LATEST NEWS: Boyd Exell Clinic at Woodend
Story and Photos by Berni Saunders – Cyberhorse
Australia's own, International Carriage Driving Champion, Boyd Excell, 5 times British National Champion and FEI world cup Driving Champion ( to name a few!) has recently been in Australian conducting a number of Carriage Driving Clinic's. Boyd offered his expert advice and support to the members of the Australian Carriage Driving Horse Singles Team , Elizabeth Lawrence and Michelle Jones. These young Australian Drivers both recently qualified for the World Singles Carriage Driving Championships to be held in Rome, Italy on the 30th July to 1st August.
The qualifying event CAN (FEI endorsed National Driving event) was held just outside the Nations' capital at the Wilcoxons' property 'Witwood' at Bungendore. In order to hold an International Qualifying event , two of the dressage judges have to be international. The two judges that came to Australia were Mr.Mark Wentein (Belgium) and Mr. Marsoe Larose (Canada). There were five dressage judges in all.
The dressage test was a new test for the Australian single horse competitors, which saw the canter movement introduced for the first time. Elizabeth and Michelle did exceptionally well considering it was only the second time these drivers had the opportunity to drive FEI no9 dressage test in Australia. The drivers qualified and were selected into the Australian team to compete in Rome later this year. Elizabeth Lawrence's horse scored 41 in the dressage and was deemed by the International judges and Boyd Excell to be possibly ranked in the top 5 dressage horses in the world for Carriage Driving. This is just amazing for Australian Carriage Driving.
Michelle Jones also demonstrated her great driving ability in the cones section of the competition, gaining the only clear round out of all competitors. Elizabeth and Michelle have both been driving and involved with horses all their lives . Their parents have also competed and done exceptionally well competing overseas.
After the event both drivers and their horses attended the Carriage Driving Clinic conducted by Boyd Excell in Bungendore, and again at Woodend in Victoria This was the fourth Clinic Elizabeth had attended with Boyd and her horse , "Michael".
Boyd is a master when it comes to what is needed to get that blue ribbon in carriage driving and is very willing and generous in giving as much information and knowledge as he can to his pupils. The Victorian Boyd Excell carriage driving clinic was held at the Bowens property in Woodend on the last weekend in January. There was a large array of driving combinations and levels of driving ability. There were 16 different drivers in Victoria having tuition, some having lessons on both days gaining instruction and assistance on different aspects of carriage driving from Show ring techniques, correct bitting, rein handling and marathon obstacle precision, to name a few.
There were also about 50 fence sitters watching and learning throughout the weekend via the continuous PA system and the ability to ask questions at the conclusion of each individual lesson. All attendees express the value and great acquisition of knowledge they receive in attending a clinic that Boyd conducts.
Both Elizabeth and Michelle are elated to have made it into the Australian team and both look forward to the challenges of driving at a World Championship. Elizabeth is planning to use this event as a warm up prior to taking her own horse to England next year and base herself with Boyd Excell to compete during their season on a yearly basis and Michelle also is looking to compete overseas consistently after this event.
Boyd Excell will help the Australian team get to the World Championship by assisting with the leasing of suitable horses, accommodation, transport etc. Boyd will also give his invaluable assistance in training to both Elizabeth and Michelle where possible, keeping in mind he will be busy getting ready to compete at the World Equestrian Games (WEG) being held in Kentucky, USA in October.
Boyd will compete in the Australian team with fellow Australian Gavin Robson, who has based himself in the USA for the last couple of years in preparation for the team driving at WEG. Boyd and Gavin are looking forward to competing not only as individuals for Australia but also together in the Australian team, which is a first for Australia to have a Four in Hand Australian team compete at WEG.
This is a huge step forward for Australian Carriage Driving and we wish our World Singles contingent Elizabeth Lawrence and Michelle Jones all the best in Rome and also Boyd Excell and Gavin Robson our very best wishes for the World Equestrian Games., Kentucky, USA 2010
For further information, donations and updates on these drivers please visit their websites: