Quality of equestrian excellence in the Borders is perfectly clear

Louisa Milne Hume and Carrow Iroko vault the 'scottie dog log' (picture by Melanie Horne)
Louisa Milne Hume and Carrow Iroko vault the 'scottie dog log' (picture by Melanie Horne)

Award-winning Hendersyde Horse Trials has delivered another sizzling weekend of top-level sport.

This jewel of Scottish eventing provides an exceptional venue, challenging courses, and attracts the very best of riding talent.

The Borders parkland had been meticulously managed to produce good going and the old turf helped to cushion any hardness in the ground.

Scottish star, Louisa Milne Home, rode off with the top prize in the M&J Ballantyne Open Novice.

Louisa and handsome grey gelding, Carrow Iroko, put in a near-perfect cross-country round, picking up 0.4 time penalties to add to their impressive dressage, finishing first on a score of 27.7.

One of the prettiest fences of the course caused the most problems, with many horses objecting to the carved Scotty Dog log – leading to a drop in to the park.

There were a couple of eliminations here and a few refusals.

But Carrow Iroko showed no hesitation, giving the log plenty of height, and Louisa rode boldly into the drop, continuing on to produce a smooth round.

Freya Gaitskell and Equador vi secured the U18 BE 100 class with a double clear to finish on their dressage score of 30, three clear points in front of Lucy Bailey on Highling Gizmology.

Popular eventing star Ben Hobday competed in the Border Safeguard BE100 section F with his young bay gelding, Painters Bay.

A confident dressage score of 28.7, followed by a double clear, gave them first place, well ahead of Joshua Wareing and Ballyvadd Sarco. Hendersyde always delivers exciting sport and has done a great deal to encourage new riders to progress.

This year was no different and the E 80 course provided an excellent opportunity to gain experience over a well designed route.

Local rider Jenny Christie and Roxy VIII took the chance with both hands, picking up 7.6 cross-country time faults to finish with a respectable 37.6 and first place.

The Agnew family have kindly opened their home for the last 15 years to host one of the premier Scottish eventing weekends, raising over £50k for local charities along the way.

This year was the final BE event but the team will be back next year with an unaffiliated competition, including the Scottish regional tetrathlon, show jumping classes and show cross.

There will be plenty of classes and new opportunities to peak the interest of a range of riders. All the results are at www.britisheventing.com.