Going to Merrist Wood indoor driving for the first time? Here’s what to expect.....

Sara Simmons has some advice for those trying indoor driving at Merrist Wood for the first time.
  • Give yourself loads of time – bear in mind that if you’re in Novice Pony, you could be on at 8.30am!
  • Parking is a little bit limited so the earlier you get there, the better. If it’s all full up near the arena, there is more parking down the track beyond the muck pits where you will also find the cones arena.
  • On arrival, head in to the main arena – you will see that the right hand end is a collecting ring that you can use for the last bit of your warm-up. Collect your number bib from the box just inside the door. It’s a good idea to re-check the running order to see if there have been many withdrawals. If so, you might be asked to go a little earlier than expected. But don’t panic, you won’t be disqualified if you’re not able to.
Sara Simmons at Merrist Wood

  • If you need to ask any questions, Dick Lane will be on the microphone beside ‘A’ and will be happy to help at any time when he is not actually letting competitors in or out of the arena. Driving is a very friendly sport so anything you’re not sure of, there will be any number of more experienced competitors around you who are happy to help.
  • If you have time, go and walk the cones course before you start. You will be able to walk it in between competitors later on but it’s nice to be ahead of the game.
  • Once you are safely hitched up, drive over to the right hand end of the main arena and follow the track around the outside of the building. This is a one way system and half way along the back of the building you will be able to take a sharp right up in to the outdoor warm-up arena. About 10 minutes before your time, head back down the slope and in to the main arena. This involves a left, a right and then another left in quick succession so take it easy to make sure your pony has time to work out what to do! Take care not to miss the turning in to the arena as this will take you the wrong way down the one-way system and cause a hideous traffic jam!
  • Dick will announce you when it’s your turn. When you’ve finished your test, get clear of the entrance so that the next competitor can get in promptly and then head straight down to the cones arena.
  • If you haven’t already walked the course or you want a second look, make sure that you park sensibly and have sufficient competent help to leave your pony safely. For preference this would be someone in the driving seat and someone at the head.


  • After the cones, unhitch and unharness, there will be quite a long wait for the obstacles.
  • Precision & Paces will be finished by about 12:30 when there will be a quick dog show while the cones are finished!
  • The obstacles will then be built – there will be an announcement when they are ready to walk and the scores so far will also be posted on the wall. Pick up your P & P score sheets, the judge may have made a useful comment or two on the back.
  • There will be about 20 minutes to learn the obstacles & drawings will be available to help you if you can’t remember them when you start warming up! Bear in mind that if you are in Novice Pony, you will need to go and hitch up before the end of the obstacle walk. It’s probably best to put harness on before the course walk if that is the case.
  • The running order is according to combined P & P and Cones scores with the leader going last in each class. Everybody in the class drives obstacles 1 & 2 and then they all go again in the same order to do obstacles 3 & 4. The obstacles will not be changed between rounds. Scores are then added up and prizes handed out followed by a lap of honour at the end of each class.
  • All that’s left is to pack away, give your number bib back and clear up any droppings/hay around your vehicle.
  • ENJOY!!

AGM

Bhc AGM - 26th January

Many attended the AGM on Monday, and it was great to see many past and future members faces.
Graham Winter was awarded the Chairmanship award for his great work which he did on the new club trailer 'granny's grotto'. It was good to see him rewarded for his hard work towards the club.

The Agm lasted an hour and was followed by a quiz organised by Chairman Nigel Dipple. 

It it fantastic news that we can announce three new committee members have been appointed.

Graham Winter, Adrian Macleod and Malene Sogaard have joined the committee and will be welcomed happily on board.

With the lack of the Carriage Driving Fair this year the committee and club are going to focus very strongly on providing more events for its members, and building on introducing more people to the sport. The new larger committee will help build and strengthen the club for the future. 
 
Dates for Brockham events for 2015 are as follows with finalised details and schedules to follow in due course.

27th February - Casi's Farm Evening
6th April - Easter Egg Drive
19th April - Training Day
14th June - One day event/Training Day
25th/26th July - Goodwood
29th/30th August - training day and Competition 

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