[photograph]

Photographer: John Knight

[photograph]

Photographer: John Knight

[photograph]

Photographer: John Knight

February 15, 2014

A few weeks ago I was approached by Dr Ian Denny, vet and carriage driver,
in relation to a special cones competition that was being launched at
Crookwell Show.

In the UK, scurry driving competitions are very popular events at local
agricultural shows, and the plan was to launch something similar. The main
difference is that scurry is traditionally only done with pairs, in special
vehicles (very low to the ground to keep the centre of gravity down),
whereas this was to be a cones competition as per a CDE, and could be driven
with single, pair, tandem, team or whatever in CDE vehicles. As they
particularly wanted a team at the event, I was asked if I could bring my
little boys along. Belinda and Jessica Casper kindly agreed to make the 6
hour round trip as well to groom for me.

A photo of us was published in the local paper to promote the event - wow
! No pressure !

The plan was that we would alternate with the trotting races run at the
show. A few trot races, then us, then another few trot races, and so on.
Overall we had three heats (although I left early due to time constraints
and only competed in the first two heats) . The cones were set up in the
middle of the ring,with the trotting course on the outside.

There were 13 competitors, from Goulburn, Reedy Creek, Southern
Highlands, and us from Hills. The Southern Highlands Club have invested in
an awesome automatic timer, that flashed up times on a large scoreboard. So
the audience were able to compare speeds between different competitors,
which really made it into a spectator event

It was hot, really, really hot. At times I was unable to speak because
every time I opened my mouth all moisture was sucked right out. Driving
down to Crookwell, all the farm dams are empty and the grass is dead, the
locals are really doing it tough. But the show had a good turnout and the
audience seemed to really enjoy it.

My highlights for the day were Kath Cole from Reedy Creek club and her
little pony 'Bojangles' who galloped flat chat through the course and got
lots of sideways drift and dust flying everywhere - very exciting and the
audience loved it.

The other highlight was being kind of involved with the trotting races.
It's a controversial subject but I personally enjoy harness racing, and
loved seeing those pacers fly around the ring. And then there were the mini
trots! Belinda and I guessed the youngest girl must have been six years old,
she was like a turtle in her protective vest, and apparently the oldest they
can drive to is fourteen. At least 20 kids in the ring, and they their
little ponies like pros. It was amazing to watch, and made us wonder about
our rules for minimum ages in driving in the ACDS. I'd love to see some of
these kids come across to the ACDS in the future.

It was a successful day. Once again, thank you so much to Belinda and
Jessica for braving the heat and coming down. At least Jessica got to eat
her first Dagwood Dog !

Posted by Amanda on February 15, 2014 02:52 PM