Enduro Series a huge success

The inaugural Enduro 400 series was completed at Temora, NSW over the Kings Birthday weekend.  The series consisted of 4 Mini Enduro opportunities, Ardlethan (NSW), Ruffy, (Vic), Alberton West, (Vic) and Temora (NSW). 

Overall winner of the horse class was David Cockcroft and Fast Eddy.   David is the Victorian Pleasure and Endurance Convenor, has recently been appointed Federal Pleasure and Endurance Convenor and is a member of the Longwood Carriage Driving Club.

Overall winners of the pony classes were Debbie Dunn (Large Pony) and Marsha Chamberlain (Small Pony).  Winner of the Hero award for the Best Performed Standardbred was Ron Henson. Full Results

Indoor Season kicks off

Mornington Peninsula Pleasure Harness Club held the first Indoor comp of the season over the weekend of May 16 & 17. There was a good turn up with a full first timers class and a Junior driver participating at his first event. Charlie Harris was the star of the weekend as he drove Bernadette Lewis's Astro Star around the course. Charlie thought the cones course was a lot of fun and only knocked a few balls down and concentrated hard as he navigated the obstacles like a future champion.  Pictured above Charlie Harris driving Astro Star, assisted by owner Bernadette Lewis and Tracey Tuohy driving Burrabong Delight  Results

Team Effort makes for well run State CDE Championships

The Victorian CDE Championships were held at Greenvale over the weekend of April 27 & 28.  This year all Victorian competitors were asked to contribute to the running of the event as the event was being held by the State Branch not a single club.   Competitors did not disappoint and it was wonderful to see everyone attend to their allocated jobs and get things set up and pulled down and carry out all manner of other jobs. Although not required to help out, the NSW competitors also pitched in to help which was very generous of spirit. 

Junior Driver trophy was awarded to the ever popular Matilda Bannon, driving Molly.  Winner of the coveted Alan Farmer award was won by Rachel Haslau, driving Haslock Park Locket.   Rachel also won the best marathon by an Open/Intermediate pony.   Best Novice Dressage went to Vicki Stevenson driving Naringalook Squirt. Best Novice marathon was won by Mandy Lawrence driving Watermark Joe Joe.  Club teams winner was Longwood with team members, Mandy Lawrence, Rachel Haslau and David Cockroft.   State Teams winner was Victoria 3 which was Wayne Armstrong, Rodney Lane and Jenny Begg.  Results  Thanks to Oneeyedfrog Photography for the photos left to right, Mandy Lawrence, Wayne Armstrong, Matt Marriott.



Vic Dressage Champs huge success at Longwood


The Skye Park Victorian Dressage Championships were held in brilliant sunshine on Saturday April 13th at Longwood.  Record entries meant the organisers ran two dressage rings to enable the organisers to have all tests finished in good time.   The arenas were picture perfect and the surface was superb to drive on. 
At the Presentation Dinner, Club President, Rachel Haslau, thanked judges, competitors, stewards, pencillers, the scorer, "adder uppers" and of course, the very generous sponsors.  Skye Park Rugs, DJ Welsh Performance ponies, Mosman Park, Maygars Hill Winery and Alison McDiamid - Saddle and Carriage Bespoke Equestrian all very generously donated prizes.  After the presentations diners were treated to the legendary meal and desserts prepared by the local Longwood ladies. Thanks to Di Boardman and Lauren Fraser for above photos.  Results


Enduros all the go for May


May is Mini-Enduro Month in Victoria with the only two scheduled events of this type both happening, first up Ruffy on 4/5/6th May in the beautiful Strathbogie Ranges. Ruffy is a fixture on the ACDS VIC Branch calendar after many years of success. Next up we have the relatively new Southern Cross Scramble, this time in the Strezlecki Ranges of South Gippsland on the 24/25/26th May.


Mini-enduros are challenging, but not as challenging as you might think with courses for all size of equine, and can be entered for 1, 2 or all 3 days. Feel free to contact drive organisers David or Cath if you have any questions. Contact details and more information is available on the Calendar.


Mini Enduro Series - This innovation started on the weekend of the 2/3/4th March in Ardlethan and will finish the weekend of 8/9/10th June in Temora thanks to some very diligent and enthusiastic work from the Temora Carriage Club. In March five Victorians travelled to Ardlethan to show the NSW people how itís done and came away with First in the horse division, first in the large pony division and equal first in the small pony division. Perhaps the tables will be turned when the NSW contingent travel to Victoria for the next set of Enduros!   Is there room for a new state of origin competition in Enduro?? I think there is!



Dressage Qualifier proves popular

Longwood Carriage Driving Club held a GDDQ over the weekend of February 17th & 18th. The club was so inundated with entries that we needed to an extra ring to allow us to get through over 30 competitors wanting to qualify for the upcoming Championships or who just enjoy dressage in a timely manner.
The Longwood grounds did not disappoint providing the most glorious surface which allowed drivers to show off their horses to the best advantage. Our wonderful judges and stewards kept the day moving and on time and our drivers were on their way home on Sunday before the real heat set in.  Longwood members did an amazing job, all putting in to make the weekend run smoothly, and our amazing ladies from the Longwood Community Centre kept everyone fed and watered in their usual magnificent style.

We are looking forward to welcoming lots of dressage enthusiasts for Victoria and other states to the Skye Park Victorian Driven Dressage Championships in April, which already has exceptional entries coming in. Results

Di Boardman


Show Driving Champs a success

Central Highlands Pleasure Harness Club hosted the Frakel Farming Produce Victorian Show Driving Championships at Bendigo Showgrounds on Sunday February 11th.   A very good number of entries presented to the judges during the day.  Supreme Turnout was awarded to Jodie McKeone who also took out Supreme Driven Exhibit driving Asante Sana of Brackenhill. Pictured above.

The Tricky's Diesel Dash for Cash was held at the completion of the Show Driving classes.   Class Winners were Di Aulsebrook - VSE, Bernadette Lewis - Small Pony, Prue McKechnie - Large Pony and Gavin Robson - Horse.   Overall winner for the Dash for Cash was Bernadette Lewis driving Cones specialist, Astro Star (pictured below) Results

Prom Coast CDE is a Winner

The Skye Park Prom Coast Level 3 CDE was held over the Australia Day weekend with the added bonus of a Dressage Qualifier held the day before. The venue was hosted by Matthew Marriot and family at Murroka, Yanakie.

Once again the Mornington Peninsula crew put together a well planned and well executed event.  It was obvious Matthew Marriot, Claire Harris and an excavator had been very busy in the months leading up to the event.  A super new water MO and an MO that was made up of a series of mounds (small hills if you were driving a pony) were highlights of the marathon course. And then, there is that fabulous view as you drive Section A! 

If you missed driving at this fantastic venue you need to get it on your calendar for next year!  Great work MPPHC members and supporters. Results  Thanks to Di Boardman for the photos.

Success at Battle of the Border

Thirty five Victorian competitors made their way to Mullengandra to compete at the very popular Battle of the Border Level 2 CDE.  A great weekend of competition saw ten Victorian members bring home first prize sashes.   The very keenly contested Prince Phillip Memorial Trophy was won by Dawn Walter.   The Top Teams Trophy was won by Naringalook Nannies (Dawn Walter, Vicki Stevenson and Jenny Demaio) and the Dominiak/Carbery Carriage Award was won by Glenda Marshal.  Well done to all who competed, groomed, officiated or volunteered.

Central Highlands Comeback

Central Highlands Pleasure Harness Club conducted a very successful Level 3 CDE over the weekend.  The venue (at their club ground at Huntly) has not been used for a CDE for quite a few years so a lot of work went into the grounds to get everything ready.  At their last CDE the club was the first club to introduce the VSE class. It was fitting that at this most recent CDE the VSE class boasted six entries which has to be a record for this class.

Course Designer, Phil Marshall, prepared a very encouraging Level 3 course which enabled those new to the sport to have a run without being overfaced, whilst at the same time provided opportunity for those more experienced to get their eye in before the bigger events coming up at Gundagai (NSW Championships), the Skye Park Australian Classic at Longwood and Battle of the Border, NSW.

Much appreciated sponsors for the event were Georges Bakery Huntly, CEPA Farm Supplies, Heather Dunn (Coyaltix), Denzildon Harness Horses, North West Packaging and HFR Performance Horses.

Congratulations to Prue McKechnie and her band of helpers for putting together a well run event. Results      Pictured above left to right: Karen Alloway, Skye Bannan and Margaret Sperrin

Southern Cross Scramble

The Inaugural Southern Cross Scramble was held on the weekend of the 14th-16th October in the Alberton West State Forest in South East Gippsland. Hosted by the Southern Cross Harness Club, the Scramble travelled the high roads and low roads of the forest including smooth forest ridges and the boggy boundaries of the rich farmlands of the region.

Presidentís Choice Award went to new member Sue Barker, driving Oscar.   Kirsten Clarke and her Shetland Hercules took out the Longest Distance by Shortest Legs Award.  David Cockcroft took out the Best Managed Award as well as Overall winner of the Southern Cross Scramble.

Thanks go to Wellington Shire Council for supplying funding to purchase safety and directional signs for the event. It was a wet and wild weekend but the club members are  already planning the 2024 Southern Cross Scramble.


Indoor Finals Great Success

The hard working team at Central Highlands put on a great day of competition for the Indoor/Outdoor Finals at Huntly over the weekend.  Twenty four entries was a great effort from everyone. It was great to see the electronic scoring being used which gave a bit of added interest to those watching the Cones and the MOs. 

The day flowed very smoothly and presentations and packing up jobs were completed in a very timely fashion so all could get home in good time.  Event Manager, Cody Marshall commented that he was very pleased with how everyone pulled together to get the event done.

Overall winners were Cheryl Sheddan - VSE, Prue McKechnie - Small Single Pony & Large Single Pony, Peter Smith - Single Horse, Nicole Linic - Multiple and Linda Byrne - First Season Competitor. Results     Photos thanks to Di Aulsebrook

Next month Central Highlands will be hosting a Level 3 CDE on their grounds.   A busy time for this club.


Show Driving Initiative

The Victorian Show panel has introduced HIGH POINT AWARDS, for our members to help to try to keep our sport alive at shows throughout Victoria, indeed Australia.

Skye Park Rugs has come on board as the major sponsor and we are hoping to have others by the time we make our presentations at the 2024 Victorian ACDS AGM, with the competition starting on September 1st and last show April 30th

At this early stage we are offering high point awards for four separate sections, Light Driven, Heavy Driven, Turnout and Driver.  We would love to receive so many entries that we need to split these classes to be more specific and include special awards for such things as Breed, newcomer, encouragement etc.

Entry form and rules are on our Victorian calendar and open to all full Victorian members, with an ACDS registered horse/pony.  It is as simple as filling in your results at every show you attend, regardless of placings, and to keep it simple, no judges/stewards signature is required, but winning entries results will be published.

It is not all about winning, it is about being out there and entering as many shows and classes as possible to gain lots of points.

Good luck to all our super Victorian Show Drivers, we are looking forward to a great season showing off our ponies.     Flyer     Entry Form

Di Boardman


Para Drive is a dream come true

Jodie McKeone has completed a hugely successful Para World Championship over the weekend.  Driving a horse owned by the renowned Bowman family from the UK, Jodie was placed 11th after the dressage phase.   But it was in the marathon where Jodie was really able to show her expertise by winning that phase convincingly.   This put Jodie into medal contention with only the Cones phase to complete.   After a great cones round with only one ball falling and no time penalties, Jodie was able to claim the Bronze medal.   A huge congratulations Jodie. 

Zilco Ashes

Update: Australia has won the Ashes.  Australia won 5 classes to 3.   Full results

Four Victorian members are supporting the Zilco Ashes event being held this weekend at Bundanoon in NSW. Jenny Begg, Elizabeth Harrison and Bridie White from Pioneer Country Carriage Drivers made the long drive to Bundanoon early this week to partake in the lessons and then the competition which will be held on Saturday and Sunday.   The fourth Victorian, Margaret Sperrin from Mornington Peninsula club, also made a long journey to compete.   Margaret is currently in the UK and will do her part of the competition from there.  Well done girls on your dedication to support this event. More photos and results to follow.  Photo above shows Jenny Begg, Bridie White and Elizabeth Harrison on the back step.

Life Memberships Awarded

Two long time supporters of the ACDS were honoured with Life Memberships at the AGM held on Saturday, July 8th at the Greenvale Equestrian Centre.  Jenny Martin and Janice Gorick were the well deserved recipients of these awards.  President of the Branch, Deb Fuller made the presentation to a very surprised Jenny Martin. Jenny was present at the meeting thanks to much skulduggery from family and club members who worked very hard to get her there without having to spill the beans.  Janice Gorick was not able to be present as she was busy helping out at a Pony Club event!

Deb Fuller also made several other awards.  Josh Holm received the Junior Award, whilst Olivia Linic was the recipient of the Young Member Award.  Tracey Tuohy achieved the Merit Award and Lorraine Cairns was the recipient of the President's Award. 

Congratulations to all recipients.





Kings Birthday Weekend Camp and Drive


Geelong & District Carriage Drivers put together a fun weekend of carriage driving around Great Western. With lots of quiet local roads and bush tracks to enjoy it proved a very beautiful place to drive.   There was plenty of camp fun with a winery tour, two birthday celebrations, a giant Jenga and lots of laughs around a great camp fire.

The club raised $400 in donations above and beyond the camping fees and this was donated to the Great Western Rec Reserve.

Well done to all the organisers at GDCD.

Indoor/Outdoor series kicks off at Mornington

A chilly start to the Indoor/Outdoor season didn't deter those hardy drivers at Mornington Peninsula Pleasure Harness Club's qualifying competitions over the weekend.   Competitors were well rugged up to deter the weather but still managed to enjoy the weekend and complete all phases of the competition.  Drivers from clubs throughout the state attended which augers well for a great season of competition.  Results

Indoor/Outdoor Series set to start

Now that the CDEs, shows and dressage qualifiers are over for the season it is time to look forward to the Indoor Series.  The first one for the season will be hosted by Mornington Peninsula club at Balnarring Racecourse, Balnarring on the weekend of May 20th and 21st, so it is time to get your entries in.

For those new to the Indoor/Outdoor series it can best be described as a very simplified CDE. There is a simple Precision and Paces (similar to a dressage test) test to complete (from memory) in a 50m x 20m arena.   Then a simple Cones course with 10 sets of cones.  Usually after a break to walk the course, competitors come back to the arena and negotiate four sets of Marathon type obstacles.   Most often the course has two marathon type obstacles which are driven twice (which makes up the four obstacles). There are different classes to cater for all combinations.

This type of competition is heaps of fun and is a great introduction for beginner drivers or beginner horses as will as a popular activity for the seasoned campaigner wanting a run.  There are already a few Indoor/Outdoor competitions listed on the Calendar.   Clubs have all be emailed the Proforma which outlines all the necessary information needed for the program.

Australian CDE Championships, Boorowa, NSW

Twenty nine Victorian drivers made their way to Boorowa over the Easter weekend for the National CDE Championships and accompanying Level 4 event.  Ellmore Harness Club and their band of helpers on the Organising Committee produced a top level event.  Two dressage arenas kept the flow of dressage competitors going throughout the day, with great support by helpful dressage stewards.   The MO's were beautifully presented and took obstacle building to a new level.  The  excavators in the Cones arena (supplied by the major sponsor, Gledhill's Earthmoving) created much interest and kept drivers focussed on their course!  Although the weather tried its hardest to derail the competition, everyone seemed up for the challenge after so many events with rain, wind and thunderstorms in the lead up to the championships.   Good PA coverage by commentator Chuckie Radnedge kept everyone informed on each day of the competition.

Victorians came home with  11 championships (see Results), but the real winners are the Ellmore club who put together such an amazing three days of competition.  Next years Nationals will be held in Peterborough, South Australia and I am sure the connections there will have been watching closely to learn from what Ellmore club have done this year.  Congratulations to all winners. Pictured above Margaret Sperrin, winner of the Pony Pair class with Mosman Park Mickey and Mosman Park Minnie. 

Whilst the CDE drivers were at Boorowa, many of the Victorian Show drivers were competing at the Royal Easter Show in Sydney.  More details to follow.

Central Highlands Dressage Qualifier

Central Highlands Pleasure Harness Club held their annual Driven Dressage qualifier over the weekend. As usual Huntly brought the weather and both days were sunny if not a little hot!  Twenty competitors across the weekend gave the judges a good selection of horses, ponies and tests to judge. We even had a South Australian competitor travel over. Dinner at the local hotel was lots of fun, having to add extra tables and chairs for the large group brought back happier times with lots of laughter and chit chat.


Our annual Hi Score VSE was won by Di Aulsebrook driving Korawyn Escado sponsored by Wild Cherry Miniature Ponies. Overall Hi-Score was won by Phil Marshall driving Murraydale Park Solar sponsored by the Blume family. Prelim sports award was won by new driver Leonie Tainsh driving Isle of Amoretta sponsored by Heather Dunn. Con Cours was won by Heather Dunn driving Jimmy Creek sponsored by Denzildon Harness Horses and Disewn. Pictured above l to r: Heather Dunn, Phil Marshall & Di Aulsebrook being presented with her rug by Hilary Billet and Jan Moore.  Results

Busy time ahead in 2023

February has already been a busy month for Victorian carriage drivers.   First weekend in February saw a brand new Level 3 event on the Calendar.   Mornington Peninsula Pleasure Harness Club held a CDE at Matthew Marriot's property at Yanakie.  Despite a little rain and wind on the first day the event ran without a hitch. Both the Cones and Dressage areas were positioned in sheltered areas which was greatly appreciated.  The Club had done a magnificent job of getting MOs built and in position on a most beautiful part of the property.    Drivers could take in ocean views as they completed the well thought out loop to get to the obstacles.  If you didn't get to this event this year, mark it on your calendar for next year.  It is most certainly worth the drive.

Next CDE on the calendar was at Leighdale conducted by the Geelong & District Carriage Drivers.   Not to be content with just running a Level 3 CDE, they also put on a Graded Driven Dressage Qualifier on the day before the CDE.  Although the weather threatened to play a major factor, the organisers re-arranged the timetable and drivers were able to complete the Dressage Qualifier outside the hottest part of the day.  Fortunately, a cool change made conditions for the CDE much more bearable.  Again, the well planned course made things easier for newcomers to the sport but still providing plenty of challenge for the more experienced.

It hasn't all been CDE and Graded Dressage as many of the Show Driving fraternity have been out and about at shows throughout Victoria.

The next CDE on the Calendar will be the start of the March activities.   Longwood Carriage Drivers have a Level 2 event on March 11 & 12, followed by the Victorian CDE Championships and Level 3 at Greenvale, conducted by Oaklands Club.   And then just to top off a busy month, the Show Driving and Driven Dressage Championships will be held at Geelong Showgrounds on March 25 & 26, conducted by the very busy Geelong club members.   More details of the above events can be found on the Calendar.

Busy weekend for Oaklands

Oaklands members had a busy weekend running both the Victorian Driven Dressage Championships on Saturday and the Indoor/Outdoor Final on Sunday (August 27 & 28).  Almost all the Indoor qualifiers were conducted under very wet or less than ideal conditions, but this time the weather gods turned on some lovely weather for the weekend.

Special thanks to Dressage and Precision and Paces Judges, Lyn Callaghan, Liz Pugh, Nicole Allen and Cheryl Dowling and also thanks to Peter Lee, Peter Harkness and all helpers for their hard work over the weekend.

Pictured above Geelong member, Peter Smith, being presented with the awards for winner of the Single Horse class at the Indoor/Outdoor Championships, by Bernadette Lewis, the Indoor/Outdoor State convenor.




Weather provides challenges to Indoor Series

Over the past few weeks the Indoor Series has been underway.  Eastern Vic PHC planned to kick off the series but had to cancel. Mornington Peninsula PHC experienced very wet and trying conditions for their qualifying weekend.  The following week Oaklands H&CDC held their weekend under cold and very windy conditions. 

Central Highlands PHC ran their indoor/outdoor qualification on the weekend of the 6th and 7th August and whilst the weather gods were kinder with only a few showers Saturday and sunshine on Sunday, all competitors took home some Huntly mud as souvenirs as the grounds were quite sodden. While entries were low the enthusiasm was not, it was great to see the biggest class was first season competitors.  Cones and MO judge Vic Jerman and candidate judge Heather Dunn created some interesting courses which made the competitors think about the way they had to drive. Thanks to all of our helpers, judges and competitors for a nice friendly weekend and we look forward to the Champs in a few weeks. Results

Next weekend Geelong DCD will hold their Indoor Qualifier so will be looking some dry and sunny conditions. 

Pictured below Elizabeth Fawns, Gwenifer Hack, Katherine Oliver and Prue McKechnie

Branch AGM done and dusted

The Branch held its Annual General Meeting on July 12th via Zoom. Outgoing President, Mandy Lawrence,  thanked Zander MGuire (outgoing Secretary) and Deb Hoffrichter (outgoing Treasurer) for their work over the past few years.  Mandy went on to congratulate the new President, Deb Fuller, continuing Vice President, Vicki Stevenson, incoming Secretary, Victoria Jerman and incoming Treasurer, Leanne Kirby.  Lots of experience in the line up will mean a seamless transition to the 2022/2023 Executive.

Mandy made several annual awards before handing over the reins to Deb.

President's Award went to David Cockcroft, Pleasure and Endurance convenor, for his efforts in getting the Ruffy Enduro up and running and creating a real awareness and participation in Enduros in Victoria.

Junior Driver Award went to Matilda Bannon.   Matilda was a keen participant in the Junior Camp held during the year. It was noted that Matilda was  a keen helper at the camp and then put her new skills into practise by competing at her first CDE in March 2022.

Young Member Award This award went to Hamish Whyte for his efforts at helping at the Ruffy Enduro and in particular, conducting the Trivia Night.

Well done to all recipients. Below are some photos from the Archives of the Award recipients. First photo: David Cockroft and grandson Hamish Whyte at the 2021 Ruffy Enduro.  Second photo: Matilda Bannon with Grandfather Wayne Armstrong and Mum Skye Bannon at the Junior Camp 2021





Plenty of Carriage Driving Activities coming up

Still plenty to do with Carriage Driving over the next month in Victoria ,despite the cold and sometimes miserable weather.

eelong Club have a great weekend of lessons for Junior and Young Drivers, a Cones Freshman's Day and Oz Trec activities over the weekend of July 23 & 24.

Also during July Andrew Damsma, who is currently living and competing in The Netherlands, will be home for a short visit to family and friends.   Andrew has just completed a competition at DVI (Boyd Exell's property). Andrew has agreed to do some lessons and training while he is home. These will be held at Greenvale on July 29 & 30.More details are available here. Oaklands Club will be holding an Indoor Qualifier on July 30 and 31 at Greenvale so a busy weekend for everyone.

Great Western Pleasure Drive and Camp

if you are looking for something a bit different this coming Long Weekend why not take a trip out to Great Western and join with other carriage driving enthusiasts.  There will be drives around the roads and tracks and camping at the Racecourse Reserve.   On Saturday there will be a drive of approximately 15kms in the morning and 10kms in the afternoon.   Do one drive or both.   On Sunday a 25km outing is on offer with a saddlebag lunch stop at the halfway point.  Another shorter drive is available on Monday morning.   There will be other activities offered to those not driving.   Money raised will be donated to the Racecourse Reserve to help with the loss of income after a devastating fire on race day earlier this year.

This wonderful weekend is being hosted by Geelong and District Carriage Drivers and more information is available from Club Secretary, Karina Moore gdcd.entries@gmail.com

Dash for the Green Sash

Since the beginning of 2022 the Victorian Branch Calendar has been very busy with competitions and activities being held on almost every weekend.  This coming weekend May 7, 8 & 9 is no exception.  The very popular Ruffy Mini Enduro will be held with entries from NSW, Victoria and South Australia, all hoping to make the Dash for the Green Sash.

The event is named after a young Ned Kelly who rescued a schoolmate from drowning in Hughes Creek at Avenel.  Ned was presented with a 7 foot long green sash, an emblem of courage.

There are three classes in the Ruffy Mini Enduro and time allowances are made for the smaller ponies.  The routes cross the upper reaches of Hughes Creek many times over the three days (stages) of the Dash for the Green Sash.  Competitors travel approximately thirty kms each day through the spectacular Strathbogie Ranges. A different track is taken each day returning to Maygar Park. The TPR check at the end of each day's drive requires competitors to have their horses/s achieve a heart rate of 55 bpm or below within 30 minutes of finishing so having horse fit and driving to your horse's ability is essential.

Daily ribbons to third place are awarded and after stage three the "Ned Kelly" perpetual trophy and Green sash is awarded to the overall winner.   Green sashes and trophies are also awarded to all three class winners, multiple drivers and junior drivers.

There are also plenty of opportunities for the pleasure drivers as well.   Lovely quiet roads and some great scenery are there for the taking.   The facilities at Maygar Park are very suited for a lovely weekend of pleasure driving.

David Cockroft and his band of helpers from Longwood Carriage Driving Club have put many hours into preparation.   You will be sure to have a wonderful time if you attend as a competitor, pleasure driver or a spectator. Pictured below are some of the competitors from last year's event.

Dressage At Central Highlands

Central Highlands Pleasure Harness Club ran a very successful Graded Driven Dressage Qualifier over the weekend of March 26 & 27.  Some good scores were recorded over the weekend with competitors competing in Preliminary, Novice, Elementary, Intermediate and Open Dressage levels. Dressage Judges Deb Fuller and Jenny Martin were kept very busy! 

Competitors were also able to drive a Cones Course if they wished. The course included a Wave, an Oxer, Skinny Cones, alternative cones and a Single L (closed multiple) giving competitors a taste of some cones obstacles not always used.

Some great sponsorship was received for the event.   Hilary Billett driving Korawyn Escado won and placed second in their Novice tests which scored them the VSE Hi-Score trophy rug made and donated by Di Aulsebrook.   Gwenifer Hack won the Concours d'Elegance and Heather Dunn won the award for a beginner driver which was judged on all round enthusiasm and good sportsmanship.   The prizes for these two awards were very kindly donated by Alison McDiarmid from Saddle and Carriage Bespoke Equestrian. Thanks so much to the sponsors. 

Central Highlands are holding another Driven Dressage Qualifer on the weekend of April 30 and May 1.  Info on VB CalendarResults from the weekend


Victorian CDE Championships

Geelong and District Carriage Drivers will be hosting the Hanns Horse Transport Victorian CDE Championships over the March Long weekend ( March 12, 13 & 14) at Leighdale Equestrian Centre, Teesdale.  The club has been preparing for this event for over twelve months and has put many hours into developing the marathon course and other facilities. 

Fifty entries have been received for the event which also includes a Level 3 event to run alongside the Championship classes.  Entries have been received from Victoria, NSW, SA and Tasmania.  The Novice Small Pony class is the most popular class but other classes have also been well supported.  Eleven multiples, which includes four teams, will also be competing at the event.

Action starts at 8.30am on Saturday and Sunday and 9.30 on Monday.   Spectators are very welcome.  Any further information can be found by emailing gdcd.secretary@gmail.com

Driven Dressage Weekend at Maffra

The Eastern Vic. Pleasure Harness Club ran a Graded Driven Dressage Qualifier weekend on the 12th and 13th of February.  There were 15 entries ranging from the VSEs to large ponies and a tandem multiple, utilising the magnificent grounds at the Maffra Recreation Reserve.  Nola Robertson, from Bega, and Tracey Gorick, from Tynong North were the Dressage Judges and Phil Marshall came from Toolleen to be Cones Judge.  It was a late start on Saturday to allow travellers time to get to the ground and an early start on Sunday because of the predicted temperatures.  A great weekend with smiles all around. Results Pictured Bernadette Lewis and Rod Sperrin with the Westbury Dandino and Astro Star in Tandem and Karen Alloway and Kingfisher Park Sandman.


Prostate Cancer Fundraiser

The fourth charity drive for Gippsland Prostate Cancer Services was held over four days in January.  Conducted jointly by Southern Cross Harness Club and Eastern Vic Pleasure Harness Club the drive covered some 90 kms along parts of the Great Southern Rail Trail and then along quiet back roads. Nineteen harness vehicles and two riders participated in the event, although not everyone did the full distance.

The consensus from the participants was that it was a fabulous event and they only complaint was that it should be an annual event.

Congratulations to Leanne Prosser, Jane Reid, Fiona Mottram, Cath Bateman and their team of helpers for such a successful event. Pictured below, one of the many bridge crossings.


Attention Clubs- New Driven Dressage Proforma

If your club is planning to hold a Graded Driven Dressage Qualifier you will need the 2022 Proforma.   This Proforma allows you to simply fill in your club details and other necessary information without having to start the whole process from scratch.   Members of the Dressage Panel can help you if needed. Once your Proforma has been filled in and approved by the Dressage Convenor, simply send it to the Publicity Officer so it can be placed on the Vic Branch Calendar.   Simples!

Aus Pod Training Group - Invitation to Victorian members

Early in 2021 the Southern Highlands Carriage Club (NSW) launched the Aus Pod Training Group in conjunction with the GB Pod Training Group. Here is some information from the Southern Highlands club in relation to this group.

"These training sessions are held via Zoom with 10 drivers and are led from Great Britain by Robert Buck, a highly skilled international driver and coach. The interactive format means that everyone is closely involved in the training.  The Introductory program "Establishing the Fundamentals" is designed to ensure all drivers really understand the basic principles of training a horse or pony for carriage driving." Much more information

Anyone interested in joining the Zoom meetings should contact Barry Topple  barry@beckford.info

Dates: Feb 1, Feb 22, March 22 & April 12

Cost: $95 for four sessions

2021 Victorian Driven Dressage Championships

Northern Country Carriage Drivers conducted the 2021 Victorian Driven Dressage Championships over the weekend of January 8 & 9, at the Koonoomoo Recreation Reserve.  Due to the anticipated heat at this time of the year the organisers ran the event over two consecutive days with competition being completed in the mornings.   After the high rainfall in the preceding days it was very humid and competitors and judges all appreciated being finished before the afternoon heat set in.  Judges for the two days of competition were Jenny Martin, Nicole Linic, Debra Fuller, Liz Hammond,  Gwenifer Hack  and Bruce Hammond (Cones).   Pictured above Glenda Marshall driving Murraydale Park Solar, winner of Novice Championship. Pictured below Hilary Billet driving Pant-Y-Ffynon Noice, Kathy Reynolds driving Sienna Tavish, Laraine Blume driving Abergavenny Celtic Warrior. Photos by Di Aulsebrook.


 Victorians perform well at Battle of the Border

Victorian member, Michelle Jones, who achieved the best overall score out of all Intermediate and Open classes at Battle of the Border event was awarded the "His Royal Highness, Duke of Edinburgh 1921-2021 Memorial Perpetual Trophy"  for her performance.   The award was made at presentations on Sunday at the completion of the event.   Michelle received a replica of the trophy which will be hers to keep.   Michelle was thrilled to win the trophy as her horse Lucy is sired by Durino who was imported by Ross Carbery and Miriam Bentley, owners of the property where the event was held.  Michelle's father, Mike Thill,  had a close connection with Prince Phillip as he worked for and with him in the UK in the eighties.

Overall, there were 37 competitors from Victoria who took away top honours in eight of the 16 classes.  Great performances by Jenny Demaio, Dawn Walter, Vicki Stevenson, Yvonne Brown, Michelle Jones, Rachel Haslau, Ned Andrew and Cheryl Sheddan who all won their respective classes.

All  who attended were treated to a great event which had taken over a year of planning by the Organising Committee.  All going well the event is now being planned for 2022.  Results

Longwood event signals return to sport

 Although it would be hard to top the Skye Park Victorian CDE Championships which Longwood Club  ran at Easter this year; the Level 3 CDE held on the 20/21st  November certainly had all the elements of a very successful and happy event. Following directly on from the GDDQ on the Friday, we were blessed with perfect weather, six first time CDE competitors ( now all totally hooked),  a completely new marathon course, designed by Rachel Haslau, which was all within the Longwood Recreation Reserve, and a dedicated TD in Bruce Hammond, coupled with a super Ground Jury; Elizabeth Hammond, Gwenifer Hack & Debra Fuller.

Some inspirational Dressage tests from our Open Singles drivers, notably Michelle Jones, and plenty of action in the Obstacles. A first time Pony Team drive in a CDE by sixteen year old Ned Andrew, saw  more than a glimpse of what the future holds for this young man.  What more could we want? Oh yes! The truly exceptional catering by the ladies of the Longwood Community, the highlight being, as usual, the superb dinner topped off by the vast array of mouth watering desserts. Congratulations to everyone concerned in helping to achieve a joyous return to competition. Results

Jenny Martin

New faces appointed at Vic Branch AGM

At the Victorian Branch AGM held on August 11th via Zoom Mandy Lawrence was elected as President and Vicki Stevenson as Vice President.   Zander McGuire will continue as Secretary and Deb Hofrichter as Treasurer. 

Outgoing Vice-President, Bernadette Lewis made the presentation of special awards on behalf of the Branch. 

President's Award went to Kirsty Blake for her outstanding efforts in instigating the Junior Camp. 

Hamish Whyte was awarded the Young Driver Award for his enthusiastic attendance at the Junior Camp and participation at the Ruffy Enduro.

The Young Club Person's Award went to Layla Pollock.   Layla has been a constant support to Andrew Pollock as backstepper and groom.  Layla also participated in the Junior Camp.

A new award this year is the Award of Merit.   This was awarded to Mara Hayler.  Mara has been a long time volunteer at many, many events, quietly working away in the background.   She has also been Assistant Secretary for the Victorian Branch.  Thank you Mara, and well deserved recognition.

Congratulations to all office bearers and award recipients.  A big thank you also to the outgoing office bearers, Peter Harkness (outgoing President) and Bernadette Lewis (outgoing Vice-President).

Vic Branch AGM & Notices of Motion

The AGM of the Victorian Branch of the ACDS will be held via Zoom on Wednesday August 11th.  The Minutes for the AGM of the 2019/2020 year and Reports are available for your perusal prior to the meeting.

Members are urged to read the attached document which is a draft copy of the ACDS Victorian Branch Rules and Regulations 2021. Members should read this document in relation the Notices of Motion which have been circulated by post with the Notice of AGM.  If you have any questions regarding the Notices of Motion please contact Peter Harkness on 0409 146 054 or email to peter.harkness1@bigpond.com

Indoor Series kicks off

Central Highlands ran the first Victorian Indoor/Outdoor qualifier for the season at Huntly over the weekend.Iit was fantastic to be back competing after so many clubs have had to postpone their events due to Covid. 14 drivers took part over the weekend braving the chilly winter days, luckily there wasnít much rain and the fire was lovely and warm in the clubrooms! A big thankyou to all of our helpers and to our judges Gwenifer Hack, Esther Goodwin, Phil Marshall and shadow judge Vic Jerman.  Below photos of Club members, Laraine Blume, Jan Moore, Hilary Billet and Eileen Perry.  Results.   The next Indoor Qualifier is being run by the Geelong Club at Leighdale and will be held July 10 & 11.



Victorian Branch AGM

With the current restriction with Covid-19, we are unable to hold an in person AGM, moving
forward Victorian Branch is going to hold our AGM via zoom meeting, more details to follow on
the format the meeting will take.
The first thing we are required to do is call for Nomination for the Executive positions, we are
calling for nominations for President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer.

Secondly we are required to call for nominations for the discipline conveners and sub-committees.
The nominations will open from the 19th of June 2021 and close on the 2nd of July 2021 by the

Please refer to the nomination form, th are to be emailed to the State Secretary,
the email is acdsvbsec@gmail.com If you have any questions regarding the positions please
contact the Secretary via email.
Peter Harkness
ACDS Victorian Branch President

Nomination Form

Colts and Fillies Camp

What a FANTASTIC weekend for ACDS Victorian Junior and Young drivers at the '2021 Colts & Fillies Camp' which was held at Leighdale Equestrian Centre from April 16th-18th.

An inclusive, fun and educational weekend for everyone for everyone was organised with 12 Juniors and Young Victorian Drivers registered to partake.

The majority of participants arrived on Friday evening, where they were welcomed with a BBQ dinner and a name badge decorating activity. All of the kids were also presented with a show bag which included a hat, shirt and drink bottle.

Saturday commenced with breakfast and then a presentation and activities with Michael Weiser, a local inspirational guest speaker.
Given that many of the kids had never met or spoken before, the kids all participated in an ice breaker activity to get to know each other. Rachel Haslau then gave an informative harnessing up demonstration.
Over the next few hours all of the participants were involved in lessons with Rachel Haslau and Rodney Lane and they were also all shown the Oz Trec Activities with Kirsty and Maree Yates. All of the Juniors then got to drive the Oz Trec Course which included activities such as posting a letter, driving a circle with the carriage wheels straddling the painted lines and making transitions with the horse's nose at the cones.
Just before dark everyone was able to get involved in a clicker training demonstration and try out with Jemima and the tiny but adorable Mary Kate.

Sunday morning started with bacon and eggs for breakfast and then a skill tester of name the parts of the horse and harness activity. Dr. Simon from Golden Plains Equine gave a very informative demonstration about horse dentistry.
Everyone, walked the cones and MO with Andrew Pollock providing tips along the way, before driving them under the watchful eyes of Rachel, Rodney and Kirsty.
The driving component of the weekend concluded with a Treasure hunt around the grounds to find clues and puzzle pieces.
During lunch Kirsty thanked everyone and presented the kids with some special awards for their achievements over the weekend.

It was a great weekend which was financially supported by both Vic Branch and Federal Council.  Special thanks must go to Junior/Young Driver Convenor Kirsty Blake, who has put many hours into putting this weekend together.

Skye Park Victorian Carriage Driving Championships

An air of excitement and anticipation amongst all the competitors as they arrived at Longwood for the much awaited 2021 Skye Park Victorian Carriage Driving Championships was palpable. They were not disappointed!  Glorious weather, wonderful preparation from the hard working Club members and fellow carriage drivers, coupled with exemplary team work from all officials, especially our super Course Designer, Peter Harkness, and many dedicated volunteers, ensured a Championship where competitors were able to show their skills to the greatest advantage.

A huge thank you to our wonderful sponsors, especially Di Boardman Ė Skye Park Rugs, Maygars Hill Winery and other Victorian Branch Clubs, and a huge shout out to our amazing catering crew from the Longwood community. Full results can be found on the Results page. Pictured below Ruby Lawrence, Pony Team Champion, Rachel Haslau, Intermediate Large Pony Champion, Margaret Sperrin, Pony Pairs Champions, Yvonne Brown, Open Large Pony Champion


Junior/Young Driver Camp

A Junior and Young Driver Camp has been planned for April 17th and 18th to be held at Leighdale Equestrian Centre, Teesdale.   The program includes a full weekend of lessons, mentoring and fun.  As well as lessons and heaps of learning, participants will receive a polo top and cap as a memento of the weekend. This will be a great opportunity for juniors to get some hands on assistance and encouragement to boost their driving interests in a relaxed but supportive environment.  

More details can be obtained here or by contacting Junior/Young Driver Convenor, Kirsty Blake. Ph: 0427 811 971 (ah)  Intending participants can register to attend by completing the Registration Form.  Registrations have been extended to March 25th.

Successful Level 3 Event

Geelong and District Carriage Drivers held a very successful Level 3 CDE over the weekend of February 27 and 28at Leighdale Equestrian Centre just outside Teesdale.   The weather gods smiled favourably and competitors enjoyed lovely conditions for their three phases.   Dressage Judges, Deb Fuller and Gwenifer Hack and Cones Judge, Colin Matheson kept the first day of competition moving along smoothly. Best dressage scores of the day were from Yvonne Brown and Ruby Lawrence.   Double clear rounds in the Cones were achieved by Belinda Drury, Kerry Winters, Dawn Walter, Adrienne Cofield, Cheryl Sheddan, Jenny Demaio and Prue McKechnie.  Very good marathon scores were recorded by Dawn Walter, Vicki Stevenson, Andrew Pollock and Ruby Lawrence.  At presentation, Vice President of the Club, Kirsty Blake thanked all those who had competed, the judges, stewards and helpers.  Kirsty also reminded all present that the Leighdale Equestrian Centre will be the venue for the Victorian State CDE Championships in 2022 so be sure to mark your calendars and keep the date free.  Results   Below, Geelong DCD club members, Nicole Linic and Peter Smith competing in marathon and dressage respectively.



Competition is Back

Massive entries for the Driven Dressage Qualifier and a Level 4 CDE at Greenvale last weekend kept Oaklands Club officials very busy.  Despite 60ml of rain falling on the Oaklands members who were setting up on the Friday the weather and the going was perfect for Saturday and Sunday.  Drivers obviously enjoyed the opportunity to get out and competing again after almost a year without competition.   A big thank you to all those who helped over the weekend, stewards, judges, pencillors, officials and hapless husbands who do all manner of seemingly thankless jobs. Pictured above are Margaret Sperrin and Mandy Lawrence  Results 

Vale Leonie Barnard-Brown

19/11/1934 - 28/11/2020

The ACDS Victorian Branch would like to pass on its deepest condolences to family and friends on the passing of Leonie Barnard-Brown, wife of Gerald and mother to Philip, Janene, Louise and their families.  Many members will remember Leonie supporting Gerald and Louise at competitions up and down the east coast of Australia during the eighties and nineties, and the many events they ran during this time at Heathcote and at many other venues.


Latest Covid 19 Easing of Restrictions

Following Premier Dan Andrews' press conference today (22/11/2020) there is a further easing of restrictions.   Please refer to the documents below.

Letter to Members          Statement from the Premier       Last Step Restrictions

Life Memberships awarded


At the Vic Branch AGM held via Zoom on Wednesday, November 18th Life Memberships were awarded to Dick Harkness and Margie Morgan. Vice President of the State Branch, Bernadette Lewis, made the awards but first spoke about the valuable contribution both Dick and Margie had made to the State Branch over a period of many years. Read about the contribution these members have made by clicking on the respective links. Earlier this year a Life membership was also awarded to Graham Martin, who sadly passed away in March.

Other annual awards were also announced with Janice Gorick being awarded President's Award. Janice conducted  Online Photo Shows during the Covid 19 lockdown period.   Entries were received from all over the country and Janice organised judges from overseas to decide winners in two of the competitions.  Janice collated entries and posted these on the ACDS Vic Branch FB page and then organised certificates for all winners.  Congratulations Janice.

Young Club Member Award - Bernadette announced Tracey Gorick as the recipient  for this year.   Tracey has supported many driving events over the years and has recently undertaken training to become a  Dressage Judge.  She has now qualified as a Novice Driven Dressage judge and has already officiated at one event.   Congratulations Tracey.

Dick Harkness

Dickís association with the ACDS, started with a phone call from Mike Thill looking for stewards for 1981 State CDE Championships to be held at Oaklandís Hunt Club, Greenvale. He started grooming for Arthur Martinís tandem of pintos, then they progressed to driving a pair in a pole sulky which he did for several years.


Dick was never really a competitor but rather he was a hands on supporter of carriage driving. However, in the mid-eighties he was given the chance to drive one of Cynthia Dohertyís horses at an event held at Dookie Ag College. He made it through all phases without elimination.


He has been on various organising committees for Club, State, and National Championships for CDE and Showing. As an official he has held the position of Technical Delegate, Cones Judge, and Course Designer and officiated in three states and supported a number of Victorian Clubs at all levels of competition. He has maintained the ACDS trailer for 30 plus years, and if something is missing you will know about it.


Dickís contribution to carriage driving has been outstanding with the amount of physical man hours he has put into the sport. At 87 he is still going strong setting up courses and dismantling them. Even now as soon as the marathon is over he is out there pulling it down and packing it all up.


The Victorian Branch is honoured to present Dick with a Life Membership to the ACDS Victorian Branch.


Margie Morgan


Margie joined the ACDS in 1988 at the Pioneer Country Carriage Drivers Inc.  She held various executive positions within the club and organised many events at the Nyah trotting track. Many who have competed over the years will remember the great Saturday night dinners provided by the club and the fun times associated with the Nyah event.


During her time at State Branch, Margie has held the position of secretary on a number of occasions over a period of more than ten years. She also has held the position of CDE Convenor and has served on various sub committees. Currently she is the State Membership Secretary and the Horse Registrar and Grading Officer for both CDE and Driven Dressage for the Federal body.  Margie has often put her hand up for various roles positions that couldnít be filled.


As an official Margie has been a Dressage Judge, Technical Delegate and Course Designer and over the years she has officiated in four states and a number of Victorian Clubs.


Margie has been a wonderful support to our sport and itís an honour to present Margie with a Life Membership to the ACDS Victorian Branch.




Covid 19 Update November 9th, 2020

Following the State Premier's announcements made yesterday November 8th, the summary of state wide restrictions for the Third Step and last Step to Victoria's roadmap to reopening can be viewed in the documents below.   In the case of contact sport indoors and outdoors sport for adults, this is subject to change.  If you have any queries please contact State Branch President, Peter Harkness by emailing peter.harkness1@bigpond.com

Letter to Members                Summary of Statewide Restrictions


Covid 19 Update - Return to Sport

After consultation with VicSport and Sport and Recreation Victoria the latest guidelines for Return to Sport are outlined in the documents below.  If you have any queries please contact State Branch President, Peter Harkness by emailing peter.harkness1@bigpond.com

Letter to Members                                 VicSport Response

Online Photo Show

The May Online Photo Show was a huge success with members and friends enjoying the opportunity to view many photos. We are very grateful to Cathy Willis from Swingletree Photos who had the onerous job of judging all the photos. The theme was a little different to the first competition as the emphasis was on having some fun.  Huge thanks to Janice Gorick for organising the Photo Shows.

The next Online Photo Show will take place during the month of June. The theme this time is Blast from the Past, celebrating when carriage driving was young in Australia right up to the present day.  Entry is free and program can be downloaded from  ACDS online Photo Show Facebook page or here.

So if you are looking for something fun to do while spending extra time at home then why not enter some photos.  Entry is open to all.  The photos can be viewed  on the ACDS Online Photo Show Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/groups/553411598892728/


Skye Park Victorian Show Driving Championships

The Skye Park Victorian Show Driving Championships were held on March 8th at the Longwood Rec Reserve and conducted by Longwood Carriage Driving Club.   Beautiful weather greeted the competitors and Club Secretary, Zander McGuire and his band of helpers had done an excellent job of timetabling the events so no one was in any doubt as to when they would be competing.  Judges Heidi Stevens and Karen Price made their decisions efficiently and collaborated on major classes.  

Skye Park Supreme Champion Horse or Pony was awarded to Di Boardman's Simeon Saute (pictured above).  The Concours D'Elegance Perpetual Trophy was awarded to Adrienne Cofield and the Best Dressed Handler Special Prize was awarded to Bridie White.   All results can be found on the Results page. 

Photos are by Official Photographer, Steve Reed.   More of Steve's great photos can be found on his Facebook page. Below left Jason Mullenger driving Dominion Park Lawson who is taking a good look at Colhaven Donaleigh driven by Madeleine Bentley.  Pictured at right Rachel Haslau driving Haddon Park Locket.


Vale - Graham Martin


The members and friends of the ACDS are saddened to learn of the passing of an esteemed member, Graham Martin.  Graham has been a stalwart of the famed Longwood CDE and was a tireless worker, supporter, event official, competitor and groom for many years.  Husband of Jenny, father of Anthony, Marcelle and Rachel,  grandfather of  Fiona, Louisa, Jessica, Stephen, Benjamin and Alanna and great grandfather of Bodhi, Pippa and Hudson, Graham will be sorely missed by all.

The Funeral will be held on Tuesday March 17th at St Andrew's Anglican Church, Longwood commencing at 11am.  People who wish to join the family at the Longwood Cemetery are most welcome or they can proceed directly to the Longwood Community Centre opposite the church for a Commemoration of Graham's life.

To assist with catering please let the family know of your attendance.

Sincerest condolences to the family.

Eastern Vic Level 4 at Maffra

Over the weekend of February 8 & 9 the members of Eastern Vic Pleasure Harness Club held both a Driven Dressage Qualifier and a Level 4 CDE at their grounds at Maffra.   The weather was perfect as was the legendary dressage arena.   For those who have not been to the Maffra event the dressage arena is held on the Maffra football ground and is an excellent surface for dressage.  A good turnout of competitors ensured a wonderful and fun weekend of friendly competition.   This was the first ever CDE at these grounds at Maffra and members enjoyed the event so much they are keen to run the event again next year.  Results

Dressage Weekend at Emu Plains

Two days of Driven Dressage were held at Emu Plains (home of Mornington Peninsula Pleasure Harness Club) over the weekend of February 1st and 2nd.  The Mornington Club conducted the first day and Gippsland Pleasure Harness Society conducted the second day. The weather gods threw everything at competitors with some drivers completing their tests in horizontal rain.   It was great to see new competitors and some new combinations from experienced competitors.   Results

Geelong Graded Driven Dressage Qualifier

Geelong and District Carriage Drivers held a Graded Driven Dressage Qualifier over the weekend of December 8 & 9.   Excellent entries were received and the weather was perfect for driving.  Some very good tests were rewarded by the judges with many drivers achieving 60% or better to receive one Grading Point on each occasion and two drivers achieved 70%+ to receive two Grading Points. The next Graded Driven Dressage Qualifier is to be hosted by Central Highlands Pleasure Harness club at their grounds in Huntly on December 14 & 15.   Pictured below are Adrienne Cofield, Rodney Lane and Laraine Blume.  Photos by Nicole Linic


Skye Park Australian Carriage Driving Classic

The very popular Skye Park Australian Carriage Driving Classic was held at Longwood over the weekend.   Forty five competitors battled it our in near perfect weather conditions.  Once again the event's major sponsor was Di Boardman from Skye Park Rugs.   Di has been a huge supporter of the Longwood event and also many other carriage driving events in Victoria.  Jenny Martin thanked sponsors, competitors, officials, caterers and stewards at presentations and congratulated all on a wonderful event.   Special awards were made to Peter Dunn who was awarded the Ray Bresanello Trophy for the Best Novice Large Pony and to Glenda Marshall who was the inaugural winner of the Hasloch Park Icky Sticky Bee Perpetual Trophy.   This trophy is to be awarded to the winner of the Intermediate Small Pony Class at the November Longwood Classic.  The trophy was donated by Jenny and Graham Martin after the pony Graham has been driving in that class in recent years (pictured above).  Results   The Skye Park Victorian CDE Championships 2020 will be held at Longwood over the ANZAC weekend.


NSW CDE Championships

The NSW CDE Championships were held at Gundagai over the weekend of November 2 & 3.  It is the first time the venue at Gundagai has been used for a CDE for many years and the Organising Committee had done an amazing job of building  obstacles to establish a completely new course. The venue provided many great facilities including covered yards or stables, plenty of shade, numerous shower blocks and powered sites. Sixteen Victorian drivers made the journey to compete at either the Championships, the accompanying Level 4 or both.  The weather did provide some challenges with hot and humid weather for Dressage and Cones and showery, stormy weather for the Marathon. Congratulations to Dawn Walter, Tracey Tuohy, Bernadette Lewis, Lorraine Cairns, Rhiannon Damsma who all won their classes in the Championships and to Jodie McKeone who won two classes in the Level 4.  Photos by kind permission of Linda Mace  L to R:  Belinda Drury, Dawn Walter and Mandy Lawrence    Results

CDE's in Full Swing

The CDE Season kicked off with an event at Murrami, NSW.  Ten drivers from Victoria made the journey north to support this great event.   In early October Northern country Carriage Drivers held their first CDE at the club grounds at Koonoomoo.  Two weeks later the Silver Anniversary event was held at Witwood, NSW.  This event celebrated 25 years of competition at the property of Dot and Doug Willcoxson.   Several Victorians made the journey to Witwood to support the event.  On November 2 &3 the NSW Championships will be held at Gundagai, NSW.  It is many years since a NSW Championship has been held at Gundagai and many Victorian drivers are intending to make the trip.   In Victoria the last CDE for the year will be the very popular Longwood event which will be over the weekend of November 16 & 17.  Photos below show Margaret Sperrin and Rhiannon Damsma competing at the Northern country event at Koonoomoo.  As we come into the hotter weather drivers are reminded to be aware of the Heat Policy adopted by Victorian Branch.   Results

Indoor Series

The Indoor Series is well under way in Victoria with Qualifying events already held by Mornington Peninsula, Northern Country, Eastern Vic and Central Highlands.  Although an event in its own right the Indoor competitions are an excellent introduction to combined driving for both new drivers and new horses.   And of course for those already experienced drivers there is an opportunity to keep your hand in over the Winter and qualify for the Final competition which will be held at Kal Kallo in September. Photos above from the Indoor event held by Central Highlands club over the weekend of July 6 & 7 and Eastern Vic photos from June 29 & 30.  Latest results can be found here.

Alcoa National CDE Championships, Dwellingup, WA

Three Victorian drivers, David Cockcroft, Phil Marshall and Lorraine Cairns, competed at the Alcoa National CDE Championships in Western Australia over the Easter Weekend. David took his own horse over the Nullabor while Phil and Lorraine drove borrowed ponies. These drivers were supported by many other Victorians who made the trip west.   Peter Harkness, TD, Peter Lee, Appeals Committee member, Glenda Marshall, Groom, Natania Maddock,Groom, Karen and Mark Rogers, Appeals Committee and multitude of other jobs and  Margaret and Rod Sperrin, Vet Stewards, MO Stewards. 

The Murray District Club had done an amazing amount of work to put on the Championships.   The eight Marathon Obstacles were very impressive and provided plenty of challenges.   The dressage arena has to be one of the best in the country.   The dressage judges were treated to some lovely dressage boxes in which to perform their judging.  Congratulations to David Cockcroft, Reserve Champion in Novice Horse, Phil Marshall, Reserve Champion in Small Novice Pony and Lorraine Cairns, Champion in Intermediate large Pony.   The three drivers also took out the Club Team Award in a Composite Team.

Pictured above Phil Marshall on the way to a double clear in the Cones.   The Cones Course included a bridge and a dry water splash. 


Skye Park Victorian CDE Championships

The Skye Park Victorian CDE Championships were held over the weekend of March 30 & 31. Once again the sport is very grateful for the continued sponsorship by Di Boardman from Skye Park Rugs.   Di had also sponsored the Victorian Driven Dressage Championships and Victorian Show Driving Championships which were held only the week before.  So a huge thanks from all in the Carriage Driving World.

Although the weather threatened to play a major part in the activities all phases were completed without too much adverse intervention. A hasty and very early rebuild of the dressage arena and cones course (due to the wind) allowed the competition to start on time on Saturday morning.

Twenty four entries were received with competitors coming from both NSW and Victoria.  Drivers enjoyed the chance to try out the new water obstacle which proved very popular with spectators.   

At presentation Event Secretary, Cheryl Dowling thanked Dressage Judges, Dot Willcoxson, Gwenifer Hack and Elizabeth Hammond, Cones Judge, Bruce Hammond, TD Trevor Brand and Course Builders, Peter Harkness and Phil Marshall.  Cheryl also thanked stewards, the Organising Committee, Oaklands Club and all competitors. 

A Level 4 competition was also held and it was good to see VSE Drivers taking the opportunity to showcase their skills and other drivers bringing out new or relatively novice ponies.

Pictured above L-R: Deb Fuller, Elizabeth Lawrence, Mandy Lawrence  Thanks to Maureen Scott for the use of the photos.

Results   Trophy Winners

Joe Hawkins Cup

Marrar, NSW

The very popular and successful Joe Hawkins Cup was again held over the weekend of March 16 and 17 at Marrar, NSW.   Riverina Carriage Driving Club conducted the Level 3 CDE ably assisted by Event Secretary, Tracey Ellis, TD Karen Rogers, Course Designer Trevor Brand, Ground Jury members, Dot Willcoxson, Di Murray and David Royle and scorers Jane and John Keevers and Doug Willcoxson.

Thirty seven entries (including thirteen Victorians) ensured a good weekend's competition. 

The coveted Joe Hawkins Cup was won by Glenda Marshall (pictured above receiving the trophy) driving Pepper.   The Groom's award was won by Jeannette Corley (Yvonne Brown's groom) and the State of Origin competition was won by the Victorian Team.  Tracey Touhy, Alice Austin, Bernadette Lewis, Peter Lee and Rachel Haslau also won their classes.


A great event and one which you should certainly put on your radar for next year.   The history of the Joe Hawkins Cup is printed below.  

History of the Joe Hawkins Cup

Joe Hawkins was a policeman who served in a number of country locations before being posted to Wagga Wagga where he then retired and became involved in rural ventures, real estate and any number of horse activities including forming of the local pony club in the fifties. Joe was a foundation member of the Riverina Horse Driving Society (as it was originally named), a wheeler and dealer of horses and sulkies and involved with showing and judging at local shows and carriage driving events. Because of his involvement in the horse world and his longevity (making it well into his late 90ís), he was a well known character in most circles particularly the horse world. At a general club meeting of the Riverina Horse Driving Society, Bryce Maw and Elton Chapman advised the members that they were in the process of organising a carriage driving event which transpired into our first CDE at a location close to Wagga known as SanIsidore and in recognition of Joe, it would be called the Joe Hawkins Cup. A well attended event, that was first won by our still current member, Cheryl Drummond. The tradition of the Joe Hawkins Cup continues on, having no official home grounds the event was held at many different locations including San Isidore, The Rock, Adelong, Uranquinty, North Wagga Pony Club, North Wagga Football ground, and finally for the last 10 or so years at our home grounds at Marrar.

Skye Park does it again

Once again Di Boardman of Skye Park Rugs has generously offered to sponsor the Victorian CDE Championships.  The Skye Park Victorian CDE Championships will be held at Greenvale on the weekend of March 30th and 31st.   The event is being conducted by Victorian Branch so it will be all hands on deck by members to get this wonderful event up and running.   If you are able to help in any way, stewarding, sponsorship, working bees, please contact Event Secretary, Cheryl Dowling (catara23@live.com.au) or Peter Harkness (peter.harknes@lh.com.au).


Boyd Exell wins Gold

September 2018 - After three days of competition Boyd Exell has won Individual Gold in the Four in Hand competition at the World Equestrian Games in Tryon, USA.  After posting a winning dressage score and a very good marathon result Boyd entered the Cones arena still in the lead but could not afford to make mistakes.   Under intense pressure Boyd completed the Cones course with no faults for balls down and only a few penalties for just over time.   This is the fifth time Boyd has won the World Championships.   Congratulations Boyd and all at Team Exell.

Murrami CDE

September 2018 - Eight Victorian drivers ventured north into NSW to the small town of Murrami (between Griffith and Leeton) over the weekend.   Murrumbidgee Carriage Driving Club have established a very good venue for their Level 3 CDE.  Although the strong wind raised quite a bit of dust for the dressage and cones all drivers managed to survive the elements to front up for the marathon the next day. Saturday evening saw most competitors, club workers and officials head over to the Fire Shed for a very warm and filling meal.  Next morning the wind had dropped somewhat but so had the temperature with everyone well rugged up if they were out early.  The Self Stewarding event was well organised and presentations were made at 3.00pm allowing everyone to head for home nice and early.   Put this event on your radar for next year.  It is a great event and perfect for the start of the season.   Results  Pictured above Margaret Sperrin (winner of Novice Small Pony) and Julie Mackay   Photos by Nicole Barry

Victorian Indoor Series Final

September 2018 - Twenty finalists presented to the judges at the Victorian Indoor Series Final on Sunday September 9th at Broadhangar Indoor Arena at Kalkallo. These drivers had all earned the right to compete at the final by qualifying at two Indoor series events held during the season.   

Precision and Paces judges, Cheryl Dowling and Nicole Linic completed their judging in good time to allow the Cones Course to be erected by the many helpers.   Best overall Precision and Paces score was won by Tracey Tuohy driving Lorabella Harmony whilst the best overall Cones score was won by Bernadette Lewis driving Astro Star (pictured above).  Following a short lunch break when the obstacles were placed in position, drivers harnessed up and tackled the last phase of the competition.   Best time in the Obstacles was also produced by Bernadette Lewis and Astro Star.  

Congratulations to all winners; Single Small Pony - Bernadette Lewis and Astro Star, Single Large Pony - Julie Mackay driving Poppy, Single Horse - Phil Marshall and T.W. Homelands Sapling, Multiple - Andrew Pollock driving Wylandra Harry and Wylandra Poppy, First Season Competitor - Jenny Demaio with Moondale Onyx and the VSE class was won by Jan Moore driving Gallandeer Ridge Matisse.  Results

Congratulations and many thanks to Oaklands Horse and Carriage Club members who conducted the event.   Job well done.

Final Indoor Qualifier held at KalKallo on August 26th

August 2018 - Oaklands Horse & Carriage Driving Club held the final Indoor Qualifier at Broadhangar Equestrian Centre on Sunday August 26th.   As the Indoor Championship will be held at this venue on September 9th, many drivers took the chance to have a run under similar conditions.   Pictured above Club member Kim Filmer who will be competing at the Indoor Championships. Photo by Sandra Fleming  Results     Program & Entry for the Indoor Championships

Indoor Series continues at Inverleigh

August 2018 - Two days of competition were held over the weekend conducted by the Geelong and District Carriage Drivers at their home ground at Inverleigh.   Although competitors were treated to some cold and windy weather all drivers had a very enjoyable weekend of competition.  Pictured above Mandy Lawrence and Julie Mackay.   Thanks to Sandra Fleming for photos Results

Northern Country hosts Indoor Weekend at Koonoomoo

July 2018 - Northern Country Carriage Drivers held an Indoor event (held outdoors) over the weekend. The event was well attended despite the cold weather we have all experienced over the last few weeks.  It was great to see new drivers and,  in some cases new horses, enjoying the encouraging courses. The Indoor Series continues to be a very successful innovation to get new combinations out and about and keep seasoned competitors in tune over the winter.  Pictured below, junior driver, Isabelle Beecroft having her first competitive drive.   Results

Indoor season continues

June 30/July 1 - Mornington Peninsula Pleasure Harness Club conducted an Indoor qualifier over the weekend of June 30th/July 1st.  The event was run at Emu Plains and, although the weather was unkind the first day, all competitors had a great time.  Some modifications were made due to the water on the course but all agreed it was a great event. Results   Pictured above Tracey Tuohy.   Below Mandy Lawrence and Margaret Sperrin        The next Indoor Qualifer will be held in the north of the state conducted by Northern Country Carriage Drivers on the weekend of July 28th & 29th.  Entry details and other info can be found on the Calendar.     

Indoor Series commences at Elmore

June 2018 - The Indoor Series kicked off over the weekend with the first qualifier held  at Elmore Equestrian Park, Elmore, Victoria.   The weather gods did their stuff and two days of glorious sunshine allowed all competitors to enjoy the wonderful facilities.  What a wonderful innovation the indoor comps are, giving novice drivers and novice ponies and horses a great introduction to carriage competition. Class winners were offered a Boyd Exell cap, the first ones to be brought to Australia. Thanks must go to Peter Harkness for supplying all the equipment, Peter Lee for scoring all weekend, Phil, Glenda and Cody Marshall for stewarding, setting up, packing up and many other tasks.   Thanks to the judges, Vicki Stevenson, Deb Fuller and Arthur Walter and also the catering crew, Debbie Harvey and Christine Christie.   Thanks to all competitors who also pitched in when they weren't driving.  Special thanks to Gwenifer Hack from On Track Park Consultants who provided sponsorship for the raffle prizes.  Pictured above Phil Marshall driving Ben Kindblad's horse Homelands Sapling, Victoria Jerman and Jan Moore sizing up the opposition and Peter Lee sporting his new BE cap.   Results

The next Indoor competition will be held on next weekend, June 30th and July 1st at Emu Plains run by the Mornington Peninsula Pleasure Harness Club.   Programs and entry forms are available on the Calendar.

The Indoor Series is a great way to get into the sport of Combined Driving by just giving a taste of each of the three phases.   Indoor competitions include a Precision and Paces phase, which is just like a short dressage test in a smaller arena than normal.   A shortened Cones Course is then driven with usually about 10 sets of cones.   After a break drivers are given the opportunity to walk and plane their routes through two obstacles.   As everyone is all walking together, newcomers can get valuable

Greenvale Classic


April 2018 - Oaklands Horse and Carriage Driving Club conducted an ACDS Level 2, an FEI 1* and 2*, an EA Participation event as well as a Dressage Judges Clinic and Course Designers Workshop over the weekend of April 27th to 30th at the Greenvale Equestrian Centre. This was the first time in many years an FEI Driving Event has been run in Victoria and was supported financially by the EA Development Fund. 

Drivers travelled from as far as northern NSW, SA and all over Victoria to compete at the event. To comply with FEI requirements some officials must come from overseas.  James Rooney from the UK judged in the dressage arena whilst Christian Iseli from Switzerland officiated as the TD for the event.   Other judges and officials included Dot Willcoxson, Jen and Ty Nichols, Christine Gibbons, Cynthia Doherty, Peter Harkness, Karen Rogers and Andrea Webb.  

A huge thank you must go to Peter Lee, Peter Harkness and Cheryl Dowling who worked tirelessly in the weeks leading up to the event, during and after the event to make a successful weekend of driving competition.  Pictured above is Jackie Boyd competing in the 2* event.   Photo by Janice Gorick  Results

Dressage State and National Titles

April 2018 - Eastern Vic Pleasure Harness Club hosted the Victorian Graded Driven Dressage Championships and the Skye Park Equine Tailors Australian Graded Driven Dressage Championships over the weekend of April 14th and 15th at Maffra.  The dressage arenas were magnificent to drive on and are probably the best in Australia.  Despite the very windy and sometimes wet conditions, drivers managed to complete all their required tests.  On Saturday evening a Freestyle to Music under lights was held with nine competitors presenting to the judges.    At final presentations Tom Dowling thanked all sponsors, judges, stewards, club members and competitors.  Results


Skye Park Australian CDE Championships

April 2018 - The Skye Park Australian CDE Championships were held over the Easter break at Witwood, the lovely property of Dot and Doug Willcoxson.   The work that the members and friends of the Bungendore Carriage Driving Club had put in over the last twelve months was very evident.   A huge extension to the clubrooms, a completely new obstacle and many improvements to other obstacles meant that the course and facilities were second to none in this country.   Congratulations to all sponsors, competitors, organisers, volunteers and officials who were involved and a heartfelt thank you to the naming rights sponsor, Di Boardman of Skye Park rugs.  Results  Pictured below Ned Andrew and Ruby Lawrence on their way to winning the Novice Small Pony and Novice Large Pony classes respectively.  Their Mum, Elizabeth Lawrence was also victorious in the Pony Team class. Photos by Linda Mace



Driven Dressage Qualifier at Huntly

March 2018 - Congratulations to Central Highlands Pleasure Harness Club who held a successful Graded Driven Dressage weekend at their grounds at Huntly over the weekend of March 24th and 25th.  This was the last chance to qualify for the Victorian and Australian Dressage Championships in Maffra over the weekend of April 14th and 15th.  At presentations Hilary Billett thanked all those who had helped at the event and in particular Dressage Judges Madeleine Bentley and Dawn Walter and Cones Judge, Karen Rogers.  Pictured above is Julie Wilson driving Rupert winner of the VSE Dressage Hi-score prize kindly donated by club member Desiree Stewart.  Results 

March 2018 -The Sallan Reality Victorian CDE Championships were held over the weekend of March 10, 11 & 12 at Koonoomoo Rec Reserve and conducted by Carriage Horse Driving Trials Club.  Forty eight competitors, including six pony teams, presented to the judges on Dressage Day.  Marathon Day was hot and competitors were given some extra time to allow their horses to cope with the heat.  A cool change overnight meant a lovely cool, breezy morning for competitors to tackle the cones course.    At presentation awards the President of the club, Rob Robertson thanked all sponsors, organisers, stewards and competitors.  Pictured above, State President Bernadette Lewis with her pony Astro Star winners of the Intermediate Small Pony class. Results


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Updated   December 2nd, 2020 

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