The Earl of Onslow has been named as the new chairman of the British Horse Driving Trials Association (BHDTA).

A keen competitor and popular figure on the driving circuit, the seventh Earl of Onslow originally drove a pony tandem before progressing to his current four-in-hand palomino pony team. With his golden ponies and vibrant yellow and blue marathon colours, he is easy to recognise.

The Earl takes over from Tom Pettifer, who stood down at the society’s recent AGM. Describing those in the driving world as “many of the nicest people in the equestrian world”, he has no intention of interfering with the affairs of current organisers.

“If people can do a job well, I think they should be left to get on with it. I’ll be happy to take the art of delegation to sublime heights,” he told Horse & Hound.

However, he does have some interesting ideas to help drive the sport forward.

“I would, for example, like to see a driving trial run in parallel with a three-day event at the same venue.” he said. “The concentration of attention could only be good for the sport. It’s something I’d like to see happen within the next two years.”

As well as being a keen driving competitor, the Earl is active in politics, sitting in the House of Lords at Westminster, and is the only hereditary peer to have appeared as a panellist on the television show “Have I got News For You”.