Damar Valley Carriages and Welsh Ponies

Carriage Driving instruction and education for both Driver and Pony!

The Grant Family , David and Mary.

We have been involved in horses for over 40 years and over the last 20 years have been extensively involved with ponies and harness driving.  Mary began driving only 19 years ago after a friend gave here a lift to the local shops in a home made sulky.  After giving her husband a christmas gift in 2007 (Darlea Oakey Glen)  the family decided that after years of dressage and 2* eventing that the welsh ponies were the way to go.  Mary, after having trouble competing due to old injuries, retired the horses and the ponies began their work.  Being able to cope physically with driving but not riding, our carriage plans grew.  Mary competed at the local  agricultural shows to get confidence back in the show ring.  After our new pony  "Darlea Oakey Glen" competed at our 1st show in Inverell in 2009 and took out everything except turn out classes and was judged as Grand Champion, we knew we had a special harness pony.  We continued to compete and gain confidence and placings and then in November 2009 applied to compete at the Royal Easter Show 2010.  In Janruary 2010 we were accepted and worked towards this event with great excitement.  Having never competed at this level it was for the experience and nothing more.  We went and competed in April 2010 and placed 5th in all events and ranked 6th in Australia in the Light Harness Parade on the last night of the show with every carriage in the ring together, from Clydesdale turnouts to miniatures in joggers.  Since this we have been blessed to extend our pony family with Damar Whinnona Glen, a 16yr old mare that is a perfect pair for Oakey.  Although we have only been involved in harness for 19  years we have been assisted and trained by the worlds best, Gary Rollans. Unlike other horse disciplines these world class drivers still have the time to help.  It is a growing sport and now David and Mary are venturing into multiples and pairs and eventually teams that can compete in Horse Driving Trials.  It is a highly disciplined sport and very challenging but with great rewards for your efforts and if this is something you would like to be involved in then please ring or email us to have a chat or book a lesson. We have also extended our Brood with Darlea Ribbon (mare) and have gained a team for the future with this new addition to our family (Damar Glen Rogina born 2020, Damar Glen Romelle born 2021). Ribbon is a sister to our school master Darlea Oakey Glen, so is proven to have the bloodline and temperament for perfect harness offspring. Progeny may come up for sale in the future. 

It is sad in recent times that our Oakey in April 2022 passed away from flood ailments he acquired during these weather events, and Whinnona has now been retired both turning 19 in 2022.  So the driving is now passed onto Rogina and Romelle.

Mary has the following qualifications for your requirements:

Australian Sports Commission General Principles in Coaching

Australian Sports Commission Officiating General Principles

Equestrian Australia Introductory Carriage Driving Personal Skills Certificate

Equestrian Australia Introductory Carriage Driving Coach Certificate

Equestrian Australia Level 1 Carriage Driving Personal Skills Certificate

Equestrian Australia Level 1 Carriage Driving Coach Certificate

Advanced Certificate in First Aid/ Bachelor of Nursing Degree

Advanced Life Support Certificate through the Australian Resuscitation Council current till 2022

 Australian Carriage Driving Society Light Harness Judge Certification, May 2017

Working With Children Check current till 2027

ACDS Carriage Driving Coaching Accredited 

 Equestrian Australia Harness Judging / Officiating Certificate




David  has also been driving but specialises in Earthworks and Property Improvements for horse establishments that you can view from this website under Property Developments.