News and views 

British Driving Society 48th Annual Show

British Driving Society 48TH Annual Show (1957-2012)
Sunday 24th June 2012, at Smith’s Lawn, Windsor, by kind permission of Her Majesty the Queen.

A hat-trick of wins for Peter Gray's Thorneyside Stud Cobs in the Welsh Classes and Supreme Champion and Electrolux Costers winner both by Thorneyside Stallions.

Windsor Great Park was a blaze of colour on Sunday 24th June for the 48th BDS annual show with polo matches on going on one side of the park and the BDS Show on the opposite side in three show rings. The patron of the BDS HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh KG, KT went past the show in the morning driving his team of four on the long drive from Windsor Castle and then returned to the show later to talk to exhibitors and to present awards.

For the first time in the history of this prestigious Show there was a class for Welsh Sections A, B and C in a show wagon  followed later by  the Welsh Cob  class in a show wagon. These two classes added to the Victoria Foods Welsh Section A and B, Section C and Section D totalled five classes for the Welsh Ponies and Cobs.

The Show organiser for the BDS, Charlotte Lawson commented that she was very pleased that the Welsh Classes were  very well supported and that the two show wagon classes had 4 and 5 exhibits respectively.

At 9 am in class 23 for Sect A, B and C in show wagon judged by Mr Alistair McNinch, (the father of The Welsh Pony and Cob Society Young Ambassador in 2011 Gillian McNinch from Ayrshire) the red rosette went to Michael Howell with the good moving dapple grey Section C Gwenllan Gwilym.

In second place was the chestnut Section C Twyloch William driven by Mr Steve Crowe with third going to Miss Rosemary Russell Allen driving the grey Section A Welsh Mountain Pony Aston Midnight Moon.

At 10.45 in class 24  five  Section D Welsh cobs in show wagons came into the ring – to be judged by Mr Alistair McNinch, who is remembered for showing Llanarth Roy in harness  in the past. There was a sizeable crowd watching - all cheering their favourite exhibit with the red rosette being given to Peter Gray’s lovely 5 year old flashy chestnut colt with flaxen mane and tail and four white socks Thorneyside Brynawelen, on his debut appearance, shown by George and Clare Mitchell of the Dycott Stud.

In second place was the free moving 8 year old Bay Roan Stallion Thorneyside Tradition owned by W L Hawkins and driven by Absolom Brown with third place going to 4 year old Brightside Sahara Dune by Thorneyside Flyer.

Thorneyside Brynawelen is very similar to his famous grandsire Brenin Brynawelon who was born in 1968 and  was by Hendy Brenin and out of Rhystyd Welsh Maid, who was by Brenin Gwalia. Brenin Brynawelon is one of the Welsh Cob Stallions that has strongly influenced  Thorneyside Welsh  Cobs. The championship was awarded to Peter Gray’s  Thorneyside  Brynawelen with Michael Howell’s Section C Gwenllan  Gwilym in Reserve.

A delighted Peter Gray said ‘I am very pleased that at this prestigious show that the BDS have introduced the wagon classes for Welsh Ponies and Cobs. I was very proud to see Thorneyside Brynawelen doing so well on his first outing and I am more than pleased with the first 3 placings in the Welsh Cob Show Wagon Harness Class, as they are all Thorneyside bloodlines.

George Mitchell and Clare Granger have done a wonderful job with Thorneyside Brynawelen, and our thanks go to them’. George Mitchell said ‘Thorneyside Brynawelen is the kindest stallion we have ever had on the yard and a dream to produce.’

Later in the day there was more exciting news for Peter Gray’s Thorneyside Stud when Brimstone the Fenman a Chestnut Welsh Cob Gelding by Thorneyside The Boss won the Electrolux Costers Class.

The results of The Victoria Foods Welsh Private Drive Classes were as follows :-

Class 8 Victoria Foods Welsh Sections A & B - Results

1  Kingsmead Gatekeeper,  a liver chestnut Welsh Sect B to a Brewster Stanhope Gig  owned by Mrs. Avril Lewis and driven by  Elaine Thompson

2  Brynllwyn Quick-Flash,  a black Welsh Sect B to a Spindleback Gig owned by  Debbie Charlesworth and driven by  Nicola Salter

3 Trindod Wildcat, a grey Welsh Sect  A to a Stickback gig  owned by Jean Clayden and driven by  Kate Cooper

Class 9 Victoria Foods Welsh Section C

1 Drysiog Daniel ap Jet, a chestnut Welsh Sect C to a  1930 Roundback Gig  owned  and driven by Miss V. Morris

2  Swchyrhafod Samson, a bay Welsh Sect C to a Round Back Gig  owned by  Dr. B.M. Lewis & Mr. W. Isaac and driven by  W. Isaac

3  Somerford Granville,  a bay Sect C to a Stickback Gig  owned and driven  by Joanna Seaman

Class 10 Victoria Foods Welsh Cobs – Section D

On his first outing in any show ring and in the capable hands of co-owner Janice Clough, the 15 hh 6 year old dun Welsh Cob Section D Dearnevalley Ronaldo by Blaengwen Wayne Rooney won the Victoria Foods Welsh Cob Section D class and went on to win the novice championship picking up his HOYS ticket, and was Reserve Champion overall - not a bad day on his first outing


1 Dearnevalley Ronaldo, a Dun Welsh Cob  to a Spindleback  Gig  owned by  Mrs. J. Clough & Mr. G.J. Schofield and  driven by  Janice Clough

2 189 Ackroyd Patsy, a bay Sect D to a Roundback Gig by Lawton Smith Bros. owned and driven by  Edward Smith

3 147 Synod Rockabilly, a bay Sect D to a Spindleback Gig owned and driven by  Vanessa NealI

In the  Victoria Foods Welsh Championship

The dun Section D was reserve to the 8 yr old Section B Kingsmead Gatekeeper, purchased as a foal for £75 and shown by Elaine Thompson

Winner of the Brewin Dolphin BDS Supreme Championship was Brookeborough Duke, a flamboyant bay hackney-Welsh  by Thorneyside Reflection owned by  John Hollister & Andrew Hamilton Rhodes and driven by  Andrew Hamilton Rhodes to a Lawton Spindleback Gig 1900. He won the strong KBIS British Equestrian Insurance Hackney Type – Single class.

The winners and all outfits paraded on the Polo Ground in front of the Her Majesty The Queen in the   Royal Box at around 5pm which was a colourful spectacle.

It was a wonderful day out with exhibitors coming from far and wide and the Great Windsor Park is a marvellous location for this prestigious event

Dr D Glyn Jones, Gwarchod Stud

Photographs by



5th Jul 2012