Sprinting burst lands Martin top UK placing

WESTRUTHER sporting all-rounder Martin Smith has been enjoying success at the highest of levels when competing at the UK Tetrathlon Championships.

The 16-year-old Earlston High School pupil travelled to Bishop Burton in Yorkshire after qualifying at intermediate level in the Pony Club inter-branch tetrathlon competition held at Kirriemuir and Arbroath last month.

Held over three days, the UK event consisted of shooting and swimming phases on the Friday, cross-country riding on Saturday and running the following day.

In the swimming, Martin equalled his personal best to put him in a strong starting position. Nerves kicked in slightly and he didn’t have the best of shoots, but at the end of the day he was lying in 11th place overall with his two strong phases to come.

The cross-country riding section was very challenging. Riding his 17-hand thoroughbred Spider, a tried and tested combination, Martin produced a fabulous clear well within the time allowed. This meant that he went into the final day of the competition in 10th place.

The running phase was a real test. There was rough ground, steep hills and twists. Martin ran well and his extra spurt of speed towards the finishing line saw one of the best running times of the day and, when all the scores for the four phases were in, he ended up fourth overall. As Martin has now had two top-10 finishes at intermediate level in the UK Championships, he will have to move up to the open level next year.