A form of Scurry Driving began as far back as the 1950’s. It started in America with horses and four wheel wagons and using barrels to negotiate around at speed. It later came to England and a variety of turnouts were used but generally these were single ponies turnouts and the obstacles were red Watney’s beer barrels.
The sport then progressed to using pairs of ponies and red cones. Drivers in general trotted through the cones although some cantered. Originally vehicles had wooden wheels and solid tyres. Metal wheels came into use around 1990 and as drivers became braver, vehicles were adapted to the sport which then became faster, now competitors drive the course at speeds at which they can negotiate the course.
Initially, in the 1960’s, scurry driving, like many equine activities, was administered by the British Horse Society (BHS), then as the sport developed, it transferred to the British Horse Driving Trials Association (BHDTA). In these early years members attended many shows across the country and eventually, in 1968, were invited to the The Horse of The Year Show and were sponsored by Lombard North Central and in the 1990’s by Osborne Refrigeration Ltd. Another series of shows was sponsored by The Horse Show. In 2001 scurry driving became recognised as a sport in its own right, The Scurry Driving Association was formed and governed its own activities this move was endorsed and assisted by both the BHDTA and BHS.
There are now about 25 major shows throughout the country and 2 main championships to qualify for; T he National Championship and the Grand League Points Championship. Novice Drivers compete in both the Novice League and the Grand League.
Other groups have been formed and are based on the principles of the SDA.
The front axle width of the vehicles must be no less than 130 cms and the cones are set at 170 cms apart. At a gallop the driver is required to be accurate or suffer a penalty for any knock down. The course is made up of between 10 and 14 obstacles including a box and slalom.
The ponies are in two sections; 122cm and under and over 122cm.