Allen goes from 'Fat lawnmower to sports car' - and powers to driving trials title

IN the words of his owner, Allen the pony used to be a fat lawnmower . But according to Amanda Valderas he is now a sports car after he got in shape and won the regional finals for Indoor Horse Driving Trials (IHDT). The tiny

Story by: ANDREW PAPWORTH

IN the words of his owner, Allen the pony used to be "a fat lawnmower".

But according to Amanda Valderas he is now a "sports car" after he got in shape and won the regional finals for Indoor Horse Driving Trials (IHDT).

The tiny pony, trained at Middleton Stables, in Cross Drove, Tydd St Giles, was mocked when Amanda and her team mate Joanne Goodale first brought the tiny animal out onto the racecourse.


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But his competitors were not laughing for long after he beat his bigger and stronger rivals and showed them how it is done.

Allen, who only started to compete in horse driving trials a year ago, will now contest the national IHDT finals next month. He hopes to be crowned the best in the country.

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Ms Valderas, 33, said: "He has gone from being a fat lawnmower to a sports car.

"Before he started competing he didn't really do anything. He was so fat but this competition has been really good for him. We had no idea how good he would be.

"He is a real crowd-pleaser and people say he is wonderful to watch."

The IDHT assesses the speed and agility of horses and ponies on demanding indoor obstacle courses.

The animals have to navigate a tough circuit of cones and gates while carrying a carriage with the driver. To add to the pressure, they are also being timed to see who is the fastest.

Allen, who is 11 years old, will go up against other regional finalists across the UK between April 9 and April 11 at The College Equestrian Centre in Keysoe, Bedford.

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