WALES will claim a sporting first next month when the 2018 Tristar Horseboxes British National Carriage Driving Championships are held at the David Broome Event Centre.

The 110-acre venue at Crick, near Chepstow in Monmouthshire, will host the event from Friday, September 14 to Sunday, September 16, with the championships being staged in Wales for the first time.

It is a major coup for Britain's busiest equestrian centre, which is run by the Broome family and has been overseen for many years by Welsh sporting icon David Broome CBE, twice Olympic individual showjumping medallist and a former world champion.

David's son James is among the country's leading carriage drivers, and his tireless work on behalf of the centre and the sport has been instrumental in the championships heading across the Severn Bridge.

Competitors will tackle tests across three days of thrilling action and highlighted by the fast and furious cross-country phase, which is a must-watch spectacle on the Saturday.

The David Broome Event Centre had approximately 50,000 entries across a variety of equestrian sports last year, and the National Carriage Driving Championships can now be added to a portfolio that includes events from grassroots to international level in showjumping and dressage, national eventing, showing and working hunter classes (including Horse of the Year Show qualifiers) and world championship mounted games.

A delighted James Broome said: "I've been lucky enough to compete in carriage driving events in many of the country's most spectacular locations, such as Sandringham and Windsor, so I'm immensely proud that this year's Tristar Horseboxes National Carriage Driving Championships has been awarded to our family’s equestrian centre in South Wales.

"The winning bid for the championships is testament to the army of helpers that work so, so hard to make these events a success.

“Everyone involved in the sport is immensely grateful to these people and recognise that without them we wouldn't have a sport. It's this volunteering ethos that gives the sport such a fantastic sense of community.

"The championships have historically been held at large estates such as the Great Park at Windsor, and Cirencester Park in Gloucester, but this is the first time that the event has been held at a multi-purpose equestrian centre.

"As the sport evolves, and the participants' tastes change, the governing body (British Carriagedriving) recognised that a permanent venue would be able to offer the athletes the facilities they need. It really is such an honour that our venue was chosen."

David Broome added: "James is a carriage driving fanatic, and over the past few years our family have been all over Britain and Europe watching him compete.

“I have to say that I have now caught the bug, and I'm looking forward to seeing top level carriage driving here at the centre."

For details on how register your car for admission on cross-country day, go to cricklands.com/carriagedriving.html