Roger comes from a long line of horsemen, his grandfather was a horse dealer, his father was a rough rider for the Army in the First World War. Growing up on a small holding in Hedge End, horses have been in his life since he was a boy, whether it was using horses to work the land or delivering home grown produce with his brothers and a horse drawn trolley. All the brothers still drive today.
Roger and Sue married in the mid sixties and together they started Grayswood stud. With their homebred Welsh cobs, they have enjoyed driving and showing as singles, tandems, pairs and teams. They have driven at events such as Royal Windsor, New Forest and the Royal Welsh. Among the recent highlights included winning the Osbourne Welsh Cob Championship at Towerlands in 2010 with homebred Grayswood John Boy, owned by Mrs S McBride.
In 2013 Roger celebrates 30 years as the Hampshire Area Commissioner for the British Driving Society. During those 30 years there have been some wonderful highlights to look back on. Driving one of his all time favourite horse’s welsh cob Scole Selwyn at the tri-centenary of Rotten Row which took place in London’s Hyde Park.
In 1994 he took a pair of home bred cobs to Compiegne in France to put to a demi mail phaeton for a Napoleonic re-enactment weekend. It turned out that this was a French built carriage and the oldest vehicle there!
In 1977 as part of the Queen’s Silver Jubilee celebrations, Roger and his friend Fred Taplin drove from Botley near Southampton to Balmoral to meet the Queen! The journey took 4 weeks to cover the 750 miles. One horse in the shafts, the other in the horse box following on behind with Sue at the wheel. Not many people can say that they have led a horse and carriage over the Forth Road Bridge! Scary, it was certainly an experience not to be forgotten!
In 2010 Roger was accepted by BDS Judges Panel, meaning that he and Sue get to travel the country seeing a range of turnouts and people enjoying driving.
The British Driving Society in Hampshire
Sue & Roger with the rest of the committee organise a busy diary of social evenings, quizzes, social drives, training and shows through out the year. One of the highlights being the New Forest Driving weekend at the end of September.
For more details please visit the BDS Hampshire website