There is never a dull moment in the Coltherd household and this week the attention is focusing on young Sam, writes Fiona Scott.
For next month the Selkirk teenager is heading south to the Royal Windsor Horse Show, where he, and his pony Galaxy, will compete for Scotland in the Prince Phillip Cup Mounted Games.
The event sees young riders from across the country give their all, racing against rival teams, to win the historic Prince Philip Cup – which is likely to be presented by the Duke of Edinburgh himself, who still takes an active part in the carriage racing event.
Riding under the Duke of Buccleuch Pony Club banner, Sam, 14, made the selection after travelling to Glasgow for trials along with several other Scottish pony club members. He told The Wee Paper: “I was really pleased when I found out that I had been selected.
“This will be the last year that I qualify for selection because of my age, so I was really hoping we would get through.”
The Games themselves involve a high degree of athletic ability, hand-to-eye coordination and a competitive spirit is needed, alongside the ability to work as a team. The skill and expertise of the riders, vaulting on and off their ponies often at high speeds, is incredible to watch. For each race, the atmosphere is electrifying as crowds cheer for their favourite team.
Sam and Galaxy are no strangers to the mounted games circuit, having competed for several years.
And, playing rugby for Selkirk Cougars and being quite a hotshot on the local carpet bowling scene also means Sam has all the credentials he needs to make an impact.
“I enjoy most sports and just like to be out competing in various events,” he added.
“Galaxy and myself picked up a second last year at a mounted games championship and we both know exactly what we are in for, so hopefully we can go one better this time.”
Sam’s ultimate aim is to be a jockey and the plan is to work for his dad, horse trainer Stuart Coltherd, at the family yard near Midlem.
He told us: “That is all I have wanted to do for a while. I have been riding horses for about as long as I can remember and I now want to take it up as a career.
“I know it won’t be easy, but hopefully with my dad’s experience and help from other local jockeys as well as our other contacts in the sport, it should go ok. I am aware of what I am letting myself in for and still want to do it.”
The 2013 70th Anniversary Royal Windsor Horse Show takes place from May 8-12, and Sam will travel down for the whole week, accompanied by his dad and mum Lesley, while older sister Amy and younger sister Millie will be cheering him on at home along with his grandparents.
“I get good support from all the family and hopefully I can do everyone proud when I am down there, he added.”