Born in Leeds James’ introduction to driving came about when his father asked Caroline Dale of Red House Stables to break the family pony to harness. Quickly smitten James groomed for his dad and competed in local events and can remember the hay days when a novice class had 30 + entries. An opportunity to work with the late, great Peter Munt was too good to pass up so James left school and moved into Ascot Driving Stables as a working pupil in 1984. This busy yard allowed a diverse range of experiences from International / National competitions and film work to breakers and funerals with a team of people who became lifelong friends. When the year finished James crossed the pond to take up a post in California with John and Anita Mellott of ‘California Carriage and Harness company’. Never one to turn down an opportunity to broaden his experiences a role as coachman for Andreas Nimitz at ‘Coaching in Bavaria’ brought James back to Europe and while there he obtained his Bronze driving medal. At 17 he was, at the time, the youngest coachman they had and would take tourists on 3 and 6 day tours with a stunning road coach. As is often the case a woman temporarily brought him back to the UK where he was a stand in driver for Samuel Smith brewery’s magnificent Shires alongside some freelance training. However, the pull of America was too strong, and it wasn’t long before he was back in California this time working with Friesians (horses not cows). Running a large yard with responsibility for breaking, training and showing he was quickly earning a reputation as a competent coachman who was pretty good on the coach horn too. Many years were spent in California, San Francisco and Virginia were he also worked with Andalusians and inevitably he became involved in setting up and organising a driving club and 2 day trials. A move back to England in 1999 brought him to Devon where he joined the Great Western harness club and he was soon involved in running their events when not competing with a single horse. The pull of the dales was strong and moving back north reacquainted him with Anne Chambers an old friend of his father’s. Now Indoor Driving was on his radar and he set up Askham Bryan Indoors and ran Laughton Manor and Tickhill for the N Yorks, S Yorks and Lincs areas. During this time, he qualified for the Indoor Final with his single open horse Ernie who was also shortlisted for the Selection Trials. A pony tandem win at Sandringham National in 2014 is one highlight he is particularly fond of as it happened on his birthday and was the same year he also won Tandem Driver of the Year in the Points Championship. A brief dabble with a pony team followed however personal reasons ended that. In 2019 James accomplished a long held goal by being the driving force behind Osberton Driving Trials coming back on to the driving calendar. James has always been passionate about driving and wants to encourage other people to get involved by providing opportunities to compete, help or spectate, while at the same time animal welfare is of paramount importance to him.
To increase participation and enjoyment in carriage driving trials by:
Encouraging a greater number of adults and children to compete at carriage driving trials at all levels, and to do so more frequently.
Increasing the satisfaction of participants and volunteers to sustain and grow carriage driving trials participation.
Safety and Welfare
Work with all individuals and organisations associated with carriage driving trials in conjunction with the appropriate agencies so that the number of preventable incidents and deaths is reduced.
To ensure the welfare of all equines involved in the sport of carriage driving trials.
To promote responsible and sustainable carriage driving trials, in safety and in harmony with the environment and other land users in the UK.
To raise standards:
Of carriage driving trials in order to enhance competition and for the overall enjoyment of carriage driving trials throughout the UK.
To ensure that A1 Events Ltd is inclusive and accessible to all ages and backgrounds, including under-represented groups.
To promote carriage driving trials and deliver A1 Events Ltd programmes at club, regional and national levels.
For the attention of all competitors.
British Carriagedriving, and A1Events take the safeguarding of children and vulnerable adults extremely seriously and, with the advice and support of the British Equestrian Federation and the Child Protection in Sport Unit, are committed to continuous improvement.
A copy of British Carriagedriving’s Safeguarding Policy is available via the BC web site.
Our Safeguarding Officer, Anne Chambers,
is available as your point of contact and can be contacted, in confidence via e-mail (email@example.com) or 07889 757939.
Alternatively, you can contact the BC Safeguarding Officer, Suzanna Anslow. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have any concerns in relation to safeguarding issues, or require any advice or information, please do not hesitate to contact Anne Chambers or Suzanna Anslow. In addition, if you are aware of any safeguarding issues which you consider need to be investigated then please raise these with Anne Chambers or Suzanna Anslow.