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Bowmore Blair Castle Horse Trials
The Bowmore Blair Castle International Horse Trials and Country Fair

Blair Atholl, Perthshire
Thursday 22nd - Sunday 25th August 2002

Top Riders For Bowmore Blair Castle Horse Trials

Riders from as far afield as New Zealand and South Africa are descending on Blair Castle next week to take part in the Bowmore Blair Castle International Horse Trials from Thursday 22nd to Sunday 25th August.

This is the 14th year of what Ian Stark once described as "The best three-day event in the world," and each year a number of new competitors find their way to Highland Perthshire to ride in this most popular, friendly but challenging event.

Last year’s winner, and one of Britain’s furthest travelled riders is Lucy Wiegersma from Penzance in Cornwall. She has Friday Morning in the two star and will be hoping for better luck with Friday Feeling in the one star section this year, as in 2001 she failed to complete after leading the dressage stage.

New Zealand’s Caroline Powell has a horse in each section as does Swedish rider, Linda Algotsson, who is competing at Blair for the first time. Veteran Irish rider, Eric Smiley will be one of the favourites for the two star with Breeze, with top riders from south of the border such as Terry Boon and Darrell Scaife hot on his heels.

Local girl, Louisa Milne Home from Kinross was a member of the victorious Scottish team last year and will be hoping for individual honours next weekend. She has both Melody River and Stronacroibh running in the one star class.

Kirsty Hynd and Suzanne Lumgair, both hail from Angus and have successfully completed Blair in the past. Kirsty has Welton Maximillion in the one star while also in that class is Suzanne with her new ride, Roman Lord.

Overall there are 123 competitors in the one star and 68 starters in the two star. Riders from both sections will have dressage on either Thursday or Friday, before the challenge of speed and endurance on Saturday which involves four phases including roads and tracks, cross country and a steeplechase. Sunday sees the exciting climax of the three-day event, when riders showjump in reverse order of merit.

Also on Thursday a top class Highland Pony show and a full programme of hunter and working hunter classes take place, while Friday, Saturday and Sunday sees one of the biggest showjumping competitions in the country with well over 1000 entries over the three days.

The Bowmore Blair Castle event has become increasingly popular with families in recent years thanks to the variety of activities and entertainment on offer at the Country Fair. Smokey Gray and his duck-herding dog is returning this year by popular request, as are the RAF Police Northern Area Voluntary Dog Display Team.

The woodland area includes a steam train and fascinating displays and demonstrations by lumberjacks, tree-surgeons and wood carvers.

The organisers thought they had their hands full last year with around 170 trade stands, but this year the grounds of Blair Castle are choc-a-bloc with 220 shopping opportunities. The range of goods is vast, from fine clothes and jewellery to garden furniture and saddlery. New trade exhibitors include The Silk Route, which sells designer special occasion wear, Corporate Shooting Scotland, which has laser shooting simulaters and Simpson Marine which sells fishing dinghies.

The Craft Fair marquee has been extended by 40 feet to allow 11 new exhibitors in to bring the total to 41, while the best of Scottish produce will be available in the Festival of Food.

For those who get tired shopping, the answer is a quick dram in the Bowmore Tasting tent and then relax around one of the four arenas to watch anything from Pony Club Games to showjumping to falconry.

Admission is only £6 on Thursday and Friday, £10 on Saturday and £8 on Sunday. Children under 14 years of age are £2 if accompanied by an adult, while children under 5 are free and car parking is free.

For further details please visit the Bowmore Blair Castle International Horse Trials and Country Fair website - click here


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