9 augustus 2016
European Championships BBC CountryFile Scurry and TrialsFour days of intense and thrilling Scurry Trials driving culminated in a nail biting finish for the BSTD drivers who, it has to be said, did themselves proud.
The stunning backdrop of Blenheim Palace added to the fantastic atmosphere at this inaugural event for the BBC Countryfile team as crowds flocked in their tens of thousands to experience a taste of what the countryside has to offer.
Approximately 30 drivers qualified to compete from Thursday 4th to Sunday 7th August. The weather stayed dry and temperatures rose to 25 degrees on most days.
Day one, was split into two groups, allowing a mixture of pairs, singles, small and large ponies to drive around a tight and challenging course. The morning times were quick but superseded in the afternoon by drivers putting in times of 54 seconds. The morning session was won by Lindsey Doran and Jane Hendy was hot on her heels by winning the afternoon session. Lindsey went on to put in the most incredibly fast times and consistency for the next 3 days with her super star pony Tonic – famous for his stag like leaps in the air! and her small pony pair Dot not Dash.
Friday’s competition saw oven like temperatures in the afternoon and a super round by Team Maxi and Henriette Bendorff who had taken three days to travel from Denmark to compete. The top 20 drivers from day one and two then went through to Saturday’s semi-final. The course was really suiting the smaller turnouts with all its twists and turns. Notable performances from Nigel Sycamore with the Mighty Minis and Rachel Reilly's Rascals.
The speeds of the drivers and ponies was ever increasing and made for some absolutely brilliant rounds from both our junior drivers, Melita Powell and Emily Curnock. Emily went on to win the Junior Championship. Only ten drivers were eligible for the Final on Sunday afternoon so the morning session consolation final offered drivers one more chance to compete against each other. The blistering round of Blackie and Melita Powell from Wales and current Novice Junior Indoor Champion was breath taking, the fastest of the day and the entire competition. Reserve champion went to Ray Hopkins with his pair of Welsh A ponies, Fast & Furious.
Sundays final in the afternoon included a water obstacle which unfortunately didn’t get the approval of Lindsey Doran’s pony Tonic. After such a fantastic 3 days of faultless rounds, this proved to be their downfall as Tonic ran out last minute. Lucy Scott who was lying in second place with her world champion ponies Beauty and the Beast had a ball down despite a super fast round. The overall championship was clinched by Jane Hendy and new backstepper to her team, Kelly Lawrence. Her fabulous little section B pony Tiff, who in her first season of BSTD, has racked up some very credible performances. Tiff stormed through the water obstacle and produced a fast, smooth and slick clear round to become the BBC Countryfile Live 2016 & Adveco International Champion…..and boy that’s a bit of a title!
Very Small Pony Single – Henriette Bendorff. Denmark. Maxi
Very Small Pony Pair – Lindsey Doran. England. Dot not Dash
Small Pony Pair – Lucy Scott. England. Beauty & The Beast
Large Pony Pair – Philippa Scott. England. Wallace & Gromit
Single Pony – Lindsey Doran. England.Tonic
Junior – Emily Curnock. Wales. Top Dollar.
Live 2016 & Adveco International Champion – Jane Hendy. England. Tiff