RDA carriage drivers overcome summer show heat

Riding for the Disabled’s carriage drivers from across the South East Region were out in force last week at its annual summer show.

Held at Hadlow College, Tonbridge and sponsored by the Worshipful Company of Wheelwrights, it drew competitors from across Surrey, Sussex and Kent who went head-to-head in the three disciplines of dressage, driving through a course of cones and showing.

The day started with a clean sweep for Kipling County Group (Chalvington, East Sussex) and pony Prince who helped Josie Cyster win the Condition and Turnout and Russell Barton-Potter win the Assisted Whip Class.

Amanda Harding of Happy Landings with her rosette for excellent cones work Photo: Joanna Sale

Lisa Disborough from Stella Hancock Group (Worpleston, Surrey) was brought in first for the Novice Whip for the second year running, this time driving Mario and pushing Andrew Norman of Cobbes Meadow (Chartham, Kent) into second place.

For the first time this year, there was a Junior section which was won by 10 year old Harley Walker driving Pumpkin who pipped Ellen Tribley with Ted into second. Both were from Alkham Valley RDA (Dover, Kent).

Alkham Valley’s Harley Walker won the showing class  and is pictured with James of Wheelrights  Photo: Joanna Sale

The day started with a clean sweep for Kipling County Group (Chalvington, East Sussex) and pony Prince who helped Josie Cyster win the Condition and Turnout and Russell Barton-Potter win the Assisted Whip Class. Lisa Disborough from Stella Hancock Group (Worpleston, Surrey) was brought in first for the Novice Whip for the second year running, this time driving Mario and pushing Andrew Norman of Cobbes Meadow (Chartham, Kent) into second place. For the first time this year, there was a Junior section which was won by 10 year old Harley Walker driving Pumpkin who pipped Ellen Tribley with Ted into second. Both were from Alkham Valley RDA (Dover, Kent).

The showing classes ended with the Open which was won by Sarah Pain driving Eddie from the Stella Hancock Group, while Duke from Cobbes Meadow snatched another second, this time with Pat Hammond driving.

Andrew Norwood of Cobbes Meadow works hard driving Duke in the cones: Photo Joanna Sale

Prizes were presented by James Tucker, Master Wheelwright, who said “As Wheelwrights we’re really pleased to be able to put our charitable funds to good use in providing a bit more mobility – and carriage driving definitely gives a freedom to these drivers who might not always feel it. Today has been very enlightening and I’ve been so impressed by what these competitors have been able to achieve!”

In the dressage, Jackie Fuller of Heron’s Ghyll won the Novice while Prince had to settle for second place this time with Gay Williams driving. The Open class was won by Woodchurch’s Neil Simmons driving Teddy, who pipped his team mate, Liz Jarvis into second place, also driving Teddy.

Judge Sara Howe congratulates Lisa Disborough of Stella Hancock as winner of the Showing Class with Helen Pritchard as whip. Photo: Joanna Sale

Young and older went head-to-head in the Novice cones with Timmy Brown of Kipling County claiming first place from young Harley Walker of Alkham Valley, while in the Open cones, Karen Tritton of Heron’s Ghyll (Whitesmith, East Sussex) held onto first by the narrowest of margins from Laura Marshall of Kipling County.

There were a number of other awards made during the day, most notably Andrew Norman of Cobbes Meadow for Best Driver with a Bar, Norman Watson of Happy Landings (Dunsfold, West Sussex) for the Judges’ Award and Woodchurch who won the shield for the group winning the most points throughout the day.

“My thanks have to go to the wonderful work of the teams behind the competitors, who are tireless in their time and support as well as our sponsors, The Worshipful Society of Wheelwrights” said the Show’s organiser, Miranda Purves.

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