Posted on Friday, October 25, 2013 by Heather Dodd
Now in its second year, the Midlands Driving Trials Group’s (MDTG) event on 15th and 16th June at Onley Grounds Equestrian Centre in Warwickshire is proving a real hit as a social occasion as well as providing hot competition. Organisers Bob and Ruth Auton worked their proverbial socks off to make sure sponsors of the six obstacles were kept happy, generated armfuls of prizes for competitors and put on an excellent event.
The ‘get together’ meal created by Onley’s own catering staff took place in the elevated restaurant and culminated in a raucous attempt to sing Happy Birthday to pre-novice entrant Josh Asher and Mike Fallowell’s hilarious auction of cheese, pork pies and biscuits which helped raise funds for the club.
On the competition side, the club welcomed a number of young drivers and put on a para-class, won by Mick Ward as a prelude to his success at Sandringham two weeks later. In the Pre-Novices, Emily Viller took the honours with a good dressage and fast marathon; Cerys Gilbert was second and Rhea Auton, who had led the first phase, was third.
Megan Wheeldon found Novice class winner Nicola Fallaize too strong in the dressage although a double clear in cones and a fast marathon pulled her into second. Seren Flannery, who is mentored by Angela Flanagan, took the Intermediate class ahead of the more experienced Diana Irwin. The largest class, Open Single, saw Robert Buck entered three times but all HC so the honours went to Tracey Fletcher followed by Sue Mart with her young pony and Lisa Banks respectively.
There were only two completions in the combined pairs, with Angela finishing ahead of David Wheeldon. In the Tandems and Teams Michael Hodgson and Julie Wedgebury were neck and neck, an uncharacteristic two cones down costing Julie the class.
Entries in Sunday’s ODE were sufficient to split them between novice and more experienced drivers, with Sarah Giddings winning the former and Pam Brown the latter.
Onley’s owners, the Baker family, have fully embraced driving trials since its initial appearance last year and plan to build permanent obstacles to MDTG’s specification. Along with increased and improved facilities at the venue already being constructed, the future is looking very bright for this particular event.
Images by kind permission of Bernard Mills
Full details of competitions, schedules and entry forms are on www.mdtg.co.uk or call 01630 661314.