Hi my name is Amber O'Neill and I am 22 years old. I have been carriage driving since I was 8 and started competing  in British Carriagedriving at 14. I am a member of the British Driving Society (BDS) British Carriagedriving  (BC)   Indoor Horse Driving Trials and British Young Drivers (BYD). Horses have always been my passion and I started riding before I could walk.

My parents bought me my first pony Snowflake when I was 6 years old, but he was a very difficult pony to ride so my mum and I decided to break him to drive. Snowflake turned out to be a wonderful driving pony and in his later years has settled down in his ridden work too. We still have him and my sister Kiera is the only person small enough to still ride him! Snowflake was my starting point in the world of carriage driving and we quickly discovered the sport of Horse Driving Trials and were hooked! Through British Carriagedriving we came across the British Young Drivers and have been involved with them ever since.

After Snowflake I had a few ponies on loan who taught me loads before I felt I was ready to get my own driving pony when I was 14. I went to view Fortune Teller (Sarah) and just knew she was the pony for me as she made me feel so confident and was exactly what I was looking for.

I have competed for England three times, winning three Silver medals with Fortune Teller. We were also Junior National Champion in 2008 and beacuse of this I was the first Carriage Driver ever to receive a Sports Aid award. Following this we were nominated and received the runners up prize in both the OCS Young Sports Personality of the Year and Wilts and Swindons Young Sports Person of the year awards.

Fortune Teller has now been sold to a promising Para driver which leaves me time to concentrate on Jasper; the pony I am currently bringing on. 2011 was Jasper's first season and he qualified from Windsor Park Regional for the BHDTA National Carriage Driving Championships on his first attempt, where he came 7th. Jasper also went to the Junior National Championships and came 5th.

During 2012 Jasper and I were selected to travel to Austria for the first ever FEI Junior European Championships where we came 14th. We were Reserve Junior National Champions and part of the winning England Team at the Junior National Championships. We also qualified for the National
British Carriagedriving Championships where we came 4th and were 2nd in the Novice Pony Points League, winning the Reserve Novice Pony Driver of the Year Award.

In 2013 Jasper and I were 3rd at the Indoor National Championships and came 4th at the British Carriagedriving National Championships in Intermediate Pony. I was also the Wiltshire Life Young Achiever of the Year.

During 2014 I have unfortunately had to take a step back from competing as I have had to focus on my degree as I have had to do a lot of field work which has made it difficult to get Jasper fit enough to compete.

2015 has seen a number of unfortunate setbacks for us including my carriage having a broken spring that involved a long wait for parts to arrive from Poland.

2016 however will hopefully see me graduating from university and being a bit closer to home so I can focus more on my carriage driving.


British Carriagedriving takes up quite a large proportion of my time, but this is balanced with studying and  spending time with my friends. I am still in full time education, and currently studying for a Geology degree at the University of Southampton. I am really lucky to be supported by my wonderful family, friends and generous sponsors:
 Secondhand Tack Online , Horse Quencher UK Wylye Valley Equine and John and Jackie Young (Horsehage).

Without their help, I would not be where I am now.


 Site Updated: 29/02/2016

 

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