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The British Horse Driving Trials Association Announces Great Britain's Combined Pony World Championship Team

Following the last of four selection events through this season, the drivers to represent Great Britain at the first Combined Pony World Championships for singles, pairs and four-in-hands to be held in Karlstetten, Austria from 14-17 August was announced at Sandringham. Julie Camm and Sara Howe are the single pony representatives, Ursula Hirschberg and Jo Rennison the pony pairs and Emily Bennett and John Pickford the pony teams. These drivers will be taking part in history-in-the-making for there has never been a World Championship for ponies before.

Julie Camm, a hotelier from Bristol, will be driving her Welsh Section D mare, Pannau Pandora, with whom she won the first and second national driving events of the season at Brighton and Hopetoun House. Sara Howe, an instructor who runs Bradbourne Carriage Driving Centre, Sevenoaks, Kent drives Coster Llewellyn, Jane MacDonald's Welsh pony, whom she has been competing successfully for some four years. They won at Newnham Park, in Devon.

Ursula Hirschberg, from Cheshire, is better known as a pony four-in-hand driver, in which capacity she has represented Great Britain at previous European Pony Team Championships, notably helping to win the team silver medal at Saumur in 1999. Circumstances combined to make her decide to compete in pony pairs this year; always in the ribbons, she scored a win at Hopetoun House.

Surrey-based, Jo Rennison is a comparative newcomer into pony pairs but had a fantastic season last year when she was unbeaten throughout. Still on form this year, she has notched up wins at Brighton and Sandringham.

In her late 20s, Emily Bennett, from Cheshire, has been competing since she was 14 and is in the unique position of having been single pony, pony pair, pony tandem and pony team national champion; she had wins at Brighton, Newnham Park and Sandringham. A member of the British team that competed at
the 2002 European Pony Team Championships, where she was the highest placed Brit, she drives a superb team of black Welsh ponies.

Hampshire-based, John Pickford, previously a successful pony pairs driver, has been competing in pony teams for some four years and drives a team of pretty chestnut Welsh ponies; he won at Hopetoun House.

Our team will be competing against the 12 other nations - Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Poland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden - who have currently announced their intention to send a team.

If the organisation allows competing countries to send individual drivers, Liz Rowe (pony), Georgina Frith (pairs) and Phillipa Gammell (four-in-hand) will also take part in the championships. Bob Johnston will be the Chef d'equipe assisted by Rosemary Neale and the team trainer is Boyd Exell who was instrumental in the pony team success at Saumur when the GB team achieved the silver medal.

Major fund raising has been taking place to help send our drivers to Austria and Steve Jarman of will also support the team.


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