Galloway Trail Riders Group member Annie Walker read recently about a local endurance rider’s achievements in 2015 which prompted her to put pen to paper.
In South West Scotland we have two groups of rider who are out and about, both interested in horse welfare and riding access, keeping old routes available for riders.
Annie writes: “Galloway Trail Riders Group could be classed as happy hackers and we have had many happy days in the saddles this last year. From Glenwhilly up to top of Beneraird; the beach at Sandhead; Lochinch Policies (thanks to Lord Stair); Cally Woods, Gatehouse of Fleet to mention four of our eight outings. We had cheery on foot meetings in form of our AGM with some awards for good attendance and fun and a pre-Christmas meal.
“Best attendance rosette Liz Sutton and Kumara Zaylin also honour of most difficult to load in trailer! Second best attendance Kay Robinson’s Storm; third Liz Foulds and Bobby and fourth equal Sheila Watson and Lorna Forrest.
“There is also lots of scope for a tad more serious rider in form of Endurance which living in such an isolated region is a bit more difficult to take part in as nearest Branches are Glasgow and Dumfries who allow us to have a ride near Three Lochs in DG8.
“Unfortunately Rhins and Machars areas are not well catered for.
“Some riders have expressed an interest and Central Committee of SERC are having a meeting in late December to check if its feasible to run a few more rides locally.
“The main differences are trail rides are unmarked routes, maps and instructions are given on the day of the ride with no time limit but responsible riding is expected. Endurance entries are taken in advance and again maps and instructions are given but we may have received permission to ride a certain marked route and anyone straying from the marked route will be eliminated.
“On arriving at venues horses heart rates are taken and trotted up to prove their fit and sound to go. They are timed out and home then heart rates taken and trotted up again to check all is well and receive their cumulative mileage and rosette.
“Distances are measured for introductory rides between eight and 14km and pleasure rides between 15 and 29km ie. starting at five miles to almost 20 miles. To collect cumulative distances lowest speed is 5mph or 8kph.
Personally over two decades I have achieved 4749 Kms on my little grey ponies. I have made many friends from lots of places in Scotland and Cumbria (Shap), Eildon Hills, Broughton Fruit farms in Tayside, Argyll hills and not forgetting Bonnie Galloway. Now, don’t be put off if you don’t ride and think horses only have teeth to bite or legs to kick out as some folk tend to think.
“To run rides we need people on the ground who enjoy the outdoor life and fresh air (it can be rather fresh on occasions) so if you could do a timekeepers job or CP or admin you would be very, very welcome and and much appreciated.
“Please get in touch by texting me on 079295 28885 or 078559 16525 or landline after dark 01671830858. Thank you in advance.”
Round 2 of the Winter show jumping leagut to took place last weekend with a good turn out of horses and ponies keeping their eye in over the jumps.
Poles on the ground - 1, Kasie Jones and Snoopy
X-poles; Ponies -1, Sarah Jones and Snoopy; 2, Abbey Longridge and Sunny
Horse -1, Kayleigh McCulloch; 2, Saffron Jolly and Tara
40cm; Ponies - Keera McClymont and Strawberry
Horses - 1, Amy and Mia; 2, Kayleigh and Lewis; 3, Julia Worrall and Sheba
40/50cm; Ponies - 1, Holly Kirkpartick and Salame; 2, Atlanta and Oh Ho.
Horses -1, Raymond Keenan and Datsie
50/60cm; Ponies - 1, Holly Kirkpatrick and Salame; 2, Atlanta and Oh Ho.
Horses -1, Lyndsay McCourtney and Ace; 2, Amy and Macy B.
60/70cm; Ponies - 1, Atlanta and Beau
Horses -1, Kayleigh and Lucy; Emma Dawn and Bandit
80/90cm; Ponies - Caitlin and Bobby
Horses - Emma Dawn and Bandit; 2, Kayleigh and Macy Grey; 3, Amy and Lady
1m/1m10; Ponies -1, Caitlin and Bobby
Horses -1, Amy and Lady