The Scurry of East Sussex
Leg 12 GB Hunt Ride League
by Rachel Collins & Claire Owen
35 riders took part in The Scurry of East Sussex on Saturday 11th March, at the stunning South Downs location of Northease Farm, Lewes by kind permission of Mr & Mrs David Robinson. This was leg 10 of the 17 leg GB Hunt Ride League. It had been a rainy few days in the lead up to the event but ground conditions were perfect. The course looked spectacular and was twisty-turny, with 33 obstacles over two and a half miles for the fast and furious.
Here is Rachel Collin's report from onboard her Irish Sports Horse, Buckaroo Bob.
"The morning of the scurry, I was nervous and excited! I was joined by my supporters; my friend Ellie, who had given me the push I needed to enter, my Mum Sue and my best friend Lucy. They kept me calm, stopped me veering off the M23 to divert my day to schooling at Hickstead or Arena Eventing at Pyecombe! My nerves often get the better of me and I end up feeling or being sick, they all did there best to keep me occupied and reduce my overthinking. I had already walked the course on Thursday and felt confident that the jumps were totally in our comfort zone from our previous weeks drag hunting with the Berks & Bucks. Bob had been awesome and made it feel easy so I just kept that in my mind for the race.
As I mounted and headed off for the parade, I chatted to a few people on the walk round. Sarah Elliot, a cracking, fearless rider gave me confidence that we would have no issues and the course builder, also riding in the race, gave me some good advice, including not emptying the tank heading up the two big hills, especially as I was on a non TB.
We headed off for a warm up canter with the hunt master leading, popped a hedge and immediatelyI felt calmer. The race was then off and I stupidly played it a little too safe by starting way off the field. Through fences 2 & 3, the leaders were already 2 fences ahead of me, but Bob merrily popped away and took no notice of being by himself with a few stragglers in front of us, as we passed the crowds is was great to hear them cheering everyone on.
Fence 8, 9 & 10 came up quick with 9 being quite a wide hedge with a drop, Bob made it feel easy so we cruised around to fence 16 then had our first hill to climb, by this point I was at least 3 fences behind the main group but Bob was jumping well and I was having a great time.
Rachel & Buckaroo Bob Fence 16
I came round to fence 19, the bogey fence as the commentator called out on the tannoy! It was a hefty hedge, on a downhill approach with a fair old drop on the landing side. These types of fences always scare me, and as I was approaching, I had seen the rider in front of me avoid it and trot through the gateway. This filled me with even more dread but I sat up, kicked on and Bob jumped it like it was nothing, so in my head, I was over the worst part of the course. Another huge cheer from the crowds as we jumped out over fence 21 to a different field, stopped for the hunt master to jump into the field at fence 24 to retrieve a loose horse and then had a trot up the second hill. Bob jumped the remaining fences really well, with us just having to go round fence 32 due to a rider fall. We came over the last to a huge cheer and I was beaming from ear to ear.
Bob had his ears pricked the whole way and most importantly, came home safe. In hindsight, as I said at the beginning, I would ensure I don't start so far back next time. I am going to work on his uphill fitness but overall, he was barely blowing after the race, not bad for a 19yr old Irish Sports Horse. It really was so much fun and a huge tick off my bucket list. I enjoyed it so much, I have already entered the Stonehall Scurry in April"
Rachel Collins at the finish
Please enjoy the following photos from the Scurry Of East Sussex and full results at the end of the report. Photos (including dogs) by Equipassion UK can be purchased here.
Victoria Whiteman at fence 26 which provided a fantastic view of the course.
William Fox Grant & Skipper Robin at the 2nd to last.
Yvie Jeanne 1st Non TB section jumping in style at 2nd to last
Sara Roberts and Mushti came in 2nd and 1st veteran - Sara tells us "Mushti was a broken down ex pointer when he was given to me at 6 years old. He lives out 24/7. He loves to run and goes at his own pace"
First past the post - Zack Davidson and Crieve Hill
Generous prizes from Inkerman London
Scurry Of East Sussex 2023 winner Zack Davidson
Richard Newble zooming around the course at nearly 77 years young.
Sara Roberts and Zack Davidson
Full results for the Scurry of East Sussex -
1st Zack Davidson – Crieve Hill
2nd Sara Roberts – Mushti (First Veteran)
3rd Hannah Stevenson – Get Busy Livin (First Scurry Virgin)
4th William Nunn – Vif Argent
5th Stuart Robinson – Owenacurra (First Heavyweight)
6th Nia Kerslake – Blue Monday
7th Archie Holmes – Lacka Boy (First Young Rider)
8th Katie Featherstone - Winola
9th Yvie Jeanne – Nuage Du Lait (First Non-Thoroughbred)
10th William Fox-Grant – Skipper Robin
11th Sarah Elliott – Rosie (Second Non-Thoroughbred)
12th Philip Hirst - Pickamix
13th Emma Renals - Megalypos
14th Richard Newble - Mylarky (Third Non-Thoroughbred)
15th Kelly Hazelden - Millie
16th Harry Chapman - Marmite
17th Daisy Evci - Cyril
18th Emma Parker - Theo
19th Victoria Whiteman - Bonnie
20th Lucy Jane - Roxy
21st Charlotte Emslie – Casey Tiles
22nd Ellie Loveden - Albert
23rd Lauren Hirst – Vincs Vinnie
24th Lily Chandler - Inky
25th Rachel Collins – Buckeroo Bob
Prizes were plentiful and everyone who took part received a beautiful drink ware piece from generous sponsors Inkerman London.