Refrigerator magnate Jeff Osborne has resigned from the board of the Scurry Driving Association (SDA), leaving considerable unease over the future of the sport.

Osborne, one of the longest standing sponsors in equestrian sport, resigned after a long dispute over his plans to remodel the sport.

During a 24 July meeting at Newbury, Osborne tried to set up an extraordinary general meeting to gain a vote of no confidence in the SCA board. When he didn’t succeed, he resigned on the spot.

Board members Paul Orchard and Sally Mawer subsequently tendered their resignations. SDA secretary Derek Archer said it was unlikely they would be replaced until October’s AGM.

Scurrying is an established feature on the county show circuit. Taking part in the HOYS final is the incentive for most competitors.

The board’s dispute centres on whether drivers should participate in qualifiers on merit or invitation. A question mark now hangs over whether there will be a scurry final at this year’s HOYS.

In a statement, Osborne said: “Having hosted the HOYS scurry series for the past 20 years, Osborne Refrigerators will continue to do so, but separated from the SDA. Further details will be available shortly.”

  • This news story was first published in Horse & Hound (4 August, ’05)

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