Versatility wins scurry championship

Gareth Roberts and Sally Aldridge’s section As, Equilibra’s Lady and The Tramp, galloped their way into the history books when they became the 2003 national scurry champions at Sandringham Country Show.

Just two months earlier, Gareth, who runs Stags End EC at Hemel Hempstead, took the title of Strongid-P Indoor Pairs Driving Champion with the same ponies. He is the only person to have achieved this double.

“Scurrying is really their thing,” Gareth says of the 11- and 12-year-old full-brother and sister. “Doing the indoor circuit as well shows you can succeed at more than one discipline.”

This is the first time the championship has been held at this show and entries suffered somewhat due to a qualifying round for HOYS at the Royal Show the following day. Despite this, competitors were full of enthusiasm.

“I think those who didn’t come were the losers,” said Gareth. “This is a superb venue.”

Twelve turnouts qualified for the final, where they enjoyed the optimum conditions of perfect going and sunshine.

Sixth to go Julie Allen and her full-brother British Spotted ponies, Stand and Deliver, flew round clear, significantly faster than any other round and remained unchallenged until Gareth, penultimate to go, knocked more than 1.5sec off this time.

Last to go, Sally Mawer put Topaz and Cally into top gear in an effort to catch him, but lost her line coming out of the box and she relinquished her title by just 0.7sec.

Read the full report in this week’s Horse & Hound (10 July), or click here to subscribe and enjoy Horse & Hound delivered to your door every week.

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