NEWS > Driving
Posted by Equestrian Queensland on 05/03/2015.

Carriage Driving Come & Try Day - Strongfield Stud, Southbrook

Sunday 1 March 2015 saw Warwick & District Carriage Driving Club host their Come and Try Carriage Driving Day at Strongfield Stud Southbrook.  Recent media promotion in The Rural Weekly, local newspapers and Facebook encouraged people from far and wide to attend.  First to arrive on the day were two very keen people who had made a three hour trip from NSW.  Before long, there were 45 people on the grounds keen to be involved in and learn about the FEI sport of Carriage Driving.  Families came from Upper Brookfield, Beaudesert and Glenore Grove with other folk making the trip over from Kingaroy, Clifton, Pilton, Wellcamp and Hirstglen. Twenty three people signed up at a cost of $10 to enjoy the full day program which included riding on a carriage and then driving one for themselves.

The day was well structured and catered for people of all ages and experience, and covered all disciplines of carriage driving (dressage, cones and marathon). Sixteen club members were on the grounds assisting attendees, ensuring the day ran smoothly.  Even the parking attendants were busy!  The sea of maroon club shirts looked amazing. President, Kurt Dillmann, opened the day with an introductory welcome and run down of the program followed by an inspection and explanation of the twelve carriages on static display. The club PA system gave the talks a professional edge and certainly assisted the large group of attendees enjoy the information on offer.  Club member Tor Van den Berge assisted Kurt in the demonstration on how to harness a horse. Attendees then broke into groups lead by club members and harnessed up horses and experienced ‘the back step’ as a groom. Two 100m x 40m dressage arenas, a small cones course and a gated MO were available for members to demonstrate to their passengers some of the facets of competition carriage driving.
Over lunch there were further talks and a demonstration on rein handling and the driving aids.

After lunch, horses and ponies were made available for attendees to experience carriage driving from the box seat. They were able to try equines ranging from 10hh to 16hh, either in a closed yard or outside in a larger area depending on their confidence levels and experience with horses.

As well as the 23 one day memberships, by the end of the day six people had paid the $50 to join the club eager to be a part of the Equestrian Queensland 2014 Club of the Year and the competitive carriage driving scene this year.  What a great start to the new year with thirteen new members on the books now since January!

The weather was warm but it didn’t detract from the levels of enthusiasm of attendees or club members. The feedback received from people who came along was very positive and congratulatory. After such success plans are now underway for a carriage driving display  mid-year to again showcase this wonderful sport and continue the promotion of the FEI sport of Driving in Queensland.

Sincere thanks are extended to all Warwick Club members who assisted on the day and made the experience a huge success for all concerned.  Special thanks must be extended to Driving Queensland (Equestrian QLD) for providing Warwick Club with funding support to promote this club initiative.

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