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Eriskays Tandem Team Take Windsor Driving Trials Title

A team of Scottish bred Eriskay ponies has taken the Tandem title at this year's Windsor Driving Trials.

Linton Ben Oss and Linton Luath, bred by Anne Bell in East Lothian, took victory with their owner Lesley Cox whose successes with the team include the 2001/2 Srongid P Indoor Tandem Driving Championships and the 2002 Castle Kennedy Title.

Lesley and partner Andrew Gooden, who acts as groom, have worked very hard for success, both holding down full time jobs while campaigning the pair around the country from their base in Sandbach, Cheshire. They are very dedicated to the breed, having visited the islands where the breed originated to learn more of their history.

Lesley said:

" I am delighted that Lu and Ossie have achieved so much, they are living proof that while Eriskays are the remnant of an ancient breed, they're very much 21st century ponies, able to take on the best of modern ponies and win. They're a very versatile pair and even competed under saddle in the Eriskay Ridden class at the Royal Highland Show last year.

"Ben Oss is very much an ambassador for the breed, when he's not out there competing he's very happy talking to the crowds at the British Equine Event every November, when he lives on site as an exhibit!"

The Eriskay breed is still classed as category 1 "critical" by the Rare Breeds Survival Trust, although interest is growing and numbers are increasing steadily. Following a visit by Society Inspectors to Coll recently, two more young stallions owned by Sheila MacKinnon, have been added to the register, bringing the number of stallions to 14.

For anyone wishing to see Eriskays in action, the Society will be holding its annual breed show at the NPS Scotland Summer Show on 14th June at Strathallan Castle, Auchterarder, with classes for everything from young handlers, to family handy pony to dressage and working hunter, the emphasis is very much on performance and fun.

In the South, Eriskays will feature as part of a major equine event, the "Festival of the Horse" at Newmarket from 8th to 10th July.

The Society also runs a sales list, available by calling 01560 485970 or email and more information about the Society and the breed are on the website


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