Bennington Open Day Exceeds Expectations!
From all of us here at Bennington Carriages - a big thank you! Our Open Day exceeded our expectations and we hope that those of you attended had, like us, a wonderful time.
Preparation began on Saturday at 6am with a glorious sunrise - which seemed to be a good omen. Exhibitors arrived from 7 a.m., bringing their carriages, ponies and wares to prepare for the 10 a.m. start. Whilst chilly, the heaters and coffee seemed to make things a little more comfortable! Trade stands piled high with everything from tack room accessories to horse feed before the arrival of the masses at 10am.
The day saw a range of activities designed to educate, inform and entertain all levels of carriage drivers. Morning activities in the indoor arena saw Amanda Saville introduce Try Driving, which continued throughout the day. This was followed by an expert demonstration of harnessing up by renowned BDS judge Martin Atkinson. A miniature horse demonstration from Marion Lovelace, Alison and Stephen Johnson was followed by Fiona Bonney from Zilco who demonstrated the correct way to fit an empathy collar.
With just enough time to allow everybody to grab a quick sandwich from the onsite caterers - who like us were overwhelmed at the number of attendees, the afternoon events began. We were delighted that Boyd Exell helped launch our latest Carriage - the Bennington Blaze. The indoor arena saw a "double act" of Michael Mart and Boyd highlighting the new features of the Bennington Blaze and examining its new design - from its composite body to its newly design wheels, competition seat and adjustable grab handles.
The rest of the afternoon saw Amanda Saville give a long reining demonstration that was followed by the second of Zilco's harnessing talks. After the second miniature horse demonstrations, visitors headed outside into the sunshine to watch a Master Class from Boyd Exell. With our resident expert Sue as the trainee, Boyd offered clear and insightful assistance and guidance to both Sue and the amassed crowd.
The finale was a highlight for the 2009 Try Driving Students, with Amanda Saville, John and the support team running an indoor challenge against the clock. Consisting of sets of cones and an obstacle, and with several runs each in front of a cheering crowd, the winner was Jane Cooper from Winchester.
4pm marked the end of the day's activities and the beginning of Operation Clearup! As ever, we were supported by our wonderful staff and in many cases their families who helped get us back to normal. We are pleased to announce that the raffle also raised £200 for Sports Driving Unlimited, which will be used to support local disabled people enjoy the pleasures of carriages driving.
We'd like to extend our very warmest thanks to all those who attended. Visitors, exhibitors, staff - all are essential and we appreciate all the efforts made to attend and support the sport. At Bennington, we remain passionate about supporting Carriage Driving in all its forms and look forward to holding another similar event as soon as possible.
Take a look at some of the photos from the Open Day. Open Day Gallery
Timetable - Bennington Carriages Open Day - 7th March 2010
We are pleased to announce the timetable of events for our upcoming Open Day on March 7th 2010. It promises to be an exciting and fun packed event - we do hope you are able to attend.
- 10.00 - 10.15 Welcome from Bennington Carriages
- 10.15 - 10.45 Try Driving with Amanda Saville
- 10.45 - 11.15 Harnessing up & Putting to - by Martin Atkinson BDS
- 11.15 - 11.35 Miniature Horse Demonstration
- 11.35 - 12.00 Zilco Harness - Part 1: Correct fitting of an empathy collar
- 12.15 - 1.00 Launch of the Bennington BLAZE - Bennington Carriages & Boyd Exell
- 1.00 - 1.20 Long Reining Demonstration - Amanda Saville
- 1.20 - 1.45 Zilco Harness - Part 2
- 1.45 - 2.15 Miniature Horse Demonstration
- 2.30 - 3.00 Master Class - Boyd Exell
- 3.00 - 4.00 Introduction to Try Driving followed by 2009 Try Driving Student competition - Amanda Saville
For your convenience, directions to the event can be found at the foot of this page.
Whilst we will try to adhere to the published timings, we may have to alter times slightly in the event of unforseen circumstances such as bad weather.
Bennington Carriages Open Day - 7th March 2010
Bennington Carriages is delighted to announce that its 2010 Open Day will be held on Sunday 7th March at its new premises in Long Bennington.
A wide range of activities to inform, educate and excite carriage driving enthusiasts will be happening throughout the day, including:
- Driving Master Class from renowned carriage driver Boyd Exell
- The launch of the new Bennington Blaze - the next generation of carriage for singles
- An introduction to Carriage Driving from leading carriage driver Amanda Saville
- An exhibition of Miniature Horses and new Bennington miniature carriages
- How to lunge a driving pony demonstration
- British Driving Society demonstration
- The day also starts the 2010 Try Driving season which enables newcomers to receive expert tuition whilst safely driving a Bennington Funbug.
For drivers bringing their own turnouts, Boyd Exell will be on hand to provide expert guidance and coaching.
The day will cater for all aspects and levels of carriage driving and will be a fun, informative day for all the family. A warm welcome awaits from the Bennington Team and with refreshments available, it promises to be a superb day out. Admission is free.