Five Minutes with… Georgina Hunt 

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Carriage driver Georgina Hunt, competes a handsome team of KWPN geldings 

Q – What did your mentors teach you?

A – My parents have been amazingly supportive over a long competitive career. They instilled the competitive spirit from a young age, and always encouraged me to keep plugging away at improving myself.

Q – If you could change one thing about the sport of driving, what would it be? 

A – Its profile. I would love to see driving achieving the status it enjoys on the continent, and therefore attracting the same audiences. It is a sport adored by all those involved in it, but in the UK we seem shy about marketing it to a wider community!

Q – What do you hate to see in your discipline?

A – Horses being asked to do things they haven’t been correctly prepared for. I hate seeing horses’ heads being wrenched round obstacles because the driver is over enthusiastic, or simply unaware that their horse is having a miserable time.

Q – What first made you interested in horse riding and how old were you? 

A – I sat on my first horse at around 2 years old and had a traditional pony club upbringing. As my brother and I out grew our ponies, my father tied them together and started carriage driving. It was a natural progression for me to then be his groom, and then his driver!

Q – What do you love most about riding horses / the equestrian industry? 

A – Horses are great levellers. I have been very lucky to compete alongside Prince Phillip for many years, for example. Horses have opened all sorts of doors for me.

Q – What key things make a successful sports horse in your discipline, and why?

A – Good stride, good mouth, and a good brain. You’ve no legs to squeeze the best out of them, or help them balance, so they have to be naturally willing performers, responsive and obedient. 

Q – Tell us your favourite motto, and why you believe in it

A – I like “Rome wasn’t built in a day” and “You don’t know what you don’t know”. It takes three to five years to hone a competition team, and there are plenty of questions along the way. You never stop learning!

I couldn’t live without…

“I am sponsored by Abbey England, who supply British-made driving bits for the whole driving team. Driving bits are essential for bridging control and communication between the driver and horse. The number of driving bits permissible in the sport is relatively low, as the action of such bits can be severe when used by inexperienced or unsympathetic hands. There are two basic bit groups used in driving – leverage bits (e.g. curbs) and non-leverage bits (e.g. snaffles). A bit with shanks and a strap or chain under the horse’s chin is a leverage bit, while non-leverage bits do not have shanks. Abbey England can supply all driving bits including Liverpools, Buxtons, Swales, Wilson snaffles, Metropolitans, Military and Post bits which are all available in different variations and sizes – www.abbeyengland.com or www.ridingbitz.com,” Georgina concludes.

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Author: Features Editor

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