Dorset and South Wiltshire BDS








ūüėäCongratulations to Molly Turner!

Some welcome and cheering news amidst the gloom ‚Äď Dorset & S Wilts Area member 10-year-old Molly Turner has been awarded 'HIGHLY COMMENDED' in the Ian Townsend Portfolio Competition and will be receiving a very special rosette to mark her achievement in the 8-14 group of the BDS National Competition. The Award was established to encourage young drivers to create a journal of their driving experience and the judge remarked that Molly's portfolio, covering the years since she started driving (aged just 3!) was very innovative with a very effective use of multimedia. Molly's driving includes a range of activities and she has plenty of plans for the future, including playing the horn on a coach. So with this in mind she is learning to play the trumpet...
Well done, Molly, and we hope it won't be long before we can congratulate you in person at one of our Area events!ūüĎŹ

Molly Turner

Molly Turner


Colonel Peter Douglas OBE

It is with great sadness that we learn Peter Douglas passed away peacefully on 28th October 2020.  With their ponies Treacle and Mollie, Peter and his wife Sue were familiar faces at BDS events for many years.  In 2011 Peter picked up the reins as Area Commissioner for BDS Dorset & South Wiltshire, a post he held for four years.

Peter joined the Army in 1964, retiring in 1996 as a Lt Col before re-enlisting at the rank of Colonel Commandant in the ACF.  Peter had a passion for life, devoting much of his life to charity, in particular working tirelessly for the Royal British Legion.  Peter was a driving force behind the British Ex-Forces Wheelchair Sports Association (BEWSA) for many years, giving disabled and injured brothers in arms a common goal, helping them rediscover their zest for life.

BDS Dorset & South Wiltshire Area extend their heartfelt condolences to Sue, their children Sue and Timothy and their family.  Peter will be much missed by many.

Fittingly, given his long Army career and tireless work for his beloved Royal British Legion, Peter’s funeral will take place on Armistice Day, 11th November.¬† Donations in memory of Peter can be made via or c/o Co-operative Funeralcare. Tel: 01793 534759.


Area Annual Meeting 2019


Air Ambulance thank you


Dorset & South Wiltshire Area

Thursday 6th December 2018


Present:     19 members.

Apologies:   Chris King, David Guy, Ann Roots.

Minutes of 2017 Annual Meeting: Unanimous approval, proposed by Terry James, seconded by Sue  Prust.

Matters arising:  None.

Area Commissioner's Report:  Ann James gave a summary of the year's events, which had been successful and well attended. She made special mention of our Junior Members, Chanie Matthews with Banjo and Molly Turner with Lennie, who have enjoyed a busy and successful season. Ann thanked the Steering Group and all those who had hosted events, and in particular thanked Yvette and Pete Cheeseman for arranging the Bere Regis venue for our indoor meetings. Finally, she thanked the membership as a whole for making her task as Area Commissioner so enjoyable.

Treasurer's Report: Gill Smith reported that financially we were doing quite well, with the books all in good order. The current account held £1,863.28, the deposit account £1,586 and the Brian Sims account £236.41.
Ann James thanked Gill for keeping the books so well, and Gill proposed a vote of thanks to Ann for all her work on our behalf as Area Commissioner. 

Show Report:  Alison Trevett reported that, despite good weather, entries to this year's Show had been down by about 50% on last year, although every class had at least one entry so none had to be cancelled. She thanked the regular supporters and sponsors and announced that, thanks to a generous commitment from one competitor to underwrite the showground expenses, the Show would be going ahead in 2019.
Any suggestions for new classes would be welcome.

Rights of Way:  Nothing relevant to our area had arisen. Ann James appealed for a volunteer to take on the ROW Officer role.

2019 Events:  All events so far organised for next year had been posted on our website. Ideas for evening meetings would be welcome.

AOB:  None.

The meeting closed at 8.20pm and was followed by an Open Forum.


 Email received from Cathie Burridge re. Potential Driving Pones
If interested PLEASE email Cathie on

I hope you don’t mind me contacting you; I found your details via the British Horse Society website.  This is a bit of a lengthy email so apologies in advance.  My reason for contacting you is to see if anyone in the Dorset and Wiltshire area may be interested in potential driving prospects.

My friend owns a riding school and a few years ago she helped rescue and rehomed 12 welsh ponies off the welsh mountains that were in a poor state and due to be destroyed.  These ponies are now in good condition and due to their ages, are now starting to look for a job to do.  Some will be suitable to be backed and used in the riding school, some are too small to be ridden and will be used as her therapy ponies.  A couple have already gone to permanent loan homes as companions but there are three that she feels would be wasted in any of the above scenarios and therefore is wondering if you have any of your driving society members that would be looking for driving projects?

Anna is a 12.2hh grey mare (probably Welsh Section A) approximately 6 years old.  She has been well handled and was in a loan home where she was shown in hand and generally fusses over by a little girl.  Unfortunately the mother fell ill so couldn’t commit to keeping Anna so she was returned.  She is very pretty and a bit cheeky and would be too mischievous for little kiddies to learn to ride on.

Ant & Dec are half-brothers approximately 13hh (chunky monkeys) and 5 years old.  They do everything together and are inseparable which means they would not be very useful in a riding school unless there were always 2 children wanting to ride at the same time!  As they have spent their whole lives together the thought is that they would make a good driving pair.

If anyone would be interested the ponies would NOT be for sale.  They would be on permanent loan with a proviso that should the loaner no longer want to or be able to care for them, that they would be returned directly to my friend.

As my friend is extremely busy I have offered to help in contacting you (and other driving societies) and collate any responses for her.  I would be grateful if you could let me know if you think this is something you could add to your society webpage or newsletter?  If there is any interest I would request people reply to me with a brief overview of their experience, location, and plans for the ponies.  I can then discuss any applications with my friend and arrange next steps for any potential loaners.

Thank you for taking the time to read my email.  I am happy to answer any questions you or any of your society members may have.  I very much hope to hear from you or your members as it would be lovely to get these ponies out having fun in the right discipline.

Kind regards
Cathie Burridge 


Event on the Public Highway- Wimborne 20 Running Race - 3rd March 2019

Wimborne Running Race 2019
Click to enlarge

I write to notify you of our intention to hold an event on the public highway in the area of Gaunts Common, BH21 4JN on Sunday 3rd March 2019. The race will be held between 0830 and 1330.

The event is a 20 mile running race on road for 300 competitors. There will be 60 marshals on duty on the course guiding runners as well as a significant amount of signage to mark the course and cautioning other road users of the event. Advance notification of the event will be in the form of signs placed on the route two weeks before as well as residents in Gaunts Common receiving a letter notifying them of the race.

All roads will remain open to traffic throughout the event . Competitors will park at one of three off road locations provided by a school and a local farmer.

I attached a map showing the course route for your information.

The race will be licenced and insured by UK athletics and as Race Director on behalf of Wimborne AC I will take responsibility for race organisation including the provision of 2 Ambulances and 4 medics on the course.

If you have questions about the event then please do contact me, otherwise I will assume that this email has notified you of the event and answered any questions that you may have.


Steve Wyatt
Race Director
For Wimborne AC
07787 970289
01202 840096
Deans Grove Cottage
Deans Grove
BH21 7AE



East Holton Driving Centre is looking for Volunteers to assist in the running of this Centre.
The Centre operates Monday to Friday and provides a number of facilities (of which Carriage Driving is one) for adults with a wide range of disabilities.  To enable us to do this we need more volunteers.   If you feel you can spare a few hours on a regular basis and are interested in helping then please contact


Road Driving Assessment

Are you interested in gaining your BDS Road Safety Certificate? It's designed for the recreational driver of the single harness horse and covers the necessary skills and knowledge to prepare harness and horse-drawn vehicles for use, harness up a single horse and put-to to a suitable vehicle, drive on the public highway and care for the horse after use.
For more information, call Ann James on 01202 886501.


Tenantry Farm, Rockbourne

If you enjoy carriage driving off road, then Tenantry Farm at Rockbourne, near Fordingbridge, SP6 3PB is a good place to head to.  Rob McLeod has established a great facility there for riders and also welcomes carriage drivers, to enjoy driving around an approximately 7.5 mile course.  Located a short distance off the A354 south of Salisbury, the course is open 7 days a week and you simply telephone Rob (Tel: 01725 518297) for further details and to book your visit.  The cost is £20 per turnout.  See for further information.
We also have an invitation to arrange a BDS interval drive at Tenantry Farm.  If you might be interested in coming to this, possibly in September or October, please contact Alison Trevett  Tel: 01258 881295 (evenings and weekends), E-mail:


Calling all photographers!!

The British Driving Society magazine and Carriage Driving are keen to publish good quality photographs of Area activities throughout the year. If you have your camera with you at one of our events, why not take a few shots and email them to Newsletter editor Sandy Smyth at


A day to remember!

In recognition of their years of work for the charity the Brooke, Wendy and Jim Richards were invited to visit Buckingham Palace and tour the Royal Mews. They write of their wonderful day:

On Wednesday 21st October we were invited by HRH The Duchess of Cornwall, President of the Brooke, to the Royal Mews, Buckingham Palace.
We spent a wonderful day there being shown around the various carriages and state coaches. We were then seated in the Riding School, where we were joined by HM The Queen and the Duchess of Cornwall to watch a demonstration of the Join-Up technique by Monty Roberts.
We were then invited to afternoon tea in the home of the Crown Equerry – Colonel Browne and his wife – where we met and chatted to the Duchess and enjoyed a welcome cup of tea and refreshments.
The Chief Executive of the Brooke – Petra Ingram – then gave a short but informative talk on how the Brooke has blossomed into the most far-reaching and effective equine welfare charity in the world, from the training of the local people to working in schools, all the time improving life for hard-working equines abroad.
Having ourselves visited many clinics in Egypt, Jordan and Pakistan, we do so hope this wonderful charity will always be supported by all horse lovers.
Jim and Wendy Richards



As in all walks of life accidents will occasionally happen but many may be avoided by following the rules below:
The items below are stipulated on the BDS insurance policy

 Keep safe !


BDS Road Driving Safety Certificate

The BDS Awards Board has announced a reduction in the cost of assessment for the road driving safety certificate. When a group of 5 – 8 people join together to take their assessment at the same time the cost will be reduced to £50 per person. Assessments can be made for a pair or a single and both include harnessing, putting-to and driving on the public highway, followed by care of the harness horse after use. More information from the BDS Education website:



Health and safety might be a bane of modern life, but I make no apologies for issuing a reminder about it, particularly at the start of the outdoor season.

All BDS Dorset & South Wiltshire Area events will be run in accordance with BDS safety rules, as laid down by BDS Headquarters (HQ).  This is important not only for the safety of all participants but also to fufill the requirements of the BDS insurance.

Only members of the BDS are allowed to drive at BDS events.   The only exception to this is for specific ‘Taster’ days, where extra safety measures will be in place. Hence, the option to drive at a BDS event as a non-member, either by providing proof of insurance or to take ‘day membership’, has now been withdrawn. If you know someone who would like to come along to our events with their turnout, but is not a member, encourage them to join ASAP!

While each and every person at a BDS event has responsibility for their own safety and towards the safety of others, the Area Commissioner and the event organiser will do their utmost to minimise risks. In recent months BDS HQ has reviewed the health and safety measures and a copy of their new risk assessment and management template is enclosed.  Please familiarise yourself with this ahead of attending any BDS event, where you should take every possible care at all times and be aware that if there is concern about your turnout at an event, you could be asked to leave.

If you are in any doubt about how you, your groom and your horse(s) will cope at any event, please seek advice from a qualified instructor or experienced whip.  A list of approved training providers (Light Harness Horse Instructors) is given in the BDS Yearbook.

Before attending any BDS event with a young or inexperienced horse, please ensure he/she will be happy in the company of other turnouts – arrange a trip out with just one other turnout initially, seeing how your horse goes both following and in front of another turnout and when you pass one another.

In addition to the BDS HQ rules, I ask that you please bring your BDS membership card with you when driving at any of our Area events – you will be asked for it by an organiser or steward.

The purpose of these rules is to ensure everyone always drives with due care and attention,  both for their own safety and for the safety of others. If you have any queries, please do get in touch.


'We have been asked by the Forestry Commission to kindly remind our members that when driving on F.C. land we are allowed to drive on gravel and man-made tracks ONLY and not to use grassed areas and trees for practising'

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