PACKED full of excitement, entertainment and high-quality classes, the eighth Hendersyde Park Horse Trials took place over Saturday and Sunday.
The Agnew family once again opened their Kelso grounds for this eventing extravaganza.
Saturday started early, 8.30am on the dot, with the Devoucoux-sponsored BE 90 sections.
This was an achievement in its own right as the torrential rain in the Borders in the days leading up to the competition had put a question mark over the whole event, but the old established turf in the park soaked it up and the going was good.
The best local rider awards were won by Jo Luton on Black Eyed Pea III and Louise Johnson on Mic Macdonald.
Section D also incorporated the new Bedmax Retraining of Racehorses Eventing Series where BE points will be awarded and prizes will be presented at an annual awards ceremony later in the year for the highest scoring horses over the season.
The Belhaven Best-sponsored Scottish Championships BE 90 open was keenly contested. It was won by Joanna Dun on Amazing Merlin, with Juliet Smith and Borthwickshiels Jake taking the local rider laurels.
The show jumping arena was spacious and the courses, designed by Di Boddy, were colourful and challenging, creating exciting and closely-contended competitions.
The arena party, from Lauderdale Pony Club, was kept busy but really enjoyed their day as they got a close-up view of the action.
Kingsmeadow (Kraiburg) sponsored the BE 100 Open Scottish Championship, which was won in fine style by Olivia Leyland on Blue View. The pair went clear in both the show jumping and cross-country, ending on their dressage score of 24.50.
Leyland, based close to Holy Island, was delighted and told TheSouthern: “Blue was a little star, he just pinged the fences in the cross-country.”
They hope to go on to qualify for the Badminton Grass Roots championship at Aske, and 18-year-old Leyland would like to event full-time.
Louise Clark on Stenigots Red D’Ablo was the highest-placed local rider with a final score of 37.50. She went clear cross-country but picked up four faults in the show jumping.
International rider Nicola Wilson made a strong showing in the Scottish Bloodstock-sponsored BE 100 Section F, taking first and second places with Sea Lark and Fellside Favour.
The first three competitors went clear in both show jumping and cross-country to end on their dressage scores. Highest-placed local rider Karen Redfearn and Madams Law came a close fourth with four faults in the show jumping.
The Malcolm Group BE100 Open section G was won by Olivia Wilmot and Zebedee De Foja with a dressage score of 26, but picking up four penalties in the show jumping and 3.6 penalties cross-country to end on a score of 33.60.
Local rider Catherine Chichester and Ginja Ninja II went clear to end on 36.50, securing a well-deserved third place.
The competition was just as hotly-contended on Sunday with the novice classes.
The event drew lots of visitors, with the trade stands and entertainment providing an irresistible array of goodies on offer.
Ian Scott Aiton proved to be invaluable, organising the lorry park from dawn till dusk, thus ensuring no-one got stuck and everyone had enough space to park, compete and picnic.
The weather was kinder on the second day, with some sunshine and only a few summer showers.
The main ring held the Scottish Tattersalls Retraining of Racehorses Show Horse class which was a qualifier for the Royal Highland Show 2012.
The class was won by Katie Stephen and Hurricane Basil, with Langholm-based owner Shelly Johnstone and General Duroc, who has already qualified for the final, being placed sixth.
The BE 100 section H, sponsored by JS Crawford Estates, was won by Sarah Yeaman and Volume One on a score of 23.50, with Kirsty Brewis and Just About Jimmy also producing clear rounds to take the best local rider of the class on a score of 32.50.
Central Carpets BE100 Section I was won by Will Murray on Victor B, with Fyonnah Thomas and Advanta Gold securing fifth place and best local rider of the class with a score of 35.30 having picked up just 0.8 penalties on the cross- country course.
Activ-Telecom and KBIS sponsored the BE100 under-18 section J which was won by local rider Lyndsay Allan and Charlie Taggart .
Lyndsay was the highest-placed local rider over the two days and was delighted with her win.
She started with a fine dressage score of 25.00, going clear in show jumping, but picking up 1.0 time penalties, she went on to jump clear cross-country.
Isabella Innes Ker was awarded best local rider in section K and the Northgate Information Solutions Int-Novice section N.
The Mussel and Steak Bar, Edinburgh, sponsored the BE Novice section L, which was won by Sonya Cunningham on Dryfe Royal Cavalier with a final score of 41.20, having picked up four faults in the show jumping.
Karen Redfearn was a close fourth with West Star, picking up the local rider award for the class.
Dalton Demolitions sponsored the Open Novice section M, which was won by Jessica McKie on Letts Talk, but Kirsty Brewis was successful again, coming a close second and collecting her second best local rider award on Harbour Lights. Kirsty is going on to compete at Blair in the CCI* class.
Once again, Livy Agnew, her family and her hard-working team provided a spectacular sporting weekend which also supports nominated charities.
In the eight years the event has been run she has collected more than £31,000 and this year’s beneficiaries were the Margaret Kerr Trust and Help for Heroes.
Mrs Agnew added: “This event could only go ahead with the unflagging support of the army of helpers who have spoiled me with their kindness and generosity over the years.
My grateful thanks to all of these people.”
The novice course was extended this year to include some new challenging fences.
The track was designed by Ian Stark, built by My Team and dressed by PJ&Sykes to a very high standard.