Para Equestrian Drivers selected for Team GBR
28 July 2018

by Lindsey Tyas Paice


British Carriagedriving
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Following fierce competition with eight para drivers vying for a coveted spot on the team, selection for the 2018 FEI Para Equestrian Driving Championships in Kronenberg (NED) has now been made for the team and individual places.

After a scorcher of a weekend at the last selection event at Blandings, the pressure was on for all athletes and their equine counterparts to perform, and that they did. It was not only the weather that was hot but also the competition.

With selectors basing their decision around an agreed selection criterion which had been set out earlier in the year; selection was tough, and it was evident that each driver had to drive hard to secure their place on the team. Selection was not only based on results from competition and selection events but also on how athletes worked together with each other and their support teams both at competition and during squad training.

With strong performances across the board, the team is as follows:

• Deborah Daniels driving Sam
• Mick Ward driving Douglas
• Jamie Williams driving Elmo

Individual and First Reserve:
Joanne McNicol driving Pip Holgate’s Texas

First Reserve - Individual: Joyce McCarrick driving Tickle

Unfortunately, due to injury, two of the squad’s stalwart and experienced members; Sarah Baverstock driving Kelly and Lucy Barclay driving Macho had to withdraw prior to the final selection event. Both them and their support teams were bitterly disappointed, but we wish them the best of luck in their recovery and look forward to seeing them competing again soon.

It is also with regret that Katie Eyres has also had to withdraw from this year’s process, as she is still in the process of establishing her grading. This is being carried out over the coming weeks and we wish her success in gaining classification.

Meet the Squad
Team members
Driver: Deborah Daniel    With the experience of four World Championships behind her, Debbie will be putting all her expertise into practice to go the extra mile with her new equine partner, Welsh pony Todleyhall Samuel (Sam). Together they competed in the Para Class at Exloo and Kronenberg earlier this year gaining valuable International experience. Debbie was a member of Team GBR’s Bronze medal winning team in 2010, 2012 and 2014 where she also won Individual Bronze in the Grade 1.

Previously a police officer, Debs, broke her back as a result of an explosion on a scuba diving boat. Having always been involved in horses, driving was a natural way back into the competitive equine world. Her yard produces show jumpers as well as driving ponies.

Groom: Holly Dormer
Grading: Grade 1
Pony: Todleyhall Samuel
Owner: Driver
Driver: Jamie Williams   This will be Jamie’s second appearance on the World stage and having developed a strong repertoire with his Welsh Cob Emo, he is hungry to improve on his previous placing, where he was a member of the 2016 Bronze Medal winning Team.

Before his accident Jamie was a black belt in karate, competing for England on four occasions. He started driving in 2007 after breaking his back in a car accident in 2004. Since then his he has gone from strength to strength and as well as driving single and pair is an accomplished tandem driver competing successfully both indoors and outdoors. Based in Normanhurst Jamie is thrilled to again be a member of Team GBR and will be supported in Holland by his family and young son.

Groom:  Robin Bailey
Grading:  Grade 1
Pony:  Pentrefelin Galaxy (Elmo)
Owner:  Driver
Driver: Mick Ward   With two World Championships behind him, Mick will be driving his own Welsh cross; Douglas with whom he has been working with over the past season and again took the National Para Driving Championship title. A member of Team GBR’s Bronze medal winning team in 2012, Mick also won Individual Bronze in the Grade 2 class at the 2014 World Championships at Sandringham.

Injured as a result of a diving accident in 2005, Mick was first introduced to carriage driving by the Springbridge Carriage Driving group where he developed his love of driving. Later inspired by fellow Para drivers at the CDS-dd training at Stow Mick was then determined to take competitive driving further and hasn’t looked back.

Groom: Maria Ward
Christopher Priestly 
Grading: Grade 2
Horse: Douglas
Owner: Driver
Individual driver
Driver: Joanne McNicol   A newcomer to the para squad, Joanne will be driving Texas, a 13-year-old Trotter Cross. Together they have been competing at Club and National Novice and developed a strong partnership. Joanne is over the moon to have been selected to represent Team GBR as an individual is very grateful to Andrea Scott who is letting her drive Texas (owned by Pip Holgate).

Joanne had both legs amputated below the knee at 10 months old due to a birth deformity. She started riding aged 9 with the RDA and later progressed on to owning her own horse. Marriage and children then became her priority and horses were put on the back burner for a while. Her life changed in 2013 when she was introduced to driving and started driving with Kipling County Carriage Driving Group..

Groom: Andrea Scott
Grading: Grade 2
Pony: Texas
Owner: Pip Holgate
First Reserve - Individual Driver
Driver: Joyce Carrick   Although relatively new to the sport of driving, Joyce is not to horses. A keen equestrian in her youth, taking her daughter through successes in tetrathlon, show jumping and working hunter, a freak accident in the stable in 2012 resulted in paralysis. Initially determined to ride again, it was a chance meeting with Chris Ainscough at Thompson House Equestrian in 2015 that led her to take up the reins and experience the feeling of total freedom driving across fields and round obstacles that she had previously had whilst riding. This is when her addiction to driving trials started.

Having experienced the thrill of driving indoor competitions with Sports Driving Unlimited in 2016, she then competed outdoors with Chester Driving Trials i n 2017 and started driving with Tickle, a pony found for her by Chris Ainscough. Soon she was driving with the Para Squad and inspired to represent her country. Joyce has completed all the selection events and more importantly enjoyed every moment of this amazing sport and is thrilled to be part of Team GBR and first reserve for the individual place 

Groom: Chris Ainscough
Grading: Grade 1
Pony: Princess Mischief (Tickle) 
Owner: Driver
Rachel, Julie and Sara are well acquainted team mates and friends, having competed together in Combined Pony WC squads as well as competing individually with each other nationally and internationally over many years.
Chef d’Equipe

Rachel Belliere-Wilson

  Rachel has led the Para squad for the past five World championships. Once a familiar face at national and international competitions, representing GBR in the Combined Ponies twice and achieving team Bronze as part of the GBR 2005 team Rachel is now mother to Sebby and Jacob. 
Chef d’Equipe

Julie Camm

Julie has played an instrumental part in organising all squad training for the team throughout the last Championship cycle and has been an incredible addition to the team providing invaluable support, help and advice to all drivers and their support teams. Julie is Managing Director of Alveston Manor Hotel near Bristol and owner of a string of single ponies currently competing on the national and international circuit.

Sara Howe

This will be Sara’s forth Para Equestrian Driving World Championship as team coach. Sara is a dedicated force behind para driving, being a committee member of the Carriage Driving Sports Group, which provides a platform for para drivers to get involved with training and competition. Sara runs Bradbourne Carriage Driving Centre in Sevenoaks where she coaches para and mainstream drivers, as well as training her own team of ponies. Sara has been a regular GBR team member, winning individual and team medals at Combined Pony World Championships.
PR & Blog

Lindsey Tyas Paice

A seasoned driving campaigner having competed on the World stage at eight Para Equestrian Driving World Championships as a member of Team GBR’s Silver and Bronze medal winning Teams, Lindsey is dedicated to promoting the sport and is keen to encourage more nations to participate. Now a mother to Callum, Lindsey is currently taking a break from competing and will be joining the support team in Holland providing the Blog and PR.