#JoinTheJourney and play your part in helping the 5 drivers & 15 horses of the British Pony Driving Team win GOLD for Great Britain at the FEI World Driving Championships for Ponies in Germany next month.
The British Pony Driving Team are, collectively, Great Britain's elite athletes in the equestrian discipline of Driving. The team are the current world championship bronze medal holders after their historic achivements in the Netherlands two years ago. This time, the team are setting their sights even further to challenge the top nations for the gold medals.
Driving is a non-olympic discipline and therefore receives no funding at all. We are competing against other nations whose athletes are partly or even fully funded and yet we are still challenging for medals - imagine what we could achieve with that extra bit of investment!
We're therefore reaching out to all of our compatriots to play a part in helping us to achieve success for Great Britain on the world stage. Every pound that you pledge will give us access to further training, veterinary and physiotherapy support, a sports psychologist - everything that we need to continually improve and achieve our ultimate goal.
Please join our journey by pledging what you can and follow us through our Facebook page - https://www.facebook.com/BritishPonyDrivingTeam
The equestrian discipline of driving is based on the ridden discipline of eventing - drivers sit on a vehicle drawn by a single horse, pair or a team of four and they face three trials – dressage, marathon and cones.
Dressage involves performing a sequence of compulsory movements, which must be executed from memory.
The marathon is a spectacular time trial that includes up to 8 obstacles which are designed to test the horses’ fitness and stamina as well as the drivers' accuracy at speed. Each obstacle will include up to 6 gates, flagged A to F, with the objective being to drive through the gates in sequence in the shortest possible time.
Cones tests the fitness, obedience and suppleness of the horses after the marathon, as well as the skill of the driver who must weave cleanly through a narrow track outlined by cones with balls balanced on top.
The 2017 FEI World Driving Championship for Ponies is being held in Minden, Germany. The championships will begin on Tuesday 15th August with the horse inspection and run through until Sunday 20th August, with 3 days of dressage, one marathon day and cones on the decisive final day.
Individual medals will be awarded to the top three drivers in each class - single, pair and four-in-hand - and there are also team medals for the top three nations based on the combined score of their drivers.
Why we need to raise money
Driving is an expensive sport! For the World Championships at Minden we need to transport 15 horses and at least 10 carriages in some 6 enormous lorries with trailers across 5 countries and one sea! That's a lot of diesel, ferry tickets, and road tolls! And when we arrive there we need to fund nearly EUR 4,000 in entry fees plus the cost of our trainers and veterinary support, etc.
As driving is a non-olympic discipline the top athletes receive absolutely no funding at all and prize money is almost insignificant. Therefore, drivers must achieve what they do off their own backs and with the kind support of generous benefactors like you!