On the 8th of April 2018 Hartland carriages kicked off their season by hosting the Annual Knepp Castle Charity Carriage Drive on the Knepp Castle Estate and around the local area raising money for St Catherines Hospice. This event has always been popular and despite the weather we had the largest turnout for this event so far, with 15 carriages (7 of which were teams) taking to the roads around Shipley, Dragons Green and Dialpost.
This particular drive was also an official meet for The World Coaching Club and two of the members were able to take part. The WCC is USA based with only a few members in the UK. Dani van der Wiel made the long journey from Belgium to join Joanne Hartland as the two representatives.
Participants were as follows:
Joanne Hartland – Friesian team with a Selby brake –owned and used originally by George Mossman
Alan Coe – mixed team to a black and cream body brake
Ben Turner – team of cobs to a road coach
David Turner – team of Shires to a basket wagonette
Henk and Dani van der Wiel – Andalusian team to a sporting brake
Roger Derryman – gelderlander team to a roof seat brake
Jack Harris – Hackney pony team to a Mills pony park drag
Michael Hartland – Friesian pair to a varnished wagonette
Nigel Boardman – Friesian pair to a red and black roof seat brake
Bob Alexander – Gelderlander pair to a brake
Stan Scudamore – Gelderlander pair to a brake
Michael & Courtney Howell – tandem with a smart leader wearing a saddle
James Howell – hackney
Helen Annema – Friesian
James Hyatt – coloured cob stallion to a varnished carriage
Our drive began at about 11.30am, when everybody put to and made their way through the Knepp Castle Wildlands deer park up to the Lovely gothic Knepp Castle, where we all enjoyed a quick drink on the turning circle. It was lovely to see so many of our driving friends amongst the passengers and a large amount of spectators who braved the weather to come and see us going through the deer park. After initially meeting outside the castle we all set off on the 13 mile route through Dragons Green, Shipley and Dialpost with a conveniently place stop at the local pub in each of the areas. Luckily by the time our first pub stop arrived the rain stopped and we were able to get a few rays of sun whilst enjoying a refreshment, the weather held off for the remainder of the drive, allowing us to truly enjoy the quiet roads and stunning West Sussex country side in spring whilst raising money for a worthy cause along the way. We managed to raise over £800 for St Catherines Hospice through the generosity of all those who took part and the general public at each of the pub stops. So despite the damp it was a happy lively day and everyone was in good humour throughout.
Photos from the event can be viewed and purchased from Paul Orchard Photography.