Gift-horse glory for Marion

Marion Hutcheson rode her “gift horse” Gonzo to be crowned 2014 Scottish Veteran Horse of the Year, writes Hilary Mactaggart.

The Bonchester-based rider admits to being “completely overwhelmed” after receiving the award at Ingliston Equestrian Centre, near Bishopton, which hosted the inaugural Scottish final.

“When they announced Gonzo as the winner I cried like a contestant on The X Factor,” she joked.

“I went with no expectations at all and just felt so pleased to have qualified.”

Marion – who works for Merlin Veterinary Group in Kelso – and Gonzo collected their ticket to the final at the Border Union show in July – one of 17 qualifiers held throughout Scotland.

Gonzo was 12 when he was gifted to Marion six years ago, and had evented as a youngster before becoming a hunt horse.

“I hadn’t competed for about 15 years and he gave me the confidence to return to competitive riding,” said Marion, who competed in riding club dressage and cross-country before turning to showing.

Marion is grateful for the support she receives from her mother Margaret, sister Rachel and husband Mike.