Success At National Championships For Local Carriage Drivers

Louise & Stephie- tandem

There have been celebrations at the Chariots of Fire Equestrian Centre this week after instructor Louise Kaiholm was crowned tandem champion at the Indoor Driving National Championships in Bedfordshire. Driving her pony Indiana Jones (Joe) and SDU’s Cordonford Hedge Hunter (Haggis), Louise was supported on the backstep by fellow instructor Stephie White. Haggis and Joe had a good dressage and super cones,  which is usually a challenge, leaving them in joint first place going into the obstacle phase. Some classic “tandem issues” in the obstacles led to a nail-biting finish with Louise claiming victory with a margin of just under one second!


Louise narrowly missed out on a second win when she was pipped into second place in the Open Pony class, driving Ruth Martin’s pony Storm. In an extremely competitive class, there were less than four seconds separating the top three places!

Louise commented “What a brilliant competition with super ponies and great people.”


Louise and Stephie then swapped the driving seat for the backstep, grooming for the five drivers from the Sports Driving Unlimited Team.

Eastriggs’ Charlotte Thomson driving Dash, Annan’s Graham Smith driving Pepper and Dumfries’ Sarah Gemie driving Strawbs took part in the largest class of the event the Novice Pony class with 22 competitors.

In an exciting start to the 3-phrase competition, Sarah won the dressage phase and was joint leader at the end of the first day. The speed of the hotly contested obstacle phase however saw her squeezed out of the rosettes.


Our two young drivers, Dalbeattie’s Matthew Powell driving Lucy and Langholm’s Finlay Macrae driving Watson competed in the Novice Junior class.  achieved their personal best results at this event, Matthew placing in 4th and Finlay in 7th!


Brenda Hodgson, Sports Driving Unlimited Chairperson said “ our team not only made us very proud but they also impressed the knowledgeable audience with their skills.  It is a terrific accomplishment for Sarah to win the dressage phase in such a large class and that Finlay and Mathew were challenging the leaders in their class. For Matthew to be placed 4th is a tremendous achievement.”