FEI World Pony Championships
Team GBR Selection

17 September 2019

 


SELECTION POINTS TABLE

Nine of Britain’s top carriage drivers are heading to the FEI World Pony Driving Championships in Hungary this week in search of yet more silverware.

The Pony team are the most successful of Britain’s five international carriage driving teams in recent times, having returned a total of 4 individual medals in the past three championships as well as team bronze in 2015.

This year’s team of 4 singles, 2 pairs and 3 four-in-hands has a strong blend of experience and new blood, including seven time team stalwart Sara Howe competing alongside her daughter, Phillipa, for the first time.

Sara, having also qualified for the World Championships in the pairs class, drives her four-in-hand of Welsh ponies whilst Phillipa is driving her single pony, Sox.

Phillipa is joined in the Single Pony class by former world silver medallist Rosanna Walters-Symons, who has top ten finishes to her name in the last three championships. Rosanna finished top of the TeamGBR selection standings and will be driving her German Sports Pony, Hurricain. Robert Buck and Chris Ainscough complete the Single Pony contingent.

Reigning gold medallist in the pairs class, Tara Wilkinson, won’t be defending her crown this time around however two of the ponies that she drove to victory two years ago will this time be piloted by Averina Snow, who bought the ponies last year from previous owner Emma Burge. Joseph Adams, also a new addition to the team, completes the line-up with his ‘indoor’ pair of greys, who had not competed outdoors until this season.

As well as Sara Howe, Great Britain are represented in the four-in-hand class by Roger Campbell. Roger is in great form this year, winning two 3* international competitions including the Land Rover International Driving Grand Prix at Royal Windsor Horse Show, which took him to #1 in the FEI World Rankings for a period. Rowena Moyse makes up the third British four-in-hand.

The Pony Driving World Championships will be held in the towns of Kisbér-Ászár, Hungary, from 24-29 September, where a total of 100 competitors from 16 nations will battle it out for the medals across the three classes.

The British athletes recently raised in excess of £6,000 via a successful crowd-funding campaign to help fund the extensive support crew that travel with this world class team, including trainers, veterinarians, physiotherapist and psychologist.

After the disappointment of not being able to field a full team two years ago and with many of the drivers in good form this year, the team have their eyes on winning another medal this time around!

You can track the team out in Hungary by following the daily blog on the BC website as well as the team’s Facebook page – www.facebook.com/britishponydrivingteam

TEAM DRIVERS
Rosanna Walters-Symons


Photo: Amy Mundell Equestrian Photography

Rosanna Walters-Symons (27) is a Psychology Lecturer from Devon.  She started driving 19 years ago and competed at both indoor and outdoor club events from the age of 9 with her mother Anne’s Dartmoor pony, whilst at the same time being an active rider and member of the Pony Club. 

Rosanna acknowledges the invaluable training and education she received from the British Young Drivers programme, through which she won the individual bronze medal at the 2012 European Championships for Young Drivers.

The following year she made her senior British team debut and won the individual silver medal at Pony World Championships in Pau, France. Since then she has been a regular member of TeamGBR and in 2015 was a member of the bronze medal winning team in Breda, Netherlands.

Rosanna will be driving her German Sports Pony, Hurricain. Her regular back-stepper on the marathon is fiancé Ben Freer, and they will be getting married in 2020.

 
Robert Buck

Photo: Amy Mundell Equestrian Photography

Robert Buck is a professional equestrian trainer from Gloucestershire. Born in South Africa, Robert will be driving Julie Camm’s Thorneyside Emporer.

He originally trained Julie’s event horse and then, when she started carriage driving, he trained her ponies for competition before competing himself.

As well as event horses, Robert has also trained and ridden horses to advanced level dressage. Robert has had many successes at European events and is the current British National Champion.

 

Averina Snow  

Photo: Amy Mundell Equestrian Photography

Averina Snow is a retired Chartered Accountant from Surrey.

Brought up in Zimbabwe, Averina first thought about driving at the age of 10 when her parents made a very basic cart for one of their ponies. However before she could take the reins the family moved to Zambia, taking the pony but not the cart!

“I vowed I would have a go at driving one day. It took 30 years, but was well worth the wait!”, says Averina.

Averina started driving in this country some years ago, but work commitments prevented her from doing much competing, until five years ago when she had more spare time and started driving a pair.

She will be driving the internationally successful pair formerly belonging to Emma Burge together with a third pony owned by four-in-hand driver Rowena Moyse.

 

Joseph Adams  

Photo: Amy Mundell Equestrian Photography

Joseph Adams (28) is a kitchen assistant from Worcestershire.

Joseph started driving some 18 years ago with a 10.2hh Shetland called Fudge, which he then paired up with Toffee! He has been driving a pair ever since with great success, both indoors and outdoors.

The ponies he will be taking to the World Championships are in fact his ‘indoor’ pair with which he won the 2019 Indoor Supreme Championship, the seventh time he had headed the Pony Pair class at these Championships.

The first time this little grey pair had ever competed outdoors was at Hopetoun earlier this season and they have gone from strength to strength since then, recently finishing 2nd at the FEI 3* event at Le Pin (France).

 

 Roger Campbell  

Photo: Amy Mundell Equestrian Photography

Roger Campbell (30) is a welder fabricator and is based in Minden, Germany.

Roger is part of a very enthusiastic driving family from Devon, who are all involved in the sport in one way or another. His younger brother, Frank, competed in the World Singles Championship last year while their sister Clare is Roger’s navigator and groom for all phases.

Meanwhile, parents James and Mary Jane are nearly always in attendance and Mary Jane, who competes herself with a single, is Chef d’Equipe for the British Young Drivers team.

Roger started out in driving by grooming for his grandmother, who tipped him out on two occasions, after which he began driving himself! Like others on the team, Roger also came through the British Young Drivers scheme and, when he was 16, spent the summer grooming for Georgina Frith and her horse team. His early driving successes were with a horse but he switched to ponies in 2011.

This will be Roger’s fourth World Championship; the first was with a single, the second with a pair and now for the last three seasons he has been driving a four-in-hand of Welsh ponies owed by Jaqueline Walter and Meike Geier.

Roger has had a very successful season so far in 2019, including a win in the International Driving Grand Prix at Royal Windsor Horse Show, which took him to the top of the FEI driver of the year rankings for a period.

 

Sara Howe  

Photo: Amy Mundell Equestrian Photography

Sara Howe is a carriage driving instructor from Kent.

Sara has been driving for over 40 years and was introduced to the sport by being a groom for Peter Munt, who did showing, stunt and film work as well as driving trials with a four-in-hand. She has been running her own business for 30 years.

Sara is team trainer for the GB Para Driving squad and Young Drivers team. She has represented GB at every Pony World Championships except one since the inception of the competition in 2003 - quite a record!

Driving is very much a family affair, with Sara destined to set a new milestone by competing alongside her daughter Phillipa for the first time at this year’s World Championships, which she is particularly proud about.

Thanks to the generosity of owner Babs Kingsley-Monks, Sara has also been able to drive a pair for the last two seasons, in addition to her own four-in-hand. She is the reserve pairs driver for TeamGBR (only two singles, two pairs and two fours in the national team) but cannot drive in both classes and is selected to be a team member with her four-in-hand.
 

INDIVIDUAL DRIVERS
Chris Ainscough  

Photo: Amy Mundell Equestrian Photography

Chris Ainscough (31) is a driving coach and equestrian centre manager from Lancashire

Chris has been driving for 19 years, having been enthused by his grandparents and followed them into the sport.

“One of my earliest memories of driving is my grandfather turning a carriage over with me sat with him when I was about 3 years old, but it did not put me off!”, recalls Chris.

Chris will be driving his British Spotted Pony, Penwarne Banjo Boy, which he has brought on with the help of Abigail Rowland, an Eventer and Dressage Rider, and his wife, Caz, back-steps for him.

 

Phillipa Howe  

Photo: Amy Mundell Equestrian Photography

Phillipa Howe (30) is a Teaching Assistant from Kent. Phillipa was born in to driving with both parents being successful carriage drivers.

Her mother, Sara, is a regular member of the British Team who will also be competing alongside Phillipa in Hungary with her four-in-hand.

Her father, Yogi, was the head coachman for the Household Cavalry for many years and then went on to run the Harrods horse drawn department before travelling the world as a Freelance Coachman.

Phillipa will be driving Sox, originally owned by her grandmother Leonie Marshall, who competed him in both indoor and outdoor competitions. Leonie offered her granddaughter the opportunity to drive Sox for a year, and now, four years later, they have earned their place to represent Great Britain at the World Championships.

Phillipa’s life changed at the end of last year with the birth of Edward on Christmas Day. She and her partner, Dan Foley, are looking forward to getting married next May.

 

Rowena Moyse  

Photo: Amy Mundell Equestrian Photography

Rowena Moyse is a horse trainer and carriage driving coach from South Wales.

Rowena started in the sport of scurry driving, and had always wanted to drive since seeing Doris Day in the film ‘Calamity Jane’! She has also taken part in other equestrian sports including eventing, hunting, point-to-pointing and has shown side-saddle.

Rowena will be competing a team of black ponies owned by pairs driver Averina Snow, having brought them on from being wild and unhandled youngsters herself.

This will be Rowena’s second time representing Great Britain at a Pony World Championship, having competed with a pair at Catton in 2005.


PROVISIONAL TIMETABLE
FEI DRIVING WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS FOR PONIES
KISBÉR-ÁSZÁR
24 – 29 SEPTEMBER 2019

Sunday 22nd September
08:00 - arrival of the athletes, stables open
10:00 – 19.00: Show Office open
10:00 – 19:00: training areas and training track open

Monday 23rd September
08:00: arrival of the athletes
08:00 – 19.00: Show Office open
09:00: pony measuring (2 locations)
09:00 – 19:00: training areas and training track open
17:00: Informal Chef d'Equipe meeting
18:00: Football game for all Competitors and their team members

Tuesday 24th September
08:00 – 19:00: training areas and training track open
08:00 – 19:00: Show Office open
09:00: pony measuring (2 locations)
09:00 – 11:30: 1st Horse Inspection (2 lanes)
13:00: marathon obstacles and section A & B open for inspection
13:00: Chef d'Equipe meeting – Draw dressage
15:00: Meeting Team Veterinarians
16:00: Opening Ceremony on foot in the Main Arena
19.00: preparations for the Nations Night
20.00: Nations Night

Wednesday 25th September
08:00 – 19:00: Show Office open
09:00 – 17:00: Dressage P1
18:00: Chef d'Equipe meeting & draw marathon P1

Thursday 26th September
08:00 – 19:00: Show Office open
09:00 – 16:40: Dressage P2
18:00: Chef d'Equipe meeting & draw marathon P2

Friday 27th September
08:00 – 19:00: Show Office open
09:30 – 15:00: Dressage P4
16:00: Chef d'Equipe meeting & draw marathon P4
20:00: Prize giving ceremony dressage on foot (P1 & P2: 1-8, P4: 1-6) followed by Nations Games

Saturday 28th September
08:00 – 19:00: Show Office open
09:00 – 17:00: Marathon (P1, P2, P4) followed by Chefs d'Equipe meeting
20:00: Prize giving ceremony marathon on foot (P1 & P2: 1-8, P4: 1-6) followed by Party with DJ

Sunday 29th September
07:15 – end: Show Office open
07:25: Course walk Cones
08:30: in harness inspection before the Cones
09:00 – 11:40: Cones Competition P1
    followed by Prize Giving Ceremony Cones & Combined P1 (1-8, in harness)
12:15 – 14:45: Cones Competition P2
    followed by Prize Giving Ceremony Cones & Combined P2 (1-8, in harness)
15:15 – 17:15: Cones Competition P4
    followed by Prize Giving Ceremony Cones & Combined P4 (1-6, in harness)
Medal and Closing ceremony in harness: - 1-3 Individuals per class, 1-3 Teams
18:00: Press conference TBC
19:00: Farewell Party (Food & Dance)


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