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Jackie Durkin – Event Secretary/Treasurer

I have been involved with carriage driving for 44 years and was introduced to carriage driving when I took a stable job for riding lessons with a carriage driving enthusiast at the age of 12. From these days I was hooked on carriage driving. I also went on from there to take my BHS ridden/instructor exams.

At the age of 21 I brought my first horse (the infamous Welsh section D, Pearl) which I then broke to ride and drive and went on to compete at National level at Brighton driving trials in the late eighties and early nineties. Also becoming an enthusiastic member of the Shepway Harness Club.

Later on, I took over from Rita Bundock as the Shepway Harness Club secretary when Rita stood down to go on and run the ever-growing ICD events.

When Pearl came down with a long-term condition that took her out of competition, I took the decision to step down from the club committee to compete and bring on my then new fell pony Sam at club and indoor events whilst continuing to look after the medical needs of Pearl.

I remained involved with carriage driving at national level by helping course build and steward at Brighton and Godmersham Park National Driving Trials as well as numerous club level events, and have many great and fond memories of the people that I met and the friends I have made doing so.

Several years later I returned to the committee of the Shepway Harness Club in my current role of event secretary.

In 2013 I broke Charlie my present horse to drive forming Team Charlie and in 2014 became National Novice driver of the Year; we haven’t looked back since. In 2017 Team Charlie won the National Intermediate Horse Championship and in 2018 we were placed reserve Open Horse Champions.

Today I continue to enjoy helping organise events for the Shepway Harness Club and competing at open national level and I also enjoy introducing new horses and drivers to the wonderful sport of carriage driving.

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