Meet the Judges

Richard James

The former editor of Carriage Driving, Richard took over the reins of the magazine in the early 1990s; selling it to the Mark Allen Group in 2005, where he remained as its editor until 2012. Richard has been a member of any number of driving committees over the years, including the British Driving Society Council and a sojourn with the FEI, and has judged in all areas of driving – FEI, private driving and coaching, and is also heavily involved with Concours d’Attelage; coming at it from the standpoint of experience.

His showing career began in his teens with a piebald pony called Whisky put to a governess cart. He progressed to a tandem of Hackneys which he showed with a Dalmatian running underneath and then he put together a team of ponies, and, although he no longer drives competitively, he can still be seen at the ribbons whenever he is given the opportunity. In addition, he is a national and international Technical Delegate – a task he has taken on at a number of world championships over the years as well as countless events on home turf.

Richard continues to be indelibly linked with the world of carriage driving and in recognition of the many years’ service and dedication he has given to the sport he was presented with the Coachmakers & Coach Harness Makers Company Award –presented each year to ‘an individual or organisation that has contributed to the sport in a significant way.

Colin Henderson

Starting his career in the Household Cavalry where he began driving the regimental coach, Colin has had a long and successful career in the harness world, having worked with many of the great names in carriage driving. This career includes having been the Head Coachman at the Royal Mews, bringing HM The Queen on parade in a coach at the Trooping of the Colour for 10 consecutive years and being responsible for the Gold Coach during the Golden Jubilee celebrations.

He has also won the Coaching Championship at Royal Windsor with his own coach and Scottish family harness.

Colin has an overriding passion for the history of vehicles, their design, the building of them and their provenances and is much in demand to give talks to carriage clubs and associations such is his knowledge. He is the current chairman of the Carriage Foundation, an organisation with recognised charitable status which runs annual outings to carriage collections worldwide, and has set up a database, which aims to give the history and provenance of all traditional carriages worldwide, whether in public or private ownership. He is an honorary liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Loriners, and he also judges internationally. He is also the current chairman of the Road Club.

Alastair McNinch

A current British Driving Society Judge and former BDS Council Member, and current Hackney Horse Society Director, Alastair is a well-known proponent of private driving. Having formerly judged at the prestigious Horse of the Year Show, Alastair continues to be at the forefront in the private driving world, judging numerous shows throughout the UK and is a well respected for his fair view and unbiased opinion. His daughter Alison, carries on the family tradition in the private driving ring, having qualified again this year for the Harness Horse of the Year and she continues to do well in the ring elsewhere in the run up to these championships.

Jeff Osborne

Jeff’s company, Osborne Refrigerators is the familiar name that has been a major equestrian sponsor for many years in all spheres. Jeff has been the main sponsor of many Horse of the Year Show classes, as well as sponsoring the British Driving Society National Championships, set up to encourage grass roots, junior, trade and show classes. Jeff has also been a competitor himself in the show ring in some guise for over 60 years. Originally competing in various show jumping classes at county level, and self-confessed speed demon, he became involved with scurry driving. He set up and currently chairs the Osborne Scurry Group, which has its championships at the Horse of the Year Show.

Jeff is also a great supporter of the traditional side of driving, and has had much success both in the private driving and trade rings with his turnouts, including taking part in Attelage competitions, both in the UK and abroad. He is also a passionate advocate of the Hackney Breed, having shown his own Hackneys with great success over the years.

His current passion though lies in the sport of scurry driving, and he is still to be seen competing even though now in his 80s.

Barbara Stockton

Barbara has been a judge with the Hackney Horse Society for over 20 years and is the society’s current Chairman. A complete Hackney aficionado, she has been exhibiting Hackneys since the 1970s. Along with her husband, Rod, they have shown their own Hackney horses and ponies both in hand and in harness and she has also driven for a number of other people, with countless successes in the ring.

In the last 10 years the Stocktons have concentrated on driving and producing their coaching team of Hackney horses. They show them and attend many coaching meets and undertake annual extended road tours, put to the road coach The Monarch, in aid of various local charities. Barbara and Rod also breed Hackney Horses running the Halloughton stud, with the aim of re-establishing the coaching type of Hackney.