A proposed £28,000 increase in the cost of liability insurance for the British Horse Driving Trials Association (BHDTA), with the extra costs being passed on to clubs and individual members in the form of higher fees, was among the subjects discussed at the association’s annual conference and dinner dance.

The international meeting for drivers who competed at international events last season involved a full and frank discussion on the importance of British drivers travelling abroad to take part in international events as a way of helping to raise standards and push levels of improvement at home.

BHDTA chairman Tom Pettifer invited delegates to discuss issues including the introduction of a new computer scoring system, similar to that used at this year’s World Pony Driving Championships, and the reduction of cones penalties from five to three per knockdown — due to be introduced by the FEI in 2005.

Annual awards

The annual BHDTA chairman’s award went to Yvonne Johnston for her efforts in raising many thousands of pounds to fund British teams travelling to World Championships.

The stewards’ award went to Jim Ainsworth for his work at many national events, while another long-serving steward, Don Wood, was made an honorary life member of the BHDTA.

A special award for more than 20 years’ service as scorers went to Sally North and Pat Cowdery to mark their retirement. Claire Laughton won the young driver award.

The Fenix Carriages Points League titles were taken by:

  • Sue Denney (open single pony)
  • Di Hayes (open single horse)
  • Ursula Hirschberg (pony pairs)
  • Wilf Bowman Ripley (horse pairs)
  • Alan Clarke (pony tandems)
  • Fred Pendlebury (horse tandems)
  • Beverley Mellstrom (pony teams)
  • Dick Lane (horse teams)

The BEIB novice points league titles went to by Sara Simmons (novice single pony) and Anna Lord (novice single horse).