Games first for Mellerstain

First Mellerstain Highland Games preview.
First Mellerstain Highland Games preview.

mellerstain House near Gordon hosts its first Highland games later this month.

Organised by former World Highland Games champion Hamish Davidson, the event on Sunday, July 17, will combine traditional games events with country fair activities.

Mr Davidson said: “There will be top-class athletes and non-stop entertainment, plus people can take part. It’s not just about spectating sport.

“The day will be an outlet for sporting activities and country pursuits and the setting is superb – the gardens, statues, architecture, woodland, the views – the setting is half the show.”

Professional heavy events will feature 2010 Ultimate UK Strongman runner-up, 32-year-old Gary Gardner of England, Scott Thompson, five times Scottish shot putt champion, and six others in a 10-event contest featuring the shot putt, stone throw, 28lbs and 56lbs weights, caber toss and hammer throwing. And strongman challenges include The Stones of Density, V12 car pull and Press de Banco.

The dancing platform will feature displays of traditional Highland fling, sword dance, Seann Triubhas, Reel of Tulloch, plus jigs, hornpipes and reels. And there will be traditional music from pipe bands as well as a Scottish championship prize-winning brass band.

Mr Davidson said: “Leading the field in a series of country pursuits will be falconry flying displays and birds of prey with Graeme Nielson’s team from Strathblane country estate.”

There will be fly casting displays and opportunities to have a go at the sport with world record holder Peter S. Anderson as well as a competition. British international and Olympic tutors will be on hand for those wanting to have a go at archery. And Braidwood Clays Joyce Black will be offering help to those wanting to try clay pigeon shooting.

Also lined up are novice and visitors’ events, a fairground, children’s entertainment and more than 40 trade stands are expected.

“The 18th-century Adam mansion, home of the 13th Earl and Countess of Haddington, set in 240 acres of park and woodland will provide an unrivalled and superb setting for the event. The arena will be on the front lawns facing the ornamental lake with panoramic views of the Cheviot Hills to the south,” said Mr Davidson.

Gates open for the Mellerstain House Highland Games and Country Fair at 11.30am, with events running from noon-5pm. For more information contact Jane Malloch on 01573 410225.