Twelve-year-old Ruby Gray headed a strong class at the British Young Drivers’ Championships (BYD), hosted by Midlands Carriagedriving, which took place at Onley Grounds in Warwickshire on 30 and 31 July. She was the only competitor to achieve a double clear in the full cones course, not only in the BYD Championships but also the simultaneously held Regional and Club events.
Lying second after dressage in the 10-14 Years Class, Ruby overtook leader Phoebe Matthews – who’s 14th birthday was on the Saturday – after the cones then stormed round the six obstacles to win the final phase and the Championship. Phoebe hung on to second place less than seven penalties in arrears with Sophie Hunt and Lily French, both just 10 years old, finishing third and fourth respectively. Eleven-year-old Molly Turner was fifth and Keira Chivers (12) paid the price of two dressage course errors to finish sixth.
A special Short Format class was held for 8-14-Year-Olds incorporating a 10-cone course and the first two obstacles driven twice. This was won by nine-year-old Isla Cooper who finished ahead of Henry Hyde Chambers. Henry, also nine, achieved a double clear in the shortened cones to close the gap on Isla but her little palomino pony showed a clean pair of heels in the obstacles. Third was Rudi Krikorian.
In the 15-18 Years Class Amy Matthews went one better than older sister Phoebe after leading throughout to take the crown with Maisie McCarthy in second. Sadly, Flo Goodbrand Lloyd missed a compulsory flag out on the marathon course which put her out of contention.
Both the 15-25 Years and 19-25 Years Classes had just two taking part, but the competition was no less fierce. Sophia Routledge headed all three phases ahead of Emily Healy in the former while Megan Wheeldon did likewise to finish first with Amelia Waddicor second in the latter.
All those taking part, including coaches, family, friends and other supporters are to be congratulated on a strong turnout but it was the ponies who stole the show with their kindness and willingness to do their best for their young drivers.
The next events being held by Midlands Carriagedriving are the final Poplar Farm ODE on 21 August and, to round off the season, Oasby 2DE on 10 & 11 September. Details can be found on the MC website: https://midlandscarriagedriving.co.uk
Sophia Routledge - Credit Kingswood Associates
Ruby Gray - Credit Kingswood Associates
Isla Cooper - Credit Kingswood Associates
Amy Matthews - Kingswood Associates