8 July 2009

Following five selection events held at venues in England and Scotland, the British team for the World Combined Pony Driving Championships held in St. Martin Greven-Bockholt, Germany on 13-16 August, has been confirmed.

Team GBR: Jill Holah, Faith Szczuka, Julie Camm, James Broome, Anna Grayston, Sue Denney, Sarah Howe

The five-driver squad includes James Broome, the son of former World Champion show jumper David Broome, representing his country for the first time at this level. Monmouthshire-based James, who is the reigning national pony pairs champion, will be taking his chestnut Welsh section Ds Penraven Prince, Beechwood Bracken and spare pony Fred Bojangles to the championships.

?Representing your country is the greatest honour any sportsman can have,? says James, a show organiser at his family?s David Broome Event Centre in Crick. ?I?ve had a great time getting here and have some big boots to fill. Fingers crossed, I?ll be able to do it.?

Anna Grayston, from Edenbridge, Kent, will join James in the pairs division competing her Welsh section D Bluewillow Johnny Reb, part-bred Hackney and King?s Irish Song, with his sire King?s Blaze as a spare. A former regular competitor with a pony four-in-hand on British World and European championship teams, Anna has won her past three competitions and will be driving a pair for the first time on a British squad.

The Isle of Man?s Sue Denney, the current pony singles national champion, was on the 2005 bronze-medal winning team. With her Welsh cross Arab pony Rolls Silver Spirit, Sue secured her team place earlier in the season.

Sue?s fellow singles driver will be hotelier Julie Camm, of Bristol, who has represented Britain at every World Pony Championship since the inaugural event in Karlstetten, Austria, 2003. Julie?s Welsh section D Thorneyside Emperor was third after the dressage phase at the 2007 championship in Dorthyleast, Denmark, and won the final two selection events for his driver.

The pony fours will be represented by Scotland?s Faith Szczuka, who will be driving her team of Welsh section Ds. Faith, an outreach teacher working with teenagers excluded from their schools who lives near Edinburgh, is another championship first-timer.

Sue Mart of Bennington Carriages, has been selected to represent Britain as an individual. Sue will be driving her 10-year-old Steppers Viceroy in the single pony division. ?We are delighted to be going with the team to Germany to compete as individuals,? said Sue. ?We hope to do our country and team GB proud.?

British Horse Driving Trials Chairman Tony Bache says: ?We are very happy to be in a position to send a strong team with a wealth of experience from both competitors and the support team.?

The team will be joined in Germany by chef d'Equipe Jill Holah and assistant chef d'Equipe Sara Howe, the current World single pony bronze medallist.

Wilf Bowman-Ripley will act as team coach, with Holly Applewhite as team vet and Nicola Baguley as team equine physiotherapist.

The Team GBR section on our website gives more details about the event, travel, accommodation and other information for competitors and supporters / spectators.