The Citadel Drive 22nd August 2018

BDS Shropshire Citadel Drive

On Wednesday August 22nd eleven turnouts took part in a drive from the Citadel by kind permission of Mr and Mrs Griffiths.   As we all lined up for the presentation of rosettes it struck me that carriage driving is truly a sport in which anyone and everyone can participate.   The horses were represented by everything from a team of Shetlands to a team of warmbloods and the age range between the youngest passenger and the oldest groom was more than 80 years!

Those taking part (in no particular order as they say on Strictly) were as follows:-

Sue Cole and Frank Bullock with Sam the Man, black gypsy cob.

Mike Cowie with his lovely chestnut Red.

Tony and Carol Gregory with their pair of Hackneys Rocky and Oscar.

Edith Hockenhull with another lovely chestnut pony – yes, I am partial to chestnuts!

Peter King with an eye-catching team of skewbald Shetland ponies.

Jennifer Marren and Helen James with black pony Corky.

Ali Mason and Gill Johns with Smurf – new to carriage driving this season and thoroughly enjoying themselves.

Felicity Stubbs and Avril Pluck with the elegant Welsh section B pony Amber.

Rebecca and Chris Taylor with a pair of greys to a beautiful traditional country vehicle – what a stunning turnout!

Russell Hand with a team of three bay Dutch Gelderlander x Hackneys, leader Cheko and wheelers Hippo and Wal, and the Hungarian grey Marci who had been nursed back to health following a serious accident a year ago and against the odds is now fit enough to lead a team.    Russell’s groom was Carol Doody and passengers included Russell’s wife Pat who suffered a serious head injury two years ago but is now back with the horses, Russell’s small horse-loving granddaughter Grace with her dad Liam, Val Fisher who was disabled in a riding accident some years ago but does not let that get in the way of her love of horses, and last but not least photographer May Whiston, who can often be found at equestrian and other events around Shropshire, and who took some lovely photos from the back of the moving carriage – a new experience!


Mandy Hughes and John Foulkes with cob Finn who was on his first BDS drive and behaved impeccably with Sam the Man in front as a confidence-giver.   Mandy, John and Finn are all involved with Perry RDA.   John has been helping out with the group for many years.  Mandy has been running the group while founder Jane Barker has been unwell.   She does all the maintenance of carriages and harnesses along with other duties and hopes one day to become a carriage driving coach for the RDA – the rule prohibiting her from doing so as she is disabled is currently under review.   Finn is on loan to Mandy at the moment to gain more experience before becoming a fully fledged RDA pony at the new Cavalier Centre, Much Wenlock.

After the drive we all enjoyed a bring and share picnic where much cake was consumed!   Thanks are due to Mr and Mrs Griffiths for making this lovely venue available to us; to Bryony for organising the event and giving us such a well-marked route, and to everyone else who helped by stewarding.   It really was a lovely drive!

Photos courtesy of Ian Cole, Greg Sinclair and May Whiston – thank you for an excellent job!….


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