Wiltshire carriage driving champion: 'The sport owes so much to Prince Philip'

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An international carriage driving champion from Wiltshire has paid tribute to Prince Philip's major contribution to the sport.

Karen Scott-Barrett says carriage driving owes much of its success to the prince's efforts during his near 50 years of association.

It was Prince Philip who had persuaded Karen's mother - Lady Hugh Russell, riding instructor to Princess Anne - to take up carriage driving after Lady Russell was paralysed in a riding accident.

Today Karen continues that legacy, competing with Team GB and training at her home in Dinton, near Salisbury.

"It's huge fun", Karen told ITV News West Country. "A huge adrenaline rush and very interesting, testing of all your abilities. And so inclusive. Children can compete, and you can compete into your 80s, as Prince Philip has shown."

Karen with husband Hugh and horse Joe in their training area. Credit: ITV West Country

Prince Philip took up carriage driving aged 50 in 1971, as a replacement for polo.

At that time the carriages used were antiques and each country had its own set of rules but using his contacts as President of the International Equestrian Federation, Prince Philip was able to convene a panel of experts to agree on international rules.

The Duke of Edinburgh also involved British Aerospace in the design of safer, nimbler carriages and the sport he leaves behind is much more sophisticated than the of the 1970s.

The sport became such a huge part of the Duke of Edinburgh's life, his long-term carriage-driving companion Penelope ‘Penny’ Knatchbull is among the 30 guests invited to his funeral.

Prince Philip competing in 1983. Credit: PA

"We're all going to miss him hugely", said Karen.

"There are very few people with his drive and dynamism, and carriage driving wouldn't really exist without him."

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