Carl in search of dou­ble at carriage driv­ing show­piece

Llanelli Star - - SPORT -

A CAR­MARTHEN­SHIRE man has qual­i­fied for the world’s largest com­pe­ti­tion for para-horse carriage driv­ing.

Carl Ward, 41, who lives at Pant-yCendy Hall in Aber­nant, com­petes against other carriage driv­ers from across the coun­try at the Rid­ing for the Dis­abled National Cham­pi­onships at Hart­pury Col­lege in Glouces­ter on Fri­day. The cham­pi­onships see more than 500 com­peti­tors take part each year and has been the spring­board for many para-eques­tri­ans.

Carl, who has learn­ing dif­fi­cul­ties and cere­bral palsy, has been carriage driv­ing since the age of 23 and com­peted in lo­cal events be­fore qual­i­fy­ing for the RDA Cham­pi­onships for the first time in 2018. Hav­ing won the novice carriage driv­ing class in last year’s cham­pi­onships, he now hopes to re­peat his suc­cess in the in­ter­me­di­ate class with his horse Bad­ger.

The in­ter­me­di­ate fi­nal will see him take on the three carriage driv­ing dis­ci­plines of dres­sage, ob­sta­cles and cone driv­ing.

He said: “The cham­pi­onships make me proud of my­self and I am so pleased to be go­ing.

“I feel good when I drive, and it keeps me fit and ac­tive. I have been prac­tis­ing a lot and I hope I win, but I don’t mind if some­one is bet­ter than me as I al­ways have fun doing it.”

Pic­ture: Gruffydd Ll Thomas

Carl Ward (front right) with his horse Bad­ger. Also pictured are Pant-y-Cendy Hall owner Penny Hop­kins and her hus­band Ray.

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