A MASTER saddler is aiming to be re-selected for the British carriage driving team – and his horses are getting in good practice in Northumberland in the meantime.
Geoff Brown, who runs Simply Saddles in Stamfordham, has a team of six driving horses and is focusing on competing at international level with Dutch horses owned by Robert Bowman.
He is short-listed for the 2011 Advanced Horse Pairs British Team for the World Championships and is working towards the Horse Teams World Championships’ 2012 shortlist.
Brown, who has also point-to-pointed and evented to Pre-Novice level, said: “We compete all over the country. We were at the Royal Windsor International and have been in France and Hungary.
“There are about 100 entries at most events. It is an expensive sport.
“I followed on from my father and you get a real buzz from it. I was brought up with it.” He is now putting his competition horses to work in a new business venture with Kirsty Pennal, who worked part-time for him at Simply Saddles when she was studying at Newcastle University.
They are launching Unique Carriage Services to provide horse-drawn coaches for weddings and coaching trips – and in the future will be looking at a horse-drawn hearse for funeral services.
Brown added: “Up to Christmas, we hope to do some coaching dinners.
“We will pick people up from the pub and take them for a drive to another pub. Originally we thought we would set off from the Bay Horse at Stamfordham to the Duke of Wellington at Newton.
“However, there is no actual set A to B route.”