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British drivers crowned at Windsor

Britain’s best drivers battled for the national titles at the National Carriage Driving Championships

Spectators at last weekend’s National Carriage Driving Championships in Windsor Great Park (13-15 September), sponsored by Day, Son and Hewitt, were treated to three days of thrilling combined driving action.

George Prince’s spectacular yet challenging marathon obstacles tested drivers in all classes, although theoverall consensus was that they drove well.

Emily Bennett and her team of black Hackney/Welsh ponies drove a storming cross-country round to rise from third place after the dressage to take the lead. A fine performance in the cones onthe final day saw her take the pony team title for the first time, ahead of reserve champion Philippa Gammell and Anna Grayston, who was third.

The popular open pony class also saw some spectacular marathon action. Amanda Saville made her long journey down from Lockerbie in Dumfries worthwhile when she thrilled the crowds with an amazing performance through the obstacles with her Welsh Section D gelding Ebbw Joss. She went on to claim the championship by over 13 penalties, ahead of Louise Garget.

In the open horse class David Matthews jnr, from High Wycombe, Bucks, stretched his commanding lead in the dressage with a strong performance in the marathon. With just a single cone down in the final phase, he went on to take the Open Horse title by 15 penalties. James Robson was second.

The novice pony title was won by Kerry Copas, driving her skewbald Welsh Cob, Tommy Too, while the horse championship went to Joanna Sugden and her black Hackney mare, Redwing Rea.

The cones competition proved influential in the pony pairs class with a careful round by Surrey’s Jo Rennison proving good enough to move her from third place after the marathon to first place following the final phase.

Terry Selway from Little Baddow in Essex triumphed in the horse pairs with his wife’s pair of liver chestnut Gelderlanders.

The horse tandems title went to Pat Cooper and herpiebald trotters, while the pony class won was by Liz Rowe from West Sussex with her Welsh Section D’s.

Visit www.windsordriving.co.uk for more information about the championships.

Read an indepth report on the championships in next week’s Horse & Hound (26 September), or click here to subscribe and enjoy Horse & Hound delivered to your door every week.

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