ABOUT SCURRY DRIVING
photo: kind permission of Editpost Photography
You may have seen Double Harness Scurry Driving at some county or country shows in the UK. It’s a race against the clock that is fast and furious. There are two ponies, a four wheeled carriage and two people who seem to have a death wish!
The aim of the competition is to win the race by being not only faster but more skillful than your competitors.
Double Harness Scurry Driving is a competitive sport in which a driven pair of ponies race through a course of obstacles, the winning pair being that with the fastest over all time.
How did it begin?
It began in the USA as Barrel Racing and was bought to the UK over 30 years ago. The barrels changed to cones and balls but the principal remains similar.
Who can compete and what are the basic rules?
At each show there are two height classes of which the fastest six from each class compete together in the championship to find the show champion. There are different leagues for which the best qualify to go onto the finals at their respective venues. Basically the requirements are a pair of ponies matched in height and stride and a suitable four wheeled carriage with a working brake and an axle width of 130cm. The driver sits at the front of the carriage and the groom sits behind balancing the carriage as it corners at speed.
The course is made up of between 10/12 pairs of cones set at 170cm with balls balanced on the top. Also there is a slalom of four cones and at least one obstacle which can be ‘U’ shaped, ‘L’ shaped or even ‘Z’ shaped. Generally the ponies would slow down at these obstacles but over the years the drivers have learned to negotiate these with as much speed as the rest of the course.
If a ball is dislodged then seconds are added to the overall time, therefore the object is to get a clear but fast round.
When does the scurry season start?
The season starts in March/April and ends in September/October and generally before the first competition there are opportunities to attend clinics and training days.