40th Anniversary Celebrations for Australian Carriage Driving Society NSW

Written by: The Hilltops Phoenix

Society founder, Judith Dwyer, driven by son Brendan.
Society founder, Judith Dwyer, driven by son Brendan.

To celebrate the 40th Anniversary of the Australian Carriage Driving Society’s (ACDS) NSW Branch, 100-plus drivers and visitors brought over 45 horses and almost as many carriages to Boorowa for the Easter Long Weekend (1st to 6th April).

Every attendee participated in non-competitive events from all disciplines, including three leisure/endurance drives of up to 30km, speed challenges through cones and an ‘Obstathon’, working your way through cones and obstacles from A-Z. The smallest entrant, Pip and her driver Cazzie Hedge were thrilled to join in on challenges normally reserved for the larger competitors, even if observers were sure Pip thought the obstacles were skyscrapers.

Big sulkies blitzed the speed and obstacle courses, while some members participated in ‘dressage’ events for the first time – a rare sight to behold. NSW Branch President, Peter Dunn of Tumut not only thoroughly enjoyed entering (and winning) events himself, but was thrilled to see everyone having a go and a wonderful time, whether it was their usual discipline or not, with the Boorowa Ex-Services Club kindly donating Wagon Wheel biscuits as prizes.

Locals enjoyed seeing the various carriages driving around town, or going up to the showground for a look, some even being taken for drives by ACDS members.

Boorowa local and founding member of the ACDS (50 years ago), Judith Dwyer was driven by son, Brendan, leading an 18-turnout Park Drive which incorporated a pass by Burrowa House Aged Care Facility. Peter Dunn says by far the most memorable moment for him was driving by Burrowa House. “Some [of the residents] were out the front waving, some in the windows. They loved it, we loved it. Awesome to see the smiles on their faces. What really made my day was one fella who couldn’t wave, but you should have seen the huge smile on his face.”

For those who missed this one, it was enjoyed so much by members there are hopes this will become an annual event. The October long weekend will also see the NSW State Championships held in Boorowa, with entrants from Qld, Vic, SA and NSW, and judges from interstate.

KP Carmody

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