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The British Driving Society
East & West Sussex


December 2021

You may not be aware that being a BDS member means that you can gain awards just for coming on our drives or as part of your normal exercise regime.

You can collect Rally Miles, each time you drive in a BDS drive organised by any area. All these miles go towards rosettes and a medal at the end. It costs nothing to enter. Just get your Rally Miles card signed by the AC or AAC in attendance. We can provide cards if you are not able to print out from the main BDS website.

If your horse is 16 years or older then you can qualify for the Merioneth Moeson Veteran Award. Your horse only has to take part in just six driving events from 1st January to 20th September. Again the events can be organised by any BDS area. You just need the form and get it signed by the AC or AAC in attendance to prove that your horse took part.

There is also the Drive for you in 22. This is run by the BDS and is free to enter. You need to email to register for this event and include your address and BDS membership number. You will receive a logging sheet to record your miles on. the challenge is to cover 100, 200 or 300+ miles driven from your home, yard or organised drives. So you will gain miles just by driving your horse. Bronze, Silver or Gold rosettes will be given for the miles covered. And there is an award for the most miles covered. All taking part will be entered into a prize draw as well. The challenge starts on 1st March and runs to 31st October.

Also Sussex Area is pleased to announce that they will be be running their Most Supportive Member of Sussex Events award again after a two year Covid break. Participants have to be a BDS member and you receive one point for each event that you attend either as a Whip, Groom or Helper. Points are counted up and rosettes are given for 1st, 2nd and 3rd places. Duplicate rosettes are awarded if there are any members who tie. This only applies to Sussex run BDS events but you do not have to be a Sussex BDS member - ANY BDS MEMBER will qualify. Again there is no cost for this. You can see how you are progressing as the attendances are put on our area website.

So just by attending a drive you immediately qualify for three or four free to enter competitions.


August 2021

The ground at Poundfield Farm is not too wet for unboxing on, so the drive on the 15th August will be held at Poundfield Farm.

The Firle Park drive has had to be moved from 12th September to 19th September as there is a classic car event taking place on 12th on one of the roads that we needed to cross and it would be a serious safety hazard to say the least.

The drive at Havenswold originally planned for 19th September will be rescheduled in due course.


June 2021

The BDS Council have announced the joining together of East and West Sussex into a new area: Sussex.

This is a marvellous opportunity to harness the strengths of both areas and to reach carriage driving to a wider audience.

Please bear with the management team while they restructure and further announcements will follow in due course.


May 2021

We have had some changes to our schedule this year.  Please make a note of the following:

27th June - Drive and TREC event has had to be moved to another venue and the following week but we will be holding a drive from Poundfield Farm, Poundfield Road, Hailsham, BN27 3TH instead

4th July - Drive and TREC event will now be held on this date from High View, Framfield TN22 5PX

25th July - Venue change.  Now we are having a drive from Little Downash Farm, Little Downash, Hailsham, BN27 2RN

15th August - The area show was going to be held on Saturday 14th August but as it was cancelled with have organised a drive on the Sunday, 15th August from Poundfield Farm, Poundfield Road, Hailsham, BN27 3TH

31st October - Drive at Rushlake Green is now confirmed.

Please check our Events page for more details.


April 2021

We are sorry to announce that we will not be running our area show again this year.  We had scheduled to hold a show on 14th August but as it is uncertain whether we will be back in lockdown or not and because there is so much work involved in setting up a show, we have decided not to organise on this year.  We hope to be able to run a show in 2022.


January 2021

The committee has found it difficult to meet to discuss the calendar of events for this year but after many emails between ourselves we have managed to put together a schedule for this year.

As we are going to be in lockdown into February we decided to not hold any events until April.  We start this year with a Bluebell drive all through the woodlands which we can access from Havenswold.

We have managed to hold most of our usual drives again this year.  We have a new venue in Dern Lane which will enable us to drive around Waldron.  A drive which we used to do when we parked up in East Hoathly.

Helen Bridges has very kindly offered to hold a show from Stuckles Farm, Chiddingly in August.  We are very grateful to her for the use of this venue as it has proved extremely popular in previous years with members and is a lovely flat surface for driving on when putting our ponies through their showing paces.  The day will be divided into two sections:  Serious showing; Fun events.

We are also planning on holding a Trec event from Fletching.  This is going to be combined with a drive so members can choose to do either or both events on the day.  The entrance to the woodland is going to be cut back to make the access easier.


December 2020

What a year this has been!  Still we have managed to hold several events which we hope you have enjoyed.

Next year is still going to be impacted by Covid, certainly the earlier part of the year.  We are planning to hold all our usual events and will adhere to our Covid rules as this year.  So we hope to see you in the coming months.

We are sorry that Louise Woodward has stepped down from the post of AAC which she has held for many years but we welcome Christine Buckland to the new role and wish her every success in her endeavours.


June 2020

Corona Virus update


With the easing of the lock down restrictions and the summer weather we feel that we can organise drives in safety for all concerned provided the following rules are adhered to:


1. Social distancing will be practiced at all times.


2. There will be no toilet facilities available to use as this would require cleaning after each person.


3. There will be no refreshments offered.  If you want food and drink you will need to bring your own.


4. Gate to field will be manned by one person throughout the duration of the event.  So when you arrive only the designated person will be responsible for opening the gate and when you go for your drive that designated person will let you out and consequently when you return that person will be there to let you back into the field and again when you leave that person will be there to let you depart.  The designated person will wear gloves throughout and will not touch anything else.  They may also be required to wear a face mask.


5. You can only drive with someone who is from your household or as part of a  support bubble that is linked to your household as this will mean that the 2 metre rule does not have to be followed in this context.

6. You cannot attend if you have any Covid symptoms.


In view of the fact that many members may not be able to attend our events this year, we feel that it is only fair to cancel the Most Supportive Member of East Sussex events award this year.  So no points will be given for attending our events.


We are also cancelling our area show which was to be held in August and we are cancelling the Trec event on 5th July but replacing this with a drive or treasure hunt from Fletching instead.  So it is the same date, same venue, same time just a different event, i.e. a drive instead of a Trec.


Keep safe and well.


February 2020

Our area meeting was held in February.  If you have not received the Minutes and would like a copy, 

please contact Pearl Hudson on 01323 509986 or email her on,


We are running "The Most Supportive Member of East Sussex Events" again this year.  All BDS 

members qualify for this award not just East Sussex members.  But it does only relate to East Sussex 

BDS events.  It costs nothing to enter.  You just have to attend one of our events as either a whip,

groom or helper to receive 1 point.  At the end of the year those with the highest number of events 

attended receive a rosette.  Duplicate rosettes are given where there are ties.


This year we have chosen three events to receive a bonus point each.  The events which qualify are 

shown on our Events page of this website.  For these events you will receive 2 points instead of 1 point.


We are also pleased to announce that Gina Jeffery has volunteered to take on the role of AAC.  Gina is 

stalwart of East Sussex BDS and has many years of driving.  She also shows regularly too with her 

absolutely divine Friesian, Beau.  Welcome on board the management team Gina.


Some of our members wanted an attelage and some suggested that a Trec at Firle Park would be 

lovely to do.  We have been fortunate in being allowed to put on a driving display on Saturday, 9th May

at Firle Country Show and so we have decided to take elements from attelage and Trec and put on a 

Fun event.  Again take a look at our Events page to see more details.


In the new spirit of the BDS in supporting and improving the life of harness horses we have decided to

hold a Charity drive in aid of American Fondo(UK) which provide veterinary and farrier care to the

working horses, mules and donkeys in Morocco.  We have chosen our Summer Solstice Evening 

drive to be designated as this event.  Again please see our Events page for more details.


We welcome you to any of our events and look forward to seeing you and your horses/ponies this year.


December 2019

Helen Bridges has decided to step down from the role of AAC from the New Year and so we are 

looking for more volunteers.  If anyone is interested please contact Sue Page.


May 2019

The British Driving Society office has moved
TELEPHONE 01284-630591

April 2018

The weather has really played havoc with our schedule of events this year with some events having to be cancelled and others being pushed back to later in the year.  We have been trying to keep you all informed of the changes as soon as they happen.

Some good news!  Inharness magazine is offering an award for all carriage drivers.  See details below.

Drive 500 Miles with Inharness Magazine.

Get involved with the latest challenge from Inharness Magazine. Launching now, our exciting new campaign encourages drivers and back-steppers to go the extra mile and enjoy the countryside with their horse or pony team. Set your sights on getting out and driving 500 miles with us this year.

It doesn’t matter who you are or where you are from as long as you have access to a carriage we encourage you to undertake the Drive 500 pledge with us this year. Whatever your ambition and driving level, if you love to drive and spending quality time with your horse then this is the perfect challenge for you.

It costs just £10 and you have no time limit to complete the challenge once you have signed up. Whether your drive 5 miles a week or further, there is no time limit to complete Drive 500, it is a personal goal.


We will be with you all the way, from the start we will support you with a record card and tips for getting out and starting your goal, each sign up will also receive two branded hi-viz waistcoats to ensure you are safe and seen when out and about. There will be a monthly e-newsletter exclusively for Drive 500 members which will have advice from our experts as well as Drive 500 special information from our sponsors and ideas, tips and tools to keep your wheels rolling. Drive 500 members will also feature in Inharness magazine where we look forward to reporting on your progress and finding out how you are getting on.

Your record card will help you keep on track, we recommend downloading a free mileage tracking app on your phone to make sure you can record your miles. On completion you will receive a certificate and (rosette) and the self-pride that you have taken part in a fun and friendly challenge with people across the country!


Inharness Drive 500 is kindly supported by Zilco, Bennington Carriages and Baileys.

What are you waiting for? Sign up to the Drive 500 challenge today, visit

You may be aware that the Data Protection Policy is being changed from 25th May to take into account GDPR.  The BDS has prepared its own policy in consultation with the information Commissioner's Office.  Details are on the main BDS website  Please take a look at this.  If you have any queries or issues with Data Protection, Safeguarding, Health & Safety, Equalities, Complaints, etc please contact the BDS Office where it will be passed to the appropriate person to deal with.


March 2018

For this year we have decided to replace the Achievement Award and offer two new awards instead.


Best member Award

A rosette will be presented to the East Sussex BDS member who, in the opinion of the East Sussex committee feel, has contributed the most to driving generally throughout the year.


East Sussex Most Supportive Member

Rosettes will be awarded to 3rd place for the East Sussex BDS member who has attended the most East Sussex BDS events.  One point will be awarded for each East Sussex event you attend in 2018.  To qualify you have to be an East Sussex Area BDS member and attendance will count for a whip, groom or helper.  Duplicate rosettes will be given for any members that tie.