Mick represents GB in sport started as therapy
A man who lost a leg in a scuba-diving accident hopes to represent Great Britain in the sport he took up to help him recover from the horrific injury.
Mick Ward, of Loughborough, had numerous operation after a boat propeller sliced off his left leg at the knee while he was diving off the Northumbria coast in 2005.
The 45-year-old father-of-two's other leg was also badly injured.
Following treatment, Mick, who has a prosthetic limb, began carriage driving as a hobby to get him out of the house.
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Now he is heading to the Para-Equestrian World Championships, in Breda, Holland, to compete at the top level.
The former builder said: "I'm extremely proud.
"I never thought I would represent my country at anything after what happened to me.
"I am really looking forward to it and I hope the team can come back with some gold medals and that I might get one as an individual.
"If I can get a gold, silver or bronze I will be over the moon."
The competition takes place from August 31 to September 2.
Mick is training regularly for a dressage event, a longer marathon course and a cone challenge, which will test his handling of the carriage.
He is one of four British drivers looking to secure one of the three places in the squad but all are expected to head to the championships.
He is already British champion in the para-novice class.
Mick said: "When I started carriage driving in 2008 it was just something to try to get back some of the freedom I lost with my leg.
"Now it has become a major part of my life."
Mick has a pony, Toby, which he hoped he would take to the championships.
However, Toby was injured in an accident last year and although he has physically recovered he remains too nervous to run in the competition.
Mick is borrowing a pony, Double Cream, which belongs to the Great Britain squad coach.
He said: "Having to drive a pony other than Toby is difficult because he is used to me and I am used to him.
"It is a shame because we have been in this together, but I am looking forward to the challenge of training with Double Cream. She's a good one."
Linda Cotterill, of Spring Bridge Carriage Driving Centre, in Willoughby Waterleys, where Mick learned the sport, said: "He'll do really well.
"He deserves to be successful because he has shown such determination in recovering from what life has been thrown at him."
Mick is looking for sponsorship to help him meet the £2,000 cost of travel and equipment.
If you would like to help, contact him by e-mail at: