Midlands Carriagedriving is looking forward to an exciting year ahead with a calendar of two-day competitions, a National Novice Qualifier, a Regional competition and training days.
Cherry on the cake of the competitions is the news that regular and very popular venue, Onley Grounds Equestrian Centre near Rugby, is being upgraded to a Regional event for its two-day competition in August. Competitors can select to enter Regional classes, which lead to qualification for the British Carriagedriving National Championships the following month, or enter as a club competitor where novice drivers can qualify by entering the National Novice Qualifier classes being held in conjunction with the club competition.
Onley Grounds will also host, for the first time, the Midlands Carriagedriving Club Championships which take place on 1st and 2nd September, a culmination of the season for club members and also a great warm-up opportunity for members who have qualified for the National Championships taking place two weeks later.
Kicking off the 2018 season will be two days of training at Anslow, near Tutbury, on 14th and 15th April. The first day will feature one-to-one training with either Peter or Emily Bennett – pre-booking essential – with an opportunity to practice what has been learnt on the Sunday. A meal on Saturday night will be provided as an optional extra for attendees staying the weekend.
The following week sees the first of the club’s competitions – although sadly, the last ever driving trials – held at Catton Park near Burton-on-Trent. The venue has hosted Midlands’ competitions for over 20 years and has also been the venue for National three-day competitions, the National Championships (in 2007) and the FEI Combined Pony World Championships (2005). Renowned for its well-built obstacles, water splashes and hilly terrain as well as the outstanding backdrop to the dressage arena of Catton Hall, Catton Park will be much missed by the driving trials scene; organisers anticipate enthusiastic support from both club and national drivers for this farewell event.
More training is proposed for the second full weekend in July while the two-day competition at Widmerpool, near Newark (19th and 20th August), is scheduled to slot in between the two events at Onley. All two-day events will include a ‘Starter’ class with a shorter marathon and fewer obstacles.
Spectators are always welcome, as are volunteer stewards, to all of Midlands’ competitions. Further information can be found on www.midlandscarriagedriving.co.uk