FEI World Para-Equestrian Driving Championships
Sandringham, Norfolk
Thursday 26th – Sunday 29th June 2014

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TEAM GB & INDIVIDUAL DRIVERS

Following the last of the Team GB selection events at Escrick Park last weekend, the team and individuals representing Great Britain at the FEI World Para-Equestrian Driving Championships (Singles) at Sandringham, (Thursday 26 to Sunday 29 June) has been announced.

The team of three will consist of Mick Ward (Toby), Deborah Daniel (Valeside Galaxy) and Lindsey Tyas Paice (Trixie’s Silver Spirit owned by Lady Iveagh).

Individuals will be Lucy Barclay (first team reserve), Sue Johnson, Judi Ralls, Margaret Lupton and Sarah Baverstock. As host nation, Britain is permitted to enter five individuals as well as the team.

All athletes are members of the Carriage Driving Sports Group for drivers with disabilities (CDSG-dd).

TEAM GB DRIVERS


Deborah Daniel with Valeside Galaxy. Photo: Kingswood Associates

Deborah Daniel

Based: Whitchurch, Shropshire

Groom: Holly Dormer

Pony: Valeside Galaxy (Stable name "Sparky") - Sparky is a 133cm grey Welsh Section C gelding.

Deborah was first introduced to carriage driving through the Riding for the Disabled (RDA) in 2005, went to her very first driving trials club competition at the end of 2007 and then competed at club level in 2008. She has owned Sparky since a five year old, when he had just been broken to drive.

The Chester Horse Driving Trials Club has encouraged and supported Deborah to the point where she is actually able to compete at national and international level.

Most notable successes: Being selected for GB in 2010 for the World Championship in Breda with a six year old pony (Maesbrithdir Sparkling Jewel) that had never competed a season of driving trials before and finishing seventh and top GB driver.

In 2011 producing her own pony Valeside Galaxy (aka Sparky); in his first season as a six year old winning the British National Open Para-Driving Championship, plus qualifying for and competing at the British National Royal Windsor Driving Championship.

In 2012, again with Sparky, retaining her British National Open Para-Driving Championship title and in doing so gaining a place on Team GB and competing at the World Championships in Breda, Holland.

Despite breaking her leg in 2013 and missing the majority of the season, she has returned to competition and managed to attain the qualifying criteria in order to be selected to represent Great Britain for a third consecutive time and in particular for the second time with home produced Sparky.

Deborah has also competed at Horst in the Netherlands earlier this year, when she was placed fourth in the para-equestrian class.

Brief history of driver: Deborah was a serving police sergeant when, in 1997 whilst on holiday in the Caribbean, she was rendered paraplegic as the result of an explosion on a scuba diving boat. She has since retired from the police force and lives in North Shropshire with her partner Paul Strafford, where they breed show jumpers on a small scale. 


Mick Ward and Toby. Photo: Kingswood Associates

Mick Ward

Based: Downham Market, Suffolk

Grooms: Maria Ward (wife) and Tamsyn Ward (daughter)

Pony: Toby, Black Welsh X, 14.2hh gelding

Mick started competing in driving trials in 2011 but had done a bit of Private Driving before that with Springbridge Driving Group He is a member of Midlands Carriagedriving.

Mick won the British Para-Driving Championships Novice Class in his first season in 2011, then won the Chester Group’s Novice Pony Champion at Erddig in the same year. He was the highest placed Team GB member 2012 in Breda (seventh) and came home with Team Bronze!!

He won the British Para-Driving Open Championships at Sandringham in 2013.

He also competed internationally at Horst, Netherlands in 2014, when he was placed sixth.

After having an accident in 2005 and spending nearly 14 months in hospital out of a four year period, Mick was looking to getting back to sport as a way of dealing with things. He had always taken part in sport from a child, played Rugby League from the age of seven till his twenties. He was Scuba Diving until I was 39 years old.

Mick was introduced to the Springbridge Carriage Driving Group in 2006 and in-between having long stays in hospital, they taught him how to drive and he was lucky to represent the group at a couple of shows. In 2010 Mick was introduced to a couple of the para-drivers at a training session at the Unicorn Trust at Stow on the Wold and was lucky enough to get a lesson with one of the coaches there. From then on he was hooked.

After having the 2012 season off, Mick's pony Toby has come back strong, winning all of his competitions in 2013 and started the 2014 season off well, winning the club class at Windsor; unfortunately we had a ‘blip’ in Horst, but things are once again on the up.

Mick would like to thank my family and friends for giving me their fantastic support, especially Maria, Tamsyn and Oliver. The coaches and the management team for putting their trust in him. He would also like to thank Inspire Financial Solutions and Equine Holistic Training & Therapy for their continued sponsorship and to my coach and mentor, Wilf Bowman-Ripley, for all his wise words of wisdom.

 


 Lindsey Tyas-Paice with Jack.   Photo: Kingswood Associates

Lindsey Tyas Paice

Based: Ware, Hertfordhsire

Grooms: Becky Power (from Elveden Estates), Alison Tyas, Paul Tyas

Pony: Trixies Silver Spirit (Jack) - 9 year old 127cm grey Welsh Section C gelding owned by the Countess of Iveagh.

Lindsey has been carriage driving for over 20 years; she started driving at 14 with her own pony, doing private driving as a Junior and was then introduced to driving trials.

Since experiencing the adrenalin rush she hs never looked back.

She is a member of East Anglian Driving Trials Group and Windsor Park Equestrian Club.

Lindsey won Team Silver 2000, Team Silver 2006, Team Bronze 2010, Open National Para-Driving Champion 2009 and was the Norfolk Inspirational Sports Person of the year in 2007.

Lindsey has an impressive international competition record: 2013 Para-Equestrian Driving International at Sandringham (GBR) - 5th, 2012 Para-Equestrian Driving World Championships in Breda (NED), 2010 Para-Equestrian Driving World Championships in Breda (NED) - Team Bronze, 2009 Para-Equestrian Driving Event in Conty (FRA) - 3rd, 2008 Para-Equestrian Driving World Championships in Greven (GER) 5th.

Competed in Dressage (then withdrew due to injury at event) 2006 Para-Equestrian Driving World Championships in Hellendoorn (NED).

Team Silver 2004 at the German National Championships for drivers with disabilities in Greven (GER), 2004 World Championships for Drivers with Disabilities, Hopetoun, (UK), 2002 International Friendly event for Drivers with Disabilities demonstrating the use of pairs in competition in Amiens (FRA) - this was based on same concept as the Junior World Trophy.

2000 World Championships for Drivers with Disabilities in Stadl Paura, (Austria), Team Silver at the 1998 World Championships for Drivers with Disabilities in Wolfsburg (GER), 1996 International event for Drivers with Disabilities in Westerbork (NED), 1994 First International Championships for Drivers with Disabilities in Hartpury, (UK) - Team Silver.

Lindsey was paralysed down her right side as a result of a road accident at the age of four and despite the advice of her doctors, was determined to continue to ride and rode into her teens with both the RDA and Pony Club. She took up driving when she was 14 and experienced the thrill and adrenalin rush and has never looked back. "I am passionate about the sport and committed to developing it both in Britain and Internationally."

In 2001 she joined forces with the International Horse Journey Team on the final 500 mile leg of their epic 3000 mile journey across America by horse and carriage, promoting equestrian sports for people with disabilities and have since joined forces with them again, driving through Europe and England, visiting hospitals, raising awareness of disability and money for charity.

She is supported by her husband Gordon Paice and family and is extremely grateful to Claire Iveagh and Elveden Estates for all their generosity and support, without which she would not have been able to compete. Sponsored by Smiths Gore and Chaldean Estates.

When time permits, Lindsey also enjoys going to the gym, swimming, skiing and painting.

Lindsey's pony is owned by Claire Iveagh (Countess of Iveagh) - Elveden Estates. Jack was a wheeler in Claire Iveagh’s pony team. I started driving him during 2013 and he has taken to competing as a single like a duck to water and is great fun to drive. Jack is also ridden by both Claire’s children.

Lindsey is also the CDSG-dd Secretary, an International Para-Driver’s Athlete Representative, member of South Bucks RDA, a UKcc Level 2 Coach. She Presented a paper at the International Congress of the Federation of Riding for the Disabled International in Budapest, Hungary in 2003 on Driving into the Future.

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TEAM GB - INDIVIDUAL DRIVERS


 Lucy and Golly.   Photo: Kingswood Associates

Lucy Barclay
(1st team reserve)

Based: Woodhall Spa, Lincolnshire

Groom: Rebecca Arnold

Pony: Barntown (Golly) - a 15.0hh Connemara x TB dun mare

Lucy has been competing in driving for  five years. She is a member of Midlands Carriagedriving.

She was a member of the Bronze medal winning GB team in 2012 at the World Para-Equestrian Driving Championships at Breda (NED). She also competed at Bread and Sandringham in 2013.

Lucy broke her back in 2001 when a car ran in to her horse whilst out exercising, killing the horse and leaving Lucy paralysed from the waist down. She was determined to ride again and, after finding the right horse and learning to ride side saddle, started competing in para-dressage competitions. I twice rode for Britain in France and at the 2007 Para-Equestrian Dressage World Championships.

Two years later she had a fall, breaking her legs so badly she was unable to carry on riding, so had her mare broken to harness and learned to drive. She has been competing in driving trials for five years now.

Although her pony Barntown (Golly) was used to being ridden side saddle as a show horse, she had to learn to be ridden with only voice commands, a little neck reigning and changes in weight as Lucy was unable to use her legs and Golly would not take the use of a schooling whip which other para-riders use. She happily travelled to France to compete and was unfazed by all the crowds, noise, lights, screens etc. at the 2007 World Para-Equestrian Dressage Championships.

When she was broken to harness in 2009 by Sid King, he called her a star and she has proved him right by being picked for the 2012 GB Team for her second World Championships in two different sports. She was retired from outdoor competitions after Breda but had to come back into work in February this year after her replacement had an accident, which left him unable to drive. So, instead of an easy summer, Golly quickly had to qualify to be at Sandringham this year. What an amazing little horse!


Sarah with Kelly.    Photo: Kingswood Associates

Sarah Baverstock

Based: Brighton, Sussex

Grooms: Mrs Elizabeth Baverstock and Mrs Stacy Collier

Pony: Kelly - a 13.0hh Welsh X grey mare

Sarah has been driving with Heron’s Ghyll RDA Group for 16 years. Her first two day event was at Windsor in May 2013 and she got hooked.

Sarah is a member of the Oaks Carriage Driving Club.

She won the National RDA Championships at Hartbury in 2013 and competed at Sandringham Horse Driving Trials in 2013, in the Para class, coming sixth and third in the GB line up. She also competed at Sandringham in 2013.

Sarah was born with a condition called Spinal Cord Degeneration, which affects her whole body, restricting all of her movements and balance. She used to be led on an old family pony before her mother joined her up to the Hope in the Valley RDA Group. After leaving at 16, she went away to college, and on returning home found she was unable to ride, which made her feel very depressed. Again, mum found Herons Ghyll Carriage Driving Group RDA through a friend, and Sarah has been hooked with carriage driving ever since.

She was very fortunate to receive a grant towards some individual lessons, so up the motorway she went to Sara Howe, who somehow managed to talk Sarah's mum into getting a pony, then a carriage then a lorry! She then joined The Carriage Driving Sports Group for drivers with disabilities.

Sarah was very lucky to find her pony, Kelly, on the internet (mum always says she came from heaven). She had just had a lovely foal taken away and was a bit weak, but had lovely eyes and she did not mind the wheelchair. Sold! Kelly and Sarah have learnt together - "She knows me well, she has a big heart and always amazes me; when I ask her for more, she gives, she has given me confidence and trust and we just love doing things together."

Sarah would just like to say that without the RDA from grass roots to now, she would not be competing here and would like to thank the groups that she belongs to for so much help and support.


 Sue Johnson with Toby.

Sue Johnson

Based: Blakeney, Gloucestershire

Groom: Sue Morris

Horse: Toby -is a 15.1hh Welsh Cob X Shire, bay gelding with four white socks

Sue has een driving for five years and competing in driving trials for two years. She is a member of Forest of Dean Driving Trials Group (FODDTG), Midlands Carriagedriving and Powys Carriage Driving Group.

Sue was the Novice Champion at FODDTG in 2013. Her international debut was at Sandringham last year. She had only just gained our competence card, so we went straight in at the deep end from Pre-Novice to an International event. She came tenth of 11, but thoroughly enjoyed herself.

Sue was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 2000. Despite this she carried on working as a police officer but in 2012 she had a heart attack and that is when she had to retire from the police service.

Sue used to ride, but following a very serious riding accident, which was due to her poor balance because of the MS, she decided to have a go at carriage driving - and loves it.

She is now the Assistant Area Commissioner for North Wiltshire and Gloucestershire BDS.

Her horse Toby has lived with her since he was 11. He is now 16 years old. He lives in Sue's garden as she doen't have access to any fields. They drive in the Forest of Dean to keep him fit and have lessons with their mentor, James Broome, as often as possible. Toby qualified as the BDS 4-Wheeled Exercise Vehicle Champion in 2012.

Sue would like to thank James Broome for all his help and support and for pushing her to have a go and Sue Morris, her groom, without whose help, they couldn’t have so much fun!


 Margaret Lupton and Daisy.

Margaret Lupton

Based: Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland

Grooms: Catriona Murray and Julie Bennison

Pony: Miss Daisy (Daisy) owned by Ms Claudia Bunn. A 15 year old 14.1hh piebald Durham Cob

Margaret has been driving for 28 years, but only been competing in driving trials since 2005.

Most notable successes: Carrying and having her daughter, studying and passing BDS exams up to Elementary Level, qualifying for National Championships in 2009, taking part in competitions and being part of Team GB in Breda, bringing home team bronze in 2010.

And getting back to ponies after having major surgery to my arm after a breaking it near the shoulder three years ago.

Internationally, Margaret has driven at Greven (GER) in 2008 where she finished in eleventh place with the only clear in cones, and at Breda (NED) in 2010 where she was tenth.

Margaret was born with congenital birth defects that affect her lower body. Horses have always been part of her life and she started riding when she was around four or five years old. She grew up in Glasgow and met her husband-to-be Martin in 1992 at College in Motherwell; they married in his home town in 1997 and in 2000 their daughter Hannah was born.

Her pony Daisy belongs to Ms Claudia Bunn, who has owned her for over 10years, and has very kindly been given to Margaret on loan for this season. Daisy has competed at national events as part of a tandem and is a very experienced carriage pony and a good all rounder ride and drive pony.


 Judi Ralls.

Judi Ralls

Based: Farnham, Surrey but lives over the border in Hampshire.

Groom: Judy Rix

Pony: Symondbury Rockafella (George) who is a 10 year old dun-coloured Welsh Section B gelding.

Judi took up carriage driving in 1983, following an unsuccessful third hip replacement operation. She drove a pony formerly ridden at Pony Club by her two sons, and which she brought back from Northern Ireland following the end of her Army Officer husband’s tour of duty in 1981.

She joined the British Driving Society and Windsor Park Equestrian Club. She is also a member of Brockham Harness Club.

Judi has an impressive International competition record. In 1990, during a tour in BAOR (British Army on the Rhine), Germany, she successfully competed at Dillenburg International, winning a class. In 1994 as part of Team GBR at Hartpury, when we came second.

Then in 1997 she was Individual Champion Gladstone, USA. In 2000 at Stadl Paura in Austria she was part of Team GBR which won the first Team Silver medal in Para-equestrian Driving.

In 2002 in Greven, Germany she was with the Silver Medal winning Team GBR, also winning an individual Silver medal and Individual Silver and Reserve World Champion. In 2004 at Hopetoun, Scotland she was with the Team GBR who won a Silver medal and she also won Individual Bronze. In 2006 at Hellendoorn (NED), again part of Team GBR, a Silver medal and Individual Silver and Reserve World Champion for the second time.

Judi developed Ankylosing Spondylitis at the age of 10. She was pony-mad and rode with the West Kent Pony Club. Peter Felgate, Team GBR trainer, Sarah Howe's father and her Pony Club instructor suggested she tried riding side-saddle when riding astride became difficult, but when she had to give up riding at the age of 22, Peter said there's always driving! Judi says: "I have now had seven hip operations - one more and I’ll be an octopus!"

Judi married when she was 22 (1970) to an Army Officer and had her first total hip replacement within the year. She had two boys in the 1970s.

She purchased her pony George as six year old, four years ago in July, and gradually brought him into driving. In 2012 he was the Show Champion at the Cricklade BDS Show, having won his class and qualified for the Osborne Refrigerators BDS Championships at Addington, where he was fourth in his class for Welsh Section A's and B's.

In 2012 he was Windsor Park Equestrian Club (WPEC) Reserve Champion in Open Pony, a WPEC points league winner, and a White Horse Harness Club Reserve Champion in Open Pony class at WHHC Champs. He is a lovely pony to have in the stable, but still a ‘bit of a teenager’ with a real sense of humour!

Judi has been involved with the Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA) since a teenager with Peter Felgate, in Sevenoaks, Kent and in Germany where she ran the RDA group in Bielefeld, BAOR. She has also been supplying ponies for the Stella Hancock Driving Group (SHDG) RDA since the mid 1980s and is its Chairman and Group Organiser. She is an RDA whip and RDA Assessor.

In 2013 she was presented with the RDA President’s Award by HRH The Princess Royal for 50 years voluntary work with the RDA. She is Chairman of the Sanders Watney Trust, the official charity of the British Driving Society.

Judy Rix, who is Judi's friend and backstepper, is also an RDA whip with the SHDG and keeps Judi on the straight and narrow. She plaits George and puts his studs in. She's also a very good cook and huge thanks to her!

Jidi drives her 7.5 tonne horse-box herself, although it is automatic and specially adapted for her with electric winch and ramp. She trains with World Champion Boyd Exell when he comes to Goodwood. Her son Nick Ralls and daughter-in-law Rosie are part of her camp at Sandringham this year, as well as her two grand-children Amelia and James.

Team GBR member withdraws from FEI World Championships

Judi Ralls, an individual representative on Team GBR at the forthcoming FEI World Para-Equestrian Driving Championships has had to withdraw.

Judi advised Team GBR Chef d’Equipe Rachel Belliere-Wilson, that her pony, George, was lame and unable to compete.

Rachel commented: “We all feel very sorry for Judi as she has worked hard for her place on the team but, given her pony’s condition, she has wisely withdrawn and will concentrate her efforts on his convalescence. Judi will, hopefully, join us at Sandringham and play a full role as part of the back-up team”.

CHEF D’EQUIPE

Rachel Belliere-Wilson

Rachel has been Chef d’Equipe for the Para GBR team for the past three World Championships and prior to that was Team Trainer.

She has been involved with the GBR Para-driving team for 16 years and is also part of the FEI working group for disabled drivers; British Carriagedriving liaison for disabled drivers and Chairman of the Carriage Driving Sports Group for Drivers with Disabilities.

Prior to having her son, Rachel represented GBR in two Combined Pony World Championships with her pony pair, winning Team Bronze in 2005, was National Champion with her single pony and pony pair five times and winner of the International Driving Grand Prix on numerous occasions with her single pony and pony pair.

Rachel lives in Northamptonshire with her husband and three year old son and is Operations Director at Bi Worldwide, a global Performance Improvement business.

ASSISTANT CHEF D’EQUIPE

Chris Van Reen

Chris is a qualified Light Harness Horse Instructor (LHHI) and UKcc Level 2 coach.

She has been acting as Assistant Chef d'Equipe for the Para-Equestrian Carriage Driving since 2008.

Having worked with horses for her entire career, Chris has headed up small professional yards in Austria, France, Germany, Britain and the United States.

Chris currently looks after up to 20 National Hunt Horses, some on holiday out of training, some being retrained and also some breeding stock. Added to this are four driving horses, all Welsh Section D's, which she loves to drive, use for teaching and compete with in Private Driving (showing) and HDT.

Chris lives with her Dutch husband Han and two Collie-cross dogs, Rosie and Millie, on the beautiful Edgcote Estate in Oxfordshire.


 Sara Howe competing at Pau (FRA)

TEAM COACH

Sara Howe

Sara is team coach for the para-drivers at Sandringham this year. She has worked closely with the paras for the past four years and was team trainer at Breda in 2012 when the team secured a Bronze medal.

Throughout the year, Sara coaches the drivers at various camps and has helped each to analyse their own performance and set their own development plans.

Sara runs her own carriage driving centre in Sevenoaks, Kent, and competes with her pony team at international level, having recently finished second at the Land Rover CAI Royal Windsor Driving Grand Prix.

She thoroughly enjoys working with the para-drivers and says it is a privilege and she is constantly learning how best to support each driver to fulfil their potential.

FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE CHAMPIONSHIPS AT SANDRINGHAM, VISIT:
www.britishcarriagedriving.co.uk/sandringham

Related stories:

Team GBR Para drivers selected

Para-drivers enjoy CDSGdd training weekend to the full

 
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