SCURRY drivers who want to compete in the high-speed sport in which a pair of ponies race around a marked course drawing a carriage can enter a contest at the Royal Welsh Agricultural Society’s Spring Festival.

Competitors at the festival in Llanelwedd, Builth Wells, in May 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 Scurry Driving Championship to be held at the Royal Berkshire Show in September.

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.

Drivers aim to get around the track without knocking balls off the top of the cones marking out the course, with penalties incurred for toppled balls.

The 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 increased in popularity with several British drivers taking 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.

The Spring Festival takes place on May 18 and 19.

Scurry drivers who wish to compete should send in their entries by April 15.

Nearly 25,000 visitors attended the 2012 event, the society’s first major event of the year, confirming its status as one of the most popular weekend attractions in Wales showcasing smallholding, gardening and sustainable living.

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