The Harvey & Jeff Show!
When show-jumping legend Harvey Smith agreed to groom for Jeff Osborne in the Celebrity Scurry on Derby day at Hickstead, the combined age of the veteran pair and ponies came to 178 years!
Jeff, 75, bumped into Harvey, 73, at the West Sussex showground and persuaded the Yorkshireman to agree to go on the back of Zig & Zag, one of the fastest pairs on the scurry circuit.
The senior pair raced at break-neck speed around the fast course set up in front of the stands packed to the rafters with cheering fans but hit the third obstacle as the scurry vehicle swerved, to finish in fourth place in the celebrity scurry, which was won by Gareth Roberts and Michael Whittaker
Said Jeff: “Harvey said he really enjoyed the experience and we might have won if he’d leaned out a bit further at the third set of cones!”
Charlotte Adams-Lane took scurrying’s main event at Hickstead, the double harness championship with an astonishing 51.51sec clear round with Balanced Rip & Tear on a day when cones went flying everywhere – to the delight of the capacity crowd.
As ponies turned left-hand in the box a huge cheer would go up, the roar of the crowd lit a touch paper and the scurries hurtled towards the chicane, which came up on drivers in split-second forcing errors.
Sally Mawer came second – despite knocking down a cone – and Charlotte took third with the only other clear round of the afternoon.
In the previous classes – to qualify for the main ring – only two cones fell all morning, when Alison Millman took the under 12hands class with Branston & Pickle, while daughter Jemma came first in the large class with Piglet & Eeyore.
Jeff won his second HOYS qualification with Zig & Zag and Janette Baker-Watts booked her Horse of the Year Show spot with Lady & The Tramp.
A week earlier, the East of England show was a total contrast to the South of England, where the course was so short the winning time was around 40 seconds.
At Peterborough, the grooms were asking ‘are we there yet? – the course was so long the winning times were well over a minute.
Su Ridley qualified both her pairs on one day, winning the smalls class with Prancer & Dancer, while Comet & Cupid came third in the largeclass, which was won by Charlotte Adams-Lane. Gareth Roberts took the Championship.
And a few days later, Lincoln was also a mammoth course, where Sarah Cooke celebrated her birthday by winning the smalls with Bow & Arrow, the larges with Black & Tan and edrove Bow & Arrow to victory in the large class.