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The British Driving Society
East Sussex


May 2019

The British Driving Society office has moved
TELEPHONE 01284-630591

April 2018

The weather has really played havoc with our schedule of events this year with some events having to be cancelled and others being pushed back to later in the year.  We have been trying to keep you all informed of the changes as soon as they happen.

Some good news!  Inharness magazine is offering an award for all carriage drivers.  See details below.

Drive 500 Miles with Inharness Magazine.

Get involved with the latest challenge from Inharness Magazine. Launching now, our exciting new campaign encourages drivers and back-steppers to go the extra mile and enjoy the countryside with their horse or pony team. Set your sights on getting out and driving 500 miles with us this year.

It doesn’t matter who you are or where you are from as long as you have access to a carriage we encourage you to undertake the Drive 500 pledge with us this year. Whatever your ambition and driving level, if you love to drive and spending quality time with your horse then this is the perfect challenge for you.

It costs just £10 and you have no time limit to complete the challenge once you have signed up. Whether your drive 5 miles a week or further, there is no time limit to complete Drive 500, it is a personal goal.


We will be with you all the way, from the start we will support you with a record card and tips for getting out and starting your goal, each sign up will also receive two branded hi-viz waistcoats to ensure you are safe and seen when out and about. There will be a monthly e-newsletter exclusively for Drive 500 members which will have advice from our experts as well as Drive 500 special information from our sponsors and ideas, tips and tools to keep your wheels rolling. Drive 500 members will also feature in Inharness magazine where we look forward to reporting on your progress and finding out how you are getting on.

Your record card will help you keep on track, we recommend downloading a free mileage tracking app on your phone to make sure you can record your miles. On completion you will receive a certificate and (rosette) and the self-pride that you have taken part in a fun and friendly challenge with people across the country!


Inharness Drive 500 is kindly supported by Zilco, Bennington Carriages and Baileys.

What are you waiting for? Sign up to the Drive 500 challenge today, visit

You may be aware that the Data Protection Policy is being changed from 25th May to take into account GDPR.  The BDS has prepared its own policy in consultation with the information Commissioner's Office.  Details are on the main BDS website  Please take a look at this.  If you have any queries or issues with Data Protection, Safeguarding, Health & Safety, Equalities, Complaints, etc please contact the BDS Office where it will be passed to the appropriate person to deal with.


March 2018

For this year we have decided to replace the Achievement Award and offer two new awards instead.


Best member Award

A rosette will be presented to the East Sussex BDS member who, in the opinion of the East Sussex committee feel, has contributed the most to driving generally throughout the year.


East Sussex Most Supportive Member

Rosettes will be awarded to 3rd place for the East Sussex BDS member who has attended the most East Sussex BDS events.  One point will be awarded for each East Sussex event you attend in 2018.  To qualify you have to be an East Sussex Area BDS member and attendance will count for a whip, groom or helper.  Duplicate rosettes will be given for any members that tie.  


January 2018

Happy New Year to all our members.  

We have another year of events planned for you this year.  We would like to thank everyone for their input as to what they would like us to organise and hopefully we have fulfilled some of your wishes.

Please check the Events page for details.  

Due to the conditions of our BDS insurance we are unable to run any events where we cannot find safe, enclosed parking and to that end we are unable to offer our East Hoathly   To make up the shortfall we are still looking for other venues.

We have again included the old favourites and repeated the new ones from last year and included some new events too.  There are a couple of other events currently in the planning process which we hope to schedule in too so please keep checking the Events page.  Or if you would prefer us to let you know about events just send Pearl your email address and you will receive a reminder a week or two in advance.  Pearl's email address is

We are holding our annual show again this year at Stuckles Farm and there is a Showing Masterclass being held at Stuckles Farm the Friday before the show so that you can practice beforehand.

We are not running the Achievement Award this year but will look to replace it once we have finalised our thoughts and will let you know shortly what is on offer.

Please do not forget that we have a For Sale/Wanted section on the website.  You can sell your unwanted equestrian items completely free of charge.  This can include riding or driving equipment, carriages, horse boxes or lorries, horse books, etc.  Just email details and photographs to Pearl Hudson at

We have just held our Annual Meeting and probably the most important issue raised was that of insurance.  In order to attend any of our events, the whip has to be a current BDS member and you need to bring your yellow membership card to all events.  In addition there are six safety rules that must be applied otherwise the insurance becomes invalid.  These are:

  1. All drivers/whips have to be current BDS members.
  2. The start venue must be enclosed with enough space for loading/unloading, preparing horses, putting to and taking out.
  3. Horse are to be led and driven by people capable of handling them.
  4. Horses, harness and vehicles are to be sound; free from wear, tear or damage and suitable to be used for the activity taking place.  Hard hats and suitable clothing/footwear to be worn as required by BDS Rules.  Anything not deemed suitable will be documented by the organiser.
  5. The following BDS safety rules are to be followed: No bridle is to be removed whilst the horse is attached to a vehicle; no horse to be tied to anything whilst still attached to a vehicle; no horse to be left unattended whilst attached to a vehicle; no horse to be driven from the ground whilst attached to a vehicle; no person to be aboard a vehicle with horse(s) attached unless the driver is in the driving seat and holding the reins
  6. These safety rules to be notified to all drivers/whips and said drivers/whips to be told they may not start or be required to withdraw if they breach the BDS safety rules or the horse/harness is unsound/unsafe/faulty or handling/driving causes safety concerns or they fail to obey the Highway Code or rules of the drive in the organisers opinion.  The organisers decision is final.

That said.  Have fun with your driving and we look forward to seeing you out and about at our events this year.