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 ( or Peter Harkness (


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 9th, 2019 

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