Sue Mart

My name is Sue Mart, Managing Director of Bennington Carriages; we are family business, manufacturing pleasure and competition horse drawn carriages. I also head the Bennington Carriage Driving Academy and I am UKCC level 3 coach in carriage driving.

I am fortunate to own 3 super ponies which all ride and drive. Steppers Viceroy – Zac is my Advanced Single Pony who I have had great success. We represented Great Britain at the Pony World Championships in Germany in 2009 and finished in 7th place. Last year we competed in Breda, Holland and finished in 6th place and we are currently campaigning to compete at the same venue this year at the World Pony Championships in September. Zac is 15 years old and is a Welsh part bred.

Fudge – is my up and coming future competition carriage driving star and I compete him in the Open Pony classes. Through the winter I compete at British Dressage events. My plan is to compete him Advanced next year and compete abroad. Fudge is 10 years old and is a Connemara x

Dillon - Was my first completion pony and now aged 24 he is my “teaching” pony. He brings much happiness to my clients, learning the skill of carriage driving. My greatest success with Dillon was winning the Royal Windsor International Single Pony title in 2003

How old were you when you started riding?Gosh I must have been about 5 years old. Mum & Dad thought it would be a good idea to buy my sister Wendy and I a Shetland pony. Dusty arrived who was the sweetest pony to look at, but was a monster!! SO not to be beat, with Dad’s engineering skills built a carriage, broke Dusty to drive and the rest is history! A second Shetland was purchased, Fusty and Dad was driving them as a pair, then started competing in driving trials and scurry events.

What was the name of the first horse you ever rode?Flicker, a New Forest pony. Dad went down to the Beaulieu Road sales in the New Forest and returned with Flicker, who turned out to my first “real” competition driving pony too. We did everything, pony club, cross country, jumping and driving!

Who has been your inspiration?Wow what a question, there are so many people who have inspired in all walks of life In the equestrian world, Boyd Exell for the driving, who is so professional and his attention to every detail, he leaves no stone unturned. Charlotle Dujardin for her approachability, raising the level and opening up the sport of ridden dressage. William Fox Pitt for his dedication and coolness!!

When was the last time you fell off?I am pleased do say, quite a few years ago, can’t actually remember when I last fell off. Phew!!

What is the one horsey item you could not live without?My Bucas rugs – love them

What is the best piece of advice you have been given by a fellow horseman/woman?Set realistic goals, keep learn/raising your game and enjoy your equestrian pastime

If you could ride any horse in the world, who would it be?Would have to be Valegro - what I would give to have a ride on him!

Black or brown tack? Black for Zac and Brown for Fudge

If you could ride at any venue in the world, where would it be? Olympia, what an atmosphere!

Do you have any horsey superstitions, (odd socks, at competitions etc)?No real superstitions, I just like lists and planning, before and at shows. We even have a white board, which is outside the lorry, so we all know when, where and what we are doing. We even schedule meals in and some R & R time!!