RUBY Lawrence has driving in her blood.
When Ruby takes to the field at the Victorian Show Driving Championships in Bendigo on Saturday, she'll be upholding a long family tradition.
- PICTURE GALLERY: Ruby Lawrence
The eight-year-old, from Hamilton, is a third generation horse and carriage driver, following in the footsteps of her mother, Elizabeth, who competes on the national team worldwide, and grandmother, Diana Lawrence, an Australian champion and international judge.
"(When I grow up) I want to do what Mummy's doing. Go and compete for Australia as a carriage driver," Ruby says. "And I also want to be a vet."
While Ruby enjoys competing because "sometimes you get to skip school", her true love is driving to Tarrington Lutheran Primary in a carriage behind her Shetland pony, Garnet.
"She drives with my mum (Diana) alongside her, up the back road and along the Hamilton Highway," says Elizabeth, who competes overseas four months a year and runs Carlyle pony stud.
"Drivers slow down and wave and take pictures, and she's taken Garnet to show and tell."
Diana says her granddaughter is a champion in the making, adding that the first word she ever spoke was "horse".
Ruby's dad, Ben, has just returned from serving in Afghanistan, and - surrounded by horses and carriages - instead bought a camel (called Sand Man), which he plans to ride around Australia.