Here we meet Para-Equestrian Carriage Driver Jamie Williams, who shares his experiences of Carriage Driving for Team GBR and how he keeps a clean and tidy yard, easily and effectively thanks to Avant.
2016 is a year Jamie Williams will never forget as he represented Team GBR for the first time in Carriage Driving.
Based in Hastings, Jamie broke his back 10 years ago, which resulted in him being left paralysed from the waist down. Not letting this get in his way, Jamie’s hard work, determination and real passion, has seen him take the Carriage Driving world by storm.
Jamie loves everything about Carriage Driving and it has enabled him to travel around the world to participate in the sport.
Last year Jamie and his 14.2hh Hackney, Glen achieved fourth place individually and team bronze at the FEI World Para Driving Championships, held in the Netherlands.
Said Jamie: “It was an incredible honour to represent my country, I was over the moon at being placed at my first ever world championships.”
Not to be over shadowed Jamie’s Indoor Carriage Driving tandem Denzel and Sunny then went on to win the Indoor National Championships at Keysoe in Bedfordshire.
The grey 11.2hh Welsh Section A pair, were on flying form to take the title in a class well-known for being notoriously difficult as you are steering one horse ahead of the other pair to complete all the movements and changes of pace and direction.
At home, although Jamie has learnt to manage his six horse team on a daily basis, everyday tasks often required someone else to help – but recently his life has changed – and for the better with the addition of the Hand Drive Avant 528 compact loader to assist around the yard.
“Having the new Hand Drive Avant 528 compact loader on the yard has changed my life. Now I can do 90% of the yard tasks myself, the Avant has given me my independence back.
“Before I was unable to push a wheel barrow or move shavings but now I can at the push of a button.” said Jamie
“The Avant enables me to do normal jobs quickly and effectively, like cleaning out the stables and adding fresh, new bedding. The Avant is just the right size, it fits into every stable and around the yard perfectly.”
Avant recently launched the new hand-driven 528 model, a system which enables the driver to operate the whole machine from the joystick.
“It used to take two people an hour and a half to muck two stables out, now I can muck two out on my own in an hour. The machine is very easy to use and has given me freedom that I didn’t think was possible, it is brilliant.”
Added Raimo Ala-Korpi, Managing Director of Avant UK: “We are delighted Jamie is putting the Avant to work and that it has enabled him to do so many tasks around the yard on his own.”
Avant manufactures a wide range of compact, 4-wheel drive machines, which can be fitted with a very comprehensive range of accessories to meet the many varied requirements to make yard work and general maintenance jobs easy and less labour intensive.
This year promises to be just as exciting for Jamie, with the new arrival of his baby son. Jamie is taking a step back to enjoy spending time with him, but intends to be back on the Carriage Driving circuit very soon.