Festival of action at Floors horse trials

Floors Castle at Kelso is reflecting on another hugely successful annual spectacular, with last weekend's annual horse trials attracting record entries (reports Charlie Newton).

Thursday, 19th May 2016, 8:15 am
Katie McFadyen from Kelso High School on Chocolate Charlie (pictures by Stuart Cobley).

Well over 1000 horses and riders competing in the home venue’s magnificent parkland.

Eventing took centre stage, with riders attracted from far and wide to compete for some of the highest prize money available in the sport at BE90 to CIC** level.

German rider Pia Munker took the top title as the winner of the Cazenove Capital Management CIC**.

There were wins for local riders too, with Melrose-based Lucinda Crawford winning the Justerini and Brooks BE100 Open on Ballintoher Harry, while Samantha Martin won the Galedin Vets BE90 on her horse Torchwood II.

One of Scotland’s top riders, Wills Oakden, brought 10 horses to compete at the event and was placed in the top 10 eight times, with two wins and two successful runs at CIC* level.

He said: “Floors is pushing boundaries and quickly becoming the leading event in Scotland. It is setting a new benchmark for the modern sport in Scotland and is going in the direction that other events should be progressing to.”

Also, there were Retrained Racehorse Classes, which saw the renowned racehorse Monets Garden take the ROR/Tattersalls Scottish Show Series Qualifier, with rider Joanna Richards.

On Friday, the event hosted Dubarry Burghley Young Event Horse (BYEH) Classes, designed to identify the future equine stars of eventing.

Horse and rider compete at Floors Castle Horse Trials for a chance to qualify for the championships at Burghley Horse Trials later in the Year.

The BYEH 5-year-old class was won by Jedburgh-based Emily Galbraith on Ardagh Exceed and Fiona Malcom and her horse Liscarrow Rebel.

National Schools Equestrian Association show jumping proved hugely popular, with nearly 200 entries received from as far as St Andrews and Leeds.

The Floors Castle horse trial classes, sponsored by Quilter Cheviot, are qualifiers for the Championships at Addington Manor in October. Last year’s winners, Kelso High School, went on to win at the Championships. Borders’ schools dominated the classes, with Kelso High School (Katy McFadyen, Katie Edgar, Vicky Edgar and Alex Edgar) qualifying again.

They will hopefully head to Buckinghamshire in October to compete against the country’s best school teams.

Co-organiser, The Duchess of Roxburghe, said: “It was a fantastic to see so many riders competing at Floors. We couldn’t have done this without the army of volunteers that helped made the event the success it was. Plans are already under way for 2017, so watch this space!”