LEADING horse carriage drivers from across the country are set to descend on Bywell this weekend.

Bywell Parks will host the British Carriage Driving Championships from Thursday until Sunday.

The honour was bestowed on the venue just a year after it hosted the inaugural Bywell Horse Driving Trials. Seventy entrants took part in the event last year.

The British Championships, and the national Para Drivers Championships, will take place as part of the 2019 Bywell Horse Driving Trials.

An event spokesman said: “The marathon on Saturday is the most exciting part of the event – the aim being to go as fast as possible in each of the obstacles.

“The faster you go, the fewer penalty points you receive.

“Speed coupled with smoothness and accuracy make for the best times, the lowest number of penalties and the most excitement.

“It’s a great day out for competitors and spectators alike.”

The championships get under way with dressage on the Friday, before the excitement of the carriage driving marathon on the Saturday, as competitors enter obstacles such as water hazards at high speeds.

More competition will follow on Sunday, before the champions are crowed.

Dozens of competitors are expected, with ponies and horses, and single carriages, as well as pairs, and teams of four.

Spectators will be treated to food, hot drinks and various trade stands at the event.