Serious challenge for Outwell carriage driver

MLNF Mick Ward carriage driver
MLNF Mick Ward carriage driver

Still on cloud nine after his world class success at Sandringham driving trials, Outwell’s Mick Ward has set himself another serious challenge.

The British Para-Driving Champion aims to qualify for the national championships in September and to line up against able-bodied competitors.

Mick had a leg amputated after a scuba diving accident in 2005 and took up carriage driving as a form of therapy. He started competing in 2011 and was selected for the British team the following year. He won the British Para-driving Open Championship last year, retained his title at Sandringham two weeks ago and was highest placed British team member, securing a bronze medal in the international championships. This followed a class win at Windsor and a creditable sixth place in the Netherlands with Team GB earlier this year.

Home this week with his Welsh pony Toby and his grooms, his wife Maria and daughter Tamsyn, he said he was “over the moon” with the Sandringham result. He had completed three phases of competition - dressage, a gruelling obstacle course and then a cone driving course calling for speed and accuracy.

“I set out to get a podium position and it could not have gone better, especially as Toby had had some time off and was not 100 per cent fit.

“He gave me everything he could,” said Mick.

The pair are taking a short break and then start training again with the national championships in their sights.

They will compete at an event in the midlands towards the end of July hoping to earn their qualifying ticket at novice level and the chance to compete against mainstream drivers in the autumn.