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|Britsh World Singles Team Announced|
23 July 2002
The team to represent Great Britain at the World Single Horse Driving Championships in Conty, France at the end of August was announced following the last selection event at Catton Park. The Team members are: Di Hayes, Angela Flanagan and David Matthews. The Chef d'Equipe for team GB is Rene Schoop and the assistant Chef d'Equipe is Trevor Harding.
Having been driving for some 20 years, Di Hayes is the most experienced member of the team and is also a horse driving trials judge. She and her 12-year-old hackney mare, Hamewith Culmellie were picked to represent Great Britain at the 2000 World Championships, which were to have been held at Gladstone, USA but had to be cancelled at the last minute because of an outbreak of West Nile Virus. Virtually unbeaten in the 2000 season, Di has maintained top form with her mare and has notched up three wins at national events this season.
From Leicestershire, Angela Flanagan has been driving for six years, beginning when she found she "was left with her daughter's horses". She has competed successfully with her nine-year-old Welsh cob, Samuel Penny, since 1999, although 2000 was their first main competitive national season. To keep her hand in last year, she competed abroad at three events - Belgium, her first International, where she came 3rd. overall, in Italy and at Conty in France where she was first in dressage and 5th overall despite technical problems with her marathon carriage. Always in the ribbons at national events this year, she opened the season with a win at Brighton international horse driving trials.
The youngest member of the team, 29-year-old David Matthews Jnr. is a farrier who, until recently, was best known in competitive driving for his success in scurry, having won the Championship at the Horse of the Year Show a couple of times. Alongside his scurry commitments, he competed with a pony pair in driving trials in the early 1990s, then began competing in the single horse class in 1999, driving his parents' ten-year-old Welsh Cob Carnwallon Boneddwr. Sponsored by Osborne Refrigerators, David won the 2002 Land Rover International Driving Grand Prix at Royal Windsor and the national single horse class at Sandringham.
23 nations are set to take part in these, the second World Single Horse Championships which will be held from 28th August till 1st September at Les Ateliers de la Selle in Conty - an equestrian club surrounded by woods and tracks located 120km north of Paris. International course designer Christian Iseli who, together with George Prince, designed the obstacles for the European Pony Team Championships at Sandringham this year, has designed eight new obstacles.
Announcing the team, BHDTA chairman Tom Pettifer, remarked, "Single horse competitors have worked very hard this season towards this goal. I believe we have a strong team and we wish them well."