THE boss of a Weardale caravan company was part of the Great Britain team which took fifth place in the world carriage driving championships.

It was the first time that Jim Robson of Wolsingham had been chosen to represent Britain in the World Singles Horse Championships at Astorp in Sweden, competing against the cream of Europe, America, Australia and Argentina.

The 66-year-old, who has been carriage driving for 28 years, has been a reserve driver in two previous world championships, but was delighted to be chosen to take part in the team of three this time round. And he had quite an eventful journey.

Before he and his 16-year-old Welsh cob Duke got to the three-day competition, the cab door of his horsebox was torn off by a lorry when boarding a ferry in Denmark.

He also had some bad luck when Duke's reins became accidentally knotted while taking part in the dressage contest. The competitors also had to contend with dreadful storms.

Mr Robson said: "I'm told it was the worst weather in Sweden for 150 years".

Although one judge placed him in second position while another put him in 40th spot, which affected the team's overall score, he remained philosophical.

"I think we did pretty well to come fifth in the world and I'm very pleased to have taken part," he said.