WELCOME

Join the Carriage Commentator and discover an entertaining and informed commentary on the world of carriage driving

Sixteen sections each dedicated to a different area of driving

DASHBOARD
RINGSIDE
DISPATCHES
COACH HOUSE
TANDEM BARS
ROSTRUM
THE POWER
STABLE YARD
YOUNG DRIVERS
TRAINING
COACHING
CRAFT
CHARITY
ATTELAGE
TRIALS
PARTNERS

THE
DASHBOARD

Here you will find Sarah’s regular blog where she will be sharing her news, thoughts and views on what’s happening, both in the driving world and on the home front with the ponies, children, dogs and life in general.  It will be an account of the pitfalls (and rewards) of juggling too many balls, spreading oneself too thinly, and dealing with the vagaries of family life and equines.  She’ll also be keeping you up to date with events the CC team are involved with: competing, viewing, judging or commentating.

TRAINING CENTRE

This area is key to what we wish to share with you at The Carriage Commentator.  We all  need someone on the ground looking at how and what we are doing.  Even world champions have their trainers.  The importance of recognising that we are always learning is crucial to success with the driven horse.  We will also be talking to trainers and practitioners in other disciplines to see what we can learn from them and see if they can help us to improve how we get our driving horses – and ourselves – to perform.

THE RINGSIDE

The Ringside is the place to be for reports and previews on the showing and eventing world.  It’s also the best place to stand to have an overview of what’s going on inside the ring.  We’ll be talking to event organisers and covering the wide variety of driving activities that are on offer, from club drives to international events.  Again, it’s where we’d like to hear from you with reports about events you might be organising, wish to promote or have attended. 

THE TANDEM BARS

We are honoured at the Carriage Commentator to have the legendary Sallie Walrond writing for us.  As the founder of the Tandem Club, it’s fitting that ‘The Tandem Bars’ section belongs to her.  Sallie will be writing monthly about her horsey and driving recollections and sharing her unique and deep knowledge with us.  She was instrumental in teaching both Sarah and Minta when they were junior whips and several decades on, Sallie’s energy and enthusiasm are as remarkable as ever.

THE POWER

This is where meet the movers and the shakers – the people with power who make things happen.   The driving and charity worlds are awash with fascinating, capable and inspiring individuals who might not be in the limelight themselves, but who work tirelessly to make things happen for others.  Be it an event secretary, charity CEO or steward, a highly paid executive or a selfless volunteer, we’ll be asking these wonderful people to talk about themselves and shine a spotlight on their amazing work.

STABLE YARD

Roll up your sleeves and get the broom out – the Stable Yard is where we look closely at the horses we own and drive, how we care for them and what’s involved in keeping them fit and healthy. There is a baffling amount of information about feeding, shoeing, bitting, back care, travel gear and lots more, and we will do our best to demystify it for you and impart our own experiences of working with a wide variety of horses.  We will look back at the old wisdom and horsemanship, and relate it to current practice.

YOUNG
DRIVERS

Having started their journeys through the driving world as Junior Whips, both Minta and Sarah are passionate about encouraging the next generation of carriage drivers.  Already we have on board some young stars as contributors who have achieved wonderful things and won scholarships and prizes, but we really want to promote the importance of good training and safe practice right from the beginning, as well as give a voice to the drivers of the future. 

CHARITY

The Carriage Commentator is proud of its close association with the charitable sector and the wonderful work they do.  Already we are aligned to The Horse Trust, but we will also be visiting other equine charities and examining the incredible job they do in helping to give poorly treated equines a second chance – or simply giving them a much deserved and comfortable retirement.  And it’s not just the domestic charities that we’ll cover – we’ll be looking at the work being done abroad to rescue and rehabilitate, as well as educate. 

ROSTRUM

Uniquely placed to have a direct insight into the auction world due to the close connection with Thimbleby & Shorland, the Reading auctioneers who run the specialist carriage sales, The Carriage Commentator will have regular previews and auction reports, together with an analysis of what’s happening in the wider marketplace.  We’ll also be looking at where else you can buy or sell your horses and driving equipment, and what to watch out for.

DISPATCHES

This is the area of the website where we report on your news and views.  It’s also where up to date announcements about events, gatherings, changes in personnel and the various societies’ news can be found.  Do send us your snippets or even letters, and we’ll endeavour to share them. Please remember that we will not publish anything defamatory or controversial and all submissions may be subject to a bit of editorial tinkering, if only to correct the commas. 

COACH HOUSE

The coach house is where we’ll be having an in-depth look at the carriages themselves and taking time to browse around them.  From discussing museums and collections, to analysing individual carriages and their history, we will give a voice to the vehicles. And it won’t just be the antique carriages and their builders which are featured, we’ll be looking at the modern carriage building industry, the designs, the manufacturers and the commercial side of it all too.

CRAFT

This is the area where we unpick the crafts, trades and traditions which enable us to put a set of harness on a horse and go carriage driving.  There is so much to it and we at The Carriage Commentator wish to share our enthusiasm for the wisdom and knowledge of many generations of craftsmen and women, some of whom work hard to perpetuate dying arts and enable skilful things to happen, like casting a heart shaped buckle, applying a horseshoe to a flaky hoof, or constructing a pair of gleaming lamps.

COACHING
SCENE

This is an area of driving especially close to Sarah’s heart.  Having toughed it out during her gap year at Coaching in Bavaria with Herr Nemitz, the magical experience of putting four well matched horses to a magnificent Coach, then seeing them work as a team, hearing the grind of the iron tyres on the road and all the traditions that are associated with it, will never lose it’s appeal.  When running the Reading Carriage Sales, Sarah was lucky enough to sell some of the world’s finest Coaches, and it is a source of pride to see them being driven once again and live on in the 21st-century.  We hope you’ll find her enthusiasm for the subject infectious.

DRIVING TRIALS

Another plus for our followers at The Carriage Commentator is that we have a ‘woman on the inside’ of both the domestic and international eventing scene in Minta.  A lifelong competitor with all combinations, she is also a highly respected and sought-after judge, trainer and Chef d’Equipe to Team GB. From her unique vantage point we will be reporting on what’s going on at the fast and furious end of driving, where the power of the horse fours is matched by the skill of the drivers who navigate them through tight obstacles – something that makes us all hold our breath.

ATTELAGE de TRADITION

The team at The CC are delighted that after 25 years of active support on Continental Europe, the AIAT movement is really taking off here in the UK.  Headed in this country by CC friend Richard James, it has become a wonderful forum to showcase traditional turnouts, and given a new lease of life to the older carriages.  It is also a worthy alternative to showing where competitors are usually judged by one individual.  In AIAT, there are three different judges, three phases and performance matters just as much as appearance. 

PARTNERS

We are delighted to promote our partner organisations at The Carriage Commentator.  The companies we are associated with are all highly respected and we are happy to put our name to their products and services.  Please support our equine charities who work tirelessly in welfare, research and education.  Do visit our photographers’ websites and take a look at their wonderful images which cover equine and driving events all over the country.

Combining online technology with the traditional yet ever evolving world of carriage driving, the forum has been created by Sarah Dance and Minta Winn, two of the most recognisable figures in driving who between them share a passion and expertise in all areas of driving. Whatever your level of experience or knowledge, there is something for you here at The Carriage Commentator.  From training advice, event reports, opinion, historical articles and profiles of some of our leading protagonists, we will keep you entertained.  We are also proud to have a close association with equine charities whose wonderful work we will promote. Our guarantee to you is that we will both educate and entertain, and will only publish well written articles by people who really know what they are talking about. 

HOP ON BOARD

Join us and keep up to date with all the latest news, views and advice in the world of carriage driving

£5

PAY AS YOU GO

Subscribing to our digital forum allows you access our digital content including the latest news, reviews and observations in the world of carriage driving.  We also include a weekly e-newsletter, updated monthly articles and special offers.

To access the whole website and make the most of the online experience, there is a one off payment of £5 that will last one calendar month. Simply register with us to gain access through our login panel

For your one off payment :

  • One off payment for 30 days access
  • Access all the articles, photographs and news
  • Receive educational articles from our team of renowned experts
  • Send in your news, views and photographs for publication
  • Access to some of carriage driving’s biggest names and most experienced practitioners
  • Become part of The Carriage Commentator’s international driving community and witness a growing online forum which in due course will also offer downloads and videos

 

£5

PAY MONTHLY

Subscribing to our digital forum allows you access our digital content including the latest news, reviews and observations in the world of carriage driving.  We also include a weekly e-newsletter, updated monthly articles and special offers.

To access the whole website and make the most of the online experience, there is a recurring monthly subscription of £5. Simply register with us to gain access through our login panel

For your monthly subscription :

  • A recurring monthly subscription updated each month with fresh new content in addition to existing articles. You may cancel subscription whenever you want.
  • Access all the articles, photographs and news
  • Receive a regular e-shot with updates and the editor’s blog
  • You will be introduced to our partner organisations with special offers
  • Receive educational articles from our team of renowned experts
  • Send in your news, views and photographs for publication
  • Access to some of carriage driving’s biggest names and most experienced practitioners
  • Become part of The Carriage Commentator’s international driving community and witness a growing online forum which in due course will also offer downloads and videos

We look forward to you joining us on this exciting journey.

 

£50

PAY ANNUALLY

Subscribing to our digital forum allows you access our digital content including the latest news, reviews and observations in the world of carriage driving.  We also include a weekly e-newsletter, updated monthly articles and special offers.

To access the whole website and make the most of the online experience, there is a recurring annual subscription of £50. Simply register with us to gain access through our login panel

For your annual subscription :

  • A recurring annual subscription updated each year with fresh new content in addition to existing articles.
  • Access all the articles, photographs and news
  • Receive a regular e-shot with updates and the editor’s blog
  • You will be introduced to our partner organisations with special offers
  • Receive educational articles from our team of renowned experts
  • Send in your news, views and photographs for publication
  • Access to some of carriage driving’s biggest names and most experienced practitioners
  • Become part of The Carriage Commentator’s international driving community and witness a growing online forum which in due course will also offer downloads and videos