Four-in-hand driving legend George Bowman is to become the first life vice president of the British Horse Driving Trials Association’s (BHDTA) when he retires from the association’s council next month.

A founder member of the horse driving trials governing body, George, 69, has been one of the sports most influential figures during the past three decades, including a committee member for 24 years and the association’s vice chairman since 1997.

An active member of the BHTDA rules committee, alongside the Duke of Edinburgh, George Bowman has been instrumental in directing the development of this increasingly popular sport.

George remains a highly successful competitor who has represented Britain at every World Championships since 1972 and has been national champion 19 times.

“Although George is stepping down from his role as vice chairman, he will continue to be heavily involved with the sport and has a new team of horses for this season,” explains BHDTA executive officer, Amanda Hill.

“The decision to make him our life vice president is in recognition of his outstanding service to the sport during recent years.”

George will take up his position as life vice president at the association’s AGM on 1 May.