Sanders Watney Trust

The Sanders Watney Trust  Registered Charity No: 327023

CHAIRMAN : JUDI RALLS

The British Driving Society’s charity to assist and enable people with disabilities in the driving of horses, ponies and donkeys

The Sanders Watney Trust was created in 1986 as Registered Charity No. 327023 and named in honour of former British Driving Society President, Mr. Sanders Watney.
The Trust’s original objective was to assist carriage drivers with disabilities purchase specially designed carriages to enable those confined to wheelchairs to drive. Nowadays, grants and loans are made to organisations and individuals by the Trust for many purposes, including:

  • Purchasing a carriage or harness
  • Funding training and driving tuition scholarships
  • Funding driving holidays
  • Hiring arenas for competition or tuition
  • Paying for adapting reins, carriage wheelchair fixings and hardware

 

A disabled drivers competing in a driven handy pony competition

A disabled driver competing in a driven handy pony competition

Of the 536 Riding for Disabled Association (RDA) groups in the UK, over 100 are also driving groups.  Since its formation, the Sanders Watney Trust has made grants to over 70 of these, totalling nearly £135,000:

Vehicles and equipment  £89,333
Harnes   £17,273
Training  £15,396
Driving Holidays  £12,715
Total: £134,717

 

A disabled drivers competing in a driven handy pony competition

 

Since 1995, loans totalling more than £23,000 have been made to 46 RDA groups. Of this money, 82% has so far been repaid and loaned again.

The Future of the Trust

The driving movement for people with disabilities has come a long way since HRH Prince Philip suggested in 1974 that carriage driving might be a suitable activity for people with disabilities.

A growing number of drivers are keen to compete; some of whom now have the ability to do so at the International sport levels. This is tremendous encouragement to those who are just starting out. The courage and skill of those at the top has proven a real catalyst towards continued progress. Standards have risen, yet the element of fun at grass roots remains.

Linda Swain is the BDS Liaison Officer for the Sanders Watney Trust.  For more information about the Sanders Watney Trust please contact its Honorary Secretary: Julie Allen  01686 414 793  team.smiffy@btinternet.com