That looks horse-some!
Horseboarding – the crazy British sport that combines horse riding with mountain boarding set to become one of the fastest growing sports in the UK.
THRILL Seekers are turning to horse- power in what may be one of the fastest growing sports in the UK.
What started as an extreme sports craze is quickly becoming recognised as a popular equestrian sport with new teams registering across Britain every week.
Thrill seekers compete by riding a mountain board being towed by a horse and rider at speeds of up to 40 mph.
The arena event sees the horse gallop off while the boarder behind uses a rope to balance on the board as the horse accelerates around the course negotiating turns against the clock.
The adrenalin-fuelled spectacle relies on communication between board rider and horse rider to maintain position and speed.
The fifth British championships recently kicked off and according to organizer Daniel Fowler-Prime the event is set to be the biggest yet for the sport.
He said: ‘ Since the start of the year it has gone crazy. There are new enquiries every day and new teams setting up all the time.
‘It’s really taking off in the way I always knew it would. More and more people are recognising the term ‘horseboarding’ than ever before.’
Now the stuntman who invented the sport in 2006 says World Championships are a real possibility for the future.
‘That’s my vision for the sport and I believe with the way things are going now we will get there. It could happen in as little as five years time.
‘The interest from spectators and participants is rocketing all the time.’
The latest event took place in front of a huge crowd in Norfolk, a hot spot for horseboarding according to Daniel.
He said: ‘ There are lots of brilliant teams in Norfolk. I can only think there must have been a lot of frustrated mountain boarders because it’s so flat there and they couldn’t resist the chance to get a tow with a horse. Thankfully there are lots of them in Norfolk too.
‘There is already a really big horseboarding scene in Norfolk and it’s growing across the country fast.’
But he insisted the sport was not limited to country folk.
He said: ‘ You don’t need horse riding experience to joining a horseboarding team.
‘There are board riders who started with no experience of horses at all but some have even learned to ride after becoming involved with the sport.
‘It brings together sportsmen and women with backgrounds in horse riding and boarding.
‘But all you really need to have a go is a lot of guts because there are a lot of crashes at high speeds.’
Daniel invented the sport after experimenting with towing mountain boards behind cars and horses on a friend’s farm.
But horses were the clear winner. He explains: ‘ It beats being dragged by a car because horses are unpredictable. They accelerate at such a speed and you can never be sure what they are going to do.’
It’s no surprise that he has a background working as a professional stunt rider in films and TV.
But board riders learn slowly by being towed by hand at slower speeds before progressing onto the horse. This year there is a total prize fund of £8,500 up for grabs.
Daniel has also opened a training centre for those wishing to get involved with the sport.
For more information about horseboarding visit http://www.horseboardinguk.org/