10 maart 2014

British Carriagedriving officials joint training clinic

Sixty keen judges, technical delegates and course designers enjoyed a weekend of training in their specialist subjects from, respectively, Klaus Christ of Germany, Philip Bateman (UK) and Richard Nicoll (US).

After mostly classroom work on Saturday, Sunday saw the course designers lay out Richard’s cones for an imagined 95 competitors “starting with four-in-hands”. The TDs emerged and were asked to identify problems with the course – such as the start/finish being next to the entrance to the arena and one set of cones which would become impossible to drive when the zig-zag was shortened for the singles. The judges joined the group and the complex rules and new changes were discussed further, course measurements were compared and, unsurprisingly, the CDs’ distances proved to be closest to those actually driven.

Mark Broadbent drove his four-in-hand first, coming in clear the first time. His second round, to test the effect of the alternative cone, was enlivened by a leader going outside a cone on the far side of the arena, seen by only one judge standing there. This exemplified the need to have knowledgeable judges stationed around the course and ready to act quickly. Jock McFarlane, BC Chairman, drove a single horse round the course with panache. The weekend was voted “excellent”, with thanks also given to Andrew Counsell and Sydney Smith.
Drivers at WEG can look forward to a flowing driveable cones course without gimmicks, according to Richard Nicoll’s stated preferences.

Fiona Powell