On Sunday i (Alice Lockett) took my mini Shetland, Pudding to Springbridge so i could take her out on the roads with another horse. This was her first proper time driving on the roads and her first time with another horse, i was so happy with her as she didnt put a foot wrong and tried her hardest to keep up, which is not easy when she is only 34inches tall! I dont think her little legs have ever trotted so fast!
(the pictures make her back side look like an apple, but it really isnt!!)
Alice with Robbie
6 turnouts turned out for the rally on Sunday 4th the day was dry over head with a cool breeze, prefect for my first rally i had organized! We set off on the 12mile drive at 11am with John in the car in front warning the car drivers we were coming! We had our half way point in Foxton Locks car park, where we drank Pimms which Dad (John) made too strong!! But Linda liked it and had 3 glasses! With it just starting to rain we headed off back to where we had parked. We then all enjoyed our picnics in a barn out of the rain!
Dawn won the Exercise Class and the Osborne Refrigeration Qualifier for the championships at Addington. Well done Dawn!
And remember that if any of you out there have been to any shows then please lets us know how you got on by emailing us! A picture is a bonus as well! We love to know how everyones driving is going!
Malcolm Slater & Highlodge Summer Reflection
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By Sue Sheldrick
Is it me, or is it exhausting preparing for a show?! Having spent days cleaning the harness (how many brass buckles on yours? 36 on mine!), the carriage and then the horse – we then have to think of looking darn elegant ourselves!
Still at least there are shows this year. “June 9th – come rain or shine, we’re having one this year!” Linda Cotterill and Jane Stretton told us, when the date was fixed. Righto! It was a truly glorious day – cloudy but sunny by the afternoon sessions with just enough breeze to keep us all cool; horses, grooms and drivers. Some of us were hanging onto our hats on the right rein and on the right hand side of the ring – my groom caught mine twice! Thanks Jess.
A good turnout arrived and the venue looked brilliant thanks to the hard work of Dennis and Linda and Jane and Bob and lots of others. Bob provided hot dogs and burgers while Dennis kept a witty commentary going throughout the day. Although there were 8 classes there seemed more as Class 1 had 2 sections to it. What a sensible idea to have the ridden section of the Ride and Drive before lunch and the driven afterwards. We all had time for lunch – including Rocky!
The 8 classes ranged in size from 3 to 6 gigs with the exception of the Young Drivers. As well as local drivers we also had 3 enviable gigs: Malcolm Salter driving a hackney to a Stanhope gig ; Christine Van Reen driving a Welsh section D to a stunning Fennix dog cart and Sybil Atkinson driving their Hackney horse, Neneside Sir James to a spindle back gig.
I thoroughly enjoyed the day as, I’m sure, did everybody else. The judging was executed by the delightful Mr David Capps from Lincolnshire . Thank you.
Freda Martin won 1st place in Class 1: 13’2 and under Exercise vehicle, with her Welsh section C pony, Smarty. She came 3rd in Class 8: Style and Performance. John Martin came 3rd in the Veterans Class and Freda was Reserve Champion.
Sue Sheldrick won 1st place in Class 2: Over 13’2 Exercise Vehicle, with her gipsy cob Rocky. We came 4th in the Veteran Whip, 2nd in both sections of Ride and Drive and 5th in Style and Performance. (He’s never been so white! Thanks to my groom, Jess and her Mum, Mandy’s hard work.)
Malcolm Slater came 1st in the Open Private Driving with his and Ms B. Hill’s Hackney horse Highlodge Summer Reflection and went on to win the Championship.
Sybil Atkinson won 1st place in the Veteran Whip with her and Martin’s Hackney horse Neneside Sir James driven to a spindle back gig. She also won both sections of the Ride and Drive and came 2nd in the Private Driving.
Jane Austen was just brilliant in Class 8 – Style and Performance and won 1st place with her Shetland pony, Clibberswick March. Well done Monty! She came 2nd in the Concours d’elegance , 3rd in Class 1 (under 13’2), 4th in the Obstacles and 2nd in the Cones.
Mrs Chris Van Reen driving her Welsh Section D, Pyramid Arun Ra came second three times in the Concours d’elegance; the Veteran Whip and in the Style and Performance classes. She was 3rd in the Open Private Driving class. What an amazing turnout. This was the first time her horse had been on a grass ring. Well done!
Dawn Moore came 1st in both the Obstacles and the Cones. (How does she do that?!)
She came 4th in Class 1 driving in tandem with her Welsh Section C ponies, Secret Charm Lottie and Brascote Empress. Another amazing feat for this amazing driver.
Lindsay Hague came 2nd in Class 1 (over 13’2) with her Haflinger mares Izzie and Carrie and they came 5th in the Veteran Whip. She came 3rd in the Obstacles and 3rd in the Cones.
Alice Lockett won the Young Drivers Class with Robbie, a Welsh Section B. She also came 5th in Class 1, under 13’2. She came 6th in the Cones.
Sioux Gardener came 3rd in Class 1 (over 13’2), 3rd in the Ride and Drive, 6th in Style and Performance, 4th in the Obstacles and 5th in the Cones with her Andalusian horse, Mill Magic.
Natalie Briggs came 2nd in Class 1(under 13’2) with her Welsh Section C x cob. She came 4th in Style and Performance, 2nd in the Obstacles and 3rd in the Cones.
Mrs Anna Mann came 4th in the Open Private Driving with her hackney pony Aghaderg Catch a dream driven to a Ralli cart and Linda and Grenville Thornhill came 6th in the Veteran Whip with their pair of Lipizzaners.
Finally a big “ Thank you” from Jane and Linda to everybody for coming and making the day a success.
Jane and Linda would just like to say a huge thank you to everyone that helped and came along to the auction to make it such a brilliant night!
We rasied a massive £2094!
Lastly, a massive thank you and well done to Dawn who organized the charity auction all on her birthday!
For more information on Springbridge Driving for the Disabled and what they do visit their website.
Yorkie (Yorkin Madoc), a 20 year old, grey, Welsh Section D pony has been a much loved celebrity at Springbridge Carriage Driving Centre for a number of years, particularly among the many friends he has made through his work for Springbridge Carriage Driving for the Disabled. His recent success in the Animal Honours Awards 2013, broadcast by ITV, has ensured that his fame has now reached a national audience.
The British Animal Honours Awards is a brand new event that celebrates the achievements of the country’s most extraordinary animals and the people who work with them. Yorkie was nominated in the Ray of Sunshine category which was to honour an animal whose work across an entire community has brought comfort, joy and hope to those who need it most.
Yorkie’s journey to the winner’s podium began earlier in the year when news reached Springbridge that he had been nominated. A nail-biting period followed whilst nominations were considered. Everyone at Springbridge was delighted – if a little nervous - to hear that Yorkie had been shortlisted for an award and a camera crew would be visiting Springbridge to film him during a typical day.
Being filmed mucking out first thing in the morning was a new experience for Linda Cotterill and Jane Stretton (RDA organisers), but this was only the start of a hectic day when all aspects of Yorkie’s life were recorded. The camera crew quickly grasped the workings of a busy stable yard and were very easy to work with. They were determined to capture as much about life at Springbridge as they could – which meant that the cameras rolled all day long – with only an occasional retake!
To capture Yorkie in his regular role, filming took place on a Carriage Driving for the Disabled day. Whilst the weather remained dry it was bitterly cold, but clients and volunteers were enthusiastic and joined in willingly – more than happy to support Yorkie in his bid to win his category.
Volunteers were filmed at their pre-drive meeting, when the day’s responsibilities were shared, and then grooming, harnessing and putting to before ensuring each client was safely aboard. Filming Yorkie driving out offered a challenge – until the camera crew installed themselves, rear facing, on a carriage to be driven in front of Yorkie! A small camera fastened to the front of Yorkie’s carriage filmed close ups of the whip and client.
A number of interviews were conducted which supported the impact that contact with Yorkie has had on individuals over the years. These give testament to the enormous value that Driving for the Disabled adds to the lives of those fortunate enough to experience it. The interviews also clearly demonstrated that the extended support offered by Linda and Jane had, in some cases, been life changing. One young client brought a tear to everyone’s eye when being filmed talking to Yorkie. Her comment ‘I love you Yorkie’ summarised what everyone feels.
As the crew finally drove out of the yard there was a sigh of relief – but had everyone done enough to secure Yorkie’s success? It was to be a tense wait until the call finally came, inviting Linda and Jane to accompany Yorkie to Elstree Studios to be filmed during the Awards programme.
The journey to the studios was uneventful which gave Yorkie time to relax and prepare for his moment in the spotlight. On arrival, everyone agreed that to take Yorkie into the studio with a cheering, clapping audience and bright lights was not a good idea. Instead a small paddock was created especially for him off-stage. The afternoon was taken up with rehearsals. Yorkie took everything in his stride – including meeting a variety of well-known faces from the television programmes being filmed that day at Elstree. Soon the programme was underway.
After a fabulous introduction by host Paul O’Grady, Yorkie’s film was shown. It had been edited from the Springbridge day’s filming to around five minutes. There can’t be many who watched and didn’t shed a tear. Following the film, Linda and Yorkie were interviewed by Paul O’Grady during which Linda conveyed the very special qualities that enable Yorkie to have such an effect on so many people.
The Award for Ray of Sunshine was presented by television stars Lesley Nicol and Thomas Howes from Downton Abbey, who made a terrific fuss of Yorkie. The medal commemorating his award will take pride of place in Yorkie’s stable.
Yorkie and his team were invited to the after show party – he put in a brief appearance, but then retired to his box for supper and a well-earned rest prior to the journey home.
It was a weary group who made their way back to Springbridge Carriage Driving Centre late in the evening with only Yorkie still up on his toes – clearly savouring his television debut. What a tale he had to tell his stable mates!
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