BDS Wales Show 2016 Report

The BDS Wales Show welcomed all its competitors to a fantastic full day of showing spanning three rings accompanied by glorious sunshine. The show which advocates a welcoming ethos to encourage participation from competitors of all abilities was thrilled to see so many familiar faces return and equally happy to see new members trying out showing for the first time.

BDS judges, Sophie Adkins and Jo Halnan-Blackwell were clearly very popular amongst the competitors for their constructive advice and friendly approach and were kept very busy as there were some hard choices to make on the showing field. Of recent years the private driving classes have had limited attendance so it was wonderful to have a strong private drive vehicle attendance which made the Championship riveting to watch. Not to be outdone there was an excellent attendance from the exercise vehicle class competitors as well and the Show Committee would like to express its gratitude for the brilliant support from all competitors that we enjoyed this year. The Carmarthen Carriage drivers group which enables disabled driving had two display class slots for which they gave a demonstration and participated in the cones ring and this was particularly great for all their supporters to see. New for this year in honour of Her Majesty the Queens 90th Birthday was a class open to all turnouts- The Best Turned Out. Specially commissioned for this class was a commemorative set of rosettes done out in Welsh colours with red dragons on the ribbons and each whip and groom was presented with one for participating in the class. The winner of the class was Andrew Hamilton-Rhodes with his and John Hollister’s Brookebrough Reflection. There was also a special award for Best Groom which was awarded to Llewellyn Chapman. In addition to this years’ schedule and devised as a thank you to the competitors, was the long reining cones class which had no entry fee. All competitors achieving a clear round were given a clear round rosette. This class ran all morning and was followed by the driven cones in the afternoon which was won by Maggie McMullen.  Maggie also won the Four Wheel Exercise Vehicle class with her own Ruby earning the Osborne Refrigerator Qualifier as well. BDS Wales Young Driver Representative, Emily Ham, brought out Crossfield Glory and swept top honours in the Drivers Dream Style and Performance class earning the traditional vehicle qualifier there, the Private Driving class for under 13.2hh, the Lady & Gentleman Whip class, the Osborne Refrigerator Qualifier in the Welsh section and finished as Points Champion for the day. Andrew Hamilton-Rhodes and John Hollister brought Brookbrough Reflection driven by Andrew and scooped the win for the Private Driving class over 13.2hh including the hackney type Osborne Qualifier and the Queens Birthday Class for the Best turned out before resting ready for the Championship where they finished as Reserve Welsh Lawn Champion. Alison Kesans driving her own Monnington Verdi took the Veteran Whip class, the Osborne Refrigerator Qualifier in the Private Driving Over 13.2hh and was the favourite in the championship as she was the Welsh Lawn Champion. In between classes Alison allowed husband, Modris, the reins to drive Monnington Verdi in the Concours d’Elegance where he was picked as the winner by judge, Martin Blackwell.

The Worshipful Company of Farriers Best Shod Award returned this year and was most ably judged by Nigel Brown of Welshpool, who travelled down with his father for the day. The overall winner was Gareth Thomas who shod Ms J. Todd’s Springfieldpark Rumpus. This turnout also caught the BDS judges’ eyes as they took top honours in the Novice Equine class before finishing as the Reserve Grass Roots Champion. The Grass Roots Champion was Hazel Knight with her own Gellidywyll Miss Jenny, who also won the Pleasure Driving class and the Two Wheel Exercise Vehicle Class. Grandson, Llewellyn Chapman, also drove the delightful turnout winning the Young Driver class. Carriage Driving Magazine also sponsored rosettes to give to each participant in the Pleasure Driving Class which were lovely. Special mention should be made of Wendy Morris who drove her tandem of cherubs which were not made up of the usual stalwarts, Mac and Dougal but a trial for the combination of Lakehead Starlite and Carmarco Pot Black (Boris). They took the Osborne Refrigerator Qualifier for tandems in the Private Driving Under 13.2hh class. Vicky Morris travelled from Somerset with Drysiog Daniel ap Jet to success in the Native Breed class with dad, Tony, grooming. Peter Lewis, from Bridgend, brought his lovely coloured pony, Little Paddocks Pippin winning the Coloured class. Each competitor in the Coloured Class also received a special rosette coutesy of CHAPS. Currently there is no driving qualifier for CHAPS but they decided to support the show by way of supplying rosettes for this class. In the Veteran class which was split between Horse and Whip, the horse section was won by Alan Hill driving his own Waynhill Arthur. The special award for the Highest Combination of age between Horse and Whip (though she won’t thank me for listing it!) was Avis Purnell with her own Commanche Dancer and she also won the Ride and Drive.

The Show received lots of background support on the day and a list would not suffice to express the Show Committee’s grateful thanks for everyone who did this. So thank you instead to all our stewards; in the ring, on the showground, at the gates, to the catering staff, the RDA stall, the raffle ticket sellers, the office staff, the Carmarthen Carriage Drivers for their beautiful display, to Mair at the showground who made the ground suitable again for us, the trade stands for supporting us again and to the Show Committee who in addition to working very hard, make sure we have some fun doing it too.

Last but certainly not least, very special thanks from the Show Committee to all our sponsors. The Show would not run without you and its becoming very special due to your support. Thank you very much to Brian & Anthea Birch, Blue Chip, CHAPS, Country Wide, Dodson & Horrell, Richard Francis, Emily Ham-British Carriage Driver, Penny & Ray Hopkins, Sue and Toby Jackson, Dave Jones-Farrier, Market Hall Vets, Kevin McPherson, Michelle & Lee Peters, Pete Phillips, Claire Powell, Nick Powell, Anthony Reynolds, Sandra and Peter Scheffler, Helen and Bob Stevens, Roger Thomas and Jenny Hopkins, Jenny Todd, Dee Williams.