Congratulations on our Virtual Show Champion

Congratulations on our Virtual Show Champion

BDS Virtual Show

Ben Lawless – Champion

Reserve Champion – James Jeffrey

Virtual Show Champion

Congratulations on our Virtual Show Champion, Ben Lawless And Reserve Champion, James Jeffrey

Photo of Ben Lawless by Paul Orchard Photography

Hours of Operation

MON – FRI
09:00am – 4:00pm

SAT
Closed

SUN
We are out Driving

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Forestry England

Forestry England

Forestry England

Our Championship Show was going to be a fantastic affair and we were so sad to have to cancel but we hope you will enjoy our virtual show instead.

Forestry England are running a survey into what physical activity you do in their forests. Riding and carriage driving are not one of the listed activities, and therefore would fall within the ‘other physical activity’ box. This is an ideal opportunity for us to remind Forestry England how much their forests are used for riding and carriage driving.

If you ride and/or carriage drive in a Forestry England forest please complete the survey, selecting the ‘other activity’ box stating that you ride and/or carriage drive in one of their forests.

The survey remains open until 31 March 2021, and can be found at this link

Hours of Operation

MON – FRI
09:00am – 4:00pm

SAT
Closed

SUN
We are out Driving

Telephone

01284-630591

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National Carriage Driving Championships

National Carriage Driving Championships

National Carriage Driving Championships

BDS National Carriage Driving Championships

Our Championship Show was going to be a fantastic affair and we were so sad to have to cancel but we hope you will enjoy our virtual show instead. Run on our Facebook page from 1st October with results announced live on what would have been show day, we hope you will all join in and share your photos instead

Hours of Operation

MON – FRI
09:00am – 4:00pm

SAT
Closed

SUN
We are out Driving

Telephone

01284-630591

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New Clothing Range

New Clothing Range

Introducing the NEW BDS Clothing Range

Our partners at JS Teamwear have a brand new selection of items for members, embroidered with the BDS logo. There are a wide range of sizes and the site is incredibly easy to use.

www.jsteamwear.co.uk

Either type BDS into the search box or click on Carriage Driving and pick the item and size you want and it will delivered direct to your door

JS Teamwear Embroidery and Print

Hours of Operation

MON – FRI
09:00am – 4:00pm

SAT
Closed

SUN
We are out Driving

Telephone

01284-630591

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Don’t be shy. Let us know if you have any questions!

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Chairmans Statement

Chairmans Statement

Report from the Chairman of the British Driving Society, Neil Wray

During the last council meeting, which took place early March, when discussing the Smiths Lawn Annual Show, I raised the point that we carefully needed to consider any spend in light of a potential Covid-19 pandemic. Since news of the emerging risk to the UK was just starting to ramp up at that time, I remember clearly as the words left my mouth thinking do I really need to say this or am I being over dramatic, those thoughts along with the disbelief on the faces of council members really did make me feel I was been over cautious and on we went with planning for a full Spring and Summer season. On reflection, how naive we all were as almost 2 weeks later the UK went in to lockdown as the global pandemic took hold and in the following days and weeks all of our planning for a full & enjoyable season became wasted effort as event after event was cancelled.

The speed and scale at which the pandemic took hold I think really shocked the majority of the population given few of us had ever witnessed anything of this magnitude and level of danger. Fortunately, as I write this article, the spread of the virus appears to be in decline and only time will tell if we are able to salvage any events in the latter part of the Summer and Autumn months – fingers crossed!

Whilst it is extremely disappointing for us all that we can not be out and about partaking in carriage driving events, the current situation puts things in to context highlighting how fragile life itself can be and how fortunate we are if our families are staying safe and healthy. Whilst I have grappled with the effects of the crisis not only on my family, friends and myself but also on my work and income streams and the impacts to the BDS – where our revenues will be significantly impacted by fewer members joining this year (as a significant proportion only renew immediately prior to attending events) along with lost revenue from shows and sponsorship, I have to mention how extremely disappointed and quite honestly flabbergasted I have been, by calls and insinuations on social media that the society should be refunding memberships as the BDS Annual Show and other society events have unfortunately had to be cancelled.

Personally, I am astounded that anyone who has the best interests of carriage driving at heart would even broach on suggesting let alone writing about subscription refunds, what amazed me even more was that the bulk of the people who then commented in support of subscription refunds on these social media posts are individuals who themselves contribute very little to the world of carriage driving and have not been members of the society for many years if ever!
Membership of the society, does not only cover shows & events, the benefits go much wider, including elements such as insurance cover, newsletters, yearbook, education & training programmes etc. The majority of those benefits, which all cost the society to provide, members are still enjoying so the practicalities of refunding memberships either wholly or partially is simply not possible.

Since the pandemic took hold council has been looking at how we will balance the books this year, given the financial implications of Covid-19 on the society. A number of actions have been taken, including having to place our only member of staff, Sue Mills, on furlough. Whilst I know this action has impacted the effectiveness of the day to day running of the society, and how we support members, it is just one of the very difficult decisions which had to be made to keep the society financially viable. In addition, to the financial impacts, there will also be a hit on the momentum to rebuilding the society that we made such wonderful progress on during 2019.

Whilst lockdown has been in place and activities have been curtailed, I have to thank Antonia Gallop (the recently appointed Chair of the Publicity and Communications committee) for the brilliant presence on the society’s facebook page, which has kept a large proportion of the membership engaged. Looking further ahead council and ACs are not only considering what events can be salvaged for the tail end of the season but also at what additional events could be organised for the winter months in an attempt to get people out and re-engaged with carriage driving events just as soon as is possible. Hopefully, we will have more news on this in the coming weeks & months.

At this stage of the year members will have received not only their yearbooks but also the first of this year’s newsletters, which went out in a new format which is significantly cheaper to produce than the previous format which had been in place for a number of years. Feedback on the revised format has been extremely positive, and I must thank Joan Martin for all the efforts she went to in producing it. Additionally, I would like to thank the many organisations and individuals who placed advertisements in both the yearbook and the newsletter, since without these contributions we would really struggle to produce such great publications. The next edition of the newsletter is already in plan and we are hoping to include some more great articles and updates.

In closing, I just want to say I hope you and your families stay safe, and that I look forward to meeting up with many of you in the second half of the year as the virus starts to release the stronghold it currently has on all our lives.

Best wishes,
Neil

Hours of Operation

MON – FRI
09:00am – 4:00pm

SAT
Closed

SUN
We are out Driving

Telephone

01284-630591

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End of an Era

End of an Era

End of an Era!

Osborne Refrigerators and Jeff Osborne himself have sponsored the BDS National Championships for more than 17 years but now it is time for that sponsorship to come to an end.  The British Driving Society and all its officers and members are eternally grateful to Jeff and Osborne Refrigerators for this sponsorship which has been the life blood of the Society over the years – after all, who amongst us has not covetted the lovely red and silver qualification rosettes or displayed them proudly on the mantelpiece or in the tack room once won?
Jeff has been a staunch supporter of carriage driving in its many guises over the years with his beautiful Private Driving turnouts, Trade turnouts, Attelage de Tradition turnout and of course scurry driving at which Jeff and his wife Alison excel.  But rest assured, they are not leaving carriage driving and will be continuing with their scurry driving activities so we will continue to be able to see their skill and expertise at events up and down the country and of course at the Horse of the Year show.
Jeff wishes BDS members all the best and looks forward to seeing them at events in the future, as we do him.  Thank you Jeff, you’ve been the best!

Hours of Operation

MON – FRI
09:00am – 4:00pm

SAT
Closed

SUN
We are out Driving

Telephone

01284-630591

Drop Us a Line

Don’t be shy. Let us know if you have any questions!

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