WHC April 2024 Newsletter

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Welcome to 2024 and our first Newsletter of the year. 2023 finished with the Club’s Christmas Meal and AGM at The Star Inn, Matfield which was well attended. The pub provided us with a room to ourselves, the food was great and plentiful and the company in very good cheer.

Plans for events in 2024 have been made although the weather is conspiring against us again with the ground being so wet that early outdoor events are having to be looked at in case of venue changes being required. The course building course with Malcolm Brown at Old Hay is a case in point. This is now to be held at Bradbourne Carriage Driving Centre in Sevenoaks as Old Hay grounds are too wet and soft even to park vehicles on.

The calendar to date is:

11 MayHave A Go Trainingat Lamb’s Farm, Old Hay TN12 7DG from 10.00 am
27 MayTraining with Jane Lambat Lamb’s Farm, Old Hay TN12 7DG from 3.30 pm
10 JuneTraining with Sara Howeat Bethersden TN26 3JJ from 3.30 pm
23 JuneInside Out Eventat Bethersden TN26 3JJ
2 JulyTraining with Jane Lambat Lamb’s Farm, Old Hay TN12 7DG from 3.30 pm
13 JulyHave A Go Trainingat Lamb’s Farm, Old Hay TN12 7DG from 10.00 am
22 JulyTraining with Jane Lambat Bethersden TN26 3JJ from 3.30 pm
2 AugustPre event trainingat Lamb’s Farm, Old Hay TN12 7DG from midday
3 AugustOne Day Event with BCDCat Lamb’s Farm, Old Hay TN12 7DG from 09.00 am
12 AugustTraining with Jane Lambat Bethersden TN26 3JJ from 3.30 pm
17 AugustShowing Eventat Lamb’s Farm, Old Hay TN12 7DG from 10.00 am
3 SeptTraining with Jane Lambat Lamb’s Farm, Old Hay TN12 7DG from 3.30 pm
23 SeptTraining with Sara Howeat Bethersden TN26 3JJ from 3.30 pm

Schedules for the events will shortly be available from the WHC website, FaceBook page or by contacting Jane Lamb or Alison Drew.

It is with regret that I inform members of the passing of Heather Nestel in March. Heather and her late husband, Barry, had been heavily involved in with the Club in the past both on the Committee and in hosting events on their land at Great Chart near Ashford, before they moved away and retired from the sport. They had much influence on many Kent and Sussex carriage drivers which in remembered with fondness. I have sent condolences to the family.

Last Saturday, Malcolm Brown was meant to run a second Course Building course for the club. Regrettably ill health meant he could not attend and I stood in on his behalf. Because of wet ground conditions, I approached Sara Howe and Bradbourne CDC and was able to use her club house and the outdoor school which gave the 18 attendees room to learn and to build 2 obstacles with some cones. Donna Simmons kindly provided a turnout and drove the obstacles as the guinea pig. The morning was enjoyed by all and some stayed on the participate in the BCDC Backsteppers’ Course run by Trish Jones in the afternoon.

The ICD Indoor Finals at Arena UK approaches later this month and I wish all qualified Club members well. I will be there, too, as one of the Judges.

If you feel that WHC should be offering more to you, please let any of the Committee know so we can make adjustments. If you want to join the Committee, please let me know. I am looking at offering additional training both outdoors at Bluemans Farm, near Sedlescombe and indoors either at Bedgebury or Saddlesdane Equestrian Centres. The latter venues are generally hired mid-week for those of you able to get away for an hour or so with your pony/horse. Let me know if you are interested to join an existing group of trainees or to set up a new group. Dressage, cone driving or grid work is the norm, but the emphasis is on fun for both the pony and the driver and giving guidance on performance improvement.

I am about to order new polo shirts for myself from JS Teamwear with the WHC logo. I hope all members are proud to part of our club and will wear logo’d clothing to promote WHC. The club gets a small percentage of all clothing sales back from JS Teamwear (www.jsteamwear.co.uk ), which is welcome.

I am pleased to announce that the Club purchased some plastic obstacle components for use at the Bethersden venue. Alison Drew will use them at the training days and at events. Whilst WHC was not successful in obtaining grant monies from British Carriagedriving towards the purchase, funds were available from club reserves to make this investment.
I wish everyone a successful season for 2024 and look forward to seeing you at future events, as a competitor, steward, observer, groom etc.

Jane Lamb, Chairman
16 April 2024

Download Newsletter here: WHC April 2024 Newsletter [PDF]

WHC November 2023 Newsletter

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What a busy year the club has had.  My thanks to the organisers, helpers, stewards, caterers and all involved with our events to ensure that they happened and ran smoothly.  

Our final hurrah for 2023 is the AGM and Christmas Meal at 1pm on 3 December 2023 at a different venue, relatively close to the A21 corridor, The Star, Maidstone Road, Matfield, TN12 7JR.   Cost for 2 courses £22.00 / 3 courses £27.50 per person including the 10% service charge but not any drinks.  A deposit of £10.00 per person is required in advance. 

The AGM will run before the meal.  Your pack accompanies this newsletter, and it would be great if the committee could see some new faces joining the team.  Being a WHC committee member is not onerous, but we would all appreciate the support to find venues, gather ideas for interesting talks/visits etc or for ground support at the events.  Can previous trophy winners, please return the trophies at or before the AGM to Alison Drew or me?

Looking forward to 2024. It is hoped that the club will run at least 1 event per month from Spring to Autumn offering training (course building, obstacle design, how to drive the obstacles/cones better, backstepper’s role), World Cups, Have A Go opportunities and One Day Event(s).   Some winter training is to be organised using local indoor arenas.  Contact me for details.

Looking back over the year, the Club ran a Course Builders’ Course in March, hosted at talk by Toni Gallop on Taking the Stuffiness out of Driving, also in March, training in obstacles and cones at Bedgebury in May and June, a number of training evenings at Bethersden and Old Hay offering dressage, cones and an obstacle for practice, two One Day Events and a World Cup.  Well done to our winners in 2023:

Bethersden ODE 30 July 2023

Novice Pony                Ali Milton

Pre Novice Pony         Ali Bones (short course)

                                       Margaret Lang (long course)

Pre Novice Horse       Wendy Carpenter

Gateway                      Cynthia Foulger


Old Hay ODE 19 August 2023 (Joint Event with BCDC)

Novice                         Abbie Fuller (long course)

Novice                         Ali Bones (short course)

Open                           Linda Hamblen (long course)

Open                           Marilyn Page (short course)

VSE                             Christine Grist

Gateway                     Rudi Krikorian

Multiples                   Donna Simmons

World Cup 07 October 2023                          Abbie Fuller


I wish everyone a great Christmas and New Year.  Let’s continue to build on the Club’s successes for this year and make WHC thrive further in 2024.   Malcolm Brown, National & International Course Builder based at East Anglia Carriage Driving Group, has agreed to return to run another course builders’ course next year and it is hoped that some turnouts can attend this to demonstrate that not all routes suit can be driven in the same way.      

Jane Lamb, Chairman


WHC July 2023 Newsletter

WHC Course Builders training

WHC Course Builders trainingIt has been a busy year so far for Weald Harness Club. Members have participated in the Course Builders’ training given by Malcolm Brown who is a National and International Course Builder in March. The weather was not always clement, but we were able to get on the field to discuss and put out part of a cones course. Malcolm will definitely be asked to return for a follow up course.

Later in March, Toni Gallop presented her “Take the Stuffiness Out of Showing” talk which preceded the AGM.  Both well attended and the catering supplied by the Butchers Hook Café was wonderful.

Poor weather put paid to the planned events outside at Old Hay in April, May and June.  All was not lost as it was possible to hire one of the indoor schools at Bedgebury for training in May and June.  Alison Drew offered use of her land at Bethersden, and two Have A Go evenings have been successfully held there with up to 8 turnouts each time coming to use the dressage arena, cones course and practice in an obstacle.   Dressage coaching has been offered and taken up.

Two one day events are scheduled: one at Bethersden on 30th July; one at Lamb’s Farm, Brenchley on 19th August 2023.  Schedules available on Facebook WHC page and on WHC website. 

A World Cup type event is planned for 30th September at Lamb’s Farm and the schedule will be available shortly.

I am more than happy to offer dressage coaching at Lamb’s Farm or at Alison Drew’s Chequer Tree Fishery as the fortnightly Have a Go evenings have been so popular.  Watch the FB page or website for details.

The Club President - Barrie LuckThe Club’s President, Barrie Luck has recently been recognised by The Worshipful Company of Coachmakers and Coach Harness Makers, who awarded him a trophy.  Congratulations to Barrie for continued involvement in all things to do with carriage driving and as a farrier.   His interest in horses began at a very young age and has covered carriage building, stewarding, judging, being a farrier as well as having a huge depth of knowledge which he is willing to share.

Longstanding members of the Club may recall David Watts who was a past Chairman and who had been heavily involved with Brighton HDT and Indoor Carriage Driving as a course builder and steward.  David and his wife Wendy were well known within the driving community and competed with their cob, Flyer.  My condolences to the family.

Do let me know if you have news to share.  I am taking time away from WHC next week and will not be able to attend the Club’s event at Bethersden.  I will be in Holland watching one of my horses, Niall, compete with Diana Lindsay at Beekbergen.   Former Membership Secretary, Frances Collings has agreed to step up and replace me at Bethersden.  Thank you.

Jane Lamb, Chairman

WHC February 2023 Newsletter

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Following on from the November 2022 Newsletter, I can confirm that the Club did re-affiliate with British Carriagedriving at the end of December at a cost of £400.00 (minimum charge).  I have a copy of the Insurance confirmation from BC should club members wish to see it.

As previously advised the changes introduced by BC following its AGM and Conference in November 2022 have filtered down to us at Club level and our membership structure and fees are having to be updated.  This has meant a review of the Club’s Constitution and Rules has been necessary and approval will be sought at our AGM for these changes.   In the coming season, you may notice some increase in event entry fees, which is as a result of BC instigation a start fee levy for all competitive events that the Club runs.  For each competitor the Club will have to pay BC a levy of £1 for an indoor/arena event, £3 for a One Day Event and £6 for a Two-Day Event.  I am hoping to minimize the impact to those entering our events, but entry fees will be regularly reviewed.

The Club is looking to put the following events on.  Not all schedules are yet available, but they will be uploaded to the website and Facebook.

18/03/2023 – Course Builder Training at Lamb’s Farm, TN12 7DG – no charge, all welcome, be prepared for the weather and to learn about obstacle and cone course design from Malcolm Brown, National & International Course Builder.  Refreshments available.

25/03/2023 – Take the Stuffiness Out of Showing talk by Antonia Gallop at Matfield Village Hall, TN12 7LW starting at 5 pm.  No charge for club members. £5 charge for non-club members.  Refreshments available.

25/03/2023 – WHC AGM at Matfield Village Hall, TN12 7LW starting after the talk by Toni Gallop has finished.  All welcome.  Start likely to be at 6:30 pm.

08/04/2023 – Have A Go at Lamb’s Farm, TN12 7DG.  Bring your own turnout and practice using the dressage arena, cones, and obstacles on site.  Schedule soon to be available.

20/05/2023 – World Cup at Lamb’s Farm, TN12 7DG.

03/06/2023 – Have A Go at Lamb’s Farm, TN12 7DG.

19/08/2023 – One Day Event at Lamb’s Farm, TN12 7DG.  Schedule soon to be available.

30/09/2023 – World Cup at Lamb’s Farm, TN12 7DG.

To be Confirmed:

Training at Lamb’s Farm (weather and ground conditions permitting)

Event at Chequer Tree Fishery, Bethersden

Would you want the Club to put on any other type of event? (Social, Le Trec, long reining etc).

Club membership is due for renewal on 1st April 2023 which will run until 31st December 2023.  In future years the membership will be for a whole 12 months starting 1st January 2024.  This is to align the club with BC practices.  New members to the club will be covered from the date they join and are accepted until the 31st December.  The membership categories have been reviewed, again to align with BC.  We can no longer offer a Family or 2 persons at the same address membership as this is not recognised by BC, so from now the categories and costs to join/re-join WHC are:

Single  £35.00 (reduced to £10 with proof of BC Membership 2023)

Junior £35.00 (reduced to £10 with proof of BC Membership 2023)

Non-Driving   £10.00

The WHC website is currently under review, and I am hoping that you will all see an improvement with it.  Do share with me anything you would want uploaded to it or if you see something wrong with it.

Let’s all look forward to 2023.  I want to promote our Club, increase the membership, offer a welcome to new members or visitors, and invite you to consider joining the Committee so I can ensure we meet demand and expectations.

WHC November 2022 Newsletter

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I am writing to all Club members to advise you of changes afoot with Weald Harness Club’s affiliation with British Carriagedriving (BC), our governing body.   Currently the Club pays an annual affiliation fee to BC which provides the Club with back-office support for running events, guidelines on Safeguarding, GDPR and other issues, plus Club officer insurance for holding and running events, and Club members with a level of insurance to take part at events.

At Council level, BC has been studying its own finances and have had shortfalls of around £10,000 p.a over the last 2 years and the books need to be balanced.   To do this BC has looked into its own membership structure, the affiliation fees paid by clubs and how new income streams can be generated.   BC would like to include all carriage drivers nationally within their remit directly and has requested that all clubs provide their members’ details.   At BC’s AGM and Conference on 5th November 2022 concerns were raised regarding the legality of the clubs disclosing this information to BC in the light of GDPR regulations.   I do not want to release your data to BC but am happy for WHC to send on any information from BC to our members either by email or post.  You are welcome to become a member of BC in your own right as well as being one more different clubs’ member.

On the positive side, WHC affiliation fee for 2023 will reduce from £534.  The first £160 of the fee is for the insurance cover allowing the Club to hold events and protect the committee, stewards and all that allow an event to run.  The balance is made up from £25 per non-BC member.   Currently, WHC has 12 BC members, 7 driving but non-BC members and 8 non-driving members.  I am seeking clarification as to whether our affiliation fee will be the minimum charge or £415.00.  However, see below regarding new start fee charges.

The next change to be seen next year will the need for the Club to pay to BC a start fee for each competitor at our events up to British Carriagedriving.  This will be calculated at £1 for each arena/indoor event, £3 for a Gateway or One Day Event and £6 for each 2-day event.  No fees for non-competitive events.  Returns to BC will need to be done during the year to settle what is owed.    I have been in discussion with other Clubs as to how we feel about this imposition.  Most clubs are very anti the speed at which BC is trying to implement the changes in structure both of the classes, membership and fees.  Had this fee structure been implemented this year, the Club would have had to pay a further £170.00 in start fees to BC which comes directly off any event profits for WHC.  BC will have the right to amend these fees annually and the Club will have no ability to refuse the pay the increases.

Another impact on WHC of the changes demanded by BC regards the Club’s financial end of year, including the membership period for which subscriptions are paid.  Currently the audit is done to end of February for presentation at the AGM end of March, and Membership Subscriptions run 1st April to 31st March.  It would make sense to align BC & WHC ends of year to 31st December and subscription year from 1st January to 31st December.    I will need the agreement of members to make these changes.

The new membership structure for BC in 2023 will be:

  • Full Membership £150
  • International Membership £250
  • Associate Membership £80
  • Officials Membership £45
  • Supporting Membership £10
  • Young Members and British Young Drivers:
    • Young Member (6-16 years) – 75% discount to Full & Int Membership
    • Young Member (17-21 years) – 50% discount to Full & Int Membership
    • Young Member (22-25 years) – 25% discount to Full & Int Membership
    • BYD – Newcomers to the sport receive their first year of BC membership included for free when attending their first BYD camp.

I believe the upshot of these changes will mean that for 2023 the membership fee structure for WHC members will also need to be reviewed.  Subscriptions will remain unchanged for the coming year, but it will be difficult to classify a Family Membership within the BC structure, and this will cease.  However, if there is more than 1 non-driving member in the same household and at the same address, only one fee of £10.00 will be payable.   Membership application/renewal forms will need to be clearly designed so that existing Club & BC members annotate their BC membership number.  If you do not, the Club will have to pay a £25 premium to cover your insurance cost to the Club.  Details can be found in detail on www.britishcarriagedriving.co.uk on the Home Page/Members Services/Insurance.  My suggestion regarding subscriptions for 2023 would be:

Single                          £20.00 with BC Membership              £30.00 for non-BC Members

Non-Driving                 £10.00                                                 (Only 1 fee due for more than one non-driving person residing at the same address, but all names to be disclosed on the Membership form)

Young Members         £15.00 with BC Membership              £25.00 for non-BC Members

In conclusion, WHC requires that each member is made aware of the upcoming changes and has the opportunity of making their views known.   I would ask that you please confirm in writing or by email your responses to the following:

  1. Do you permit the sharing of your name, email, and address details to British Carriagedriving? BC advises this is so they can include you in newsletters etc but the Club should forward relevant information to you, in any case.

Yes / No / Don’t know

  1. Do you agree to the changing of WHC’s year end to 31st December with effect from 2023? The AGM will be brought forward accordingly and might be combined in 2023 with the Xmas meal.

Yes / No / Don’t Know

  1. Do you agree to the restructuring of Club Membership:

Yes / No / Don’t Know

  1. In reviewing the WHC Constitution form 2013, I note that the Club has not maintained an audit panel of 3 committee members. There is an independent auditor, currently Kim O’Nion at the year end and the accounts are regularly reviewed at Club Committee meetings.  I would like to propose that in future the Constitution wording is amended (See Point 7 ii of the Constitution) that this reads in future:

“The accounts for the previous financial year shall be audited and presented to the members of the Club at the AGM.  The accounts shall be audited by an independent person or persons agreed at the AGM for the purpose”.

Do you agree?

Yes / No / Don’t Know

Jane Lamb


05 November 2022

WHC October 2022 Newsletter

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After last year, it was great to see things within the driving world getting back to some form of normality.  Events ran and people competed, stewarded, helped, hindered or just came along for the craic.

The “Have a Go” days (bring your own turnout and use all the facilities at Old Hay), the World Cup, the joint event with Bradbourne Carriage Driving Club in July, plus the ODE at Bethersden in August have been very well attended.   My thanks to all that made these happen and so successful.   Alison Drew and family are to be commended for taking on hosting and running a new event at Chequer Tree Fishery.

Looking ahead, there is training available at Saddlesdane Equestrian Centre with me on 25th October, 22nd November and 13th December.  There is a Christmas fun event, also at Saddlesdane on 21st December, plus club members, friends and supporters are all welcome at the Halfway House, Brenchley for a Christmas evening meal on 9th December.

I had hoped to run a few more events at Old Hay in October and or November but found I had little time, the ground became quite soft and COVID struck my household limiting what I could get up to.   All good now, but the weather is against us, as I write.

In November, the Club’s governing body, British Carriagedriving is holding its AGM alongside a dinner and dance, celebrating 50 years of the sport.  At the AGM, changes in how BC manages itself, the clubs and the members are likely to be updated.  This may affect how Weald Harness Club moves forward in 2023.   More news on this is awaited and your Committee will keep you informed as the information is disseminated.

Please remember the Club is only as good as its members. Let’s have your thoughts and feedback.  Do you have any news you wish to share with other Club members? If so, why not let me or Georgi Ashdown know.

Please remember if you wish club logo clothing, visit www.jsteamwear.co.uk They have colours and sizes to suit all. Nothing is too small. Customer service is exemplary.

On a personal note, my competitive year did not go quite to plan with the tandem.  I did attend the Tandem Meet in Scotland, along with Hopetoun Horse Driving Trials.  I tried switching the horses about between leading and wheeling and not always successfully.  I then took them to Sandringham, where the Club had sponsored an obstacle and where Steve and I had been sponsors personally.  Again, not my best outing but so good to be back at this fabulous venue.  Roll on 2023!

Keep safe and well and I look forward to seeing you at our next event.

Jane Lamb

WHC Chairman

October 2022


WHC July 2022 Newsletter

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July is upon us; the Summer is flying by, and the outdoor season is in full swing!

Our AGM in March had a low attendance so possibly next year we will make this a pub social/dinner rather than booking a hall?

We would like to congratulate Barrie Luck on receiving his Outstanding Achievement Award from British Carriage Driving. Very much deserved! The write up was quite impressive thanking Barrie for his selfless support to carriage driving for over 60 years!!!

Congratulations to Jane on passing all the requirements to fulfil the role as judge, not just for dressage but cones and obstacles too. She has spent many hours shadowing judges and attending various courses. We look forward to seeing her sitting at C very soon.

In May we had a visit to Rhoden Rehabilitation Centre. We were shown the water treadmill in action and the benefits of working the horses in water.

A visit to the Carriage Museum in Maidstone had to be cancelled due to lack of interest. We appreciate not everyone can make a weekday outing but unfortunately this was our only option.

The Club sponsored an obstacle at Sandringham this year. It was great to see the banners flying for us.

We have had ‘Have a go days’ at Old Hay which have been well supported by members. This has attracted new members to the club too. The days aim to give a relaxed taste of a competition format without the pressure.

Our next event is going to run at Old Hay with Bradbourne Carriage Driving Club. This will be an ODE with Gateway classes.  If you’re not able to compete perhaps you’d like to come along and help

The schedule can be found on our website page.

The drive down to Old Hay has now been resurfaced and looks great.

Future events:

13th august at Old Hay

29th August At Bethersden

(Schedules on the website)

We hope you are all managing to get out with your horses and are enjoying the events the club is putting on. As always if anyone has any feedback/suggestion please do not hesitate to get in touch.