, more training and another test day will be arranged and, thanks to the Salisbury Bursary Fund, if this is done before April 2010, the fee for the test is just £5 and training is also subsidised. There may also be an opportunity to take The Welfare of Animals Transport Order (WATO) Certificate of Competence at the same Test Day again, contact Alison if you are interested.

Sunday 11th October 2009

Having organized Treasure Hunts since 1989, it was clear that once again Wendy Richards had been wearing her creative thinking cap when she devised the clues for the 2009 Treasure Hunt at Chilbridge Farm. The14 turnouts taking part had plenty to think about, not least an egg to take care of en route! ‘Team Kira’, with Ann and Terry James and Clare Mouland won first prize. The Brooke Hospital for Animals was also a winner as, thanks to the generosity of the good crowd present, some £340 was raised for the charity.

Thank you to Wendy and Jim for their hospitality, and also to all their helpers, including Pauline Filler, Tessa Johnstone and Anne Mouland.

Saturday 29th & Sunday 30th August 2009

Word of how good this event is has spread across the South West, and this year Maureen and Hugh Blakemore welcomed competitors from six counties to Hazeldene Farm, near Sturminster Newton.

Saturday morning's individual training was re-engineered to private practice sessions, since, unfortunately, our instructor Barbara Nadin was poorly and unable to join us. A valuable rehearsal for the next day's dressage test was possible in the 30 minutes for which each turnout had the arena all to themselves. A cones course and an obstacle were also available to drive.

Philip Renfrey shared his skill and knowledge of grooming and back-stepping for Barbara with us on Saturday afternoon. At national level competition some of what is involved is highly technical, but Philip gave sound, practical advice, illustrated as we walked the obstacles, which was helpful to everyone tackling our Fun Day courses.

Maureen and Hugh, as always, had thought of everything, and this year, thanks to the generosity of some friends and Hugh persuading the local mobile fish and chip bar to come especially for us, some 50 folk enjoyed a freshly cooked supper in the comfort of a marquee on Saturday evening. If there was any doubt about whether or not the following day's competition was going to be hotly contested, you only needed to see how fiercely the evening's game of 'Killer' skittles was fought!

With 18 entries, Sunday's Dressage class started at 9.30am, with Julie Mounty judging. The most impressive test of the day, and perhaps the most surprised of all our class winners, was Dorothy Webb with her Welsh x Gelderlander Sebastian.

Gill Butler presided over the Cones, which was quite a testing course, but, with careful driving, half of all the competitors in each of the two cones classes achieved a clear round. The timed class saw some fast rounds, and just two seconds separated first and second places.

The highlight for most of the competitors was the afternoon's Obstacles course, where all five obstacles were superbly designed and built by Hugh, Maureen, Philip and Julie Renfrey. Each obstacle had any number of possible routes, allowing the more experienced competitors to take a tighter, challenging route, but at the same time there was the option for a flowing, gentler approach. The whole course drove well, including the new bridge at Obstacle 5.

Thirteen year old Jack Thorne made the journey from Bideford with his family and pony Indy worthwhile, winning both the overall points Show Championship and the Young Whip Championship. Hot on his heels to take Reserve was fellow Devonian David Whitfield, and just one point adrift, Dorset's David Bull, who took the new Dorset Area Championship trophy.

The weather wasn't as kind as it might have been, but that didn't stop Allison Cooper from getting some great photographs of the Fun Day, which can been seen at the website

We are hugely indebted to Maureen and Hugh for their generous hospitality. Thank you to our judges, also to Philip and Julie, Sarah Best, Paul Cuff, Doreen Butler, Amanda and Pauline Jefferies, Derek and Muff Mitchell, and everyone else who contributed to a fabulous weekend.

Class 1 Dressage
Class 2 'Have A Go' Cones

Clear Rounds:
Dorothy Webb
David Bull
  Gary Fuszard  
Gary Fuszard
Ann James
  Liza Phillips  
Liza Phillips
Hilary Sandon
  Jack Thorne  
Pam Evans
Alison Trevett
  Ainslie Turner  
Ainslie Turner
Debbie Warren
  Dorothy Webb  
Hilary Sandon
David Whitfield
Class 3 - Timed Cones
Class 4 - Timed Obstacles
Jack Thorne  
1st David Whitfield  
David Bull  
2nd Jack Thorne  
David Whitfield  
3rd David Bull  
Debbie Warren  
4th Pam Evans  
Alison Trevett  
5th Liza Phillips  
Pam Evans  
6th Hilary Sandon  

Overall Points
  Dorset Area Champion David Bull   
  Dorset Area Reserve Dorothy Webb  
  Young Whip Champion Jack Thorne  
  Show Champion Jack Thorne  
  Reserve Champion David Whitfield  

Sunday 2nd August 2009

BDS Trec is becoming ever more popular across the country, and so it proved in Dorset this year, with 12 entries for the event at Dogdean Farm.

After the initial safety inspection, under the watchful eye of Maureen Patrick, turnouts set off at intervals for a drive of nearly 8 miles, much of it on forest tracks, and to be completed as close to the optimum time of 1½ hours as possible. The course for the final skills phase, judged by Keith Damon, needed careful driving, with points easily lost for a cone knocked, an inaccurate manoeuvre, or other error.

When the final scores were collated, Hilary Sandon was the clear winner, to take home the trophy, but little separated the remaining placings

  1st Hilary Sandon 88 points  
  2nd Roger Page 82½  
  3rd Sarah McBride 82  
  4th Ann James 79½  
  5th David Bull 78½  
  6th Alison Trevett 76½  

As ever, huge thanks to our host and organizer for the day, Ann James, the judges, and Ann's band of helpers, including Janet Dacombe, Tara Grey, Dawn Harry, Terry James, Jenny Jones, Nick Poole, Sue Pulford, Wendy and Jim Richards, and David Shorter.

Photographers Allison Cooper and Mark Coutts recorded the day's action on camera, and the photographs can be seen on their website


There was a time when picnic drives were extremely popular in Dorset, attracting members from far and wide, and many a great day out was enjoyed. These days it seems 'times they are a-changing', and of the seven drives Carol Cuff master-minded for us in 2009, just one went ahead, with the others abandoned for various reasons, but most commonly due to lack of support.

The sole survivor was on Sunday 28th June at Kingston Lacy, where just two turnouts, with whips Ivan Smith and Tony Wright, enjoyed the drive organised by Wendy and Jim Richards, assisted by Carol, and Ann and Terry James. Thank you to those that made this drive possible, all those that helped Carol plan the other drives and, of course, to Carol for pulling it all together.

If you would like to find out more about picnic drives or, looking towards next year, if you anticipate that you might like to host or take part in a picnic drive, please contact Carol or Alison, so that we are able to gauge the level of interest and plan the drives accordingly.

Sunday 7th June 2009

We held our first ever Area Show on Sunday 7th June.  The excellent facilities at the Turnpike Showground, Motcombe and the hospitality of the Gillingham and Shaftesbury Agricultural Society provided the perfect venue, with big rings, good going and plenty of room for horseboxes and working in.  There was also the added attraction of the Agricultural Society’s Town and Country Fayre.

Our judge for most classes was BDS panel judge Mrs Jo Halnan-Blackwell, with Dorset based animal portrait painter Colette Fowler-Marson judging the Concours d’Elegance class and Dorset Area member Maureen Blakemore overseeing the Cones classes.

The classes began with an In Hand class for driving horses and ponies, where Lynda Rowland of Bere Regis triumphed with her Shetland Fusilier of Duntish.  The Ride and Drive class followed, and having been pipped to second place in the ride section by Hilary Miles, riding Margaret Cuff’s traditional coloured cob Free Spirit, Ivan Smith’s Freisan, Jelte, driven as a pair with another Friesan, took the drive section and hence was the class winner.  Sue Douglas of West Knoyle enjoyed an excellent day, winning both the Newcomer Whip class and the hotly contested Exercise Vehicles, with her and husband Peter’s Dartmoor pony Treacle.  The morning’s classes concluded with the Novice Horse or Pony, where Sue Courtney’s Welsh Section C pony from Hampshire headed the line.

Melanie Vyse and her family made their stop-over on their return trip home from Royal Cornwall Show worthwhile, when, with her Hackney pony Glenshane Playboy, Melanie won both the Concours d’Elegance class and the Private Driving class for 13.2hh and under ponies.  Colette Fowler-Marson had a hard task separating the contenders in the Concours d’Elegance class, but the honours finally fell to Melanie, just ahead of Dorset Area member Geoff Allen.  Mr Allen’s coloured cob Jethro, driven to a Stratford Cart built over 100 years ago, took the over 13.2hh Private Driving class, and then he went on to secure the Dorset Area members Championship, ahead of Ivan Smith’s pair of Friesan horses.  The overall Show Championship was a four way contest, where Glenshane Playboy won through.

Tackling Hugh Blakemore’s cones course, Debbie Warren’s novice cob, Bob, secured a clear round, while Hazel Lappin and Harry won the Timed Cones class.

Class 1 - In Hand Driving Horse or Pony (J Halnan-Blackwell): 1. L Rowland’s Fusilier of Duntish 2. Y Cheeseman’s Polly 3. D Webb’s Sebastian 
Class 2 - Ride & Drive: 1. I Smith’s Jelte 2. M Cuff’s Free Spirit 3. D Bull’s Smarty
Class 3 - Novice Newcomer Whip: 1. S Douglas’ Treacle 2. Y Cheeseman’s Polly 3. G Rendell’s Desmond & Smartie
Class 4 - Exercise Vehicles: 1. S Douglas’ Treacle 2. S Courtney’s Caebryn Jenson 3. A Rickard’s Holly
Class 5 - Novice Horse or Pony: 1. S Courtney’s Caebryn Jenson 2. S Douglas’ Treacle 3. I Smith’s Jelte & Joris
Class 6 - Concours d’Elegance(C Fowler-Marson): 1. M Vyse’s Glenshane Playboy 2. G Allen’s Jethro
Class 7 - Private Driving 13.2hh & Under (J Halnan-Blackwell): 1. M Vyse’s Glenshane Playboy
Class 8 - Private Driving Over 13.2hh: 1. G Allen’s Jethro 2. I Smith’s Jelte & Joris
Class 9 - Clear Round Cones (M Blakemore): D Warren’s Bob
Class 10 - Timed Cones: 1. H Lappin’s Harry
Dorset BDS Area Championship: Champion. G Allen’s Jethro Reserve. I Smith’s Jelte & Joris  Show Championship: Champion. M Vyse’s Glenshane Playboy Reserve. G Allen’s Jethro

To see a selection of pictures from the show see the Photographs section of this website, and go to where you will find 300 photographs taken for us by Allison Cooper.

Sunday 3rd May & Sunday 16th August 2009

Both of these interval drives were over routes of about eight miles, with a mix of country lanes and off-road driving. A very pleasant conclusion to each day was a relaxing tea, with scrumptious cakes, and a natter with friends.

Blessed with good weather, nine turnouts took part in the drive from Winterborne Whitechurch in May. Thanks to Yvette Cheeseman, Ann Harfield, Ann James, Hazel Lappin, Doris Mitchell and
Michael Trevett for their help.

The Bison Centre at West Knoyle was the starting point for the drive kindly hosted by Sue and Peter Douglas in August. There was no risk that our horses and the bison would get too close to one another, but in addition to the lovely countryside to enjoy, there was the unusual sight of a baby bison born just that morning.

Sunday 19th April 2009

Once again we enjoyed the luxury of the indoor school at Kingston Maurward College, which is light, airy and roomy, with a super surface to drive on. Eleven turnouts came forward for individual tuition, keeping our instructor, Caroline Douglas, busy from 9am until 6pm. Both the morning and afternoon sessions began with a group talk about the movement of the horse, and how this affects its work thank you to our equine models, Lynda Rowland's Reg and Sue Douglas' Molly. In addition to the help each turnout received, Caroline's clear commentary gave a lot for the good crowd of spectators to enjoy and learn; one spectator said afterwards "In years of carriage driving, that's the best £3 I've ever spent".

Thank you to all those who helped with the day, including Yvette Cheeseman, Arlene Duncanson, Hazel Lappin, Ann James, Linda Rowland, Glenn Thompson and Michael Trevett.

The next Training Day is Sunday 25th April 2010
See 'Forthcoming Events' for further details

EVENING MEETING - Thursday 26th February - with Pam Mooney

Thanks to the generosity of the people present at this meeting, we had quite a big raffle, but at least one prize winner went home empty handed, leaving behind a bottle of wine and a computer kit. If one or both of these prizes are yours, call Alison - Tel: 01258 881295

Sunday 19th October & New Year's Day Dog Walk

Wendy and Jim Richards kindly hosted both of these great events at Chilbridge Farm, and in addition to providing us with two super days the Treasure Hunt raised £272 for The Srooke Hospital for Animals, while The Gambia Horse and Donkey Trust gained £366 from the Dog Walk.

Saturday 23rd & Sunday 24th August 2008

Maureen and Hugh Blakemore kindly hosted Fun Days for us at their home near Sturminster Newton in both 2005 and 2006, but the 2008 event has to be the most ambitious - yet!
Not only did Maureen and Hugh open the doors of Hazeldene Farm to us for a Fun Day on Sunday 24th August, but on the Saturday we held a successful Training Day, followed in the evening by, thanks to heavy rain, a rather soggy Barbecue.
Barbara Nadin was our instructor for Saturday, when the morning was dedicated to individual tuition sessions. Barbara has many years of driving experience under her belt, including a vast amount of success in horse driving trials, and nine turnouts benefited from her kind, but firm, teaching.
Saturday afternoon saw over 20 of us walking the cones and obstacles courses together on foot, with Barbara talking us through the technicalities, and guiding us on how best to drive each element, to stay within the rules, stay safe and yet have an eye to the competition. This was an extremely informative few hours, which whetted everyone's appetite for the following day.             .            ..
Huddled in the marquee on Saturday evening, while the rain tipped down, we enjoyed good food and good company, but it was great to find the rain clouds had moved on by Sunday morning.
.Fifteen turnouts entered the Fun Day,with12 contesting the dressage. Under Barbara's appraising eye.· Everyone had a crack at the cones, driving two rounds each. Most of us had walked the obstacles course on Saturday and thought we knew what was in store, so it was quite a surprise to find on Sunday, that together with their 'right hand team' of Julie and Philip Renfrey, Maureen and Hugh had been dressing things up  -plain barrels became Arab Sheiks in flowing frocks, the arch at obstacle 3 had acquired some low flying ducks, and obstacle 4's farmyard animals had multiplied overnight - a particularly fine litter of piglets! All five superbly built obstacles drove well and were enjoyed by the experienced and newcomer whips alike.
The presentation at the end of the day was a jolly affair, with smiles all round. Overall Show Champion was Gary Fuszard, closely followed by Rachel Ball in Reserve. One of Dorset's newest members, Danielle Grant. driving Sue Mitchell's Cracker, made an impressive debut, taking third place overall and without doubt all of Maureen and Hugh’s months of  planning and hard work, and the help of many friends, resulted in a truly fantastic weekend – very many thanks to everyone involved.

Alison Trevett

BDS TREC Sunday 10th August 2008

10th August was the Dorset BDS Trec and the weather was good to us! The event was held at Dogdean Farm, Wimborne and what a lot of organizing our host Ann James must have gone to, planning the event before and on the day; thank you Ann.

This was our second Trec and the first time with my new pony Harry. After a safety inspection, eight turnouts set off at 10 minute intervals. The drive was most enjoyable, along quiet lanes and on tracks in the forest. This time we managed to read the map correctly but we were glad to check in with the stewards along the way to confirm the correct route.
Back at Dogdean Farm we tackled the skills phase. This was great fun – cones, posting letters, 20 metre circle and reversing.

After everyone had completed the Trec we chatted and ate lunch together, with time to discuss the fun we’d had. Then the presentation of rosettes, and to my amazement we came first, what a surprise. We took part because the Trec is such fun – why not have a go next time?  Finally a HUGE thank you to Ann and her large team of helpers and stewards for a brilliant day – we are already looking forward to the next one.

Hazel Lappin

  • 1st Hazel Lappin
  • =2nd Alison Trevett & Hilary Sandon
  • 4th Amy Stanners
  • 5th Stuart Johnstone
  • 6th Hugh Blackmore


On New Year’s Day Dorset members of the B.D.S. and their families and friends left their horses at home and set forth on a 4-mile walk around Chilbridge Farm with their dogs.  The 40 dogs taking part were all impeccably behaved (as were their owners!) and all safely returned to the farm where Jim’s famous hot soup was waiting together with crusty bread, drinks and various titbits which were served in the barn.
A raffle followed and thanks to the generosity of everyone the wonderful sum of £330 was raised to support the Gambia Horse and Donkey Trust.
It was Christmas 2006 that the Dorset B.D.S. sponsored a donkey named ‘Dorset Holly‘ who is now very much appreciated by the hard working Gambian family to whom she was allocated.  At last year’s Dog Walk a further sum was raise enabling a cart to be added to Holly’s sponsorship this providing the means for the family to make a living.

With grateful thanks from the Trust for everyone’s support.

Supper & Skittles at The Greyhound Inn, Winterborne Kingston
7th November 2007

We gathered once again at the Greyhound Inn, where under new management we were greeted with a considerable reduction in food prices! The Chuckers again won the night with Sylvia Pope scoring  14 with three balls on their team, who were presented with “Horse- Go Slow” car stickers.
One of the Throwers

Langton Arms Quiz Night   - Friday 26th October 2007

A Quiz Night was held at the Langton Arms, Tarrant Monkton on Friday 26th October with a good attendance enjoying a excellent hot supper followed by a quiz. Janette Dacombe was our question master and had prepared a wide range of questions on equestrian topics, one being which horses are listed as marbled or frosted, unknown by myself although my husband drives an Appaloosa which was the answer. There were quite a few cryptic clues that made everyone ponder. The winning team included two new members from Bridport.

Ann Poole held a raffle and £50.00+ was raised for 'Dorset Holly's' upkeep (our sponsored donkey in the Gambia ).

Thanks were extended to Alison Trevett also to Ann and Janette for organising such a merry event in nice surroundings. All agreed to meet again next year as a good night had been had by all.

Val Bull

Rempstone Forest drive - Sunday 16th September 2007

We had planned to go to Rempstone Forest at the start of the season, but due to the terrible weather it was postponed, and then postponed again.  We finally made it on a pleasant day in September.
This drive was made possible by the kindness of Mr Guy Ryder of the Rempstone Forest Trust who permitted us to park in Burnbake field which is usually used as a camping site, and also the Forestry Commission who manage the forestry area, not forgetting Karen Johnson and Sue Wheeler who arranged the permission from the Rempstone Trust and planned the route.
Karen with Sue as her groom lead the drive with several Hampshire members having come to see the new venue following.  Our latest junior member Katie driving her pony pixie followed Audrey who had another new Dorset member George in front, and Sue took up the rear.
The drive was well planned with the chance to peel off at the half way point for those who felt 6 miles was far enough for their turnout.  Katie taking advantage of this option on this occasion.  The views across Poole Harbour were a sight to behold, and the forest produced some very different terrain to that of Wareham Forest for a nice change.
On our return to base the wind increased and the weather turned quite cold, ponies were attended to, and picnics eaten and as we left the area, the rain gently fell!  We had made it at last. Thanks to all who had made it possible, it was well worth the wait.
A participant.

Egdon Equine Fun Day - Sunday 9th September 2007

The day started fine and clear at a new venue very kindly provided by Gill and Ivan Smith, their first event for us having been cancelled in July due to the unforeseen circumstances of bad weather, uncut grass, etc. Ivan had spent very many hours building a new cross country course for us which included a river crossing and a new bridge. Ivan had also advertised the event in the Equine Life Dorset Magazine and The Advertiser. Already being our Rights of Way Representative, he is doing a marvellous job of Publicity Officer for us as well.
Whilst preparing for the dressage, members of the public poured into the car parking area in anticipation of seeing plenty of carriage driving. The dressage started at 10.00am after which, due to so much public interest, we stopped for a question and answer session together with some driving demonstrations before going onto the cones course.
Due to the lack of sufficient driving turnouts, the cross country obstacle course remained unopened. The removal of fencing and subsequent stabling of numerous horses for a few turnouts to drive the course was not viable. The local mobile caterer not only supplied food and drink, but also a gazebo complete with tables and chairs, from which to watch the event.  
The in-hand classes were well supported, the BDS ones being completed before the commencement of the Weymouth & D.R.C’s classes, and who very kindly offered us a driving class at their show next year.
We must give a very big thank you to Gill, Ivan, their family and friends for all their hard work in putting on this really good event and giving us the opportunity to show the public that carriage driving is a very versatile family friendly sport.  We must also apologise to them for the lack of support given to them on this occasion by BDS members.
Photographs may be seen on Moodz the Photographers website in due course.


For several days we had watched torrential rain falling and threatening our drive from Bisterne Manor on the Sunday morning. However we woke to see the sun shining brightly and our spirits lifted.

Nine turnouts met at Lower Bisterne Farm, part of the Bisterne Manor Estate, which is owned by the Mills family. Before setting off, we all gathered in the yard where we were given a brief history of the estate and the family. This was out first drive at Bisterne and we were welcomed by several members of the family who had arrived to see us set off on the drive.  News of the event had been in the village Newsletter and even the vicar had been told to cut his sermon short as the entire village wanted to see the carriage drivers!

Martyn Meaker, who took Hallam Mills’ daughter Isobel in his carriage, led the drive. Setting off down the tracks and through the woodland we could smell the aroma of the wild mint which grows in abundance either side of the tracks. From here we went down country lanes until crossing over into more woodland tracks. We then skirted round the edge of several large fields and from the top we stopped and had a wonderful view of Cranborne Chase and the Purbecks.

Everywhere we went the villagers were standing in their gardens waving to us.

We stopped and had our picnic lunch down by the Water Meadows and enjoyed the sunshine and the restful atmosphere. After the picnic we set off to drive along the main Ringwood to Christchurch road for about a mile and were followed by two motor bikes, who instead of overtaking us acted as outriders and stopped all the traffic from behind overtaking  - a big thank you to them for behaving so well! We turned into the main drive and lined up in front of the Manor House, where photographs were taken and then we had an “inspection of the troops” by Hallam’s father, who delighted everyone by coming and speaking to each turnout individually. We had a few words from Hallam Mills who said he was so pleased our first drive on his estate had been such a success and invited us for a return visit. A big thank you to Norman Light who worked out a really good route for us, drove around it several times repairing padlocks, cutting up fallen trees and who came out with us on the day carrying his bag of tools in case we had further problems. Without Norman’s assistance we would not have been able to hold the drive but I think he really enjoyed this new project! Also grateful thanks to Gail and David Crabb who did a fantastic job as Stewards. We were so pleased to have this new venue and a donation of £100 has been sent to Beaucroft School where Isobel Mills is a pupil.

Our special thanks must go to the Mills family who so generously invited us to spend the day on their beautiful estate and it was much appreciated by everyone. As one driver said “this is going to be a hard act to follow”

Wareham Forest Interval drive - Sunday 8th July

This was the second drive in Wareham Forest and we were once again very lucky to have fair weather, not as hot as last time but still dry!
There still may be a write up of this event coming from a young passenger, but in the meantime thought I would do a short report.
Due to a damaged bridge and wet weather on the far side of Wareham Forest we kept the course to the centre section which several turnouts had not covered before, and I think everyone was happy with the length of drive on offer.
Once again it was very nice to meet new members from other areas, one travelling 2 ½ hours to our drive.  When talking to those travelling far distances to join us, one realizes how very lucky we are living close to Wareham Forest.
We apologize to those whose photos do not appear on the website but will make up for it next time.  I think we were talking too much!

Tooth 2 Hoof, An evening with Drew Manley. 20th June 2007

Firstly I would like to thank Debbie Warren and her colleagues for allowing us to use the fabulous Children’s Farm at Abbottsbury as our venue for the evening and to Peter Simpson who provided us all with much welcomed hot drinks.
Drews talk was held in the medieval tithe Barn, which has been impressively renovated recently and I can recommend that if you couldn’t make the talk the Children’s Farm and Tithe Barn are well worth the visit on any occasion.
Around twenty of us ventured out on this rather chilly mid-June evening for an informative talk covering a range of subjects, each of which could have warranted an evening of their own!
Drew began by introducing himself with some of the many things he has done with horses over the years, quite fascinating in itself. The first part of the evening began with equine dentistry including ageing a horse by its teeth, the reasons for rasping or ‘floating’ the teeth and problems that can arise throughout their life stages.
The second part of the evening touched upon muscle therapy using the Bowen Technique, a treatment which uses the same principle points on the body as acupuncture to ‘release’ muscle tension. Drew also gave us a brief insight into forming awareness to an animal’s energy, which could lead us to areas of trauma or damage that could otherwise go unnoticed.
In part three Drew spoke about foot trimming for barefoot horses and ponies; the importance of conditioning the foot over a period of time to be able to withstand a surprising amount of work. All the benefits that accompany this were also discussed as well as covering some of the pitfalls of keeping your horse or pony permanently shod without a break.
Many questions were raised throughout the talk and answers dually provided, accompanied with visual props - a skull, legs and foot parts - to demonstrate the points being discussed.
This all made for a very interesting and informative evening and I would like to thank Drew very much.
Sara Angel

Longwood Farm drive, Woolland, Blandford Sunday 10th June 2007

Sunday 10th June bought a beautifully hot sunny day when we gathered at Longwood Farm by very kind invitation of Sandra and Steve Bailey and arranged by Ivan Smith. The area of Woolland is situated near the base of Bulbarrow hill ( which my dear husband kindly guided me up on the way home trying to find a shorter route!! and poor ‘Maggie’ standing in the trailer backwards, bottoms up, must have wondered what was happening!) and is a beautiful area with farms, quiet roads and lovely views.
The route was 7 miles in total with several hills, none of which caused any problems, the scenery along the way breathtaking, we drove through Belchalwell, and the surrounding areas, only some 5 cars were seen ‘on route’ plus one very large tractor and trailer which was out silageing and couldn’t have been more considerate.
I for one will be back for that drive like a shot, it is so nice to go somewhere different with really great scenery, clean open countryside, traffic virtually non existent, and a lovely clean, clover covered field in which to park. By the way Maggie didn’t touch a leaf of it! Too rich by far for her!
Those of you who didn’t come on the drive really missed a super day out. One of our company travelled from Andover to enjoy the day, no small distance, another who lives in Somerset, and the others from Dorset. Thank you very much, Sandra, Steve and Ivan.

Kingston Lacey Golden Jubilee Drive Sunday 20th May 2007

Kingston Lacy saw the Dorset Area of the British Driving Society celebrate its 50th Golden Jubilee 1957 - 2007 with a gathering of members and their turnouts in the grounds of Kingston Lacy with kind permission of the National Trust.
The turnouts ranged from a pair of beautiful, now endangered rare breed of Cleveland Bays, ponies of all shapes and sizes, down to a sweet pair of Shetland ponies, put to a range of vehicles. 
 Members partook of a drive some 9 miles incorporating parts of the estate and local roads returning via Barton Farm for a sample of their now famous ice cream and thence to the lawn in front of Kingston Lacy House, where they were presented with beautiful Golden Jubilee three tiered rosettes in black, yellow and gold, and finally back to the parking field for their own picnics, with wine and soft drinks very kindly provided by Wendy and Jim Richards.
The drive was extremely well organised by Wendy & Jim who opened 29 gates and barriers in order for the carriages to travel around the estate, which has suitable barrier access for people on foot, wheel chairs, and bicycles together with ridden horses, but unfortunately not carriages.  Ann Poole and Terry James had then the in envious task of shutting all the gates after they had been passed.
 We must thank the National Trust for the use of the Kingston Lacy Estate, Wendy, Jim, Ann and Terry for all their hard work and organisation which made this event possible.
The sun shone and everyone had a marvellous time. We must remember how lucky we are to participate in a sport which we can continue for many years, especially as both able-bodied and disabled can enjoy carriage driving.
 We had some very senior members amongst us, one being Roly Robberts a mere 88 years young, who has been a member of the BDS for just under 50 years, and several others in their early 80’s. This is a sport for both young and old so come and join us.

Supper & Skittles Night at The Greyhound Inn, Winterborne Kingston
Wednesday 13th May 2007

We gathered promptly at 7.30pm in the Skittle Alley of the Greyhound Inn with partners and friends split into two teams, the ‘Chuckers’ and the ‘Throwers’.

Two rounds were played before stopping for a hot supper ranging from ‘chips with most things in a basket‘, and ‘filled Jacket potatoes‘, all very nice.

The break to eat saw the ‘Chuckers’ behind but having been refuelled they soon rallied and won by a close margin.

The winning team was Sara Angel, Terry James, Wendy Richards, Brian Sims, Hazel Lappin, Dave Shorter, Gill Smith and Peter Simpson. The top score was Gill Smith and top male score Ivan Smith. Was it beginners luck!!!!

One of the Chuckers

Drive and BBQ at Dogdean Farm Sunday 29th April 2007

A big thank you to Ann Poole and Terry James for yet another pleasant and very enjoyable venue.

Weather was kind to us all with a gentle breeze to make sure that none of our equine friends got too hot. The drive took us down country lanes, passed thatched cottages and over little streams. Its amazing how much can be seen in just over 8 miles, we continued down through Whitesheet, passed Redbridge Manor which looked splendid in the sunshine and back through Broomhill and passed the Barley Mow pub and onwards home.

In Ann's lovely garden the BBQ was in place and thanks must go to Terry James and Dave Shorter for making sure that we were all well fed.  The afternoon was rounded off nicely with a piece of birthday cake for Wendy and of course a chance for us to congratulate Wendy and Jim on their Golden Wedding Anniversary.

Again another brilliant day.

Gill Shorter

A very big thank you to all who supported this event, I was able to send a cheque for £150.00 to Macmillan Dorset Appeal. Well done everyone.                                        A.P.

Wareham Forest Interval Drive - Sunday 15th  April 2007

What weather, what a turnout. They came from Devon, Hampshire, Somerset and Wiltshire. as well as our own area. All shapes and sizes to enjoy the tranquillity and open gate free areas of Wareham Forest. The forest is actually made up of three sections, divided by roads, but on this occasion, the first drive of the season, the driving was in the central section only. Next time two sections will be covered, giving a longer drive, with two road sections.

Many members also came and joined us with their picnics at lunch time to enjoy the superb weather, watch some of the turnouts returning, and have a good natter. Nicky

Pamphill Pony Drive - 16th March 2007

What a brilliant evening we had at Pamphill.  Over forty of us filled the village hall, and, in case anyone thinks that a 'Pony Drive' the same as a beetle drive really, we just draw ponies instead, is designed for the older members, our age range went from ten to, well lots more than that.  I'm not sure who made the most noise but I fancy the more mature players had the edge.  A delicious ploughman's was served, prizes were handed out, and we finished the evening with a rousing Happy Birthday and a piece of birthday cake in honour of Lillian Bennett.   Our thanks to Wendy and Ann for organising the evening and giving us the opportunity to enjoy ourselves while raising money for the Macmillan Dorset Appeal.
A very big 'Thank you' to all for supporting the raffle, we raised the grand total of £100, which has been duly sent to the Macmillan Appeal.

Sunday 2nd March 2007

Pre-season Overhaul talk evening was held at the very pleasant venue of the Bere Regis Sports Club where a good gathering listened to Debbie Warren our own fully fledged Harness Maker member on what to look for when checking over ones harness, recognising badly worn stitching, the fitting of cruppers, and how they can be altered in shape using boiling water and a rolling pin, looking at types of leather used for repairs, etc.

Ivan Smith on carriage maintenance including dealing with traditional wooden wheels, how to cover scratches using coloured polish, various types of axles, etc. and finally Sara Angel on feeding various equines, for amounts of work, size of animal, character of animal, and different problems which relate to feeding. Not forgetting the free samples of food in abundance, then sacks of food, equine tape measures, caps, etc . in the raffle which raised a brilliant £33.00

Thank you very much to you all who came out in the worst weather possible, making it a great evening.


Sunday 11th February 2007
Photographic Fun Night

Gill and Dave Shorter very kindly offered us the use of the Forest Edge Camp Site Bar once again for our February meeting where I think all who attended enjoyed the evening. The number of photographs brought for the evening was overwhelming, well done all of you. We were very pleased to welcome two new members to our midst, Liz and Kirsty coming over from Blandford to join in the fun. The raffle raised a very healthy £22 which will go towards expenses for this and future events.


10th December 2006
Annual Meeting and Christmas lunchat the Crown Hotel, Blandford Forum.

Once again we met at the Crown Hotel and the Annual Meeting was attended by some 20 members, the minutes of which will of course be produced at the one held at the end of 2007. During this meeting as Area Commissioner I decided to give a few awards to members for various reasons.  Wendy Richards received an award for holding the most meetings for members in 2006.  Ann Poole received an award for attending the most events in 2006,  and Sara Angel’s Tonic received an award for being the pony who excelled itself for the benefit of the BDS. This was, with the aid of one other turnout, giving some 120 children  carriage rides in two days of extremely hot weather without putting a foot wrong, during our Pony Club Camp visits.
Some 28 members and friends attended the Christmas Lunch at the Crown Hotel which was up to its usual good standard,  and Clare Wigmore who was in attendance, and being a member of the BDS Council, kindly gave us a short after lunch speech.

10th November 2006
Quiz Night at the Langton Arms. Tarrant Monkton.

A quiz night with some 31 participants took place once again in the very pleasant surroundings of the Langton Arms.  Supper with waitress service was enjoyed before the commencement of the quiz took place.
During the coffee break a Birthday Cake was produced for Ann Poole who had reached a special birthday a week or so before.  Everyone enjoyed a piece.
The quiz kindly arranged by Ann Poole and Janet Dacombe who was once again the quiz master, commenced with much scratching of heads and conflicting answers, but was enjoyed by all. Many thanks to both of you.

Drive from East Martin
Sunday 15th October 2006

Another super day was had by all who attended the drive arranged by Richard James at Martin. When we arrived at Richards residence we were welcomed and given a map of the route. The weather was overcast and a bit chilly, but just before 11 o'clock, when we were due to start the drive, the sun came through and it was just perfect driving weather, sunshine and cooling breeze. (I wonder who Richard knows to arrange this).
A total of 10 turnouts were present from both Hampshire and Dorset, this included one team of horses and a pair of cobs. The drive was to be mainly off road on the tracks around the Martin Down National Nature Reserve. Once through the quiet and pretty village of Martin, we joined the tracks of the reserve and headed off towards the Blagdon Hill. As the footing is good, all the ponies and horses coped well with this early steep incline, some “springing” up, unlike some of the grooms who were puffing well on reaching the top after walking up to lighten the load, or even give an extra push. Once at the top the views are spectacular, we are told that you can see 3 counties from here, Hampshire, Dorset and Wiltshire. From here in, it is much easier driving, going along open grassy tracks to the halfway point where there was a very welcome glass of mulled wine, as well as entertainment from model planes. The drive continued in the autumn sunshine giving the walkers an added interest watching the turnouts trot past. The total drive was a distance of 8 miles.
On return to Richards residence, after washing down the horses and giving them a well earned hay net, Richard and Virginia welcomed us into their lovely garden where we all enjoyed a D.I.Y. lunch and caught up on the latest gossip from the driving world, before reluctantly leaving for home.
Our thanks must go to Virginia and Richard for arranging this lovely peaceful drive and for the use of their garden and paddocks, thank you.
We will be back!
Hugh & Maureen Blakemore