To Encourage and Assist those interested in Equine Driving
Patron: H.R.H. The Duke of Edinburgh K.G. K.T.


Area websites

Many BDS Areas have their own websites. Click the links below to
see them.

The BDS operates a scheme to assist Areas
with setting up their own websites.

to find out more.

 Beds, Bucks & Herts


Derbys & Staffs
Dorset & Sth Wiltshire
 Glos & N Wiltshire
 Isle of Wight



 North London
 Notts & S. Yorks



Sussex East
Sussex West
West Midlands
Wilts and Glos
Yorkshire & Cleveland



East South Wales

Mid South Wales
Mid East Wales

North East Wales
West Glamorgan

West Wales


BDS Publicity Committee Update

The Merchandise sales have been going well with polo shirts and also ties being the most popular at the moment. The BDS Publicity stand was very busy at the Reading carriage sale in March and we look forward to another good day there on 6th May. Bennington Carriages Open Day in March was attended also with much interest from those attending and the same applied to the Indoor Driving Trials Championships at Keysoe over Easter .
Remember that Merchandise enquiries need to be directed to lindaswain10@aol.com , and that the Publicity Stand is booked into the Houghton Hall event `Its all about Me & my Horse` on 27th May http://www.itsallaboutmeandmyhorse.co.uk/ , so please do come along to see it..
If you know of any other venue where the Stand would be welcome, please contact us.

Announcing the
2015 BDS Photographic Competition!
Are you an undiscovered photographic genuis? Do you love to capture the beauty of the harness horse and carriage? For the first time the BDS is running a photographic competition, which anyone can enter, to find the perfect images for inclusion in the first ever BDS Calendar. Copies of the calendar will be sold in time for Christmas and proceeds will go to the BDS Charity, the Sanders Watney Trust, which exists to help those with disabilities enjoy the freedom and delight of carriage driving.
Any BDS member can enter, at most two photographs which can be of anything to do with carriages and carriage horses. They need to be artistic and to capture the imagination of the judges and must be your own original work.
Copies of the complete Terms and Conditions can be obtained by emailing rosemary@roseneale.com . These include details of where to send your prints to - we cannot accept digital images.


Following a consensus of opinion of BDS Council and the BDS Safety Panel it is now considered that in the interests of our duty of care to our younger members, the Society wishes to introduce a formal Ruling on the wearing of hard hats.

That Ruling reads as follows:....................

Sanders Watney Trust

Registered Charity No 327023

Sanders Watney Trust scholarships
The Sanders Watney Trust offers training scholarships of up to £300 to any member of an RDA affiliated disabled carriage driving group.

Equine Passports



section on our website has documents explaining the BDS involvement in government consultations about carriage driving. Guidelines and documents to help plan a BDS event.

BDS Affiliated Shows in 2015
Check out the diary dates for this year


BDS TRECs in 2015


Stolen Items Register
New item added 26/03/2013


Welfare in Animal (Transport) Order 2006
Welfare of Animals During Transport Regulations - Equine related case studies

Click here to read the BDS visitors book
Thank you for visiting the BDS website.

Please sign our

Due to increasing levels of spam all entries are checked by the website moderator before inclusion.

Welcome to the world of

Whatever your interest - pleasure driving or competing, singles, pairs or multiples - The British Driving Society is here to help and encourage you. Local Area Commissioners and Support Officers are on hand to give you guidance and the BDS has a panel of qualified instructors throughout the country and we run a proficiency test programme, which is respected world-wide as a basis for safe driving. Look at your local area website, below, for further details.


Website updated on Tuesday 31 March 2015


 Are your views being represented?

 The BDS Council of 12 members, manages and administers the BDS and they are your voice, so this is your chance to nominate someone who will reflect your views.

All BDS members over 18 years old can nominate a member.  As a proposer, you will be asked to give details of your candidate for the voting paper, explaining why they would be an effective member.  If more than four nominations are received, these voting papers will then be circulated with the Autumn newsletter.  The person you nominate must be willing to attend Council meetings, normally held four times a year, and take an active part in the work involved.

Nomination Form


Bulletin No.2 – 27th April 2015

The Association Internationale d’Attelage de Tradition (AIAT)

Council has agreed to the Society becoming an official member of this Association and the 2015 subscription fee has been paid.    The first BDS competition will take place at Euston Estate, Suffolk by kind permission of the Duke and Duchess of Grafton on Saturday 22nd and Sunday 23rd August 2015.

Committee Vacancies

As a Member of the BDS, would you like to become more involved in the running of the Society?  If your answer is “yes” then an opportunity has just arisen!

The BDS Finance & Administration Committee is looking to appoint two new members to join this important committee.

The role of the BDS Finance & Administration (F&A) Committee is primarily to oversee and develop financial and administrative processes and procedures for the BDS.   Typical task areas include budgeting and financial planning, financial reporting, and the creation and monitoring of internal procedures, controls and accountability policies.
Reporting to the Chairman of the F&A Committee you will work closely with your fellow F&A committee members in order to help take the Society forward and making recommendations to Council.

You must be a committed team player with, preferably, a business or administrative background.   Your attendance would be required at F&A Committee meetings which are held at least four times a year.

If you are interested in playing a key role in the British Driving Society please apply, in the first instance, to Jo Halnan-Blackwell (contact details below).

Please include a brief resume, which should include any applicable skill sets, along with your reason(s) for wishing to join the F&A Committee.   Your contact details will also be appreciated.

We look forward to receiving your application by Friday 30 May 2015.   Your application will be considered by a selection panel and you may be called for an interview.

Apply in writing to:-
Mrs Jo Halnan-Blackwell, Chairman of the BDS F&A Committee
Email:    joannahblackwell@btinternet.com
If you have any questions, please telephone 023 9250 2579

End of bulletin

The Brian Sims BDS Junior Driving Scholarship 2015

This year our prestigious Scholarship will be held at Springbridge Stables near Willoughby Waterleys in Leicestershire on Tuesday August 4th, followed by “A Day to Remember” for all those that have taken part, together with the Presentation to the winning students at The Royal Mews in London at a later date.
The qualifying age groups are 10-14 and 15 -18 with the winner of each age group being awarded a prize of £500 Training Bursary.

There is also an additional award for the best driver, the Barbara Stoddart Trophy and a Certificate and trophy (kindly presented by Mr Ian Townsend) for the Best Portfolios in each age group. 

We hope that Young Drivers from all parts of the country will take part and will have taken note of the Guidelines shown on the Young Drivers pages of the main BDS website.

Junior Scholarship Application Form 2015



All current BDS members should have received the 2015 Yearbook & also the Spring magazine. If not, please contact the BDS Office to check your subscription payment.  

          Send an email to the BDS secretary or 01379-384-612

         Only current members may attend BDS driving events.


21 June 2015
Schedules & Tickets available now - click here
Entries close 18 May 2015


The BDS Head Office
has now moved

Church Road, Wingfield,
Eye, Suffolk
IP21 5QZ

Tel: 01379-384-612
Email: email@britishdrivingsociety.co.uk
All communication to be sent to the Secretary, Mrs. T. Styles

 from John Parker, BDS President

To read the letter click here

PDF File version

e would ask you all to continue to lobby your MP regarding VOSA's interpretation of the driving regulations. Please use the latest sample letter -

For further information please read the article on page 4  of the Horse and Hound 2nd April 2009 edition or go on their web site www.horseandhound.co.uk

If you have been stopped by a VOSA inspector the BDS and Horse & Hound would like to hear about it. Email abigail_butcher@ipcmedia.com and email@britishdrivingsociety.co.uk   with brief details of the incident.


Due to the concerns of a number of BDS member’s contacting the BDS Office, Council have recommended that the British Driving Society start a register of Commercial Horse Operators.      

 to read the full details of Registration and to download an application form for the commercial register.


© British Driving Society 2015
No part of this website may be copied or reproduced without permission. Click here to email us.