5 July 2002

Modern day chariot fills the bill for many tasks

ITS the first production version of a Saddlechariot for more than 4000 years, according to its maker.

Unlike its olden-day counterparts, however, this one features a tig welded stainless steel chassis and shafts, low ground-pressure tyres and ABS plastic floor and mudguards.

"The Turfsurfer Saddlechariot has got a top speed of 25mph, serious acceleration, good grip and real load hauling capability," says maker Simon Mulholland.

Essex-based Simon, whos a self-confessed "coward" when it comes to horses, came up with the design while he was looking for a way to exercise his daughters small pony.

"Driving the chariot is a doddle," he says. "We put anyone and everyone on it. It fits my seven-year-old and 17-stone and 6ft 3in of me."

Originally designed for raking sand-schools, the off-road Turfsurfer can also be adapted for getting moss out of lawns, harrowing paddocks or drilling wild flower seed, he says.

"Its got enormous pulling power," says Simon. "Itll turn on a sixpence and will go anywhere. Its incredibly manoeuvrable."

And then theres the recreational aspect. "On a beach its the bees knees, its terribly easy to drive and really good fun.

"It is easy to teach anyone to drive a Saddlechariot, although obviously equestrian experience is an advantage."

Its also "environmentally friendly", says Simon. "Its cleaner, quieter and less environmentally-damaging than a quad bike."

&#8226 The vehicle costs £500 plus VAT and the harness £200 plus VAT. They can be made for ponies from 7.2hh upwards. For more info, call 01206-303615 or check out the web-site at www.saddlechariot.com