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Rules & Guidelines 2024

1.0 The aims of the club


1.1 To encourage and assist members in the safe and enjoyable driving of horse drawn vehicles to organise educational, social, competitive and fun events. To inform members of driving events and to co-operate with other driving clubs. To this end the club organises competitions and social activities and encourages members to attend other clubs’ events.


2.0 The rules


2.1 All participants at events must have third party insurance.


2.2 Horses and ponies must be 4 years old or over. Their feet should be properly shod, and/or correctly trimmed by a registered farrier.


2.3 All turnouts must have a competent groom on the carriage. Anyone with a small pony (under 11 hands) may, with the approval of the club committee, compete without a groom on the carriage, but a groom must be in attendance at the side of the dressage and cones arenas, and beside each obstacle. On a drive, small pony turnouts must be paired with another turnout with a competent groom (four in hand requires two grooms).

Grooms and back-steppers must be old enough and physically fit enough to render useful assistance in an emergency.


2.4 Anyone riding a horse or pony must wear a properly secured approved safety hat.

Any driver or passenger under 14 years of age must wear an approved safety hat whilst on a carriage.


Body protectors must be worn, by all riding on a carriage in the marathon phase of a driving trial, and at all other events, unless the risk assessment determines this is not necessary, (albeit individuals may of course choose to do so). The body protector must be fit for purpose.


2.5 A horse or pony should never be left harnessed to a vehicle without either a driver in the seat holding the reins or groom holding the bridle end of the reins a horse or pony should never be tied up whilst it is harnessed to a carriage.


2.6 The reins or any part of the bridle of any horse or pony must never be removed whilst it is harnessed to a carriage.


2.7 A competent driver must be sitting in the carriage and in full control of the reins before anyone else gets on board, and after driving, everyone else has alighted from the vehicle.


2.8 Junior drivers under the age of 18 may participate provided they are accompanied by a competent and able bodied adult aged 18 or over. In all cases the groom must have been approved by the committee as being competent and capable of taking control in an emergency. The groom must be on the vehicle at all times whilst the junior is driving, whether competing or not. the junior whip should have a suitable footrest.


2.9 All persons under the age of 18 travelling on a participating carriage, on which neither parent nor guardian is present, must have the signed, written authority of a parent or guardian.


2.10 Harness must be clean, safe, a good fit and good condition. For novice junior drivers and drivers with disabilities, auxiliary reins, (second set of reins) are permitted.

Martingales (other than false martingales) are not permitted.


2.11 Suitable spares must be carried, and it is recommended that these include some basic first aid items for both humans and equines.


2.12 A whip suitable to the turnout must be carried by the driver at all times.


2.13 Drivers should always proceed at a walk in the horse box park and other congested areas.


2.14 When parking at an event, whenever possible leave at least 5m between horse boxes and any other vehicle.


2.15 In order to protect the good relationships of the club with the landowners who kindly permit us to use their land and other facilities, the owners of dogs must keep them on a lead at all times when they are not confined within a secure enclosure. 

Competitors responsible for dogs found roaming unattended at any event may be awarded 20 penalties. Repeated infringement may result in exclusion from taking any further part in the event. This rule applies to dogs brought to events by competitors, grooms, stewards, judges, helpers, spectators or anyone else who is present in connection with the event.


2.16 The club takes reasonable precautions to ensure the health and safety of everyone present at each event. for these measures to be effective everyone must take all reasonable precautions for health and safety to avoid and prevent accidents, and must obey the instructions of the organiser and stewards.


The club safety policy (see appendix 1) will be posted prominently at all events. There will be a nominated safety officer.


The club safeguarding policy (see appendix 2) is kept on file and available for inspection. There will be a nominated safeguarding officer.


2.17 Neither the Wolverley & District Driving Club, nor any organising committee, nor any land owner, nor any agent, employee or representative of these bodies accept any responsibility for any accident, loss, damage, injury or illness to any animal, person or property whatsoever, however caused.


2.18 An organiser will be appointed for each event who will take action in respect of:


  1. Breaches of the club rules

  2. Dangerous driving.

  3. Misuse of the whip or ill treatment of a horse or pony.

  4. Conduct likely to be offensive, or bring the club into disrepute.

  5. If appropriate, report to the club committee to consider invoking rule 3e of the club

  6. Constitution.


2.19 Trophies must be returned to the secretary suitably engraved, at least 14 days before the presentation evening.


The following is a series of guidelines for safe driving of which members should be aware. if in doubt don’t hesitate to ask for assistance from experienced club members.


3.0 The guidelines


3.1. Check your harness before every event to ensure it is sound and unlikely to break. be sure your carriage is suitable for your horse or pony, will balance properly and the seat and footrest are adjusted to fit you. Always get your harness and carriage properly adjusted before coming to an event. trying to adjust harness whilst the horse or pony is all keyed up and ready to go is always risky.


3.2 Put to on as flat an area as possible. Do not put your horse to until you are ready to drive, and take it out as soon as you have finished driving.


3.3. Both traces should be secured before and undone after the breeching.


3.4. If you have inexperienced animal that is likely to get excited, pick a quiet corner of the box park away from the centre of activity. Face other horses and take precautions to anticipate unpredictable behaviour.


3.5 If you have the misfortune to get tipped out, concentrate on keeping hold of the reins to help you to regain control.


3.6 Nobody must be strapped into a carriage.


3.7. Approach and pass pedestrians and other horses, ridden or driven, carefully. Show consideration and courtesy to other people at all times.


3.8. The law requires that carriages which are driven on the road are fitted with reflectors. use clear hand signals to ensure that other road users are aware of your intentions. Make sure you are visible to other road users by wearing bright or reflective material on you, your horse or pony, and/or your carriage.


3.9. Always carry an effective fire extinguisher in your horse box or trailer.


3.10 Do not expect your horse or pony to pull a weight greater than the animal’s own weight. 


3.11. Do not mount or dismount from a moving carriage.

Appendix 1 


Safety policy


The Wolverley & District Driving Club is a voluntary club, with no paid employees, that promotes carriage driving and carriage driving events in the uk. the club is affiliated to British Carriage Driving. The club recognises that when organising and running events, the safety of its members, supporters, and the general public is of great importance.


To this end the club:


  • Expects all its members to; show consideration for matters of safety, relating to both themselves and others at all club events; and to comply with all reasonable requests, relating to safety, from event organisers.


  • Health and safety considerations are always given priority in planning, designing, organising, running and participating in the activities of the club.


  • Encourages its members to consider safety through articles and correspondence in the club newsletter.


  • The club committee includes a safety officer who is responsible for coordinating safety within the club, acting as a point of contact within the club for external organisations, on matters of safety, and for promoting safety amongst the club members.


  • All club event organisers are required to ensure that a safety risk assessment is completed prior to each event and expects that any resultant action-points be implemented during the event.


  • All new club members have to undertake a competence/safety assessment prior to being allowed to take part at their first club event, unless they hold a recognised driving qualification.


  • The club committee regularly reviews matters relating to health and safety.


• This policy will be displayed at all club events.



Appendix 2


Safeguarding policy


Every child, young person or vulnerable adult who drives or participates in a WDDC activity should be able to take part in an enjoyable and safe environment and be protected from abuse. This is the responsibility of everyone connected in any way with the WDDC. 


The club emphasises its responsibility to safeguard the welfare of all children, young children and vulnerable adults by seeking to protect them from physical, sexual or emotional harm and from neglect or bullying. WDDC is therefore committed to working to provide a safe environment for all children, young people and vulnerable adults to enable them to participate and enjoy carriage driving and related activities.


Key principles:


 • The welfare of the children, young people and vulnerable adults is, and must always be, the paramount consideration.


 • All children, young people and vulnerable adults have the right to be protected from abuse regardless of age, gender, disability, culture, language, racial origin, religious beliefs or sexual orientation.


 • All suspicions and allegations of abuse will be taken seriously and will be responded to swiftly and appropriately.


 • Working in partnership with other organisations, children, young people, vulnerable adults and their parents/carers is essential WDDC is committed to working with the police, social care departments and local children's safeguarding boards in accordance with their procedures. This is essential to enable those organisations to carry out their statutory duties to investigate concerns and protect children, young people and vulnerable adults.


WDDC maintains the principle that there are some roles within their organisation where adults have responsibility and influence over children and young people and therefore have an ethical obligation to safeguard and protect them from exploitation. Whilst legally young people aged 16 and 17 years have reached the age of consent for sexual activity, any inappropriate sexual relations with young people will be considered a breach of 'position of trust' and will be referred to the appropriate statutory authorities.

Policy Statement

The Wolverley & District Driving Club fully accepts its legal (children’s act, 1989 & 2004) and moral obligation to provide a duty of care, to protect all children and safeguard their welfare, irrespective of age, any disability they have, gender, racial origin, religious belief and sexual orientation. in pursuit of this, the WDDC is committed to ensuring that:


  • The welfare of young people is paramount and children have the right to protection from abuse.


  • All young people who take part in equestrian events are able to participate in a fun and safe environment and in an atmosphere of fair play.


  • It takes all reasonable practical steps to protect children from harm, discrimination and degrading treatment and respect their rights, wishes and feelings.


  • All concerns and allegations of poor practice or abuse are taken seriously and responded to swiftly and appropriately.


  • It is the responsibility of child protection experts to determine whether or not abuse has taken place, but is everyone’s responsibility to report any concerns.


  • All employees and volunteers are carefully selected, informed about their responsibilities and provided with guidance and/or training in good practice and child protection procedures.


  • High standards of behavior and practice are maintained.


  • Everyone knows and accepts their responsibilities and works together: parents, drivers, riders, instructors, proprietors, volunteers, and professional staff.

Appendix 3:




WDDC and the organisers of events run under WDDC rules will retain all data provided by those entering such competitions. 

By completing the membership and/or entry form and entering the event, the competitor

understands and agrees that: This data is used for organising and running and planning of future events and the publication of results of the competitions on paper and electronic media.


By Submitting a membership or entry form you are confirming you have read and will abide by the above WDDC rules and regulations and have Third Party Insurance 



February 2024

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