Duo battle for the top reins

FORGET sibling rivalry, husband and wife Bill and Patsy Wicks have been fighting it out over the latest Horse Driving Trials in Warwick, Queensland recently.

The friendly competition saw Bill take out the Open Horse Class, driving his Hackney-cross Clydesdale mare Sassy and Patsy taking out second in the Novice Pony, driving her Pony-cross Quarter Horse.

"Because my husband and I compete in the same events it can get a little heated after a competition, but that is the most exciting thing about it. It is a big family sport and a great social activity," Mrs Wicks said.

After "driving" together for 25 years, Bill and Patsy would recommend the sport to anyone who loves animals and says it is not limited to those who own a horse.

"People who are interested don't need to own a horse to get involved. They can become a back stepper and help out during the competition without having the responsibility of owning the horse," Mrs Wicks said.

She said the sport, which first developed in Europe, was growing in Australia and she had seen a strong response from people in the local area.

"It is a defiantly a growing sport," Mrs Wicks said. "There are many people in our area who are very interested and are just waiting for our next 'Come and Try' day to have a go."

Mr Wicks, who is an Equestrian Australia coach and president of the Horse Driving Trials Club, organises and coaches come and try days for those interested in taking up the sport.

"It is something for people of all ages, in our club we have drivers from 14 to our oldest driver who is aged 71," Mrs Wicks said. "It is a great sport to get into and just have fun with."

The next come and try day will be held in March at the Casino Showground.

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