Horse riders invited to try new sport at Selkirk

Judy Steel who has been awarded a MBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours.
Judy Steel who has been awarded a MBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours.

Tilting-at-the-Ring arrives in Selkirk later this month, thanks to Judy Steel. The enthusiast first saw the sport, which dates back to the Middle Ages, in Denmark.

And last year she organised for local councillor Vicky Davidson, her daughter Rowan and a Smailholm artist to try the riding-at-the-ring competition in Sonderborg, Jutland.

Eight Danish trainers will arrive in Selkirk on Friday (May 17) to introduce the sport to the Borders with demonstrations, have-a-go sessions and Scotland’s first competition for hundreds of years on May 25.

Explained, Judy said: “It just seemed like a good idea. Tilting was quite common in Scotland, particularly in the 16th century. The cavalry (in Britain) use it for practice, but I don’t think it’s the same as the Danish way which is competitive, with this very small ring (from 22mm diameter to 5mm diameter in successive rounds) that has to be hooked.

“Now we have the gallows made, it could be brought into competitions at shows and gymkhanas. We’ll see how it goes.”

For more information visit www.bordersfestivalhorse.org