Scurry driving challenge at RWAS Spring Festival

7 March 2013

A scurry driving competition, the high speed equestrian sport in which a pair of ponies draw a carriage around a course marked out with cones in an attempt to achieve the fastest time, will be among the attractions at this year’s Royal Welsh Spring Festival in May.

Drivers aim to get around the track without knocking any of the balls off the top of the cones marking out the course. For every ball that is knocked off a penalty is incurred. The competition involves fast speeds, sometimes at the gallop, and tight turns so that the skills of the drivers are severely tested and accuracy is essential.

The thrilling spectacle of scurry driving was first recorded in the United States in the 1950s before coming to the UK and Europe in the 1960s where it has become ever more popular with a number of British drivers taking the top places in the European championships.

The scurry driving classes at the Festival will be run under the rules of the Scurry Driving Association. Owners and drivers must be members of the Association and the ponies registered. The carriages also have to comply with standard measurements and axle widths.

Competitors at the Festival are being offered hundreds of pounds in prize money and the first six placed drivers in each preliminary class will go forward to the Festival championship, while the winner of each preliminary class will qualify for the British

National Scurry Driving Championship to be held at the Royal Berkshire Show in September.

Scurry driving against the clock around a demanding obstacle course by fast agile ponies and skilful, quick-thinking drivers, is just one of the many exciting events on the Festival programme which has been enhanced year by year since the RWAS took over the management of the event 13 years ago.

The Spring Festival takes place on the showground at Llanelwedd, Builth Wells, on May 18 and 19. Scurry drivers who wish to compete should send in their entries by April 15.