Driving force gives Royal Norfolk Show modern look

The Royal Norfolk Show will be hosting a variety of driving classes again this year with a change in some classes to satisfy new trends in the showing world.

Currently one of the largest and most popular driving shows for the east of England region, the Royal Norfolk hosts seven Osborne Refrigerator qualifiers for the British Driving Society Championship as well as the prestigious Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) qualifier for the show champion.

Competitors will have a range of classes to choose from over the two-day show from 'private driving novice turnout' through to 'two-and four-wheeled light trade' with the much sought after Norfolk Special awarded in each class.

This year, in addition to the existing range of classes offered, the organisers will be introducing a Country Turnout class which will offer a further Osborne Refrigerator qualifier.

Further details can be obtained from livestock secretary Mary Wright on 01603 748931

• With kinder weather smiling down upon the Norfolk venue, Easton College enjoyed a successful dressage show on Saturday.

The classes ranged from Introductory A through to Medium and included a class for Para riders.

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Equestrian centre manager Hilary Francis said: 'It's great to see that the local Para dressage riders are now becoming quite competitive and are gaining great experience at these shows. Our aim is to increase the Para riders and anybody interested can contact me on 01603 731577.'

One of EQ's 'Talent Spotted' riders, Casey Parker, enjoyed a good show, winning Prelim 10 on What a Steele by only 0.1pc, and taking second place in Intro A on young horse Gracie.

Poringland-based Georgina Kidner also took home her fair share of rosettes on Saturday, as she rode 20-year-old The Mission to first place in the Novice 30/Elementary 49 class as well as the final class of the day, Elementary 45/Medium 64.

The Mission, also known as Harvey, is owned by Georgina's trainer Jade Warman and has previously competed up to Prix St George level but is now retired and enjoying the Pony Club life with his young rider. Georgina said: 'Earlier this year we became Norfolk Schools Elementary Champions and qualified for the National Schools final which is being held at Addington this weekend.'

The next dressage competition at Easton will be on 26th February.

• The first accredited training day and farriery competition held by The Suffolk Agricultural Association, outside of the Suffolk Show, will take place on March 4 and 5, at Trinity Park, Ipswich.

Open to all farriers and apprentices throughout the country, the Eastern Counties Spring Championship will be held on the second day preceded by a day's hunter shoeing tuition with one of the UK's most eminent farriers, Gary Darlow AFCL from Knutsford, who will also judge the championship.

The Eastern Counties Spring Championship held the following day, comprises six classes, two open to registered farriers only, with prize money totalling more than �1,800 and a first prize of �500 for the open Hunter Shoeing class.

Entry forms and a list of regulations can be downloaded from the Suffolk Show website at www.suffolkshow.co.uk and must be returned by February 18.

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