It's taken a while, but we've now discovered the fast and furious sport of scurry driving! And wow - is it exciting!!
Correctly termed 'Double Harness Scurry Driving', it involves galloping two ponies and a carriage through a course of cones as fast as possible without knocking any balls down. The sport began in the USA in the 1950s as 'Barrel Racing' where chuck wagons (the old 1860's wagons that carried the settlers across the prairies) were used. It was brought over the England about 30 years ago and the barrels changed to cones with balls on top.
In those days the vehicles had wooden wheels with solid tyres but as drivers got faster and more competitive carriages were converted to metal wheels, the width being no less than 130 cms. Basically, the aim is to be the fastest through the course - and if you knock a ball off you incur a time penalty, so accuracy is also important. Agility comes in handy too when you try to negotiate the 'box'!
Scurry driving is now an established part of the outdoor show season with competitions being held at many of the large agricultural shows around the country. Competitors are divided into two classes: ponies under 12hh and those between 12-14.2hh. Amanda and husband John have both joined the Osborne Scurry Group who travel around Wales and England throughout the summer, culminating in their Championship at the Horse of the Year Show in October.