Kipling News


Morning Competition at Chalvington.        30th June 2022.

After some overnight rain it turned into a lovely warm morning, and Val thought it a perfect day to run a little cones competition for our amazing members from Baronsmede. Our AB Whips for the day were Val & Fiona, and the ponies were the lovely Prince & Moccasin.

The rules were simple, with members subdivided into 3 Classes depending on their experience, etc., with rosettes and applause for the results. Twice around the snaking course of cones, not knocking any balls down, and taking care to provide balanced timing for each run.

After much laughter the results were as follows:

Class 1  –  1st: Amanda    2nd: Zoe    3rd: Gary    4th: Ella.

Class 2 – 1st: Amelia    2nd: Susie    3rd: Timmy C    4th: Noah    5th Graeme.

Class 3 – 1st: Timmy B     2nd: Ashley     3rd: Alex     4th: Nicola.


Winkle Jubilee Fun with Herons Ghyll.   9th June 2022.                    

We were delighted to be invited to the ‘Winkle Jubilee Fun Event organised by our good friends at Herons Ghyll. After the recent awful weather we were lucky that the weather was warm, the sun shone, and the lightest breeze kept us all cool.

Everyone had a great day, where all the drivers navigated the obstacle course with great skill dressed in Red, White & Blue colours and wearing crowns in honour of our Queen in her 70th Jubilee Year.  In addition to our individual picnics, our hosts generously passed out cakes, biscuits, and tea & coffee.

Rosettes were handed out, and our hosts proposed a toast and three cheers to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Our chairman responded with three cheers for Herons Ghyll. The raffle was called with an amazing bumper bundle of prizes, and much talking and laughter took place.

All too soon, the day came to an end, and after a wonderful time we slowly made our way home very happy. Thank you for all your hard work, Herons Ghyll RDA !!!

(Please see our “Kipling Gallery” page for photos of the great day with Herons Ghyll.)


Kipling County AGM.                                   28th March 2022.

After two long years it’s the start of another year’s Kipling County Carriage Driving, and we’d love everyone to join us, discuss all our hopes and concerns for the future, formalise our committee, understand our accounts, and most important of all, have a natter with friends.

Our AGM will be held at 10.o0am on Monday 28th March 2022, at The Lucas Memorial Hall, The Street, Waldron, Heathfield, TN21 0RB. (It is one

SatNav Co-Ords: 50.95371, 0.20174

Please note that covid infections are on the rise again, and our committee feel it a wise precaution to continue to look after one another by wearing face coverings throughout the AGM, sit with social distancing in mind, and leave the hall windows and doors open.

Please find below the minutes of our last Kipling AGM held on 15th November 2021, in a PDF format that anyone can read or print :-

Kipling AGM Minutes 15_11_2021

This date aligns us with all the previous Spring Meetings, and is a great reminder of the start of our driving New Year.


Happy New Year.                                   January 2022.

May we wish everyone at Kipling a very Happy New Year throughout 2022.

We held a superb Christmas Lunch at the Yew Tree Inn, and can be proud of each and every one of us, for making certain that we all remained healthy.  Thank you all!

The days are lengthening, daffodil bulbs are starting to push their way through the soil into the sunlight, and our committee is already initiating and discussing what our members might like in this coming year.  It’s not too long before another year’s Carriage Driving at Chalvington!


Merry Christmas.                          24th December 2021.


Christmas Lunch Photos. 

To see the Christmas Lunch photos, please either click the link below or visit  our ‘Gallery’ page:


Christmas Lunch Update.            9th December 2021.

(1) As a bit of fun, our committee is holding a competition for the “Best Christmas Jumper” and the lucky winner will receive an RDA rosette.

(2) In addition to Kipling County’s usual ‘Track & Trace’ system our committee is asking politely for everyone to help protect each other from the possibility of covid infection at our Christmas Lunch on 9th December. It is felt sensible for all attendees to complete their own “Lateral Flow Test” before attending, in exactly the same way that other responsible organisations do.

We recognise that some members may not be able to be tested, and therefore we will not be asking for proof of that negative test. 

We can confirm that Baronsmede test themselves regularly, and will continue to do so in advance of our lunch.  They ask as a matter of courtesy that if anyone displays symptoms, or tests positive, then they should not attend please.

We are fortunate in that we have the Yew Tree Inn conservatory exclusively to ourselves.

(Test kits are easily available free of charge, either through NHS online, or by dialling 119.)


Christmas Lunch.                                   9th December 2021.

Our Christmas Lunch is now booked for Thursday 9th December, and the explanatory notes below are courtesy of Jo, our Secretary.

Venue:  Yew Tree Inn, Chalvington Road, Chalvington, BN27 3TB

Time: 12.00 noon for 12.30pm

Menu & Payment Options:

If you would like to attend please bring either the full payment for your choice of meal, or a £10 deposit, in a sealed envelope with your name and menu choice written on it to our AGM on 15th November 2021. Cheques should be made payable to Kipling County Carriage Driving Group. If you are unable to attend the AGM, then please send your payment and choice of menu to Alison Reilly, Longshaw Farm, Dean Lane, Waldron, East Sussex, TN21 0PN as soon as possible. If you pay a deposit, full payment is required by 1st December 2021 as we need to confirm numbers and menu choice 1 week before the meal.

At the Christmas lunch we will be raffling a Christmas Hamper. Any donations for the hamper will be greatly appreciated. Please bring them along to the AGM. eg- mince pies, crackers (edible and pulling), small bottle of wine, Xmas pud, shortbread, chocolates, selection box, or anything else Christmassy! 

Any queries regarding the above please contact our Christmas organiser, Alison Reilly, telephone 01435 813429/ 07740 512760. Email

(Please note that Alison’s email address is spelt with a double letter ‘L’.)


Annual General Meeting.                      15th November 2021.

Our AGM was held at 10.30am on Monday 15th November 2019, at The Lucas Memorial Hall, The Street, Waldron, Heathfield, TN21 0RB, and it was a full house of socially distanced members who sat down.

We were honoured by the attendance of our President, Jan McSweeney, who made a short address about the origins of Kipling, its past successes, and how delighted she was to see it continuing to grow so successfully today. Jeni, our chairman, talked about the last two years during the pandemic and described her vision for our group’s future. Val told us of her memories of past ponies, her many years in RDA, and her recent award from Princess Anne the Princess Royal. Hanka, our amazing secretary for so many years, was presented with a gift on her recent retirement, and received a huge round of applause.

Josie Cyster thanked the group on behalf of everyone for continuing to support and help the driving aspirations of all of our members, and also received a round of applause. Well said Josie!

The actual meeting consisted of all the usual items, such as past minutes, treasurer’s report, election of officers, and there was much good natured discussion on all sorts of topics.

We were all reminded that should you purchase item though Amazon, then please consider using SmileAmazon, where the items are identical to Amazon, but that Kipling County benefits from a donation from Amazon, and at no cost to any of us.

We enjoyed tea, coffee, biscuits, and also some mince pies.  After the official meeting old and new friends stayed on to chat.

John forgot his camera, and is grateful to Jo for the photo below, albeit after most people had left to return home. John says he is sorry and that it won’t happen again….until the next time.


URGENT UPDATE.                      26th October 2021.

Our committee regrets that this coming Thursday 28th October 2021 will be Kipling County’s last driving day for this year. This means that regretfully, our Monday Group have already held their last driving day for 2021.  The reason is that the relentless rain is steadily water logging our lovely field, making it too difficult for our vehicles to park.

Our Landlord has kindly agreed that everyone attending on Thursday 28th October should park on his hard standing at Mount Pleasant Farm, and there will be a parking attendant to direct vehicles. The only exception will be for Baronsmede disability vehicles who will ferry their members down the road to our field, and return to park at the same hardstanding. We also hope to have another car to ferry those that cannot walk, but please remember your face masks to protect the driver.

Postcode for Mount Pleasant Farm – BN27 3SY

SatNav Co-ordinates for Mount Pleasant Farm =   50.87199, 0.17824


Advance Notice – Thursday Members.    Thur 21st Oct 2021

We are very sorry, but we are unable to hold driving on Thursday 21st October (for this one day only).  The reason is that in order to look after our ponies health we have a longstanding vet’s appointment that must not be broken.

This does not affect any other day’s driving which will go ahead as normal.


Monday Members are Driving Again!!!             18th Oct 2021

Today it was the turn of our Monday members to be back driving again. We were so lucky with the weather as it was dry all morning whilst we were out in the field and rained afterwards when we were all safely back home again.  It was especially nice to see two new members who drove with us for the very first time, and a guest who was seeing whether driving is for him.


‘Newby’ Tracey drives for her 1st time with Jo.    Jay drives Alison, others in background.


We’re Driving Again!!!                                       14th Oct 2021

The sun shone, it was warm, it was dry with a light breeze, and following approval from our RDA Governing Body our amazing Thursday members are back driving and having fun again. Face coverings were worn when on carriages, and also when unrelated members were closer than 2 metres. We sanitised carriages at the start & finish of the session, carriages and harnesses between change of drivers, and followed the guidance regarding weight loadings.

Everyone from Baronsmede drove, and here’s a few photos to remind us of the day:


Ashley takes Val for a drive.                           Baronsmede’s Sine ensures all is fine with Tim.


Susie takes Sheila for a drive.                             Ella is away first and takes Debbie for a drive.


Stop Press – Driving Restart Approved.      11th Oct 2021

Our committee has this evening just been granted permission to restart carriage driving by our RDA Governing Body.  We are indebted to those members at Head Office who worked behind the scenes, provided support and advice, and helped Kipling County correctly complete ‘The Road to Restart’ in an appropriately thorough manner.

We must thank our Chair, Jeni Longley, for leading our committee forward in a way that was professionally correct, and also remember how hard Val Eyres worked to make it happen.

Please remember, that we must continue to protect each other by respecting the new signs, wear face coverings when we sit on carriages or are close to each other, and regularly sanitise when members transfer.  Our committee has provided plenty of sanitising liquid in all the correct places, and has free face coverings should anyone forget theirs.

Let’s get driving again!!!


Two Open Days.                       30th Sept 2021 & 4th October.

Recently, our carriages and hoist were stripped, serviced, and tested to ensure they were in first class condition after their two years of enforced inactivity due to the pandemic.

On 30th September we held our first Thursday members and volunteers ‘Open Day’ on the road to restarting carriage driving again, and whilst we are not yet approved too drive, members were allowed to meet under social distancing rules. Our new signage was tested for correctness, and our outfits and harnesses were sanitised throughout the morning to conform with RDA Guidelines. It was lovely to see everyone happily joining in with their ongoing training and paperwork after being apart for such a long time.

Ponies and carriages were ‘put to’ in order to ensure that the harnesses still fitted and that our various outfits remained correct. The weather was reasonable given the time of year, everyone enjoyed their first day back at Chalvington.


   Some of our Baronsmede Thursday Group, delighted to be back. (Photos courtesy of Jo.)

On 4th October we held our first Monday members and volunteers ‘Open Day’ and it was wonderful to see people starting to return to this group again after two long years. We continued the paperwork, ongoing training, and sanitising for carriages and harnesses. The outstanding outfits were tested to ensure they remained correct, and our weight loading charts were updated. It was lovely to meet two prospective new members who are both keen to drive as soon as we are permitted.

                Who are these Committee Members hidden behind face coverings?

     Some are testing out in the field, others check harnesses, whilst others simply relax.


Road to Restart.                       30th Sept 2021 & 4th October.

We are delighted to tell the group that we have RDA Governing Body Sign Off to hold two ‘Open Days’ that correspond to the previous two driving days. The first is on Thursday 30th September @ 10.30am, and the second is on Monday 4th October @ 10.30am. Members are welcome to join us on either (or both days) regardless of which day they previously chose. Although they are not true driving days, our ponies and carriages will be present in order to complete legal technicalities around weights and other things.

Even better, the RDA Governing Body have approved the use of our large kitchen area for indoor seating on condition the doors and ventilation windows are left open for good air circulation. Please  continue to remember the social distancing advice of “Hands, Face, Space” to keep us all safe. We are also permitted to provide hot drinks, but please bring your own picnic (including your own cutlery and napkins). Our committee have already installed pedal operated bins for rubbish, and have also installed sanitising liquid in the kitchen and toilet.

Both days will be treated as ‘Get Togethers’ and be managed slightly differently under the latest Covid rules. There will be a little Covid training for Helpers & Coaches (AB Whips) and some necessary paperwork that will help enable Kipling County to get back to full driving. There will be Covid signage regarding parking areas (for Helpers, Disabled @ Horse Boxes), social distancing, hand washing & sanitisation notices, and a few buildings will be out of bounds. Please respect each other and follow  these new signs aimed at keeping us all safe.

When we start driving proper, all carriages, tack, and equipment will be fully sanitised at the start & finish of each session, and as necessary between each driver.

We hope you are as excited as the committee , and we are indebted to our RDA Governing Body who have done so much to guide us on ‘The Road to Restart’.


Passing of Alan.                                                 23rd July 2021.

Some time ago it was decided that it was right to provide Alan with a well deserved retirement following all his years of success with Kipling County.

Two of our members took it upon themselves to provide him with all the comforts he deserved, love, kindness, board & lodging, treats, warm clothing, and all the medical care he occasionally needed. He couldn’t have been better looked after in his twilight years.

Towards the end he became ever more poorly, and we are sad to say, that he finally passed away, very peacefully, aged 26. We owe a warm debt of gratitude to the kindness of those two very special ladies and their care of him.

Jay drives Alan, sat beside Alison, at The Oaks Driving Club Show on 12th August 2018.


SmileAmazon & Kipling County.                   3rd April 2021.

Peter, our Treasurer, has created a great FREE way of increasing charitable donations to Kipling County Carriage Driving Group. It is owned by ‘Amazon‘ is called ‘SmileAmazon‘ and uses the same products, same prices and same service as Amazon. ‘Smileamazon’ has already donated over £7,450,000 to UK charities.

It won’t cost any of us a penny when using ‘SmileAmazon’ for internet shopping, and they will donate 0.5% of all eligible purchases to Kipling County Carriage Driving Group. We have created a new heading on this website called SmileAmazon that contains the details below.

I’m already an Amazon customer & want to shop with AmazonSmile?

Please click  and then click the yellow box entitled  Get started.  Enter your usual Amazon username/password and follow the very short instructions. On your first visit you will be prompted to select a charity to receive donations from eligible purchases before you begin shopping. Please select “Kipling County Carriage Driving Group Rda.”  Amazon will remember your choice, and every eligible purchase you make through AmazonSmile will result in a donation. Simply carry on browsing and shopping as normal.

For subsequent visits, please select and choose ‘Already an AmazonSmile customer?’ by clicking  Sign in and entering your usual Amazon user name and password. Simply carry on browsing and shopping as before.

Please remember to always start at for Amazon to donate 0.5% of the price of your eligible AmazonSmile purchases, at no cost to you. (AmazonSmile may occasionally contact you about donation amounts disbursed to your chosen charity or about the programme.) There is an option to change your selected charity should you ever change your mind.

To ensure you are at the right address, this is a screen shot of the correct opening page:


Happy New Year.                                      18th January 2021.

A very Happy New Year to everyone at Kipling County Carriage Driving. Please continue to follow the guidelines and do our level best to ‘Stay Home, Protect the NHS, and Save Lives’. Should any of us be offered a vaccine in line with the agreed JCVI rules, please take it.

It has been a long time since we last had fun at Chalvington, but at last, thanks to the miracle of science, we can see end end to this  virus.

Our website will be updated for 2021, when our Committee feels it is the right thing to do.

PS: STOP PRESS: Val has a new mobile number. It is 07485-201223.


Merry Christmas.                                      23rd December 2020.

Our Committee wishes all of our Kipling County members, our AB Whips and our volunteers a very healthy and Happy Christmas. We look forward to seeing everyone back at Chalvington, doing what we do best, just as soon as it is safe to do so.

Our RDA South East Region Team has sent a card to everyone, and it’s attached below:



Pavilion Treated with Preservative.              8th August 2020.

Our Committee decided that it was time to add some preservative to better protect our lovely new pavilion, and nominated two male volunteers for the task. The two men drove to Chalvington in their own cars to maintain ‘Social Distancing’ rules and after a few trips it was done.

The more proactive of the two men brought his drill and made a more secure and safer route for the gas bottle cable, so that’s another little job completed. Thank you Peter!

Hanka & Val visited on the last day to ensure the men were not slacking, and to add some additional constructive criticism, which they did.

All we want is for this Pandemic to go away, so that our fantastic members can get back to doing what they love best, Carriage Driving with Kipling County!


Message from Buckingham Palace.                 4th June 2020.

Our Secretary has just received the following message from Princess Anne, the Princess Royal sent to all RDA Groups.

Her Royal Highness writes to thank everyone involved in RDA, particularly in Volunteers Week, and at times like this.  Please click the image below below to read her letter:-


Coronavirus Pandemic.                              17th March 2020.

We will all have seen or heard our our Government’s guidelines on how to protect the health of our nation from this brand new disease, last outlined on 16th March 2020, and supported by the Chief Medical Officer for England & Chief Scientific Advisor.

Our committee cares deeply about Kipling County Carriage Driving Group, its members, its whips and our fantastic volunteers. We have spent much time on the groups behalf, trying to confirm “The Right Thing to Do” for us all.

This morning, we came to the conclusion that it is right to temporarily cease driving and defer our AGM until later in the year when it is safe to do so.

With the good health of everyone in mind, we regret that our AGM is now cancelled, and that all driving meetings are postponed until our Government feels it safe to resume normal activities again.

Please take hand washing really seriously, continue to follow our Government’s latest advice, and we look forward to seeing everyone as soon as possible again. 

UPDATE: Midday 17th March 2002. RDA UK have confirmed that they assume most, if not all RDA Group activity will have to cease. It’s reassuring to know that our Committee has taken the right decision.


Para Driving World Championships.    24th February 2020.

 What a great start to the new year’s programme! Joanne McNicol provided an illustrated talk about her early life, followed her years competing within RDA, and leading up to her success as a member of the British Team in the 2019 Para Driving World Championships  held in the Netherlands. A huge number of our members braved the appalling weather and enjoyed the talk, slideshow, tea, coffee and biscuits, and we were delighted to be joined by friends from our neighbouring RDA Group Heron’s Ghyll.


Jo taking questions after her talk.                 Members & Guests enthralled by the slideshow.

After the slideshow and videos, Hilary Hill from Herons Ghyll presented Alison Reilly with the Cameo Cup on behalf of The Oaks Carriage Driving Group, which was a lovely surprise.

Alison receives the Cameo Cup from Hilary Hill.


It’s Official, Sally and Stewart are married.      January 2020

We are absolutely delighted to be able to tell all of our members that Sally Scott and Stewart French have married!     Rumour also tells us that the best man was Nero!

We wish them both a long & happy life together.


Happy New Year to Kipling County.        4th January 2020

A very Happy New Year to all of our amazing drivers, whips and volunteers!!!  We look forward to seeing everyone back at Chalvington just as soon as the weather warms a little.

 Photo by Ivan Bertona of Unsplash.

In late December, our drivers from Baronsmede put on a superb Christmas Show at “The Old Haybarn” in Crowborough. Their volunteers had put in a lot of hard work supplying all the various costumes, and the players had worked tirelessly throughout their rehearsals. The audience were delighted, and felt it was a great start to their Christmas. Well done to everyone at Baronsmede!!!


Email from RDA’s Ed Bracher.               13th December 2019

Dear Groups, Regional and County roles,

As 2019 draws to a close I would like to say THANK YOU for everything you have done for RDA this year.

This year has been extra special, as we celebrated 50 years enriching lives through horses. It has been inspiring to see how everyone has got behind the 50th Anniversary and celebrated in their own way. Across the UK 3,000 gold rosettes have been handed out, there have been parties and fun rides and of course – plenty of cake. We are also lucky that a lot of our celebrations have been shared across the media, raising awareness of our work like never before.

I am also delighted to share with you the initial results of this year’s annual return, which have revealed that, in total, we delivered over 420,000 rides and drives – an increase of 8,500 on last year. This is on top of your 50th celebrations, as well as many of you embarking on the new coaching pathway, taking part in training and increasing the range of activities your group offers. Thank you for achieving so much, for your commitment, your energy and enthusiasm.

From all of us here at RDA National Office – Merry Christmas and a happy New Year!


Val Eyres presented to Princess Anne – 30th November ’19

(See below for update from Lindsay Correa dated 13th December 2019)

What a fantastic achievement by Val, our hard working Organiser !

On Friday 30th November, Val (escorted by Peter Horwood) was invited to the prestigious Saddler’s Hall in London by the RDA where she was presented with the “Dudley-Smith Award” by The Princess Royal, Princess Anne. This award is to acknowledge a volunteer who has made an important contribution to RDA Carriage Driving through sheer hard work.

This is a wonderful recognition of all that Val has done for Kipling since January 2018, when she stood up (in spite of her own problems) and helped our Group through an incredibly difficult time.

Val……… This is a well deserved honour, and on behalf of our Members, AB Whips, Volunteers and Committee, we are proud of you !!!

Peter has written a moving description of her day (including the difficult journey home caused by someone significantly less honourable).

Please click the link below to read Peter’s letter :-

Vals trip to London

STOP PRESS:                                                                                                   13th December 2019.

Lindsay Correa has kindly sent an email telling us that superb photos of our Val being presented to The Princes Royal, HRH Princes Anne, are now available to be downloaded free of charge, and saved as a lovely memory or used on RDA Websites and RDA Social Media. (There are many other RDA photos from the presentation on the same day …… See how many friends we can spot !)

The link is

An example from the official RDA photos page.


Quick Update for Christmas Dinner!

Alison Reilly wishes everyone to know that she has obtained a new supply of woolly hats and caps and will have them on sale at our Christmas Dinner this coming Monday 9th December.

They are priced at £7 each or 2 for £12 and would make great Christmas presents!

(See below Christmas dinner full details.)


Christmas Dinner – Monday 9th December 2019.

It’s time for our Christmas Dinner for all of our Monday & Thursday members!          Venue: Wellhurst Golf & Country Club, North St, Hellingly, Hailsham, BN27 4EE.                    SatNav Co-ords: 50.90868, 0.24794                                                                                                    Time: 12.00 for 12.30 start.                                                                                                                    Cost: £19.95 each.

IMPORTANT: The golf club needs each of our bookings confirmed, together with choice of menu and payment to Hanka by 26th November 2019 LATEST.                        

Hanka reminds us her address is 2 Downgate Cottage, Brightling Road, Dallington, Heathfield, TN21 9LL.


Kipling County Tack Sale – 19th October 2019.

Our Kipling County Tack Sale was a huge success, raising £829.70 net after all the costs were removed. There was some lively bidding and a friendly spirit throughout the whole evening which made it such fun, and a lot of bargains were bagged at amazingly low prices!

We are indebted to all our volunteers, who turned up early to help set up the tables and chairs, ran the auction, moved the items throughout the sale, organised the money, sold the delicious cakes and drinks, advertised the tack sale on our Kipling County FaceBook page, and handled all the other jobs necessary to make it such a success. We are especially indebted to Val Eyres who managed and numbered the donated items throughout the whole  year, and transported them to the event.

Most importantly of all, we are grateful to all the bidders who turned out on a cold, dark October evening, bid in such a friendly manner, and create a warm atmosphere indoors.


RDA 50th Anniversary & Le Trec – 10th October 2019.

What a fantastic day under a clear blue sky to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of RDA. Kipling County (Monday & Thursday Groups) were proud to celebrate this huge milestone with our good friends and neighbours, Herons Ghyll, who joined us for the Le Trec Funday. This event showed just how powerful the RDA is, and both our Groups are proud to be members.

We have never had so many horses, members, AB Whips and volunteers on the field at one time before, and a lovely atmosphere was created by everyone contributing so much to make the day such a success. There were ten elements in the Le Trec competition, and by completing each element members gained a letter, which finally spelled out KIPLING RDA. Because it was a Funday, every driver was helped to complete the full course and receive a 50th Anniversary Golden Rosette purchased from our RDA National Office. There were also additional fun awards for special moments, such as Linda destroying one of our cones!

In addition to the tea and coffee, there were vast amounts of cake, and the biggest raffle we have ever held, with prizes ranging from bottles to teddies, and chocolates to plants. Kipling County chairman, Jeni Longley, and Heron’s Ghyll Chairman, Doug Pochin, made some kind words on behalf of both our groups, asking if this friendly event might be repeated next year…… and why not!!!!

We are extremely grateful to Kipling’s Joanne McNicol & Alison Riley for organising the whole day, Jan McSweeney (our Founder Member & President)  for presenting the rosettes, and Mr & Mrs Clutton for the use of their field.

(Please see our “Kipling Gallery” page for photos of the day.)


Peter’s Golfing Day – 19th September 2019.

Every year Peter, our Treasurer, runs a Golfing Day as a fundraising event for Kipling County, and for his hard work we are hugely grateful. This year, Peter tells us that 24 of his golfing friends participated, mainly from the Crowborough Beacon Golf Club, enjoying a great day on the links under a bright blue sky.

This year, Peter’s event was held at London Beach Golf & Country Club and raised an astonishing £1,095, with London Beach contributing £840 from their Charity Scheme and the balance coming from additional entry fees and the raffle.

It’s quite astonishing that London Beach Golf & Country Club, in association with Savannah Charitable Trust, have donated over £1000,000.00 to local charities since 2009 when their scheme started.

The photo below, shows one of the Ladies Teams, either side of Peter receiving a cheque from Sue Brown (London Beaches Reception & Functions Manager).


Sands Farm Competition – 17th September 2019.

Our amazing drivers have done it again! It’s a fairly long drive to that elusive arena at Sands Farm for an early morning start, but eager to get going all our members and volunteers arrived bright and early.

The competitions were tough, as you would expect, but Ella, Amanda, Gary & Josie excelled themselves by driving incredibly well, and came home with some amazing awards! The results were:

Assisted Class: Amanda – 1st in Arena, 1st in Cones & Obstacles, and 1st Overall.

Assisted Class: Josie – 2nd in Arena, 2nd in Cones & Obstacles, and 2nd Overall.

Novice Class: Ella – 4th in Arena and 6th in Cones & Obstacles.

Novice Class: Gary – 7th in Obstacles.

Just look at the happiness and pride in our successful Kipling County drivers’s faces!

(Please see our “Kipling Gallery” page for photos of the driving competition.)


It’s Official, Sally & Stewart are engaged – August 2019.

We are absolutely delighted to be able to tell all of our members that Sally Scott and Stewart French became engaged last week!

Sally is proudly wearing her new ring and we wish them both a long & happy life together.


Herons Ghyll “One Day Event” – 29th August 2019.

Herons Ghyll did it again! A fabulous day at Whitesmith under a bright blue sky, a well organised and friendly event, chatting to friends, supporting competitors, and the tastiest cakes ever, washed down with coffee and tea.

We mustn’t forget all the hard work that went on behind the scenes by Herons Ghyll, setting out the courses, erecting marquees, judging, paperwork, and organising of awards. We are truly grateful, and Kipling Counties Jeni Longley raised three cheers to Herons Ghyll for all their efforts, saying we hope it isn’t too long before we can return the favour!

Our members all did us proud, with some great driving reflected in their amazing results! Rather than write all the successes, attached below is the Final Results board:-

Just as an example, here is Gary, proudly holding all his awards:-

(Please see our “Kipling Gallery” page for photos of the driving competition.)


Hadlow Carriage Driving Summer Show – 16th July 2019.

Cleaning & polishing day by our band of happy volunteers! (Photo from Josie Cyster.)

We had previously gathered the day before at Chalvington to help clean and polish the carriages & harnesses, and everything was ready for the following day’s competition.

As the sun blazed down we were saddened to hear that overnight Alan had suffered a reaction from chemicals the owners of a neighbouring field had used on their land, and it was felt best to rest him, putting all our hopes on the extra workload of Prince and Herbie.

We needn’t have worried as our superb members had a magnificent days driving in the gorgeous Hadlow countryside, and our horses excelled themselves. We are all very grateful  to the organisers and stewards who worked so hard to make the day such a success.

Awards ceremony in the blazing sunshine.  The results were as follows:-

Class 1 – Novice/Dressage:

Gay 2nd

Ella – Joint 6th

Graeme – Joint 6th

Class 2 – Condition & Turnout:

Josie – 1st

Ashley – 3rd

Class 3 – Assisted Whip:

Russell – 1st

Class 4 – Novice Whip:

Susie – 6th

Tim – 7th

Class 6 – Novice Cones:

Timmy – 1st

Graham – 4th

Josie – 6th

Group Winner:

At the end of the competition results, an Overall Group Winner was announced, being calculated by a formula that others may better understand and Kipling came a proud 3rd.

The Classes/Results were modified slightly as the results were announced, and WebSite Admin would be grateful for an update of any result errors noticed.

(Please see our “Kipling Gallery” page for photos of the driving competition.)


New Pavilion Grand Opening – 13th July 2019.

The Grand Opening of our new pavilion was huge success with many friends (both old and new) joining us for our Open Day. We were privileged to have the ribbon cut by our founder member, Jan McSweeney, who never seems to change and remains as youthful as ever, whilst the competition rosettes were presented by Nick Clutton’s grand-daughter Matilda.

The pavilion’s exterior verandah has already become a popular vantage point for viewing the driving competitions, and also a place to have a natter and make friends. It’s worth repeating that this amazing facility was made possible by a grant from the Tesco “Bags of Help Scheme”, substantial anonymous donations, and money from our own account. 

An excellent raffle was  managed by Peter & Elaine with a huge number of donated prizes raised £225, teas and coffee raised £56, and our good friends from Baronsmede donated £100.

Tea, coffee and various juices were handed out from the superbly appointed kitchen, and cakes were distributed from the marquee. There is a rumour that the disabled access loo is nice and roomy and has been properly baptised.

Our founder member, Jan McSweeney, cuts the ribbon.

Our new pavilion is open……..Let’s grab some tea and cakes to celebrate!

(Please see our “Kipling Gallery” page for photos of the driving competition.)


Bradbourne Qualifier – 5th June 2019.

What a fantastic day at Bradbourne Equestrian Centre, and we are so grateful for all that RDA Group’s hard work in making the event such a success! Whilst Bradbourne members managed the entire day, Lindsay Correa (SE Region Chair) & Miranda Purves (Regional Carriage Driving Representative) made themselves very busy by providing the hugely welcome tea, coffee, and biscuits or cakes……nipping outside at odd times to watch the excitement created by the competing RDA Groups.

Our Monday & Thursday members were represented by Amanda, Emma, Josie and Gary. Despite some understandable nerves they all worked really hard and achieved outstanding results, and we are very proud of them. The results were as follows:

Dressage (Assisted Class) = 1st – Josie, 2nd – Gary, 4th – Amanda.

Dressage (Novice Class) = 4th – Ella.

Cones & Obstacles (Assisted Class) = 1st – Josie, 2nd – Amanda, 3rd – Gary.

Cones & Obstacles (Novice Class) = 3rd Ella.

Overall (Assisted Class) = 1st – Josie, 2nd – Amanda, 3rd – Gary.

Overall (Novice Class) = 3rd Ella.

Being a Qualifier Competition  two drivers were selected for the National Championships at Hartpury, and we were proud to hear that Ella had been one of them. Well done Ella!

(Please see our “Kipling Gallery” page for photos of our competitors driving to success, including one of everyone loaded up with their rosettes and trophies.)


Wealden Tai Chi Club Donation – 23rd May 2019.
Photo courtesy of Doreen Cartwright:

Kipling County Carriage Driving has some wonderful friends!

The Wealden Tai Chi Club meets every Monday (12noon-1.00pm) & Friday (10-11.00am) at Ticehurst Village Hall. When they heard about our Monday & Thursday Groups they made a surprise visit and presented us with a cheque for £100.

The photo above shows our Thursday Group, lead by Gesina (in the red top) and organised by Val (hiding behind the sun glasses) receiving the cheque from Ashley (in the blue top).

(Please see our “Kipling Gallery” page for photos.)


Annual General Meeting – 15th April 2019.

Kipling has a new leader! By a unanimous vote, Jeni Longley was elected to the post of managing director, and we are lucky to have such a talented and experienced horsewoman running our group and leading us into 2019. We were privileged to be joined by Lindsay Correa (Chair – RDA South-East Region) and Miranda Purves (Regional Carriage Driving Representative – RDA South-East Region) who had driven around the M25 in rush hour to be with us!

The AGM continued with all the usual stuff, such as past minutes, treasurer’s report, election of officers, DBS, and there was much lively and good natured discussion about our brighter future. More importantly, hard won trophies were presented!


Jeni presents trophies to Ella, Mike and Beth. (Photos courtesy of Lindsay Correa.) The other awards (known to our committee) were not able to be presented at this time, but will follow later.

After the meeting, Hanka treated everyone present to her traditional home made tomato soup, together with bread rolls, and we are grateful for her kindness.

One sad note was that in spite of the hall custodian being reminded that both doors needed unlocking to facilitate wheelchair access……… they forgot. In spite of a phone call to Singapore we were unable to gain full wheelchair access and Peter had to take Linda home, via an Easter Egg shop. Everyone sends their apologies to Linda, and we must make sure that this never happens again.


New Pavilion – April 2019.

Our new pavilion has arrived, and it looks fabulous! It has a large room to keep our members cosy during poor weather, a loo, a veranda, running water, and soon will have a kitchen to make the food and drinks. This amazing facility means no more shivering in woolies and anoraks, and was made possible by a grant from the Tesco “Bags of Help Scheme”, substantial anonymous donations, and money from our own account. This superb pavilion was designed and erected by Newton & Frost of Horam, and we will shortly have an opening ceremony with lots of happy members for the photo shoot!



New Pavilion – February 2019.

Our committee is proud to announce to all our members that following our Award from the Tesco “Bags of Help” scheme, our new pavilion and toilet suite is currently being manufactured and will be ready for installation before the start of this years driving season.

Additionally, a fresh water system has already been dug and installed, well in advance of our pavilion.

It looks as if we are all going to be toasty and dry this season!


Annual Christmas Lunch – 10th December 2018.

We held our Annual Christmas Lunch at the The Bear Hotel in Burwash and it was lovely to see everyone from our Monday & Thursday Groups mixing and talking together.

The raffle was a great success and we must thank all those kind members who donated the prizes. The Cake Auction brought forward a flurry of ever increasing bids, and Peter raised a toast to “Absent Friends”, especially remembering the life of Janet Bettell-Higgins who helped create Kipling County all those years ago.

Judy Barber and her husband Chris have decided to move to West Wales, and after many years as our Chairman, she decided it was the right time to step down. As a momento of her calm leadership throughout that time, the group presented Judy with a pair of very smart carriage driving gloves, a framed photo of her leading us into competition at The Oaks, and a card signed by all our members. We will miss Judy’s kindness, laughter, nursing skills, and wish her well in her new life in Ceredigion. She tells us she will be watching our future progress via this website!

We have hugely indebted to Val who has worked tirelessly with a smile throughout the whole year to ensure that all our members from both the Monday & Thursday groups have been able to continue driving, and she was presented with a special gift as a way of saying “Thank You” from everyone. It is impossible to overstate her importance to Kipling County.

Our friendly group goes forward with increased optimism & renewed vigour, and we wish all of our amazing Members, our AB Whips and our Helpers a very Happy New Year!

(Please see our “Kipling Gallery” page for photos.)

South-East Indoor Comp @ Sands Farm – 25th Sept 2018.
Sands Farm Indoor Competition is a qualifier for Hartpury in Gloucestershire and this year we entered four members into both the Novice Whip and Assisted Whip classes. They were Ella, Noah, Amanda & Josie representing both our Monday and Thursday groups, and everyone agreed that they had a lovely day.

Sadly, because we were having so much fun we drove a little too fast and lost some points. After combining the points from Dressage, P&P and Cones, and Obstacles the the final positions were as follows:
1) Novice Whip
Ella: Placed 10th
Amanda: Placed 11th
2) Assisted Whip
Noah: Placed 3rd
Josie: Placed 5th

This year we didn’t qualify for Hartpury, but the competition had better watch out for us next year when we will definitely be aiming to qualify!
Tesco “Bags of Help” Result – 25th September 2018.
Peter, our treasurer, tells us that the results of Tesco “Bags of Help” are in, being based on the voting of the little blue discs by Tesco customers in Heathfield Express, Uckfield Express and Uckfield Superstore.

Kipling County Carriage Driving won the top award!!!

That means that of all the thousands of customers who popped those blue discs into their choice of boxes, they felt that we were the most deserving cause. Doesn’t that make everyone in our Monday & Thursday Groups be proud to be a member of such a great charity!

This Tesco award reminds us that the £4000 award should be used towards a “Pavilion for Storage” and I know that our committee will be actioning this once all the paperwork is fully authorised and the cheque finally presented.
Peter’s Golf Day – 20th September 2018.
Every year, Peter (our Treasurer and a keen golfer) single handedly organises a competition at “The London Hotel, Spa and Country Club” on behalf of Kipling County Carriage Driving.

He tells us that this year his golfing friends raised an incredible £809 for our charity, plus an additional £240 for the raffle. (Peter thanks everyone who donated items for his raffle.)

These amazing sums are an incredible achievement for which our whole group is grateful! We all know how expensive it is to fund our RDA Group and Peter’s efforts will make a huge difference towards next year’s driving costs. From all at Kipling County, thank you to Peter and his friends!

Sue Brown presents Peter with a cheque for £809 made out to Kipling County.
Friends of Baronsmede – 20th September 2018.
We are delighted that our members at Baronsmede continue to enjoy their driving at Kipling County on Thursdays. What’s even nicer is that as they get to know us better they are becoming ever more confident in their abilities, and it was lovely to see them cheering on their fellow members at Heron’s Ghyll recently. This teamwork, of course, is fostered by Zena who strongly encourages this.

On 20th September, we were surprised and thrilled to receive a donation of £500 from the Friends of Baronsmede which is really kind of them. That money will help make a huge difference to Kipling County, and we are very grateful.

Please see our “Kipling Gallery” page for photos.
Heron’s Ghyll One Day Event – 30th August 2018.
Whilst Joanne competed in the Para World Championships at Kronenberg in the Netherlands our Monday & Thursday Groups joined together to compete in the Heron’s Ghyll superbly organised One Day Event.

Our drivers basked in sunshine all day and everyone owe’s Heron’s Ghyll a debt of gratitude for setting up the field during the previous day’s torrential rain!

Kipling County had a superb day with some really great results:
Sally came 1st overall in Open Class.
Beth came 2nd overall in Open Class.
Josie came 3rd overall in Intermediate Class.
Garry came 2nd overall in Intermediate Class.
Graeme came 4th overall in Novice Class.
Sally was awarded Overall Champion of the day, and was presented with a trophy.
Beth was awarded Reserve Overall Champion of the day, and was presented with a cup.

This is the board showing everyone’s full results.

Please see our “Kipling Gallery” page for photos.
Para World Championships – 28th August 2018.
Our whole group wished Joanne McNicol the very best of good fortune (driving Texas with Andrea backstepping) in her first International Event at Kronenburg in the Netherlands and she did her family, Kipling County, and Great Britain proud, coming 5th (out of 9 of the best competitors from around the world).

We’ve highlighted Joanne at the opening ceremony, and bet it makes her blush! (Photo courtesy of Hoefnet.)

In the order the competitors drove, these are the results leading up to the Final Results:
2018_FEI World Championships Para Driving_Dressage
These are the Dressage results.

2018 FEI World Championships Para Driving_Marathon
These are the Marathon results.

2018 FEI World Championships Para Driving_Dressage & Marathon
These are the Dressage & Marathon combined results.

2018 FEI World Championships Para Driving_Cones
These are the Cones results.

2018 FEI World Championships Para Driving_Final Results
These are the overall Final Results.

Please see our “Kipling Gallery” page for photos.
The Oaks Driving Club Show. 12th August 2018.
Our drivers were amazing at The Oaks Driving Club Show held at Broad Farm, Hellingly. The event started perfectly on a lovely Summer day until lunch time when a few drops of rain fell, but nothing stopped our drivers who drove in the RDA Non Assisted, RDA Assisted, and Beginners & Novice events.
Our results were as follows:

RDA Dressage Non Assisted Class:
Jay – Came 2nd.
Ella – Came 3rd.

RDA Dressage Assisted Class:
Tim B – Came 3rd. This is a fantastic result for Tim who has never competed before!
Linda – Came 6th.

Beginners & Novice Class:
Here, our drivers were competing on equal terms against Able Bodied Drivers!
Amanda – Came 2nd.
Susie – Came 3rd. This is a fantastic result for Susie who has never competed before!

Please see our “Kipling Gallery” page for photos.
Joint Open Day – 4th August 2018.
Our Open Day was a fantastic success, and a huge number of people joined our Monday & Thursday groups under a bright blue sky, whilst Alan & Prince did us proud. In the marquee we were tempted by tea, coffee, sandwiches, and cakes, and a huge vote of thanks is due to so many people who worked so hard to make this happy event such a success.

We were joined by a special guest! Ben Chambers is a young lad who chose to sponsor Kipling County RDA Carriage Driving Group for a school project, which entailed creating a presentation all about us (starring Jay) and presenting it to his teacher and class. Then, having been short listed, Ben presented it again to his school’s Board of Governors & the rest of the staff. Everyone was delighted to hear that his presentation was so good that he came second and that the prize of £880 is to be donated to our charity. This is a superb achievement for Ben and we are all very proud of him. To demonstrate our gratitude he drove our pony and carriage around our obstacle courses……once he was kitted out with appropriate safety equipment!

As a bit of fun, Val decided to run a cones competition in three classes. Peter kindly acted as timekeeper & judge, and the following are the results:
Class 1
Linda: 1 cone down; 1 second penalty; came 1st.
Ashley: 0 cones down; 2 seconds penalty; came 2nd.
Tim B: 2 cones down; 5 seconds penalty; came 3rd.
Noah: 0 cones down; 7 seconds penalty; came 4th.

Class 2
Gay: 0 cones down; 0 seconds penalty; came 1st.
Graeme: 0 cones down; 3 seconds penalty; came 2nd.
Jay: 2 cones down; 4 seconds penalty; came 3rd.
Josie: 0 cones down; 7 seconds penalty; came 4th.

Class 3
Ella: 0 cones down; 0 seconds penalty; came 1st.
Amanda: 0 cones down; 3 seconds penalty; came 2nd.
Beth: 0 cones down; 4 seconds penalty; came 3rd.

Please see our “Kipling Gallery” page for photos.
Para World Championships (Selection) – 14-15th July 2018.

It’s Official!!!

We are absolutely delighted to announce that our Joanne McNicol competed at Blandings this weekend (driving Texas and with Andrea back stepping) and based on her driving throughout the rigorous selection process she has been chosen for the Individual Para World Championships on behalf of Great Britain.

This is a simply brilliant achievement for Jo who is one of the most modest ladies you could wish to meet, and we are all delighted for her.
Para World Championships (Selection) – 15-17th June 2018.
Our very own Joanne McNicol entered the Open National Driving Para Championships selection, held at The David Broome Event Centre, Cricklands near Newport in South Wales. She drove Texas in the Renee Schoop with Andrea Scott back-stepping.

After some great driving in Dressage, Marathon and Cones, she came a fantastic 4th overall. Kipling County can be proud of Jo as her skills are becoming better noticed at the highest levels, and we all wish her the best of good luck for more great driving at Sandringham, and then again at Blandings 14th-15th July 2018 when the British Team will be announced.

These are the full Para results of the Cricklands weekend as published on the British Carriage Driving website:
1st – Jamie Williams
2nd – Mick Ward
3rd – Joanne McNicol ***
4th – Emma Golding
5th – Sarah Baverstock
6th – Joyce Carrick
7th – Lucy Barclay

1st – Mick Ward
2nd – Jamie Williams
3rd – Emma Golding
4th – Joyce Carrick
5th – Joanne McNicol ***
6th – Lucy Barclay
7th – Sarah Baverstock

Dressage & Marathon (Combined):
1st – Mick Ward
2nd – Jamie Williams
3rd – Emma Golding
4th – Joanne McNichol ***
5th – Joyce Carrick
6th – Lucy Barclay
7th – Sarah Baverstock

1st – Emma Golding
2nd – Mick Ward
3rd – Sarah Baverstock
4th – Joanne McNichol ***
5th – Joyce Carrick
6th – Jamie Williams
7th – Lucy Barclay

1st – Mick Ward
2nd – Emma Golding
3rd – Jamie Williams
4th – Joanne McNicol ***
5th – Joyce Carrick
6th – Sarah Baverstock
7th – Lucy Barclay

Please see our “Kipling Gallery” page for photos.
SE Indoor Competition @ Bradbourne. 10th June 2018.
Our Monday and Thursday members can be very proud of their achievements at the South-East Indoor Competition at Bradbourne near Sevenoaks. Two of our members entered and after a superb day’s driving they came home with the top two rosettes.

Amanda (from our Thursday Group) came:
3rd in Dressage
1st in Cones
1st in Obstacles
Coming 1st overall.

Ella (from our Monday Group) came:
1st in Dressage
3rd in Cones
3rd in Obstacles
Coming 2nd overall.

Very well done to both our driving groups!
Thursday Group Cones Competition. 5th June 2018.
We had lovely sunny weather and as it was the last drive before the grass was cut again (and to take good care of our ponies) it was decided to clear away the main arena & obstacles and run a cones competition. Everyone drove really well, and after a lot of fun & laughter, these were the results (with a cup and rosettes presented by Hanka):-
1st – Tim.
Joint 2nd – Amanda & Gary.
3rd – Timmy.
4th – Graham.
5th – Russell.
Joint 6th – Ashley & Suzie.
Please see our “Kipling Gallery” page for the photos.
Kipling County – 100 Club.
We are pleased to advise that our 100 Club is now registered with Wealden DC.
Please see our 100 Club page that will shortly be updated with contact details:-
RDA Spring Newsletter. March 2018.
2018_04_Carriage Driving Newsletter March 2018
This is the Spring Carriage Driving Newsletter sent by RDA’s Sarah Hadley, who asks if it could be circulated within Kipling County.
Passing of Janet Bettell-Higgins. Monday 22nd January 2018.

It is with much sadness that we have to inform you all that this morning, Janet Bettell-Higgins passed away in her hospice at St Leonards. As a founder member of Kipling County she was held in the highest regard, a lady who devoted her life to ponies, RDA, and encouraging those with physical disabilities to achieve and exceed their expectations in carriage driving.

She was a kind lady, who is now re-united with her late husband Larry, and our thoughts are with her sons Darren & Stephen and their respective families.

Janet’s funeral was held at St Bartholomew’s Parish Church, Burwash on 19th February, and was followed by a private cremation service for family members only.
Loss of Geoffrey Roberts. 27th December 2017

Kipling County is saddened by the passing of Geoffrey Roberts, a long standing member of our group. Geoffrey thoroughly enjoyed his mornings driving at Chalvington and they brought him a huge amount of pleasure. Geoffrey had been an architect and keen sportsman throughout his life, and he will be missed by us all. His service was held at All Saints Parish Church, Old Heathfield, on Friday 19th January 2018.
Christmas Lunch. Monday 11th December
Our Christmas lunch held on Monday 11th December was a great success, and the food and drink were superb. Many thanks are due to Judy who arranged the event for everyone, and to The Bear Inn who looked after us so well.

It was a shame that we had overnight snow as it meant that in order to look after their safety and wellbeing, Sine’s (Zena) group had to cancel her members’ minibus, although Francis attended as he lives much nearer.

As a memorial to our late friend Keith Farley, our group named a carriage in his honour, and his widow Wendy Farley was presented with a framed certificate illustrating the carriage and plaque.

There were a huge number of raffle prizes that had been kindly donated, and they were drawn and presented.

One of our founder members, Janet-Bettell-Higgins was unable to attend being poorly, and a special photograph of everybody present was taken to be given to Janet in her hospice to show that we are all thinking of her.

Please see our “Kipling Gallery” page for the photos taken by Chris Barber.
Kipling County Fun Quiz Night. Saturday 18th November.
Our Kipling County Fun Quiz Night held at Broad Oak village hall was a fantastic success. The sausage platt supper was agreed by all to be absolutely brilliant, and the amazing choice of puddings were lovely.

The quiz master and his team pitched the pace of the questions perfectly, and everyone went home having learned something new.

Annette must be congratulated on the sheer energy she put into making the evening the triumph it was, and it is very sad to know that she will be taking a break from organising future events. The whole Group owes Annette a massive debt of gratitude for everything she has done in the past, and hers will be a hard act to follow going forward. She assures us that she will continue supporting our members with their driving in the field at Chalvington and Stonegate.

Our Treasurer is pleased to report that the whole evening, including quiz, raffle, bar and sale of calendars made £468 net profit, after all the costs had been removed.
Chalvington Fun Cones Trial. 9th October 2017.
As a bit of fun over the last couple of meetings, a timed cones trial was run (marked on time over two circuits, with penalties). These are the results:
Joint 1st – Ella, which is wonderful as it was her first meeting with Kipling County!
Joint 1st – Beth.
2nd place – Sally.
Joint 3rd – Gay.
Joint 3rd – Jay.
4th place – Josie.
5th place – Geoffrey.
6th place – Linda.
To show our AB helpers how well our drivers do, they competed & these are their results:
1st place – Bev.
2nd place – Jane.
3rd place – Liz.
Joint 4th – Judy.
Joint 4th – Sue C.
Joint 5th – Mike.
Joint 5th – Sue OD.
6th place – John. (Which teaches me to drive more steadily & not rush the second circuit.)
Kipling County Tack Sale – 7th October 2017.
We are grateful to Val for all her hard work running the tack sale, to Annette for organising the hall on our behalf, to Hanka for producing the programme, and to all the many helpers that volunteered on the day. Val tells us that +/-£267 was taken on the day (before hall costs), +/-£500 for items sold earlier in the year, and that additional money will be forthcoming for other items to be sold shortly.
South-East Competition @ Sands Farm. 26th Sept 2017.
We had a some great results at Sand’s Farm, following stiff competition. The results were as follows:-
Assisted Class – Josie came 1st in dressage, 2nd in cones, 1st in obstacles, and 1st overall. Josie came home loaded with roselletes and a huge smile.
Novice Class – Gay came 8th in dressage, and 11th overall. A really great result.
Open Class – Sally came 1st in dressage, 1st in cones, 1st in obstacles, and 1st overall, beating Tracy by 1 point! Sally can be proud of her rosettes, qualifying for Hartpury.

Very well done to our drivers, and many thanks to all our companion whips and helpers.

Please see our “Kipling Gallery” page for the photos taken by Mike Cyster.
Peter’s Golf Day – Thursday 21st September 2017.
This event was organised by our Treasurer, Peter. He tells our committee that the golfers at his club raised an astonishing £1102 for our charity.

This amazing sum is an incredible achievement for which we are all grateful, and will make a huge difference towards next year’s driving costs. From all at Kipling County, thank you to Peter and his golfing friends!
Heron’s Ghyll One Day Event – 7th September 2017.
The weather has started to cool now and showers are becoming more frequent, but we were blessed with good luck at Burchetts Farm as the day was lovely, being warm with some foreboding clouds that passed us by. We all arrived early, with plenty of time for a chat as we prepared for our first drive at 10.50am. Everyone had a lovely day in the sun, and here are our results in the order we drove:

Open Non Assisted – Beth drove Prince to 5th place after a little glitch in the Obstacles.
Open Non assisted – Sally drove Alan to 2nd place – Lovely to have Sally back again.

Intermediate – Josie drove Prince to 3rd place, with a huge smile as always.

Novice – Linda drove Alan to 2nd place. Linda wants to win a cup next time!

Please see our “Kipling Gallery” page for the photos.
The Oaks 40th Annual Show & Funday – 13th Aug 2017
We don’t know how they manage it, but The Oaks RDA organised another day with a bright blue sky and barely a cloud in sight for their 40th Annual Funday! A particularly attractive part of the day are the magnificent (and expensive) turnouts in the earlier Country & Private Driving class, where driver’s and groom’s outfits complement the carriage. We all had a great day out and achieved some superb results.

Non Assisted Class – Josie drove Allan brilliantly to 1st place.
Non Assisted Class – Amanda drove Dennis to an excellent 3rd place.

Open Class – Our very own Janet, drove a magnificently turned out Crumble to 4th place.

Exercise Vehicle 13hands+ – Janet drove Crumble to 3rd place with Debbie back stepping.

Assisted Class – Linda drove Alan to a well deserved 2nd place.
Assisted Class – Susie drove Dennis to a great 6th place.

Veteran/Senior – Janet drove Crumble with Judy back stepping. We are told the ages of the drivers, ponies and grooms are added up to help decide the winner. Due to their youth, we came a credible 5th.

Please see our “Kipling Gallery” page for the photos.
RDA Bradbourne Fun Day/Trec, Sevenoaks. 9th Aug 2017
It was possibly our wettest day in the field this year, the unrelenting rain ponded everywhere around us, and hardly a driver or helper wasn’t soaked to the skin. The “BDS Le Trec” was new and exciting for some members, and in spite the weather the photos on our Gallery page showed that we had a great day. We owe a debt of gratitude to Zena who brought her carriage drivers from Crowborough on her day off, bravely stood helping us throughout the day in the rain, and of course to Alan & Smokey who ran all day with just enough rests.

After an exciting, hard days driving, the results for Kipling were:-
Metcalfe Trophy for best turnout: Amanda was the overall winner !!!

Open: Beth came 3rd, only two points behind the winner.

Novice: Amanda came 2nd, only 1 point behind the winner.
Novice: Josie came 4th, only 4 points behind the winner.
Novice: Susie came runner up, and only 9 points behind the winner.

Cones (marked on time over two circuits, with penalties) from 16 entries:-
Cones: Josie came 1st, and with 0 penalties!
Cones: Beth came 6th, with only 3 penalties.
Cones; Russell came 10th, and with 0 penalties!
Cones: Amanda came 14th, and with 0 penalties!

Please see our “Kipling Gallery” page for the photos.
Musical Evening with Leo Andrew. 6th August 2017.
Our Musical Evening, starring Leo Andrew, was a huge success. Leo works six days a week in theatre, and generously gave his single night off to help Kipling County which was incredibly kind of him.

Taking into account the tickets, bar and raffle, and removing expenses, we achieved an amazing £1,350 profit.

Our thanks are also due to Annette who prepared all the food single handed, Val who produced the event, Chris & Nick for managing the bar, our pianist who included a solo waltz, Peter our compère, and all the other helpers too numerous to mention for setting up and putting away the tables, etc.

Please see our “Kipling Gallery” page for the photos.
Loss of Nina Yarnton. 1st August 2017.
We have just heard the sad news that our good friend, Nina Yarnton, passed away last night after a long illness. Nina & Robin were staunch supporters of Kipling County for over five years until she became unable to drive due to ill health. We will all miss the smile she shared with everyone. Our thoughts and condolences are with Robin and her family.
Nina’s funeral arrangements are now confirmed as:-
Nina Yarnton RIP
Nina died peacefully on Monday 31 July. Her coffin will come into church on Thursday 17 August at 5pm. Her funeral will be on Friday 18 August with Requiem Mass and Celebration of Nina’s Life at 11am at St Peter’s, followed by burial at Seaford Cemetery, with refreshments in the hall at Old Ben Homes which is opposite No 79 Sherwood Road. All are most welcome, and Robin asks you to dress casually and be happy.

The postcodes for SatNav: St Peter’s Church (Belgrave Road) BN25 2HE, Cemetery (Alfriston Road) BN25 3JH, Old Bens Homes hall (Adjacent warden’s house at entrance to Valley Rise and opposite 79 Sherwood Road) BN25 3ED.
Robin Yarnton

PS Just before she became unable to speak, Nina asked me for “a wicker coffin interwoven with flowers” and she will have it, so I have decided to request donations in lieu of other flowers – to the charity that made possible the three wonderfully happy respite breaks we had at Netley by the edge of Southampton Water – including just three days of the break cut short by her final illness. That is ‘Revitalise Respite holidays’. You can Google their website, or Seaford and Newhaven Funeral Service on 01323-888661 can give you details.
Robin Yarnton
RDA Felbridge, East Grinstead. 25th July 2017.
On Monday after an initial light drizzle we practised for Felbridge, and then the members who stayed on spent much time cleaning the carriages and harnesses ready for our drivers at Tuesday’s RDA Felbridge competition.

On Tuesday we awoke to another lovely day, where our members entered Dressage, Condition & Turnout, Assisted Whip, Novice Whip, and Cones. Thanks to everyone’s efforts Kipling County had some great results as follows (in roughly event order):
1) Dressage – Beth driving Alan, with Val as companion whip, came runner up.
2) Condition & Turnout – We were delighted when Timmy came 1st, driving Smokey with Sheila as companion whip.
3) Assisted Whip – Linda driving Alan, with Val as companion whip, came runner up.
4) Novice Whip – Josie driving Alan, with Val as companion whip, came runner up.
5) Novice Whip – Gay driving Dennis, with Jo as companion whip, came 3rd.
6) Novice Whip – Amanda driving Smokey, with Sheila as companion whip, came runner up.
7) Cones – Beth driving Alan, with Val as companion whip, came 2nd.
8) Cones – Josie driving Alan, with Val as companion whip, came runner up.
9) Cones – Gay driving Dennis, with Jo as companion whip, came 4th.
10) Cones – Amanda driving Smokey, with Sheila as companion whip, came runner up.
11) Cones – Linda driving Alan, with Val as companion whip, came runner up.

We are extremely grateful to Janet, Val & Sheila who drove the lorries, horseboxes, or towed trailors, and proud of our ponies who worked so hard throughout the day.

Please see our “Kipling Gallery” page for the photos.
RDA Hartbury, Gloucestershire. 14th July 2017.
It’s a huge achievement to qualify for Hartbury, and Jo and Sally can be proud of themselves for managing it. Sadly, Sally was unable to attend this year for health reasons, and our best wishes go to her for a complete recovery.
On Thursday 13th July our group travelled west to The Cotswolds. It was a long, tiring journey caused by traffic congestion on the M25, M4, A419 and A417. We arrived at 5.00pm, settled Dennis comfortably in his stable, and visited the nearby pub to unwind.
After an excellent dinner we made our way to the B&B, where we found a slight problem as only two rooms had been booked! Guess who had to sleep in the lorry? Kind members awoke poor Val the following morning with a nice cup of tea.
On Friday 14th we checked on Dennis bright and early to find that the stable staff had done a great job and he was raring to go.
The dressage was a little earlier than described, but our group rose to the occasion. Jo took the reins driving Dennis, with Val acting as companion whip. Jo drove clear through the cones, was brilliant on the obstacles, and managed a good effort in the dressage, coming overall first in “Open Class”.
Even better, Jo won “Champion Overall” which is a magnificent achievement for both her and Kipling County.
The journey home wasn’t quite as problematic as the drive out, but with Jo’s great result, everyone was happy.
Please see our “Kipling Gallery” page for a photo of Jo in action.
RDA SE Region Magazine “Review of 2016”. June 2017.

Photo courtesy of RDA South East Region Magazine.
Kipling County members were delighted to see that the RDA South East Magazine “Review of 2016” included an article regarding our group’s 20th Anniversary. We attach a scanned copy of the article above for our members who may have missed it. (Please click to enlarge the image.)
The Oaks “Inside Out Competition”. 20th May 2017.
These are the results of The Oaks “Inside Out Competition held at Burchetts Farm, Whitesmith. The event took place on a lovely warm Spring day under a bright blue sky, and members entered the RDA, Novice and Intermediate events.

For all the RDA Results, Val acted as companion whip in our new Fenix Freedom carriage, with Alan in harness working hard throughout the whole event. For the Novice group Debbie drove ‘Pickles’ in her own carriage and in the Intermediate group Janet drove ‘Crumble’ in her own carriage.

Kipling County had another great day, and we are delighted to announce the following results from the morning’s driving after dressage and cones:
1) RDA morning – Josie came 1st.
2) RDA morning – Linda came 4th.
3) Novice morning – Debbie came 5th.
4) Intermediate morning – Janet came 1st.
After our lunch we moved onto the obstacles, consisting of two sections. The first consisted of blue barrels and the second being the brand new brightly coloured gates. The results of these two sections were added to the morning’s session to provide a final result.
5) RDA overall – Linda came 2nd.
6) RDA overall – Josie came 3rd.
7) Novice overall – Debbie came 4th.
8) Intermediate overall – Janet came 2nd.
In addition, there was an award for the best dressage of the day:
9) Best Dressage – Janet, and very well deserved!

To comply with the Data Protection Act we are required to remove images at agreed intervals. Copies may still be requested by asking a Committee member.
Loss of Carol Lamble. 30th April 2017.
We have just heard the sad news that our good friend and companion whip, Carol Lamble, passed away last night after a very short illness.

Our thoughts and condolences are with her family and we will post details of her funeral when available.
Kipling County 100 Club. 3rd April 2017.
Our new season of Carriage Driving has started again, and Annette is keen to remind us all that our 100 Club is now open for this year’s participants. This year she would very much like to increase numbers up to a full 100 members – So let’s all help her achieve this!

You will remember that our 100 Club is a fund raising scheme in which tickets cost only £10 each per year, and where 50% of the accumulated funds are paid as prizes with the balance all goes to our Kipling County RDA.

The prize draw is made twice a year:
1) At our Open Day
2) At our Christmas Lunch

If you would like to take part and purchase tickets then please contact:
Annette Thorburn: 01323-831526
RDA Lunch at Tenterden. Monday 13th March 2017.
The London Beach Hotel & Spa, High Halden, St Michaels, Tenterden, TN30 6SP.

The sun shone brightly, and The London Beach Hotel & Spa at Tenterden was a lovely venue to share a friendly lunch chatting together. Our thanks go to Peter, our Treasurer, for arranging the day.

You will remember that the Hotel has a Trust Fund that refunds the lunch menu price as a donation to our RDA Charity, and we were delighted when Sue Brown (the Hotel Reception & Functions Manager) presented a cheque for £194.25p to our Kipling County Driving Group charity.

Sue Brown presents the cheque to Peter, on behalf of Kipling County, together with a few members who were brave enough to stand beside them.
A letter from Francis Doddington. 20th December 2016.
We have just received an email from Francis & Vicky Doddington. Francis writes:

“Vicky has been very ill for some time now having spent from 19th August to the 31st October 2016, with half the time in the Conquest hospital and the other half in Eastbourne. Vicky is at home now but still in bed, and only just starting to be hoisted into a wheel chair. We were sorry not to be able to attend the Christmas dinner, and would like to take this chance to say a big thank you to everyone at Kipling for all the help and kindness show over a large number of years. Thanks also for all the hard work put into helping people like Vicky, enabling them to take part in this wonderful sport and pastime. We will try to stay in touch and hope to be able to meet with you again some time soon. May we wish the group every success in the future.

Lots of love from Vicky and Francis.

P.S If any member would like to vist Vicky they would be more than welcome.”
Annual Christmas Dinner. Monday 5th December 2016.
This year we returned to The Bear at Burwash for our Annual Christmas Dinner, where there was happiness tinged with sadness.

A toast was held in memory of Mary Harris who passed away in October, and two new donations were presented. The first was from Timmy Brown in memory of his late Dad, and the second was in memory of Keith Farley who passed away in August.

Throughout the year, Thursday’s “Acorns” has grown steadily, and to mark their success Janet Bettel-Higgins presented Award Certificates to the members for having driven so well. We know how much they love being members of our Group and we look forward to seeing them enjoy themselves again next year.

Jan McSweeney has finally decided to hang up her car keys and so our Committee wanted to honour her in a fitting way. They have decided to name our brand new Fenix Freedom the “Jan McSweeney Carriage” and Judy presented Jan with a framed souvenir illustrating that unanimous decision. Jan tells us that although she has decided to stop driving her car, she will still be remain a member and attend meetings as often as possible.

Peter managed the raffle with his usual aplomb, the food and drink was excellent, and we all went home full of turkey and plum pudding !

To comply with the Data Protection Act we are required to remove images at agreed intervals. Copies may still be requested by asking a Committee member.
Kipling County Christmas Fair. Saturday 19th Nov 2016.
Our treasurer has emailed our committee, telling us that the Annual Christmas Fair at Broadoak Village Hall was a great success. We made an impressive £576 profit, although the costs of the hall and catering have yet to be deducted. In addition, Val & Debbie took the unsold tack from our auction (held on 29th October) to another tack sale at Merrist Wood and made a further £145.50 which is impressive. After the Fair, Hanka drove the remaining cakes, etc around to Jan who was delighted to receive them and donated an additional £20.

Our grateful thanks are due to all of our members who put in so much effort to make the event both fun and a success.

In addition, thanks are due to our committee who work so hard on our behalf all year round, generally behind the scenes. It is a tribute to their efforts that our Group remains so friendly.
Tack Auction Sale at Broadoak. Saturday 29th October 2016
The auction was a successful and fun event, with some great bargains, a little light-hearted leg pulling, and our Treasurer is delighted to announce that Kipling achieved approximately £900 net after all our costs were paid out.

This is a fantastic result and whilst we are indebted to many people for helping pull it all together to make the event such a success, particular thanks are due to two of our members:
1) Val for collating and numbering everything donated throughout the year, boxing the items into numbered groups, and then running the auction.
2) Annette for producing all the food and managing her team in the kitchen whilst the event took place.
Loss of Mary Harris. Monday 17th October 2016
We have just heard the sad news that Mary Harris quietly passed away in her hospice on Monday 10th October. Our thoughts and condolences are with Martin and his family.

Martin writes:

“Dear Jan,

If you are not already aware, sadly Mary passed away on Monday the 10th of October.

There will not be a funeral because Mary had made the decision some time ago to donate her body for medical research to London’s Anatomy Office.

We have set up a ‘Justgiving’ donation page in memory of Mary to raise money for the charity, Brain Tumour Research. Should you wish to donate the link is

It goes without saying, we would be extremely grateful for any donations received.

Martin Harris”
Forthcoming Tack Sale at Broadoak. Sat 29th Oct 2016
This is a sneak preview of some of the items available to buy in our forthcoming Tack Sale. Please click the following link to view a PDF that may be opened on any computer, tablet or smartphone:

The sale will be held at the Village Hall, Broadoak, Heathfield TN21 8SS. (SatNav Co-ords: 50.97565, 0.28055)
Viewing starts at 6.30pm (not any earlier please) and sale starts at 7.00pm prompt. Refreshments may be purchased on the night.
Sands Farm Indoor Trial & Qualifier. 27th September 2016.
Stephen, Linda, Sally & Jo entered the indoor competition at Sands Farm, Warnham in West Sussex. This event simultaneously included a qualifier for the National Championships at Hartbury, Gloucestershire in 2017.

Whilst there was some light drizzle, we remained cosy and dry inside the huge internal arena, and there were many nail biting moments for everyone to enjoy. Although the Dressage followed a standard formula, this year the organisers combined Cones and Obstacles into a single layout of three intermixed units, and it’s fair to say that there was much head-scratching amongst the various teams regarding the complexity of this layout.

This was also the first competition driving our brand new Fenix Freedom, and it was lovely to see our wheelchair members enjoying really great all round visibility.

Kipling County excelled ourselves, and we are delighted to announce the following results in the order in which they drove:
1) Novice Whip: Stephen lead our team off, driving Prince in our brand new Fenix Freedom beside Val. He had no time to practise with this new 1400mm wide carriage and although he didn’t place he drove really well. A great effort!
2) Novice Whip: Linda drove Alan in the new Fenix Freedom beside Andrea, and came 9th in dressage, 10th in cones and 5th in obstacles, coming 5th overall.
3) Intermediate Whip: Sally drove Alan in the Hartland Top Sport with Andrea back-stepping, and came a fantastic 1st in dressage, 1st in cones and 1st in obstacles, coming 1st overall. This qualified Sally for the National Championships at Hartpury, Gloucestershire in 2017.
4) Open Whip: Jo drove Prince in the Hartland Top Sport with Debbie back-stepping, and came a fantastic 1st in dressage, 1st in cones and 1st in obstacles, coming 1st overall. This qualified Jo for the National Championships at Hartpury, Gloucestershire in 2017.

To comply with the Data Protection Act we are required to remove images at agreed intervals. Copies may still be requested by asking a Committee member.
RDA Coach, Pony & Carriage approval – 26th Sept 2016.
We were delighted when on Monday, three of our members were fully passed by RDA as qualified Coaches. (What we previously called Companion Whips.) Many congratulations go to:-
Debbie, Jo and Sheila for their successful testing on harness, safety and driving skills.

Also this day, Texas and Robbie were fully approved as RDA ponies.

Finally, our brand new Fenix Freedom was signed off as an RDA carriage when coupled with appropriate ponies.
Quiz Night & Open Day – 3rd September 2016.
The Quiz Night at Broad Oak Village Hall was a huge success with the questions often being themed around the Royal Family and their animals in honour of Her Majesties 90th birthday. So many members and helpers contributed to make the evening such a success, but particular thanks must go to Annette for all her work in preparing and transporting all the food.

The rain couldn’t stop the enjoyment of our Kipling County 20th Anniversary Open Day at Chalvington! Our thanks are due to so many members and helpers who worked so hard to make the day such a success. We were delighted that so many members from our Thursday “Acorns” Group joined us for a shared day together.

Our Treasurer is delighted to tell us that the net total profit was £674 which will go towards our new carriage.

To comply with the Data Protection Act we are required to remove images at agreed intervals. Copies may still be requested by asking a Committee member.
Heron’s Ghyll “One Day Event” – 1st September 2016.
We had another lovely day with this friendly competition at Whitesmith, and everyone agreed it was a relaxed and enjoyable day. We were delighted that Janet was able to join us after her recent operation.

The results were as follows:
1) Sally came 1st in Open Class and also won the overall championship of the day.
2) Jay came 7th in Open Class.
3) Joanne came 3rd in Open Class and 3rd in Dressage.
4) Beth came 8th in Open Class.
5) Linda came 3rd in Novice class.

Many thanks to our secretary who took a better record of the results than me!

To comply with the Data Protection Act we are required to remove images at agreed intervals. Copies may still be requested by asking a Committee member.
Date of Keith Farley’s Funeral is Confirmed – August 2016.

Kipling County Driving Group will have read of the sad loss of our friend, Keith Farley. Our Secretary is now able to confirm the date of Keith’s funeral.

It will be held at Kent and Sussex Crematorium (Tunbridge Wells) on Tuesday 6th September at 12.15pm and Wendy would be pleased to be supported by as many of Keith’s friends as possible.

Afterwards there will be a short reception for coffee at the Spread Eagle PH (relatively close by).

Kent and Sussex Crematorium, Benhall Mill Road, Royal Tunbridge Wells, TN2 5JJ.
Co-ords: 51.11789, 0.27302 (Follow the straight access road to the car park directly behind the crematorium.)

The Spread Eagle PH., 119 Forest Road, Tunbridge Wells, TN2 5BE.
Co-ords: 51.12306, 0.27777 (There is a large Public House car park directly behind the timber clad main building.)
The Oaks 39th Annual Show & Funday – 14th August 2016.
The most important principle of the show was about having fun. With good company from around the region, some lovely ponies and carriages, all turned out so beautifully under a blazing sun, it’s not a surprise that everyone had a grand time.

A) Joanne drove Prince in Class 2 “Open”, with Allison as companion in the Jackson Darrant, and came 5th. (This was against AB competitors in very posh and expensive carriages, but was fantastic experience for her.)
B) Joanne drove Prince in Class 3 “Exercise Vehicle – under 13hh”, with Allison as companion in the Jackson Darrant, and came 6th. (This was also against AB competitors in very posh and expensive carriages, but was fantastic experience for her.)
C) Beth drove Prince in Class 4 “Disabled whip (Non Assisted)”, with Allison as companion in the Jackson Darrant, and came 2nd.
D) Jay drove Alan in Class 4 “Disabled whip (Non Assisted)”, with Debbie as companion in the Renee Schoop, and came 3rd.
E) Josie drove Alan in Class 8 “Disabled Whip (Assisted)”, with Val as companion in the Renee Schoop, and came 3rd.

Well done to all our Kipling drivers, companions and volunteers who contributed so much to make it a lovely day.

To comply with the Data Protection Act we are required to remove images at agreed intervals. Copies may still be requested by asking a Committee member.
Sad News – Loss of a Friend – 5th August 2016.
Yesterday we heard the sad news that Keith Farley had quietly passed away in hospital on Friday night. Our thoughts and condolences are with Wendy and Keith’s family.

Keith had courageously continued to support us, even though his failing health forced him to retire from carriage driving a few years ago. Having been an enthusiastic and skilled member of both Heron’s Ghyll, and Kipling County RDA Group, he continued to support Kipling whenever he could and helped us with fundraising events, notably, taking a stand at High Hurstwood Christmas Fair, and making a very generous donation after a long and tiring day.

At the time of writing, we have no information regarding funeral arrangements, but will post the details here as they become available. Wendy would be delighted to see Keith’s friends from Kipling if you would like to attend.

Jan McSweeney
Sunday 7th August 2016
RDA Southern Region Driving Show – Results – July 2016.

What wonderful weather we had at Felbridge Showground on 26th July, with a bright blue sky and a slight breeze to keep us cool! The preparation area was packed with a huge number of entrants vehicles, where due to space restrictions we found our vehicles, ponies, carriages, harnesses, and ancillary bits were all split across the full length of the car park. This made event administration difficult for our members, particularly as we only had two companion whips available on the day.

In spite of the communication problems we had great results, and in roughly the order of entry:-

A) Vicky drove Charlie the shire horse, with Allison as companion in the Hartland Freeway, coming 3rd in Assisted Class.
B) Linda drove Smokey, with Val as companion in the Fenix, coming 1st in Assisted Class.
C) Josie drove Alan, with Allison as companion in the Renee Schloop, coming 6th in Novice Class.
D) Beth drove Prince, with Val as companion in the Jackson Darrant, coming 4th in Open Cones.
E) Gay drove Smokey, with Allison as companion in the Fenix, coming 4th in Open Class.
F) Joanne drove Prince, with Val as companion in the Jackson Darrant, coming 2nd in Open Class.
G) Beth drove Prince, with Val as companion in the Jackson Darrant, coming 2nd in Dressage Competition.

To comply with the Data Protection Act we are required to remove images at agreed intervals. Copies may still be requested by asking a Committee member.
RDA National Championships – Results – 15th July 2016.

We were lucky enough to have two members who qualified for the RDA National Championships at Hartpury College in Gloucestershire.

Lee drove Dennis in the Intermediate Dressage Event, and the two of them went like a racehorse. We are delighted to report that Lee finished in a fantastic 4th place.

Jo drove Dennis in the Open Event, and we are proud to report that Jo finished in Equal 1st place. Because of the rules of the day it wasn’t possible for two people to tie, and as her time was only 3 seconds longer she was announced coming 2nd. This is a superb achievement and Jo can be very proud of herself.

We are absolutely delighted that both Lee and Jo represented Kipling Driving Group and proud that they did so well. Very well done to both of them !!!!

To comply with the Data Protection Act we are required to remove images at agreed intervals. Copies may still be requested by asking a Committee member.
Musical Evening at Broadoak Village Hall – 26th June 2016.

The Musical Evening held at Broadoak Village Hall was a huge success! After an excellent meal and a drop of wine, the programme commenced with the Waldron Parish Peelers, six ladies who play a wide variety of music on handbells. Bell ringing is unique to our country, and we can be proud that this group continue the tradition.

The programme continued with the superb voice of Leo Andrews, a well known performer in the musical world who is currently playing in “Groundhog Day” at the Old Vic. We were extremely fortunate that Leo was able to support our event and his theme of music from the shows was perfect. Leo was brilliantly accompanied on the piano by Benjy Tyler, Musical Director at Newick.

All performers provided their services free of charge, for which we are extremely grateful. We are also indebted to Annette who worked so hard in the kitchen, ably assisted by many other members.

Our treasurer is pleased to report that the event raised £1125 (after all costs were deducted) which is a superb achievement!
Monday & Thursday Meetings – May 2016 Onwards.

You may be aware that unfortunately Janet Bettell-Higgins is injured and is currently incapacitated. Our best wishes do of course go to Janet and we hope that she makes a speedy and successful recovery.

Our committee has worked hard behind the scenes and the following will now happen:-

Monday meetings: Monday meetings are planned to continue, but possibly with fewer ponies. This will commence Monday 16th May and will continue until Janet is well again.

Thursday meetings: The start of Thursday “Acorn” meetings will be delayed until Thursday 9th June.
Monday Meetings – May 2016

We are pleased to announce that driving starts at Chalvington on Monday 9th May (subject to weather) and the forecast looks good. (10.00 am for 10.30 prompt start.)
Health & Safety Notification (Amended 12th April 2016):

Our Committee tells us that in order to remain insured by “The Riding for Disabled Association” we have a new directive update regarding riding helmets that we must all comply with.

From 1st January 2017 (date extended by RDA) riding hats made solely to (British Standard) EN1384 will not be permitted for use in RDA Groups. This keeps all Groups in line with The British Equestrian Federation, British Horse Society, British Eventing, British Show Jumping, Pony Club and British Dressage.

From 1st January 2017 only five riding hats are permitted:
(1) Riding Hats manufactured to PAS015 (1998 or 2011).
(2) Riding Hats manufactured to (BS) EN1384 that are also manufactured to PAS015 (1998 or 2011).
(3) Riding Hats manufactured to ASTM F1163 2004a.
(4) Riding Hats manufactured to SNELL E2001.
(5) Riding Hats manufactured to VG1.
Hailsham Photographic Society – 4th and 5th March 2016

“Audio Visual Extravaganza”.
Venue: Hailsham Community College, Battle Rd, Hailsham, East Sussex BN27 1DT.
Co-ords: 50.86594, 0.25622

Kipling County Driving Group was fortunate to be chosen as this year’s charity by Hailsham Photographic Society. Ray Beckwith, their friendly club’s compere for the event, presented Annette with an incredibly generous cheque for £1000 which will make a huge difference to our club.

Additionally, Annette (together with Kipling County members) ran a Grand National Sweepstake from a table at the back of the room. Photographic Club members who arrived a little too late to “Buy” a horse were kind enough to make personal donations, and for this generosity we are also very grateful. Annette is delighted to tell our Treasurer that the sweepstake and donations provided an additional £237 for our Group.

The Hailsham Photographic Societies audio-visual presentation maintained it’s incredibly high standards with members producing breathtaking presentations ranging from the local Sussex Downs to Central Asia’s Samarkand, and all set to superb music.
Bring & Buy Coffee & Cakes – Monday 4th January 2016.

Venue: Tectal Cottage, Bodle Street Green, BN27 4RE. Time: 10.30am to 12.00noon

Our Treasurer is pleased to tell our members that he’s just banked £178.50 being the sum raised at our “Coffee and Cakes” morning at Annette’s house on Monday.

This is a huge sum to have raised in just two hours and we are all indebted to Annette and Nick, and also to Annette’s sister Sandra for hosting this event in their home.
Kipling County RDA Newsletter – December 2015

Each year, our members provide a Newsletter. It’s all their own work and describes the huge amount of pleasure they obtain from our Group. The Newsletter is edited by Jay Bonner and printed by Janet Bettell-Higgins.

Please click this link to it:-
2015_12_Kipling County RDA Newsletter_Published PDF_Replacement

Christmas Lunch – Monday 7th December 2015

Venue: The Bear Inn, High Street, Burwash, Etchingham TN19 7ET.

Our Christmas Lunch was a great success, thanks to all the weeks of hard work by Jay Bonner.

Perhaps you bought one of Elaine Horwood’s lovely hand made craftwork as a gift for a friend? The raffle prizes were drawn and awarded to much laughter, and our Annual Awards were presented to the successful carriage drivers. There were awards for novice drivers, intermediate drivers, open drivers, cones, and further awards for those that had contributed to driving in so many different ways.

Two special presentations were made to Janet Bettell-Higgins and Val Eyres for the huge amount of work they both provide throughout the year with regard to ponies, stabling and transport, because our club couldn’t function as it does without their support.

Our Treasurer tells us that the raffle raised £217 and Elaine’s crafts raised £108, which is a credit to everyone.

To comply with the Data Protection Act we are required to remove images at agreed intervals. Copies may still be requested by asking a Committee member.

Janet Bettell-Higgins – Best Wishes – 11th November 2015

As we all know, Janet Bettell-Higgins had a new hip fitted on 11th November 2015.

We are delighted to tell everyone that the procedure was a complete success and that Janet is now well on the road to a full recovery again. She has already started taking very short walks, and kind Group members are helping her look after the ponies and their stabling.

We all look forward to seeing her at our Christmas Lunch on 7th December and thanking her for all the hard work she does throughout the year on behalf of Kipling County Carriage Driving Group.

Quiz Night @ Broad Oak – 7th November 2015

Our Quiz Night was fantastic, with more contestants entering the competition than anticipated.

Your Committee would like to thank all the members that helped in so many ways to make our fundraising event such a success. Although it seems unfair to single out any one person, especial thanks must go to Annette & Nick Thorburn for providing the excellent food and table decorations. It’s a little known fact that the white porcelain receptacles for the beautiful flower arrangements were Anette’s soup bowls from home!

Our Treasurer is delighted to announce that our Group raised £846 net of expenses!

RESULTS: Cones Competition – 19th October 2015
After an exciting drive at Chalvington, the results were as follows:
1st Linda
2nd Geoffrey
3rd Stephen
4th Beth
5th Jay
6th Vicky
7th Gay
8th Joanne
9th Sally
10th Josie
Well done to everyone for providing a thrilling morning!

Golf Day at Crowborough Beacon – 11th September 2015

There is great news to report –  that the charity golf day at Crowborough held raised nearly £2,000. This is much more than was expected and is almost equivalent to the record sum raised this time last year.


Daredevil Paraglide on Wednesday 24th June 2015.

Congratulations to Annette Thornburn. She successfully completed her sponsored tandem paraglide, overcoming her nerves and raising much needed funds for Kipling (exact amount to be advised). (picture of Annette in full flight ):-

The Eagle

Second driving morning – Bramdean

In 2015 Kipling County Carriage Driving Group formed a second driving morning!

In that year it was held in the Bramdean area at 10.00am each Thursday morning.
Brought to you by Janet Bettell-Higgins

Click on the link and see her 2014 Newsletter:   Kipling County Newsletter 2014 (1)

Please could you spend 15 minutes completing a questionnaire about the group. Click on the link and print off the survey. We will be delighted to hear from you. Here’s the link :-

Kipling Members Survey
We are very keen to recruit new helpers.
Please ask your friends to come along and help on Mondays! Come along and see what we do, enjoy a cup of tea or coffee, have a chat with with our helpers or disabled drivers, or simply telephone Janet Bettell-Higgins for further information.
 All Monday meetings are 10.00am for a 10.30am start, unless otherwise stated.

Please also be aware that the official finish time for driving is 12.30pm and although clients may have left at that time, volunteers are asked if they would be good enough to stay on with a view to clearing up by 13.00pm.

 Another useful link – to RDA South East Region’s website: –

Chalvington Cones Competition – 19th October 2015
After an exciting drive at Chalvington, the results were as follows:
1st Linda
2nd Geoffrey
3rd Stephen
4th Beth
5th Jay
6th Vicky
7th Gay
8th Joanne
9th Sally
10th Josie
Well done to everyone for providing a thrilling morning!
South East Carriage Driving Show at Felbridge – 23rd July 2015

In brilliant sunshine we took two ponies and four of our drivers.
Vicky drove Smokey in the Open Cones first before driving in the Assisted Driving Class, coming fourth in the cones and winning the Assisted class.
Lee then drove Prince in the cones coming 2nd. before the Novice Class in which he came 2nd.
Stephen, driving Smokey, entered in the Novice Class, coming 4th. in his first ever show. Well done Stephen.
Jay then entered the Open Class driving Prince, being placed 3rd. and then drove the cones course coming 3rd again. Every one went home tired but happy having had a very successful day.
Heron’s Ghyll One Day Event – 8th August

The weather once again blessed us with the sun shining on our ponies and their drivers, when we went off to Heron’s Ghyll group at Whitemiths, to take part in their one day event.

We had a very good and successful day. Joanne, in her first ever competition, came first in the novice class driving Alan, and Vicky, driving Smokey, came fourth. In the Intermediate class Josie was our only entry, and she came a very creditable fourth also driving Dennis. The Open class had Kipling’s largest entry. Beth won this class, also winning overall, driving the lovely little chestnut Prince. Linda, laughing all the way, came second driving Smokey, Lee, driving the dynamic Dennis, came fourth followed by Sally driving Alan coming fifth, and Jay, driving Prince, finishing in sixth place. Thanks to all our volunteers for all their hard work, as without their help, these events could not take place.

The Oaks Driving Club Show – 18th August.

It does not seem possible that each show Kipling has attended this season has been blessed with sunshine. There were two classes for disabled drivers, unassisted and assisted. Beth, driving Dennis, at his first showing show for a long time, came second and Jay driving Smokey came third, both in the unassisted class. In the assisted class, Vicky, who drives with a bar attached to her reins, won the class and received a lovely big silver cup. She was driving Smokey. Josie, driving Dennis received a third place. There was a novice and beginners class, so as we only had two ponies at the show, Lee and Joanne were entered in this class. Joanne was driving Smokey and came third and Lee had Smokey and was placed sixth. Everyone enjoyed the day and again, went home tired but happy.
Carriage Driving Indoor Event at Sands Farm – 26th SEPTEMBER 2013

Carriages polished, harness cleaned and ponies shining, off we set in convoy to Farnham in West Sussex.
Weather!!! Well, once again it was dry and warm for us, and most importantly, none of the awful fog we have had for the last few mornings. We arrived to meet the other groups from the region who our drivers were competing against.

The day started with the novice drivers. Josie was driving Dennis with Val and Joanne, with Carole beside her, drove Alan. Then Stephen was driving in his first event. He drove Smokey with Val alongside him. They started with a dressage test and then into the other indoor school to drive a cones course. This is driving between orange cones with tennis balls on top which you must not knock off.

The next class was the intermediate. Linda drove Smokey with Val and Lee was driving Alan with Carole, followed by the open class with Beth driving Dennis with Elaine and Sally drove Dennis again with Elaine. After they had all completed the dressage and cones course everyone enjoyed a picnic while the ponies enjoyed an apple and tucked into their haynets. Lunch time over, everyone climbed aboard their carriages and each went back into the school to drive the obstacles. Two for the novlce and intermediate and four for the open class. This was fast and was soon over and then everyone waited in anticipation for the results.

And what results! Josie won the novice class with Joanne coming second and Stephen, in his first ever event, finishing in third position. This also ment that Josie and Joanne qualified for the National Championships held at Harpbury in Glouster next year.

Lee won the intermediate class with Linda coming a highly respectable third. Then in the very strong open class, Sally was placed fourth and Beth placed seventh. Very well done to you all.

All tired, everyone piled into their various modes of transport and went home very happy.
KIPLING COUNTY OPEN DAY – Saturday 7th September 2013

Kipling County held an open afternoon at their driving field at Chalvington, and once again the weather was kind to us.

The visitors were given demonstrations of dressage, cone driving and hazards, driven by some of the disabled driving members of the group accompanied by their companion whips.

The visitors enjoyed tea and a wonderful variety of homemade cakes, and watched the drivers and their ponies driving around the field. It was set out with two dressage arenas, a cones course and two obstacles. Tea was served in the marque. Afterwards, the marquee was purchased by one of our volunteers, Mr. Peter Clark and his daughter Linda (who is one of our drivers), and presented to Kipling County as a wonderful gift. A very big thank you to them both. This will replace our other marque which, after waiting until the end of our last open day, decided to take off across the field when a strong gust of wind uprooted it.

A lovely day was had by all those attending and three of those visitors decided to join our band of volunteers helping on monday mornings.
Oak Driving Club at Golden Cross Arena – Sunday 10th November 2013

Joanne, Lee and Janet entered this competition. Joanne and Lee drove in the Beginners class, where Lee driving Blue came 2nd, and Joanne driving Dennis came 3rd. An excellent result as this was the first non RDA competition for them both. Janet competed with Crumble whose first event this was, in fact he had not seen obstacles before. His behavior was exemplary and resulted in a 4th rosette, showing much promise for the future. With three ponies and just one carriage several quick changes were necessary. The helpers came up trumps and everyone had a thoroughly enjoyable day.