The Duke of Edinburgh was 'instrumental' in making carriage driving a UK sport

  • Watch the video report by ITV Meridian's Sarah Gomme

The late Duke of Edinburgh was extremely active and he had a particular interest in equestrian sports.

Prince Philip was a highly skilled polo player, who helped establish and create rules for carriage driving as an international sport.

He was often to be seen at Stanmer Park in Brighton, either practicing or taking part in competitions. 

The Duke of Edinburgh was first president of the Guards Polo Club

The Duke of Edinburgh was first president of the Guards Polo Club, which was founded within the Great Park at Windsor in 1955.

Neil Hobday, Chief Executive, Guards Polo Club says Prince Philip is the sole reason the club exists.

He said: "He felt that he would like to have a place to play polo nearer Windsor Castle. From the moment we were formed, to the moment he gave up polo, he was an exceptionally active polo player here at the club and elsewhere. He was a very competent player."

Prince Philip represented Britain at three European and six world carriage driving championships

In 1971, the Duke decided to retire from competitive polo, aged 50.

Instead, Prince Philip took up carriage driving and went on to represent Britain at three European and six world championships.

In 2017, he spoke about the sport in an interview with Misdee Wrigley Miller, a US contestant in the Royal Windsor Horse Show. 

The Duke said the second competition he ever took part in was the European Championships, in which he "very nearly" came last.

He said: "The carriages were antiques. We had a thing called the Balmoral Dog Cart. It has to be rebuilt every year because it got smashed up regularly. I drove it in Poland I think, in an international. I didn't smash it up that time, but it usually got smashed."

  • Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, speaking in 2017:

As president of the International Equestrian Federation, Prince Philip was instrumental in making carriage driving a sport in the UK.

Around the world there were different competitions involving carriages being pulled by horses, but they were all slightly different.

The Duke set up a committee to lay out international rules, which paved the way for carriages drivers globally.

Former carriage driver, Julie Hoskyns, met Prince Philip a number of times during competitions.

The Duke of Edinburgh helped her injured pony and asked to be informed about its recovery, after Julie once crashed in a competition.

She says the Duke loved the camaraderie of the sport and was "just one of them."

  • Julie Hoskyns, Former carriage driver:

The Duke of Edinburgh may have given up competing in his later years, but he was often seen driving in Windsor Great Park.

His Granddaughter Lady Louise Windsor has followed in his footsteps and he would cheer her on at carriage driving events. 

Perhaps she will now take the reins and be an ambassador for the sport her Grandfather was so passionate about.

Lady Louise Windsor has followed in her Grandfather's footsteps