The sun shone and horses and runners perspired. The result was a wonderful and varied day . Our inaugural Foot Scurry was great fun and enjoyed by runners of all ages.
The Scurry itself saw 19 horses compete over the usual challenging course. The first few hedges lulled us all into a false sense of calm. Everyone over and going well. The third hedge however struck, with the tail end of the field looking to jump it at am impossibly narrow angle. Their mounts were having none of it. A quick circle and everyone was over and off again. At this point Di Grissell and Frazer Marshall were vying to lead the field. Both having won before were clearly keen to beat the other to a second win. Pippa Hall and Pete Bull were hard on their heals. As they approached the 8th you could have covered the first five horses with a saddle cloth. Then, what was this? Matthew Braxton seemed to have found a shorter line to the ninth. Frazer didn't agree and was heard to be offering Matthew some wise words of counsel. Nonplussed the race continued up towards Burwash Church. Even at this stage the gap between the first eight horses and the rest of the field was substantial. With the going good to firm this was clearly going to be a very fast race.
The next the main race goers saw was an unholy tangle of horses at the jump below the finishing posts next time around. Half the field approached the jump from the left and some from the right. Someone all eventually got over and away back down the hill and off to the water meadows. Pete Bull appeared well in control at this stage but Frazer, Pippa, Matthew and the vetran of innumerable Scurrys Richard Newble was fighting it out hard on his heals.
As to the rest of the field all appeared to be doing well and clearing the hedges and fences. One tumble and remount but otherwise a complete field. Horses appearedd to be struggling with the pace and warmth however and the gap with the leaders was now substantial.
The front of the field were by now starting to come back up the field. Some very tired horses but Peter Bull now starting to pull away. With a surge of energy Richard Newble squeezed the last out of his horse, Red, to pass Matthew and Di. And then on to the finishing post. First was Pete Bull in his maiden Scurry - has he now seen the light, after so many victories pointing? Second was Pippa Hall, closely followed by Frazer, Richard and then Matthew and Di. Quentin Wedmore, who came 7th, should get a special mention as the only person to run the Foot Scurry in the morning and then ride in the Scurry.
What of the rest? When all aquitted themselves well. All bar two horses finished. One was Oliver Beswick, a Scurry Virgin, who sensibly pulled up before suffering the wrath of his sister, who's horse he was riding and was now looking tired. The other non-finished but nevertheless noble entrant and another Scurry Virgin, was Natasha Isakov. Some say she putted up before the end because the fences were not big enough. Others suggest she saw an intereting line of heges before her taking her back to her home at the other end of the village and decided to go off-piste!
All in all a great event.
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