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Mike Hodgson Wins Bronze Medal for Great Britain - 03 September 2014

Abbey England sponsored carriage driver, Mike Hodgson, was delighted to secure individual Bronze for Great Britain at the European Junior Championships in Poland.

Said Mike: “We arrived in Poland at lunchtime on the 18th August following 3 ½ days of travelling. We spent the remainder of the day walking Barney in hand and he soon relaxed in his new environment. The following day, each competitor had eight minutes to drive in the dressage arena followed by a session with GB team trainer Sara Howe. The next morning we were up early for a drive and training session prior to the vet inspection, thankfully all of the GB ponies passed with no problems.

“The dressage went as well as I could possibly have hoped for, Barney remained relaxed and gave a good performance putting me in second place which I was really pleased with. The following day we weren't out until late on the marathon which gave me the opportunity to watch quite a few of the other competitors go round.

“The ground was hard and with very little grass causing the carriages to slide through the obstacles. As we set off at the start of the marathon we passed obstacle one where we saw team mate Charlotte tip up, this made me approach the obstacles with caution although we did gather speed as we progressed. We finished 8th in the marathon phase which dropped me down to third overall after phase two.

“The cones phase is always my strongest and I like a quick difficult course to put the pressure on the others. Barney remained relaxed throughout the course which meant I could drive him round the tricky course without having a ball down and within the time permitted. A double clear was good enough to hold 3rd place but unfortunately neither of the two above had sufficient penalties to move me higher in the rankings.

“I am delighted with my bronze medal which made all the hard work, travelling and training over the summer very worthwhile. Thank you to Abbey England for their support.”

For more please contact Abbey England on 01565 650343 or visit You can also find Abbey England on Facebook.

Mike Hodgson 

Georgina Hunt Prepares for WEG - 20 June 2014

Abbey England sponsored carriage driver Georgina Hunt is delighted to have been selected to represent England at the World Equestrian Games 2014.

Preparation is now well underway, Georgina explains: “We have been offered several training sessions with the world champion Boyd Exell so I'm making sure I attend as many as possible of those. The horses are being closely monitored and maintained by my vet and the team vet to make sure they are in peak condition for WEG. We are also working with the team chef d'Equipe and trainer to determine the best show preparation over the remainder of the season. Being selected early gives greater flexibility to try and tailor our show schedule to our needs.”

The trip over to France should be relatively straightforward as the horses are good travellers and accustomed to settling in to new environments quickly. Georgina always travels with her own water from home for the horses’ first drink when they arrive and also carries enough hay to maintain consistent forage.

BEF sponsor the ferry ticket to Calais for the lorry which takes the five horses and tows a trailer containing both carriages and all the kit. There will be three HGV drivers on Georgina’s crew for WEG so Georgina can take a caravan for the family.

Said Georgina: “When I'm at a show I really prefer to be on site with all my usual kit around me. We need so many bits and pieces if I'm in the athletes’ hotel I'm forever forgetting things!”

Abbey England would like to wish Georgina and her team the best of luck.


Victory for Georgina Hunt at Ashfields Driving Trials - 15 May 2014

Abbey England-sponsored carriage driver Georgina Hunt launched her World Equestrian Games campaign in style with a clear win in the horse fours at Ashfields Driving Trials (2nd – 4th May).

Georgina’s team of black Gelderlanders headed the first two phases, then nudged just one ball in the last to finish on an encouraging 144.2pen.

A tough field of 13 competitors were out in force, including reigning world champion Boyd Exell, who was competing hors concours in order to run six horses.

Said Georgina: “It wasn’t the fastest marathon ever but the plan was to make no mistakes and it was the first time I have had no regrets.”

Georgina is now heading to the Royal Windsor Horse Show, followed by Hopetoun later this month.

Said Georgina: “We’ll be hoping to have a high profile at Windsor now to get invited to Aachen.”

Abbey England looks forward to supporting Georgina at Windsor and wishes her and the team the best of luck at Hopetoun.


Michael Hodgson’s Competition Schedule 2014 - 17 April 2014

Michael will be competing at the following events:

26th-27th April - Ripley Castle 2 day event

10th-11th May – Anslow, Nr Tutbury, South Derbyshire 2 day event

31st May-1st June - Belvoir Castle 2 day event

14th-15th June – Nidd Hill 2 day event

27th-29th June – Sandringham National 3 day event

11th-13th July – Catton National 3 day event

26th-27th July – Onley Grounds Young Drivers National Championships

21st-24th August – European Youth Championships

Best of luck from the team at Abbey England!



Georgina Hunt Qualifies for Olympia - 29 November 2013

Abbey England sponsored carriage driver, Georgina Hunt, is delighted following her qualification for the Extreme Driving FEI World Cup TM class at Olympia next month.


The qualifier was held at Addington Equestrian Centre. Peter Phillips and Richard Brown of Abbey England were on the edge of their seats cheering Georgina on, in what turned out to be a thrilling battle between Georgina and Dick Lane.


In the deciding round, Dick drove a clear round to finish on 110.74 (231.59), meaning that Georgina had to finish in less than 119.34 to win.


She went at a breath-taking pace from the outset and was clear up to number six where a ball fell, so the pressure was on.


Georgina kept her cool and upped the pace with the clock stopping on 101.72, giving her a total of 218.97; a worthy victor!


Congratulations to Georgina and her team!


Georgina Hunt Qualifies for Olympia - 29 November 2013

Abbey England sponsored carriage driver, Georgina Hunt, is delighted following her qualification for the Extreme Driving FEI World Cup TM class at Olympia next month.


The qualifier was held at Addington Equestrian Centre. Peter Phillips and Richard Brown of Abbey England were on the edge of their seats cheering Georgina on, in what turned out to be a thrilling battle between Georgina and Dick Lane.


In the deciding round, Dick drove a clear round to finish on 110.74 (231.59), meaning that Georgina had to finish in less than 119.34 to win.


She went at a breath-taking pace from the outset and was clear up to number six where a ball fell, so the pressure was on.


Georgina kept her cool and upped the pace with the clock stopping on 101.72, giving her a total of 218.97; a worthy victor!


Congratulations to Georgina and her team!


New Pony Team for Abbey England Sponsored Driver Michael Hodgson - 16 September 2013

Abbey England sponsored carriage driver, Michael Hodgson, is delighted to announce the arrival of a new team of ponies which he purchased from Templedruid Stud.

Said Michael: “I have been competing for five years with the Shetlands and my ambition is to compete at the Pony World Championships. As both Blackie and Brownie are too small to compete under FEI rules, I had to make the difficult decision to invest in a new team of ponies.”

The handsome Welsh chestnut geldings; Templedruid Gromwell, T. Findley, T. The Brocken, T. Shallom and T. Hornbeam (stable names Major, Nelson, Rambo, Monty and Winston) have now settled in to their new home with Michael in Cheshire.

Added Michael: “This will be my last season competing with the team of Shetlands as we can’t keep all the ponies and I would like to concentrate on my ‘newbies’ over the next 12 months. I also hope to gain experience by spending time with other team drivers.

“I hope the season finishes on a high at the Championships but whatever happens the Shetlands have been brilliant and I owe them a great deal. I would like to thank Abbey England for their continuing support and also Uta Schettler and Heather Hulme for lending me Pumpkin and Buttons. Also specials thanks to Linda Rose for her continued support and for putting up with me!

Abbey England wishes Michael and the team the best of luck.


Abbey England Head to Spoga Horse International Trade Fair - 04 September 2013

The team at Abbey England is heading to Germany in September to attend the Spoga Horse International Trade Fair.

Running from 8th – 10th September, the three-day trade fair provides international customers, both old and new, the chance to see Abbey England’s high quality collection of British-made bits, Liston Locks, the wholesale goods, and the impressive metalwork from Stanley’s Brass Foundry.  

Said Peter Phillips of Abbey England: “We are very excited about returning to Spoga this year and look forward to showcasing our collection of riding bits and specialist polymer Equus products, in addition to the extensive workshop range.”

For more information please contact Abbey England on 01565 650343 or visit


2013 Competition Schedules – Abbey England Sponsored Carriage Drivers - 24 April 2013

Georgina Hunt 

April 21st - Carriage Driving Fair, Merrist Wood, Guildford - Indoor driving demo/competition
April 28th - Cornflower Drive, Royal Logistics Corps, Bisley - Coaching meet
May 3rd-5th - Ashfields HDT, Stanstead, Essex - Horse Driving Trial
May 9th-12th - Royal Windsor Horse Show International HDT. FEI CAIO
May 19th - Merrist Wood Spring Show - Demonstration
May 22nd-23rd - Suffolk Show - Coaching Showing Class
June 15th - Presidents Drive, Smith’s Lawn Coaching Club meet for RLC
June 21st-22nd - Royal Ascot Coaching Club meet for RLC

June 25th-30th - Aachen CAIO International FEI HDT
June 27th-30th - Sandringham CAIB* International FEI HDT
July 11th-14th - Catton Park HDT* HDT
July 18th-21st - Beekbergen CAIA Holland International FEI HDT
August 8th-11th - Lowther HDT, Cumbria HDT
August 21st-25th - Caen CAIA France International FEI HDT
September 13th –15th - National Championships, Ashfields HDT
September 21st-22nd - Newbury Show Coaching Showing Class
* If not invited/selected for Aachen

Michael Hodgson

3-5th May - Ashfields
12-14th July - Catton Hall
28th July - Eaton Hall Open Day
9-11th August - Lowther
17-18th August - Newby Hall Young Driver Championship
25th August - Eaton Hall Open Day
13-15th September - Windsor Championships

Abbey England would like to wish Michael and Georgina the best of luck for this season!


Carriage Driver Georgina Hunt Plans for the Season Ahead - 12 March 2013
Abbey England-sponsored carriage driver Georgina Hunt has been busy making plans for the season ahead, with the World Equestrian Games (WEG 2014) firmly in mind.

Georgina has also bought a new horse to join her team of KWPN’s. Charlie, who came to Georgina as a six-year-old riding horse has coped well with the conversion to carriage driving.

In April the team will be heading to the South of England Carriage Driving Fair to compete in the Indoor Horse Challenge. With a full season planned, including Ashfields National Horse Driving Trial and the Royal Windsor International Horse Show, both in May, Georgina will be working hard to keep the team competition ready.

In June Georgina is hoping to be invited to the World Equestrian Festival (CHIO Aachen), and is currently on the waiting list. Last time Georgina competed there in 2011 Peter Phillips of Abbey England attended to support the team.

This year Georgina also has plans for two other international events; Beekbergen in Holland and a WEG 2014 test event in Caen, France. Preparation is well underway for WEG but the actual selection events are not until 2014.

Abbey England would like to wish Georgina and her team the very best of luck.

For more information please contact Abbey England on 01565 650343 or visit or


The Gardens at BUCKINGHAM PALACE will be the venue for a one-off event next summer for holders of Royal Warrants to celebrate the 60th anniversary of The Queen’s Coronation, it was announced today.

Abbey England will be taking part in the four day celebration between the 11th and 14th July 2013.

The Coronation Festival will celebrate innovation, excellence and industry showcasing the broad range of fine brands, including Abbey England which has earned the recognition of a Royal Warrant over the years.

Royal Warrants are a mark of recognition to individuals or companies who have supplied goods or services for at least five years to the Households of The Queen, The Duke of Edinburgh or The Prince of Wales Warrants have always been regarded as hallmarks of quality, excellence and service.

Abbey England was awarded its Royal Warrant in 1995 and its prestigious Royal
appointment now sees Abbey England join over 200 Royal Warrant Holders at this unique event.

The Coronation Festival will be split into four specific showcase areas: Design and Technology; Food and Drink; Style Pursuits and Pastimes; Homes and Gardens. There will also be a section for The Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust (QEST), the charitable arm of the Royal Warrant Holders Association, which helps financially disadvantaged, experienced crafts people to further their skills through the funding of further education and training.

The Festival will be open to members of the public from Friday, 12th to Sunday, 14th July. There will be a Royal Preview on Thursday, 11th July for invited guests, including Members of the Royal Family, charities, patronages, media, armed forces, inward investors and overseas trade missions, and guests of the Royal Warrant Holders Association and the Royal Household.

In the evening, the Gardens, with Buckingham Palace as the back-drop, will host a magnificent performance of music and dance. The Coronation Gala will celebrate cultural life during the reign of Her Majesty, showcasing the achievements and personality of this extraordinary age. The performances will chime with the themes of the Festival - tradition, excellence and innovation - featuring a range of superb home-grown UK talent with a focus on youth, as well as talent from across the Commonwealth - a unique, energetic and entertaining show for this very special celebration.

The Coronation Festival’s main event partners will be: GlaxoSmithKline, Bentley and Jaguar Land Rover, who will each partner one of the three Gala evenings.

• Jaguar Land Rover Thursday 11th July Royal Preview
• GlaxoSmithKline Friday 12th July
• Bentley Saturday 13th July

Abbey England as a proud Royal Warrant holder, is delighted to be part of
The Coronation Festival next summer.

It will provide us with a great platform to showcase our British-made foundry products including high quality belt buckles, saddlery accessories, locks and riding and driving bits.

Speaking at today’s launch Richard Peck, Secretary of the Royal Warrant Holders Association commented:

“The event will give the British public the opportunity to see the extraordinary quality and variety of skills, craftsmanship and innovation produced by companies here in Britain, presented to the world in a unique showcase.”

60,000 visitors will be able to come to Buckingham Palace for the Coronation Festival.

For further information please contact Alex Davison or Marie Wardell-Hunter on 0207 096 5818 or email

Tickets will be available from the 16th December 2012. Day-time tickets will be £30 per person, and evening tickets, including the Coronation Gala, will be £90 per person. Tickets will be available to purchase through the dedicated event website

The Coronation Festival will open its doors to members of the public from Friday, 12th July – Sunday 14th

July 2013 at 9.30am – 4.00pm, and then again for the evening and Gala on the Friday and Saturday from 5.30pm – 9.30pm. For further information on the Festival and to book tickets, go to


Michael Hodgson - My 2012 Summer Project - 15 October 2012
I was fortunate enough to be offered a pony for schooling over the summer holidays, this fitted in nicely with my dilemma of how to earn money and hold down a part time job whilst trying to keep all the ponies fit and competing!

The Miniature Shetland called Christie, belongs to Lady Tamara Van Cutsem, the daughter of the Duke & Duchess of Westminster and to say we were slightly “gob smacked” when we went to look at the pony would be an understatement as we had no idea where we were going or who owned the pony!

We were met by Roz who explained Christie’s background. He was already broken to drive but was proving a little naughty which he quite willingly demonstrated to us! I looked over the harness and carriage and made a few suggestions on how these could be altered before agreeing to take Christie the following week.

Whilst at Eaton Hall, Roz very kindly gave us a tour of the Westminster Coaches which were very impressive and totally unexpected.

Christie arrived the following week and settled into his new surroundings at Brookhouse Equestrian Centre very quickly, they had even made him a Shetland sized stable door. In a yard of dressage horses and eventers he very quickly became the yard mascot.

The first week was spent long reigning and lunging Christie for 20 minutes each day. After some initial objections he soon became responsive to my voice and willing to work. The second week I put him in the carriage and he accepted it straight away unlike the first time I drove him at Eaton Hall. There was no napping towards the gate and tossing his head about (I had put him back in a snaffle rather than a Liverpool driving bit). There was still plenty to improve on and I spent the remaining five weeks doing as much as possible with him. Practicing our turns down narrow country lanes was interesting!

When we took him home, we took the opportunity of driving Christie around the park. He strode out looking very much the part even though he is a very small pony in a very large park!

I shall be going back next year to Eaton Hall as I have been invited to give a demonstration with my team of ponies at the four Estate Open Days in 2013. What a great opportunity to take our sport to a new venue, I can’t wait!

Best Wishes
Mike Hodgson

Michael Hodgson’s 2012 Season - 20 September 2012
Abbey England-sponsored carriage driver Michael Hodgson looks back over this season...

My season has been a story of highs (finding my fourth pony for the pony team and coming second at Erddig National) and lows (missing a cone at Sandringham and being forced to retire in the marathon at Windsor).

Buttons joined Team Warford in April 2012, at 19 years of age he is an old hand at both singles and pairs but had never been part of a team. He very quickly settled into his role as a wheeler and it took some time for me to persuade him he didn’t have to do all the work!

Brownie was a similar story, having been used to always pulling the carriage he found himself in the lead, all too easy! As the season progressed he quietly improved and did a fantastic job of leading the way with Blackie.

Pumpkin took everything in his stride, sometimes letting Buttons do more than his fare share of the work. In need of a few oats during the season to help him find the enthusiasm for the marathon, I could always rely on him for a steady head in all three phases.

Blackie leads a charmed life, always getting the attention, the largest stall and requiring the least work (he throws a tantrum if asked to do too much!).

Having eliminated myself in the final phase of the event at Sandringham in June, due to the bad weather, I had to wait until August before competing again. Erddig was a great event and I managed to qualify for the National Championships by coming second to Sara Howe. I came away knowing I could improve my dressage and keen to get closer to Sara in this phase giving me a better chance of catching her.

With just two weeks to go before Windsor, I went to Henbury where I achieved my best dressage mark of the season and a clear cones round which ended in a mud bath!

Anna and Jack were able to come to Windsor with mum and I on the Wednesday and Linda was coming down to join us on the Friday with Heather and Charlie who own Buttons. We took the team out for a drive in the evening; the exercise route took us through some beautiful countryside around Great Winsor Park. The ponies were rather exuberant and plans were made for the following days training.

Anna is a very small adult and our secret weapon! She rides all the ponies to a very high standard but on Thursday concentrated on Blackie and Brownie with some lateral work and shoulder in. They both looked like they were about to enter a ridden dressage arena and I was really pleased with the way they went; now I had to replicate this in the carriage.

The team worked in really well just prior to my test and I entered feeling confident. The ponies all tried really hard and I was very happy with my score of 57 putting me in second place just behind Sara by only three penalties. On Friday evening I thought all my Christmases had come at once when they announced there would be an extra two minutes given on the walk due to the extreme heat, this meant that I wouldn’t pick up any penalties in this section (their little legs just can’t cover the ground the same as 14.2hh ponies).

With Mum and Anna on the back, we set off on the marathon at noon, the hottest part of the day! We made the time in Section A with ease and with a quick splash of water on the ponies we set off on the walk. As expected we made the walk with 30 seconds to spare, not our usual 90 seconds over! The ponies were checked over by the vets who were super efficient and even helped to cool them off with buckets of water. All heart rates were fine and we were allowed to set off on section E.

I flew into obstacle one but unfortunately dropped my loop going into Gate D so had to quickly reverse so that the leaders could “duck” in. In obstacle two I attempted a very tight “wiggle” and got caught on the post, again another quick rein back and we were off again. Obstacle three and four went very smoothly and my confidence was building.

I entered obstacle five and as I turned back on myself to Gate C, Buttons veered to the left and when I looked down I saw that the swingle tree was on the floor. This is the bar that the wheelers are attached to, enabling them to pull the carriage. I stopped immediately and asked my grooms to get down, I then inspected the carriage and decided that it couldn’t be fixed and would therefore have to retire. We took the ponies out of the carriage as quickly as possible so as not to hold up the competitors behind us, we walked them back to the lorry and left the carriage for collection later in the day.

We were all terribly disappointed but very thankful that none of the ponies were injured, it could have been much worse. All the other pony team competitors came and checked we were ok and there were offers of carriages so that we could drive the cones course on the final day. We decided that we would call it quits and enjoy a drink or two on Saturday night! We watched the pony teams on the Sunday, well done to all of them especially Sara who is once again National Champion.

The ponies have now been turned away for a few weeks but will be back in work later this year doing some ridden dressage with Anna. My Welsh Section D, Chief, is going well under saddle and is now pulling a tyre so it won’t be long before we put him in a carriage.

My initial plan for 2013 is to compete the team at National level and qualify for Windsor and Chief at club level with the aim of taking him to the Junior Nationals at the end of the season.

But who knows!


Sponsored Driver Report – Michael Hodgson at Sandringham National Driving Trials 2012 - 26 July 2012
Following a lot of uncertainty as to who would make it to Sandringham, Linda, Mike and Louise (Team Hodgson) set off with the four ponies arriving on Thursday lunchtime.

Said Louise: “Expecting some pretty horrendous weather, we were very pleasantly surprised when we only had a small amount of rain!

“Thursday evening Mike had a lesson with Emily Bennett, the ponies came out full of enthusiasm (a little too much!) and it took them a while to settle. Eventually Buttons realised he wasn’t the only one pulling the carriage and they all began working as a team.

“Friday morning was spent learning the obstacles and getting the ponies ready. Our preparations were disrupted late morning when two of the ponies became unsettled and started behaving out of character. After more than a few anxious moments we realised what the problem was and I will never again put on new tail bandages (lesson learnt).

“This made our final preparations a little rushed but we made it to our safety inspection just in time. The ponies warmed up well and once again Emily was on hand to give Mike advice. The test went really well all things considered and he achieved a very credible 67 penalties putting Mike in fourth place, only 8 penalties behind the leader Gary Power. The day was made all the better by the presence of Prince Phillip who turned up just in time to watch Mikes dressage, let’s hope he was impressed!

“The marathon was 19.5km long with another 1.5km to the start, the ponies had never been so far and with 8 obstacles it was going to be a tough test of their fitness. Section A was fabulous taking you round the Royal Estate, we made this in good time and were able to take the last 500 metres very steady giving them time to recover. The walk suited us being all on the road but we got our normal penalties coming in one and a half minutes over the allotted time.

“The first obstacle was the water which Blackie found particularly scary but with Pumpkin pushing him from behind he had no choice but to take the plunge! Mike had planned long flowing routes and they all went to plan with only a slight hiccup in obstacle seven which was very quickly rectified. Once again the ponies did us proud and passed the vets checks with flying colours.”

Georgina Hunt Selected for Team GB at the World Four-in-Hand Championships - 18 July 2012
Abbey England-sponsored Georgina Hunt is delighted to have been selected to represent Great Britain at the World Four in Hand Championships in Reisenbeck, Germany (14 -19th August 2012).

Selection events weren’t without their dramas, especially at Sandringham where Georgina was eliminated from the trial.

Said Georgina: “Disaster struck during the dressage when in a shock move the judge at C stopped me as I neared the end of the test. The judge was concerned that one of my horses had strained itself as I negotiated the serpentine movement. I was unable to finish and therefore eliminated from the selection trial!

Preparations for the Championships are now well underway. Georgina explained: “It has been an unusual year and the weather looks set to keep being disruptive.

“The cancellation of Catton and Goodwood mean that all we have is a training clinic with Boyd Exell and the other members of the team on August 4th at Ashfields before leaving for Germany on 13th.

“I am very grateful to have the loan of a fifth horse to travel as a spare. My team is in good form and we are looking forward to it.”

Abbey England wishes Georgina and her team the best of luck!

Georgina Hunt's Competition Schedule - 25 May 2012
May 26th-29th is Hopetoun in Scotland.
June 29th - 30th Sandringham (Nationals)
July 3rd - 8th Aachen (Hopefully if selected) Or
July 13th - 15th Catton
If Selected Georgina will compete represent GB at the World Championships in Reisenbeck in Germany 15-19 Aug.
The Nationals will round off the year in September 7-9th. 

Georgina Hunt Wins at Ashfields Driving Trials - 17 May 2012
A delighted Georgina headed the four-in-hand section at Ashfields Driving Trials, Great Canfield, Essex. Maintaining her momentum towards this year’s Riesenbeck World Four-in-Hand Championships, this is her second win at a selection trial.

Georgina and her team of black warmbloods secured the only four-in-hand cones round inside the time, beating Pippa Bassett by over 10 penalties. A muddy and challenging cones track resulted in most of the other competitors’ notching up time penalties with no clears.

Georgina has recently had her carriage converted to delayed steering, courtesy of Abbey England. Delayed steering is a leverage system that allows the pole or shafts to go out of square with the axel, letting the axel turn at a slower rate. The carriage can turn on a wider arc than the horse, enabling it to follow the line of the horse more truly and to provide greater accuracy.

“I think I’m one of the last to switch,” said Georgina, who tipped two to lead the final phase on 6 penalties. “I’m sure the cones course would have been harder and we would have had more down without it.” 

New Pony for Carriage Driver Michael Hodgson - 18 April 2012
Abbey England-sponsored carriage driver Michael Hodgson is delighted to announce a new addition to his four-in-hand pony team – coloured Shetland cross Buttons.

Buttons has been given to Michael on loan by Heather Hulme who is a member of CHDTG. He is 19 so has a huge amount of experience, both as a single and as a pair.
Michael took both Buttons and Pumpkin to The Unicorn Trust for training with Sarah Garnett the weekend after his arrival.

Said Michael: “Buttons and Pumpkin will be the wheelers in the team. They worked extremely well together and I was very pleased with the progress they made at training.

“The day after we returned home, we took all four ponies to Emily Bennett's to put the team together. They all behaved impeccably and we were very pleased with them; Emily thought they were already working well together (all the tandem and pairs work has paid off!).”

Due to the Pony Pairs Class being dropped from the Junior World Championships in Austria, Michael has now been forced to rethink his season.

Said Michael: “I have kindly been offered ponies to borrow for the event but have decided to spend the time training my current team at home and hope to compete them this season.

“My intention is to compete at three club events during May and the early part of June before going to Sandringham National, followed by Catton and Erdigg.”

Abbey England wishes Michael the best of luck with his new team this season. 

Michael Finishes Indoor Driving Season on a High - 04 April 2012
Abbey England-sponsored carriage driver Michael Hodgson (16) had an excellent run at the Indoor Horse Driving Trials UK Championship, held at Keysoe Arena, Bedfordshire.

Michael competed in the Tandem and Small Pony Pair classes, finishing in second place in both classes, narrowly missing out on the top spots.

Said Michael: “It was a really close contest in both classes; I was beaten by 0.3 penalties in the tandem (which is the equivalent to just 0.3 seconds) and 2 penalties in the pair.

“This was a great result to end the indoor season, I can’t wait to start driving outdoors again. My new pony arrived last week and will be joining the team very soon.”


A Busy Season Ahead for Carriage Driver Michael Hodgson - 29 February 2012

Our sponsored carriage driver Michael Hodgson is currently training hard with his three small ponies, doing both tandem and pairs.

Michael is competing in the indoor events at Northrop and has automatically qualified for the finals (30th March – 1st April) as he is the 2011 champion. He fully intends to defend his small pony pair and tandem championship titles.

Following the indoor championships, Michael is hoping to attend the following events:

  • 4-6th May - Ashfields National event or 19-20th May - Windsor Regional with a single (qualification for Austria)
  • 15-17th June - Pony pair Drumlanrig National event (hopefully to qualify for Windsor)
  • 11-15th July - Junior World Trophy, Austria (pair or single)
  • 10-12th August - Erdigg National event (with team if ready, otherwise pair)
  • 25-26th August - Junior National event (with team if ready, otherwise pair)
  • 7-9th September National Championships, Windsor (with pair or team if qualified)

In between these events Michael will also be competing at club competitions. As junior rep for the North, he has arranged some training for other juniors on 4th March with Emily Bennett, hoping that it will be a success and encourage more to take part in horse driving trials.


Best of luck from the team at Abbey England!


Abbey England Celebrate 30th Anniversary at BETA International - 29 February 2012

The team at Abbey England enjoyed a busy BETA International and were delighted to celebrate their 30th anniversary with visitors at the show.

An on-stand competition to win a luxury hamper proved popular and winners Sara and Gerry Gracey of Millwheel Tack Shop, Berkshire were pulled out from the prize draw by Hazel Morley of the Society of Master Saddlers.

Said Peter Phillips of Abbey England: “We wanted to mark this milestone anniversary surrounded by the people that support us and have made the last 30 years a success.

“Our new range of commemorative brass plaques from Catras Leather received a positive response from the trade and the Equus over-reach boots also attracted a lot of attention as customers were reminded that quality, British-made rubber products are available to them.”

Abbey England is now looking forward to supporting their two sponsored carriage drivers, Michael Hodgson and Georgina Hunt, as the competition season gets underway.

Picture Caption: “Jane Kane, Richard Brown and Peter Phillips of Abbey England celebrate at BETA International.”

For more information please contact Abbey England on 01565 650343 or visit or 


Abbey attends to BETA International Event 2012 - 18 January 2012

We are attending at the British Equestrian Trade Association (BETA) International 2012 event on February 19th-21st 2012 at NEC, Birmingham, UK. Come and visit Abbey England at Stand G-5-1 and G-6-1. For further information about the BETA international event, please visit their website 


Abbey attends to AETA International Event 2012 - 18 January 2012
We are attending at the American Equestrian Trade Association (AETA) on Janurary 28th - 30th 2012 at The Greater Philadelphia Expo Center, Oaks, PA. For further information about the AETA international event, please visit 

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