“I noticed I’ve got five cups sitting here and I thought, that’s a real achievement for a seven-year-old boy.”
So said proud Oxnam mum Joanne Stenhouse this week about her and husband John’s son Hamish.
For the mini rugby player was the youngest rider in five of the Borders common riding and festival rideouts this summer.
Mrs Stenhouse said: “The fact that he did all these rideouts on his own is quite an achievement. I’m just really proud of him”
Hamish and his sister Emma, a previous winner of youngest rider cups, completed the Stob Stanes (at Yetholm), Melrose and Flodden (from Coldstream) rideouts last year when Hamish was just six.
They added two heavyweights, Redeswire, the big Jedburgh rideout, and the day-long Yetholm ride from Kelso, this year.
“They are really difficult rides and it was a horrendous day for Redeswire this year, “ said Mrs Stenhouse.
The nursery nurse would know for she and her sister Lesley were also youngest riders when as children they too took part in the summer horseback festivities.
And it was Lesley, who has the Langlee Riding Stables at Jedburgh, who lent Hamish the brown 12.2hh 12-year-old Dartmoor pony, Milo, on whom he completed his challenging summer.
“Hamish has been known to doze off while he’s on a pony. He’s laidback, he’s a bit like Milo, they’re both very laid back. Milo was ideal for the rideouts because I knew they were safe and with my sister, the girls who work for my sister and Emma, ” said Mrs Stenhouse.
Hamish has been riding since he was about three years old “bombing around” on the 10.2hh chestnut Nugget, who is about 20 years old and is now being ridden by Hamish’s three-year-old sister Millie.
“Hamish has done a bit of hunting and enjoyed the rideouts. He enjoys his riding and he enjoys his rugby “ said Mrs Stenhouse: “About four years ago when Graham Slorance was Herald (in Jethart Callant’s Festival), Hamish idolised him. He wasn’t bothered about being Callant, he wants to be like Graham and wear a red jacket and be up at the front!”