HEMEL Hempstead equestrian enthusiast Janette Baker-Watts has qualified for the prestigious Horse Of The Year Show with her ponies Equilibra Lady and The Tramp.
Janette, who competes with Osborne Refrigerators Double Scurry Group, said: “For anyone who has not seen scurry driving, it is carriage driving’s answer to Formula One – an exhilarating, fiercely competitive, high profile sport.
“What makes it so exciting to watch is the element of danger – should the groom lean the wrong way, the carriage can easily flip over causing a nasty accident.
“I am very fortunate as my groom Jess Parkins, who studies at Hemel Hempstead School, is superb at keeping our carriage wheels on the ground. I trust her impliclitly and that’s so important.”
Janette almost missed the qualifying event due to a shoulder injury, but has been helped with treatment from Kevin Pistak at the Berkhamsted Chiropractic Clinic, while horse trainer Gareth Toberts kept her ponies fit.
“This year’s qualification for Horse Of The Year Show is so special,” said Janette. “When you schedule your entire year around one goal and that goal suddenly seems unachievable, it’s a heartbreaking feeling. So needless to say, I am elated.”
Janette is now hoping that crowd support can drive her to success at the HOYS finals in Birmingham in October.
“Scurry Driving is so exciting to watch, the crowds go wild for their favourite pair of ponies and the louder the crowd cheers the faster the ponies go,” she said.