BOWMORE BLAIR CASTLE HORSE TRIALS ATTRACT RECORD ENTRIES
Once again the Bowmore Blair Castle International Horse Trials have attracted record entries. A top class field of 200 riders from all over the world will compete in both classes of the three day event which takes place at Blair Castle from August 23rd to 26th.
Over 260 entries were received but, as director and organiser, Tim Hadaway explained, "It is impossible to run more than 100 in each class, especially on speed and endurance day on Saturday, when each horse takes nearly one-and-a-half hours to complete the four phases. It was therefore necessary to ballot out about 60 entries in the one star class to leave 105 running there and 95 in the two star, which did not require a ballot."
No fewer than three members of the British Olympic team from Sydney, Jeanette Brakewell, Ian Stark and Leslie Law have entered, while Rodney Powell who also travelled to Australia has Falcon Ebony in the two star class.
Ian's ride is Lady Hartington's Full Circle II, while Jeanette has Burley Wood and About Time III. Leslie has three horses entered, Another Garrison and Perryfields Casper in the two star and Cloud Burst in the one star.
New Zealand's Blyth Tait has been a tremendous supporter of the horse trials at Blair Castle since they started 12 years ago and this year has Welton Vivat in the one star and Lily The Pink in the two star.
Last year's winner, Lucinda Fredericks, who now rides for her husband's home country, Australia, has Palmerston entered. She only took over the ride earlier this year on this horse. Husband, Clayton has entries in both the one star and two star sections
Leading the way for the local contingent is Mary McFarlane from Blairgowrie riding her own McCallan. This duo are fresh from their win at Burgie in June. Lexi McKinnon, who hails originally from just down the road at Blair Atholl is competing on her own Lenamore, while Veyatie Archibald from Perth is having her second go at Blair with her own Staffa.
Jane Reid and Kirsty Hynd, both from Angus are competing in the one star class on Bally Doolin and Ever Hopeful respectively, while Kim Ingleby and Kirsty Low are representing the Stirlingshire area. Louisa Milne Home from Kinross is no stranger to the Blair Castle course and is this year riding Pamela Ingleby's Kings Berry.
All the competitors can look forward to perfect going on both the cross country course and the showjumping arena this year, thanks partly to the weather but also to Russell Groundcare Ltd who have used several different types of grass cutting machines, to get the best possible finish in the arenas and out on the cross country course.
One or two new fences and changes to the Ronald Alexander designed course have now been completed and riders will be amazed to see what looks like a giant Capercaillie after the House of Bruar Water Splash. This corner fence has been designed to look like the famous Scottish bird, with a two jump alternative, designed to look like her chicks - could this be the "chicken route?"
Changes to the one star course include a new big one-stride double of angled oxers known as the Inveralmond Motors Road Block. The WH Malcolm Lochan and Bowmore Steps remain relatively unchanged, but an extra log fence has been introduced to the Glenvarigill Sunken Road, the first really serious question on the course.For further details please visit the Bowmore Blair Castle International Horse Trials and Country Fair website - click here