British Masters Final 2017
6 November 2017

by James Broome

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The British Masters is a series of three indoor events for four-in-hand horse teams. The result of the series determines the driver who will represent Britain at the FEI World Cup Driving qualifier at Olympia, the London International Horse Show.

This year's British Masters saw a new venture for the Final, which took place at Bury Farm in Bedfordshire.

The "Extreme Driving Uncovered" incorporated a head-to-head Drive Off between international commentator Matt Millin and his showjumper wife Amanda, and also a Masterclass to show some of the techniques behind driving a team of 4 horses around a World Cup course.

With spectators travelling from as far as Cornwall especially for the display, the atmosphere at the Bury Farm Equestrian Village was electric whilst the four competitors prepared for the showdown.

Daniel Naprous and Dick Lane were hot favourites, with Mark Carruthers and James Broome competing in the series for the first time.


Dan Naprous. Photo by SBM Photographic.

With both Dick and Dan having won one leg each before the Final, it was a case of "Winner Takes All".

Tickets for the event were sold at 5 per head, and this included the chance of 4 "Golden Tickets" that entitled the winners to a ride on one of the carriages and also a ticket for the Thursday afternoon performance at Olympia, The London International Horse Show.

With James and Mark putting in respectable performances as the warm up act, Dan was drawn next and put in a staggeringly good round, putting enormous pressure on Dick, who knew if he was to stay in contention he had to drive his team of Lipizzaner horses at full speed.

Unfortunately, whilst going at this speed mistakes are more likely and the very slightest miscommunication resulted in Dick's leaders entering gate E backwards before driving gate D.

Dick reined back before his back axle crossed the line so did not incur any penalties, but wasted some time.

Dick put in the best time of the second round, but not enough to catch Dan who, once again, wins the ticket to compete as the British Wildcard at the FEI Driving World Cup at Olympia, The London International Horse Show.

James Broome explains, "Next year, we are planning to develop the event so that more members can enjoy the atmosphere of competing in the exhilarating atmosphere.

Initial discussions have suggested that we run a "normal-ish" indoor event in the morning, open to all Indoor Carriage Driving members, with the winners from each class invited to take part in the exhibition event after lunch."


Photo by Swingletree Photography


British Masters 2017 - report on the first two events in the series

FEI World Cup Driving

The British leg of the FEI World Cup Driving Series takes place at Olympia in London on Friday 15th December (first round) and Saturday 16th December (second round)

In addition to the five World Cup qualified drivers taking part, two "wildcard" drivers will be appointed by the organising committee, one of which will be the winner of the British Masters Series.

See the drivers, dates and venues for the 2017-18 World Cup Series

 
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