Saturday 8th of May 2021

Para-equestrian carriage driver launches new Avant hand-drive machines

TEAM GBR Para-Equestrian carriage driver Jamie Williams helped to launch the new Avant hand-driven tool carriers at Naidex 2017 at the NEC in Birmingham this week.

The show, which is Europe’s biggest trade fair for people with a disability or impairment, was the showcase for Avant’s new models, which have been purposely designed to enable people with a disability or impairment to their legs or hands to drive and operate the whole machine from either the joystick or the foot pedals.

Jamie Williams, who represented Team GBR for the first time in Carriage Driving last year broke his back 10 years ago, which resulted in him being left paralysed from the waist down. Not letting this get in his way, Jamie’s hard work, determination and real passion, has seen him take the Carriage Driving world by storm.

Based in Hastings, Jamie loves everything about Carriage Driving and it has enabled him to travel around the world to participate in the sport.

Last year Jamie and his 14.2hh Hackney, Glen achieved fourth place individually and team bronze at the FEI World Para Driving Championships, held in the Netherlands.

Said Jamie:

“It was an incredible honour to represent my country, I was over the moon at being placed at my first ever world championships.”

At home, although Jamie has learnt to manage his team of six horses on a daily basis, everyday tasks often required someone else to help – but recently his life has changed – and for the better with the addition of the Hand Drive Avant 528 compact loader to assist around the yard.

The Avant compact loader can be controlled and driven forward and reversed directly from either control mechanism. Because the drive can be operated with the thumb on the joystick, the driver can manoeuvre and control the movements of the boom at the same time. This makes it possible also for paraplegic people to make full use of the machine.

Jamie said:

“Having the new Hand Drive Avant 528 compact loader on the yard has changed my life. Now I can do 90% of the yard tasks myself, the Avant has given me my independence back. 

“Before I was unable to push a wheel barrow or move shavings but now I can at the push of a button.” said Jamie

“The Avant enables me to do normal jobs quickly and effectively, like cleaning out the stables and adding fresh, new bedding. The Avant is just the right size, it fits into every stable and around the yard perfectly.”

The development of the new Avant series, gives people the freedom to reach their true potential, an innovation to hugely improve independent living.

Besides being super versatile, the new machines are powerful, easy to drive and provides great 360° visibility. These compact machines are enhanced further by the availability of 200 attachments, making so many outdoor jobs straightforward.

Raimo Ala-Korpi, Managing Director of Avant UK:

“We got the idea for the hand drive control from our customers some years ago, we wanted to design a loader that would be easy for those people who don’t have functionality in their legs or had weakened ability. Through launching this hand drive loader series we hope to help improve people’s independence and create freedom. Naidex is the perfect venue to be able to showcase the new models, and we’ve had a great response from attendees at the show.”

Avant manufactures a wide range of compact, 4-wheel drive machines, which can be fitted with a very comprehensive range of accessories to meet the many varied requirements to make yard work and general maintenance jobs easy and less labour intensive.

For further information contact Avant on 01953 714896, email or visit  

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