Carriage Driving

Grey pony pulling a four wheeled carriage with coach and participant onboard. Surrounded by a team of 5 supporters on foot wearing pink tops.

Forde Abbey Carriage Driving Group


Carriage Driving has been an important part of RDA since 1975 and there are now around 60 groups involved, giving opportunities to over 1000 drivers.

RDA Carriage Driving is open to all members of RDA and is particularly enjoyed by people who can no longer ride due to disability, or who prefer a different kind of equine challenge.

Here you will find all the information you need for your Carriage Driving Group.



The Stella Hancock Training Award for CD Groups for 2024/2025

These awards were set up so that Carriage Driving Groups are able to provide training for their volunteers, which in turn benefits all their participants.

In 1976, Stella Hancock, along with her husband Ron, added a Carriage Driving section to the West Horsley RDA group. This was the first RDA carriage driving group in the UK, and continued with Stella at the helm until her untimely death in 1988. 

The driving group became independent in 1987 and changed its name to the Stella Hancock Group following her death.

Many people have benefitted from Stella’s knowledge, foresight and enthusiasm for providing a tailored carriage driving experience for each participant.

The Awards, which are financed from the Stella Hancock designated Fund, are up to the value of £250. This is an increase on previous years, and will enable more Groups to access training.

  • Applications will only be accepted from RDA Carriage Driving Groups, not from individuals within RDA.
  • Funds can be awarded before the proposed activity has taken place; therefore, it is important to include details of the proposed trainer and sessions to be undertaken. If approved, the money will be paid to the CD Group, who should then arrange payment to the trainer directly.
  • Applications will be considered regularly throughout the year, with a decision normally within 28 days of receipt of applications.
  • A report should be sent in after the training has taken place, outlining how the training went and the benefits which resulted. The invoice, or receipts from the trainer, should be included with this.
  • If a report is not submitted, no further grants from RDA can be awarded to the Group.
  • A Group may apply once per financial year. If you have applied since April 1st 2023, please wait until 1st April 2024 before applying again. The Form is available to download on the right hand side of the page, under ‘For Groups’.

Please find Stella Hancock 2024 Application Form below:

 Stella Hancock Application Form June 2024


Dudley-Smith Award

RDA Carriage Driving is indebted to Susan Dudley-Smith for wishing to recognise our ‘unsung heroes’. Each Year RDA will acknowledge volunteers who have made an important contribution to RDA Carriage Driving through hard work and often unsung efforts.

The Award will be presented at the National Championships Carriage Driving Presentations on Friday July 12th 2024

Award Criteria: –

  • The award is open to any person who is a regular volunteer at an RDA Carriage Driving Group. Nominations should not only be about the role within the Group or length of service (although these may be important).
  • Nominees should have made an important contribution to RDA Carriage Driving at a Group, County, Regional or National level.
  • The Awarding Committee will be looking for evidence that this person has gone beyond what might normally be expected.

Nomination form is available here: Dudley-Smith Nomination Form June 2024


Carriage Driving at the National Championships 2024

Please follow the link Carriage Driving ( to find the current Dressage test and diagram for the National Championships.

Recent News

The Dudley-Smith Award Winners 2023

Two women stood together holding a certificate and bunch of flowers smiling at the camera

Anne Miller Dudley smith award 2023

Three volunteers stood with hats on around a pony wearing a driving bridle.

Susan Dudley smith winners award winners 2023


The Dudley Smith award is presented to volunteers who have gone ‘over and above’ in supporting carriage driving. This year’s recipients were Ann Miller, George Masson and Arthur Ingram of Maryculter Carriage Driving group. Read more here.

Endurance in Carriage Driving

Thank you to Forde Abbey Carriage Driving Group for trialing Carriage Driving Endurance – we hope that many groups will add it to the variety of activities that they already offer to their participants. Please fill in a Carriage Driving Endurance Application Form to add Carriage Driving Endurance to your activities. Information packs and certificates are on the Group Orders page. Certificates are available in 1km, 2km, 3km, 5km, 10km and 15km.

Carriage Driving Weight Chart and Guidelines

Carriage Driving weight chart and guidelines are now available on the RDA  “Group Orders” website.

Page Last Updated: June 14, 2024