Amanda Saville, national single pony title holder with Ebbw Joss, is launching what is believed to be the first children-only carriage driving club in the UK early next year.

It will be open to those aged 3-21 years and known as the Junior Chariots Driving Club.

“In order to win world medals we need to start grooming youngsters early, so that they are socially aware and have their nerves sorted before taking part in the big competitions,” says Amanda , who also runs the Chariots of Fire display team.

“Currently young drivers are quite limited in what they can do and don’t have the same chance as other children who can get experience by competing in riding club and lead rein classes. We need children of 14 confident and ready to go the nationals and doing well.”

World silver medallist and multiple national champion George Bowman will be the honorary president of the club, which will be launched at a ceilidh at Kettleholme village hall, near Lockerbie, Scotland, on 17 January 2003.

Members will be able to attend clinics and take part in fun days and competitions.

Amanda, who already trains children as young as three at her Scottish base, hopes in the future to be able to run a championship series for children under 14 with nationwide qualifiers.

Currently six of her pupils, aged 11-15, are competing using her ponies and have been placed in novice classes.

“They’ve done so well already, challenging the adults,” says Amanda proudly. “I believe that everybody should be given the chance, regardless of personal circumstances – you don’t have to be a 90-year-old to enjoy driving.”

Membership will cost £20 for a year, or £10 for associate membership.

Anyone interested should contact Amanda Saville (tel: 01576 610248)

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