Welcome to the BHS Scotland website
BHS Scotland is Scotland's largest equine membership organisation with around 5000 members and rising. We have enthusiastic and informed volunteers who help deliver our work throughout Scotland in the areas of access, welfare, safety, training, competitions, education, exams, riding clubs and more. If there is anything you would like to see on our website please let us know on email@example.com.
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Biomechanics lecture in February - all welcome
On Saturday the 18th of February BHS Scotland is offering a day long lecture demo at Tannoch Stables near Glasgow with Russell Guire from Centaur biomechanics. This course which will focus on horse/rider interaction counts as CPD for BHS Accredited Professional Coaches and is open to everyone interested in equine welfare, improving their horse’s performance and biomechanics research.
Biomechanics is the science of the movement of the living body and with horse riding you not only have two living bodies working in harmony but also a wealth of other forces at work such as farriery, tack , external environment and surfaces.
Russell is the UKs preeminent biomechanics expert and everyone will enjoy and benefit from this day.
Download booking form
BHS Scotland celebrates Scottish award winners
Pandora – Tarragon Trophy
Stable Life is what it says on the tin “A hand to hold, a heart to heal and a horse to love”
Stable Life have some very special ponies who bring unconditional love and acceptance to those who need it the most.
Caroline Taylor Smith tragically lost her life in a car accident and she was an inspirational young lady whose kindness and generosity touched many young people.
Caroline was also one of the first young people who has been supported through her journey with Stable Life and she meant so much to everyone on the project and touched so many others hearts in her role as a peer mentor and volunteer with Stable Life.
Caroline was an advocate for young people and understood the challenges of dealing with anxiety and she showed great understanding and empathy for other young people who were struggling with personal challenges in their life. She also volunteered with RDA and gave so much to others and shared her love of ponies.
Following her tragic accident and all too early death, her family chose that they would like to give the retirement collection to “Stable Life”. It was used to purchase a very special pony called “Pandora”.
Pandora brings sunshine and joy to young people at Stable Life and she is a living reminder of a special girl who everyone at Stable Life misses so much.
Pandora is a firm favourite with everyone especially the “Tiny Trotters” and she just makes everyone smile - a wee pony with a BIG attitude.
“Stable Life is a special place for the most special young people whom we are privileged to support and wee “Pandora” optimises HOPE and underneath everything there is hope.
Gillian Elliot - Farney Grange for Most Popular Instructor
We were over whelmed with votes for Gillian. Gillian is based at Burnbank Equestrian Hamilton, where she is chief coach and yard manager who has worked in BHS approved training Centres and has a BSc in Equine Sports Science, BHS Stable Manager Intermediate Training and UKCC Level 4
The ploughmen of Fife - Beveridge for Fundraising
This amazing group of horse men helped us fundraise £5000 at the 2016 Working Horses Day
Sue Kilby - Volunteer of the Year
Well what can we say about our very own Sue Kilby Welfare officer for BHS Scotland? Sue was nominated for this award for her outstanding commitment to the welfare of our horses here in Scotland. She has been training, coordinating and advising Scottish Welfare Officers for many years and never hesitates to get involved. Once, Sue had been told of a field of where highland horses were grazing with ragwort in. Undaunted, she endeavoured to pull the field of ragwort by herself over a number of weekends in the blazing sun. Just one of many stories that showcase her devotion to the cause.
Yogi double bill leaves Scotland inspired and refreshed
BHS Scotland received a wonderful double helping of Yogi Breisner; retiring British eventing team coach at the end of November, when a master CPD delivered inspirational exercises and straightforward equitation philosophy at the Scottish National Equestrian Centre for nearly 75 coaches and a preceding evening event was held where Yogi shared his Rio Olympic Journey.
Yogi stated his “sadness but tinged with optimism” as he steps down as team coach but cited a bright future for British eventing given the amazing pool of riders and horses currently available.
His amusing presentation covered the chronology of being a performance manager from before the games are even announced to having a team complete and return home. The challenges of planning, climate, geography, accreditation, selection and logistics and of course funding were all covered in his talk about the journey to the Rio Games.
At the CPD Yogi used innovative exercises and various props to make for some exciting yet fun jumping training and his calm knowledge of riders in the flat work as he tackled winter homework, the show jumping course, test preparation and Cross Country Technique.
BHS Scotland Chairman of Training Erik McKechnie BHSI said; ”It was such a privilege to have someone as clever and traditional but with a young fresh view come and amazing insight from the top of the sport of eventing present to us and invigorate our coaches – great early winter revision and very affirming.”
What we learned at the Perth Biosecurity conference – Your industry needs you!
Following a conference held in partnership in Scotland it is clear that equine biosecurity is the job of every single horse owner or groom and that we all have to do more to prevent the spread of disease. Simple easy actions like washing your hands more frequently, not stroking other people’s horses at events or not allowing your pony to touch noses with another would be a great start!
Better still each yard should have isolation for new or ill equines and properly practice quarantine for the new and we all should vaccinate for flu. Create biosecurity for your own horse- look for the critical control points in its life and strengthen these. Think biosecurity during transportation and journeys – in equine world horses move all the time. Livery yards should use blood sampling for strangles and consider joining the SRUC PASS scheme and everyone should use the blood test at point of sale as part of vetting and take your horses’ temperature every day – simple! This is a call for action for BHS members to start the biosecurity movement. There is plenty of proof that good biosecurity is always disease led – meaning those who have suffered from disease makes the biggest effort to avoid it! BHS needs to use education to change that psyche and make our industry more proactive and less reactive when it comes to biosecurity.
BHS Scotland Equestrian Access Conference
BHS Scotland held the first ever Equestrian and Multi-Use Access to the Countryside conference in November to show case the work of BHS access volunteers and equestrian access groups in Scotland in preserving off road riding and barrier free paths and tracks.
The well attended event chaired by Mark Stephen for BBC Scotland’s Out of Doors programme highlighted how horse riders can be discriminated against in Scotland even although they have the same right of responsible access as walkers and cyclists but concentrated on the positive educational, advocacy and advisory role of the BHS.
Scotland has some of the best horse riding in Europe and if this event was anything to go by the opportunities and access to true wilderness for horse riders are in good hands with BHS Scotland who have kept off road riding to the fore of their Scottish agenda for the 51 years they have been in action. Helene Mauchlen, National manager for the BHS in Scotland gave a chronology of access work undertaken in Scotland and introduced some new resources produced in partnership with Scottish Natural Heritage.
Local access volunteers presented their positive partnership work at Gartmorn Dam in Clackmannanshire, Balmedie Beach in Grampian, and the Frandy Gate in Strathearn and the event also showcased the valuable work of rangers in Beecraigs Country Park who work inclusively to accommodate all users fairly.
A short film showing horse riders attitudes to off road riding in Scotland was shown before countryside consultant Vyv Wood Gee who is also a long distance rider gave a well-illustrated demonstration that while horse riders are so pleased to have the same rights as walkers and cyclists in Scotland, in practice they have more difficulties exercising them that right than other users. Vyv also touched on the growing evidence that many people including access practitioners and land owners don’t always recognise the right of responsible access that horse riders have and the difficulties hose riders experience in Scotland over finding places to go.
The event then demonstrated some of our more difficult access case studies involving obstructions which include cattle grids with no gate, unnecessary locked gates on well used and promoted tracks, off putting signage and lengthy filibustering in the resolution of cases.
In the afternoon workshops on the Land Reform Act, working with land owners, resolving problems and who represents multi-use were all held with constructive feedback.
Ann Fraser Chairman of BHS Scotland Access said: “Scotland is so proud of its access volunteers and the massive amount of work they do which was evident today. With education, partnership working and everyone riding out responsibly we believe our fortunate position of having equal rights to other non-motorised users can only get better year on year. Mostly the legislation works well for us and we’d like to thank all the people and organisations who support equestrian access in Scotland.”
Across the generations the legacy of the working horse
Battle of the Somme Commemoration Finale at BHS Working Horses Day
In glorious sunshine on the first of October the 700 people who attended the BHS Scotland working horse day at Meadowells Farm in the parish of Collessie, Fife courtesy of RH Black; were treated to an intimate and spectacular display of working horses and vintage machinery.
Under the leadership of Benny Duncan from Balmalcolm Clydesdales horsemen from England, Ireland and Scotland reproduced the farming year in a day when they ploughed, planted, fertilised, harrowed, followed by reaper, binder and cart to transport the sheaves to a barn mill where the wheat was separated from the straw. Twenty five Clydesdale horses took part in the day and were assisted both a highland and a Shetland as the Scottish native breeds put on a good show.
With gentle and well trained working horses on hand, the public were able to ask questions, handle the machinery and harness and even have a go. Our informative MC for the Day was George skinner from Strathorn Stables Aberdeenshire and his knowledgeable insight was greatly appreciated. George even took time out from his commentating to show children how to build a corn stack from the sheaves.
The legendary BHS tearoom provided soup, stovies and home baking for everyone and the event was very sociable as people enjoyed the Royal Highland Society archive on Horses in War and Work in an adjacent large marquee. Side shows included mares and foals, J&K Balfour farriers making working horse shoes and a Robert Sibbald Clydesdale showing Masterclass also a forestry demonstration from James Falconer. Simon Alston demonstrated harness decorating and Jim Wallace brought his film and samples of vintage tools.
BHS Scotland is grateful to all the above and the working horsemen; Benny Duncan Balmalcolm Clydesdales, Davy Duncan from Johnshaven Ross Kinnaird, David Nelson, John McDermot from Newton Abbey, Neil McPhail from Campbeltown and Ronnie Walker. Also Davy Walker and Beverly Brown from Galcantry Clydesdales who provided free dray rides all day.
Scottish Manager for BHS Helene Mauchlen said: “Our fifth working horse day exceeded all expectations; the spectacle of these gentle giants working so hard in such close proximity to people using authentic machinery and equipment was stunning. Those who attended ranged in age from 1 to over 100 and the comments we received have been so warm.
“It was a privilege to show case the horses in War and Work archive and we commemorated the First World War in a moving tableau as a finale when we symbolically unhitched a pair from the plough and hitched them to a World War 1 cannon (made by local wheelwright Ian Grant) to see them led off to war by soldiers while Cupar and District Pipe band played the ‘Battle of the Somme’. This was a fitting tribute to the heritage horses have given us and their sacrifice 100 years ago.”
Thank you for saving equestrian lives
At Blair International Horse Trials BHS Scotland took the opportunity to present Scotland’s Charity Air Ambulance (SCAA) with a cheque for over 3k which was fund raised at their recent Balmoral Ride. To date SCAA has attended 75 Scottish equestrian emergencies in total - equating to 9% of all callouts.
This averages at 26 per year or twice a month or once every two weeks , the charity air ambulance is totally funded by fund raising – that is why the BHS Scottish Committee took the decision to thank them for all they do to save equestrian lives across the whole of Scotland.
BHS National Manager Helene Mauchlen is pictured presenting a cheque to Joyce Leslie from SCAA.
Picture by Jim Crichton
BHS Scotland supports Horse Ambulance
On behalf of our members, BHS Scotland is pleased to support Peter Dun and his horse ambulance which provides vital equine welfare services to each of our five Scottish racecourses and all the Scottish horse trials – we like to see our logo wherever horses lives are being improved and are delighted to be an on-going supporter of the Scottish Horse Ambulance over the last decade and into the future.
Winner of Courier/BRC Working Hunter AND Stewarts Building Supplies Final 2016
Winner of the Fingask BRC Style Jumping Championships 2016
Rachel Boulton from Moray Riding Club riding her own Umberto was the winner of the BHS Scotland/BRC Fingask Castle Style Jumping Championships at Blair Castle International Horse Trials and the presentation is being made by Judge Marjory Norrie
Picture by Jim Crichton
Barskimming Sponsored Ride 2016
Join BHS Scotland and BHS Ayrshire for a delightful ten mile ride and discover the beautiful varied off road riding through the working Ayrshire Estate of Barskimming for a fund raising ride on 11 September. From formal estate policies through farmland, mature woods and tree lined avenues, follow the River Ayr as it carves its way through Ayrshire and discover beautiful haugh land, sandstone caves and enticing estate tracks.This is a delightful ride, you can choose your length and it is a privilege to explore some of Scotland’s best kept land. The ride will be held to fundraise jointly for The British Horse Society and Eglinton Horse Trails so you are helping horses every step of the way.
Download entry and sponsorship form here
Encouraging responsible horse riding
Guidance On Using Signage To Manage Shared Use Outdoor Access
The third part of our multi-use access communications project funded by SNH was to produce a paper on appropriate signage that helps people behave in a responsible manner while accessing the country side.
Download the BHS Scotland Guidance Note on Shared Path Signage here
Access Case Studies
BHS Scotland works tirelessly with their volunteers to improve equestrian access in Scotland. We have compiled several successful case studies to inspire access volunteers and assist with ongoing issues across Scotland. Click on the links below to read and download.
Beecraigs Country Park
Haddington - Longniddry Railway
John Muir Country Park
Oban to Fort William Cycle Route
Old Roman Route
Royal Highland Show 2016
Record breaking Royal Highland Show for BHS Scotland – for four days in June 12 square metres of the Ingliston show ground in Edinburgh literally buzzed with BHS activity as a team of energetic volunteers served almost 1000 teas, sold masses of merchandise and books, recruited 160 new members to the society and in their spare time fundraised by providing balloon art horses for youngsters. National Manager for Scotland , Helene Mauchlen said; it is a privilege to work with such enthusiastic colleagues and volunteers, the BHS family in Scotland surpassed themselves again and many visitors to our stand commented on the friendly welcome.
Balmoral Ride 2016
Grass Sickness Season
Be aware during this changeable weather that it is ‘grass sickness season’ and sadly several horses have already lost their lives. The signs can be very subtle and the disease is often mistaken for colic in the early stages. Be on the look out for depressed behaviour, reduced appetite or mucous coated dung. There may be a foul smell, salivation and gastric reflux, patchy sweating and muscle tremors. There could also be a very high heart rate, a lack of gut sounds and a distended abdomen. The onset of the disease can be terrifyingly quick - if you suspect grass sickness please call the vet immediately.
As yet there is no sure way to prevent the disease, but feeding a daily ration of hay, making any changes to feed or management regime very slowly (particularly the change to summer turnout) and manual poo picking are all thought to help reduce the risk. Do worm egg counts to see whether your horse or pony actually needs worming rather than administering a wormer ‘just in case’. Try and keep your fields in good condition, avoiding over grazed, poached ground and keeping the grass evenly topped. For information and advice about the disease please visit www.grasssickness.org.uk’
Download EGSF Risk Leaflet
Welfare Conference 2016
BHS Scotland in association with World Horse Welfare held an Equine Welfare Conference at World Horse Welfare Rescue and Rehoming Centre at Belwade Farm on Wednesday 20 April 2016.
Professor Derek Knottenbelt Chaired the conference where the subjects covered were as follows:
Nick Ambrose from The Animal Health & Disease Prevention department of the Scottish Government spoke on the New Equine ID Regulations and Central Equine Database - the practical implications
Dr Richard Newton Head of Epidemiology and Disease Surveillance, Animal Health Trust spoke on Biosecurity and update on exotic diseases. Download his presentation.
Roly Owers - Chief Executive, World Horse Welfare spoke on - Britain's horse crisis - where are we now? Please download his presentation.
Professor Natalie Waran, Jeanne Marchig Professor of Animal Welfare Education spoke on Are horses happy athletes?
Dr Georgina Crossman, AESE (Advancing Equine Scientific Excellence 2015)Project Coordinator spoke on Equine End of Life Study
World Horse Welfare investigator spoke on Tackling identity fraud linked to the trade in low value equines - who's doing what?
Gemma Pearson Dick Vet Equine Hospital Edinburgh and Veterinary Liaison OFficer for the international Society of Equitation Science spoke on Horse handling, welfare and behaviour. Download her presentation.
We were treated to an amazing day of informative presentations. Everyone who attended found the subjects fascinating and thoroughly enjoyed their day.
Our sincere thanks go to all the presenters who made the day so fantastic and also to all the staff at World Horse Welfare, Belwade Farm who made us all so welcome. Especially the catering staff and the amazing lunch they provided everyone with. Special thanks too must go to Eileen Gillen of World Horse Welfare whose help with arranging the conference we could not have done without. - Thank you.
Garden Open in Aid of BHS
Stirlingshire Gardeners Walled Garden – Open in aid of BHS
Mrs Morna Knottenbelt, wife of our Scottish Chairman Derek Knottenbelt, has generously offered to open her beautiful garden to the public as part of Scotlands Gardens scheme in aid of The British Horse Society Scotland this summer from 1 May to 31 October.
The Knottenbelts acquired the Walled Garden in 2013 and have planted extensive herbaceous borders with box hedging, roses and many unusual plants. There is a White garden, an orchard, vegetable area, a long shrub border with primulas and gentians and an alpine border with meconopsis. There is a Victorian Fernery restored some years ago by the previous owners with a peach and pear trees as well as vegetables and a collection of Salvias. There is a long season of interest with peonies, primulas and bulbs in spring to roses and herbaceous flowers in summer followed by substantial autumn flowers with Rudbeckias, Michaelmas daisies and Aconitums. Below the house there is a small area of mature conifers, recently planted rhododendrons and a collection of ferns. There are fine views of the Campsie Hills and the garden is surrounded by mature conifers of the Designed Landscape of Carbeth. This garden won the Hidden Gardens of Killearn trophy in 2014 and 2015.
Parties by Arrangement to firstname.lastname@example.org £5 per person includes garden tour, tea and scones.
Equine Business Management & Development
On Friday 26 February BHS Scotland held along with SAC Consulting an Equine Business Develpment & Funding workshop. With over 50 people attending the morning proved to be very informative. Please download the presentation given by Gillian Mcknight the SAC Consultant
Sadly sometimes dog attacks on horses occur in Scotland. Please download some information about dog control that we hope you will find useful.
Safety Conference 2016
Best Practice Saves Lives
“Best Practice saves lives” was the clear message throughout the BHS Scotland 50th Anniversary Safety Conference held on the snowiest day of the year so far, but the deepening snow did not prevent 150 delegates attending.
Run in conjunction with Police Scotland, Scottish Fire and Rescue and the Scottish Ambulance Service the daylong event also covered road riding and transportation, road safety case law and all the latest information on riding hat technology.
Susan Maxwell from Scottish Fire and Rescue ran through the causes and consequences of fires and examined equine psychology during a blaze, her take home message was that prevention, and having and practising a fire plan are the best protection against an horrific stable fire.
Police Scotland presentations were given by PC Lisa Dunlop from Roads Policing and Sergeant Alan Gilbert from Mounted Branch, Lisa addressed the responsibilities riders have under the Highway Code and safe transportation especially axil weights while Alan stressed the importance of training and preparation for road riding.
Road traffic accident lawyer Brenda Mitchell ran over some equine court cases and showed the audience how, no matter whether you are a vulnerable road user or a car driver, it is imperative to be educated before you take on the responsibility of accessing the pubic highway. Her talk was followed by Lee Hackett from BHS who laid out the tools the BHS, as the only organisation dedicated to improving equine safety, uses to educate and inform; including accident recording, advice and education as well as the world famous riding and road safety test.
Paramedic and Pony Club Mum Catherine Smart, then offered advice on handling an emergency should a rider be unlucky. Her main questions were where are you and who are as she ran through the 999 process and gave lifesaving advice – see below – what we all should do this minute!
The morning session finished with Roy Burek, a great friend of BHS Scotland and Managing Director of Charles Owen Hats discussing everything about the human head and the need for protection. Roy is at the cutting edge of equine industry research into hat technology – as someone dedicated to reducing concussion and involved in setting hat standards across the world it was a privilege to have him at our conference.
During the lunch break with soup and home baking provided by the BHS Scotland tearoom and Blueridge EC, a lucrative raffle was drawn as delegates purchased riding hats and reflective gear while meeting and greeting police horses and Police Scotland’s latest recruit and start turn ‘Rig’ a 13 week old puppy!
The afternoon kicked off with a safer equine rescue session led by Susan Maxwell, who involved the audience in a mock equine rescue using the real life mannequin horse. Susan trains fire fighters all over Scotland to safely rescue large animals from road incidents, falling into rivers or bogs or getting stuck in any situation. Scottish Fire and Rescue are currently rolling out these high welfare and safer for human rescuer techniques.
Alan Gilbert’s team then presented a splendid drill ride to show case the discipline behind police horse training. The Scottish Police horses that attended were; Kilmarnock, Lanark, Brora and Stewarton ridden by PC Hannah Chalmers, PC Kirsteen Watson, PC Claire Knowles and PC Fiona Campbell assisted by PC Gillian Sleight. They also demonstrated hazard training and the gains to be made from all of us familiarising our own horses with commonly encountered obstacles.
The horses were followed by Sergeant Richard Moffat and Constable Alex Bell from West Command Dog Unit who assisted by Constable Peter Brown from Larbert Police Office demonstrated the importance of dog training and familiarisation with horses in preventing dog attacks.
BHS Scotland Chairman Dr Derek Knottenbelt also chaired the conference and he said;
“We are grateful to all the presenters and everyone who attended in spite of the blizzards and of course Linda and Kirsty at Blueridge EC who pulled out all the stops to make us welcome.
“All horse owners should be responsible and educated and it was a privilege for BHS Scotland to work with our emergency services in delivering a day that delivered such important safety messages.”
Two things we all should do straight away that could save our lives in an emergency
• For areas of low signal consider TEXT 999 You must register first by texting ‘register’ to 999 and following the instructions. Texts take less signal than a call www.emergencysms.org.uk
• Store your medical details under the emergency button on your phone
****NEW IN 2015*** The Beveridge Quaich
The Beveridge Quaich - for BHS’s Scottish fund raiser of the year
Presented in memory of “Grandad Beveridge” by Jane Belding – to be awarded annually to the person in Scotland who raises the most funds for the BHS that year.
This is our wonderful new trophy an unusual and beautiful antique Quaich which was presented by Jane Belding for which we thank her.
This trophy has a grand history it was presented to Troon sailing club in 1964 by Jane Beldings Father.
The first worthy recipient of the now BHS Beveridge Quaich is The committee of BHS Tayside, in general this committee is excellent at fund raising for BHS, but this year in particular they held a stunning race day where two Perthshire yards opened to the public for a day and the amount raised was over £2000.
Pictured from left to right Loraine Young, Events organiser, Andi Bruce, BHS Tayside Chairman and Marjory Norrie, Riding Club committee member.
The Farney Grange Trophy - Scotland's Most Popular Riding Instructor 2015 Winner
In 2005 BHS Scotland was donated a trophy to be presented to the riding instructor who is voted the most popular by their pupils.
The Farney Grange Trophy is a valuable bespoke piece of artwork, which anyone would be delighted to have on his or her mantelpiece for a year, and the winner will be chosen purely by popular vote.
The winner of Farney grange Trophy for 2015 is our own Heather McLennan from Inverness; we say our own because Heather is also the dedicated chairman of Highland South. Heather won the most votes this year by a county mile and many amazing citations – she is indeed very popular. This has been a great year for Heather who is also a busy working Mum because she recently completed and passed her UKCC level 3 top up.
BHS Scotland Volunteer of the Year 2015
In 2012, retiring BHS Scotland Chairman Loraine Young gifted a beautiful antique timepiece (in the shape of an hour glass) with the inscription ‘For the giving of your time’. This beautiful trophy is given to an outstanding BHS Scotland volunteer each year. This year our winner is male and young – how is that for unusual. Derek has decided that the hour glass is to be given to Paul Phillips – throughout 2015 “Tall Paul” as we like to know him has got more and more involved in BHS Scotland and not only is he useful for loading lories after events like the Royal Highland he can actually turn his hand to anything. Over the summer Paul volunteered for the Blair Europeans and ended up driving ambassadors around Scotland, read at our horseman’s Sunday, but perhaps his ‘piece de resistnace’ was being the hay tramper in the back of the ruck maker at the working horse day. Introduced to BHS by his girlfriend Sarah, Paul has had a baptism of fire, and you might wonder why someone so new to BHS is getting an award, but quite honestly we could not have survived without Paul this year, that is why Derek chose him.
FORMER ARMY MASCOT ‘CRUACHAN III’ RECIEVES PRESTIGIOUS BHS AWARD
Shetland pony and former Royal Regiment of Scotland Mascot ‘Cruachan III’ was awarded the ‘Tarragon Trophy’ from The British Horse Society today at a special event held in Redford Barracks in Edinburgh.
The ‘Tarragon Trophy’ is the British Horse Society ‘Equine Personality’ of the year award and is presented to horses or ponies that have contributed to the community, overcome hardship or deemed to have the personality worthy of the esteemed honour.
Helene Mauchlen from the British Horse Society, said:
“Every so often the BHS is privileged to meet an equine that has delivered untold benefit to humankind, and Cruachan is just that pony
“In his long life he has brightened the lives of so many people, from casual acquaintances at events, veterans and sick children and on top of that he does his day job of representing, inspiring and motivating our army.
“He is a credit to all equines and an example of the untold good that horses and ponies provide. It is our pleasure and a privilege to present him with the Tarragon Trophy.”
Shetland pony, Cruachan III, retired in 2012 at the age of 23 after nearly two decades of military service. For almost 17 years he took part in numerous military parades, Highland games and became a much loved addition to the cast of the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo.
The endearing pony was also a personal favourite of Her Majesty The Queen and attended Balmoral Castle each year when she visited Scotland.
Colonel Alastair Campbell, Regimental Secretary of The Royal Regiment of Scotland, said:
“Cruachan III marched proudly with Scottish infantry soldiers on parade for 17 years, firstly with the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders and then The Royal Regiment of Scotland. So we are extremely pleased that the British Horse Society has recognised his service drawing attention to the contribution of Scottish soldiers by awarding him the Tarragon Trophy.”
Pony Major Corporal Mark Wilkinson, who is responsible for the care, training and welfare of Cruachan III, said:
“Like most old Scottish soldiers he loves to hear the sound of the Pipes which takes him back to being on parade. As a veteran he still attends Armed Forces Day and helps Service and civilian charities when he can. He’s always very popular with young and old alike.”
Originally the Mascot of The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, Cruachan III was adopted by The Royal Regiment of Scotland on its formation in 2006. He now spends his retirement in Redford Barracks with his companion and successor, Cruachan IV.
2016 Riding Hat Standards
Download the latest up to date information regarding Riding Hat Standards for 2016
A Guide to Path Grading
During 2015 Paths for All and Forestry Commission Scotland have worked together to create a useful comprehensive paths grading guidance which aims to work as a decision making tool – ‘to go or not to go’ – to all access takers under the Land Reform (Scotland ) 2003 Act and a grading tool for paths managers that will lead to uniform interpretation.
Download the guidance information
BHS Scotland and BHS Borders visit a Forest
Key messages for riders visiting working forests reinforced at joint Scottish event
BHS Scotland and BHS Borders joined forces with The Forestry Commission Scotland (FCS) at the end of October to run an educational and interesting forest access day at Glentress Visitors Centre east of Peebles . Despite the damp and mist, the riders who attended enjoyed the talks and the forest visit and BHS left having happily reinforced several key messages with FCS that facilitate forest riding during management works. These include:
FCS are keen to encourage riders to check FCS website for details of harvesting and other operations which may affect their riding plans. The dates promoted routes affected by forestry work and maps of the areas will be flagged up on this website.
Warning, route closure and diversion signs should be erected at key entry points to every forest when felling, extraction, haulage and other such operations in place, but should be confined to specific working areas only i.e. not the whole forest closed.
For their own safety, and that of people working in the forest, riders should respect signs about path closures and diversions. Key messages include safety and in particular the very real risk of a forwarder chain breaking and flying off at same speed as a bullet, this has been known to embed in bulletproof windscreens, and in trees within 100 metres.
BHS appreciates FCS good practice e.g. flip-over signs which operators can turn over at end of day when they finish to reopen route and vice versa in morning - not examples where routes are closed with nothing happening or signs left in place over weekend.
Diversions for promoted routes should be well signed on site. We've asked FCS to ensure maps are provided, and to ensure diversions take account of all users.
If riders come across any situations where signs or diversions are not in place, or there are inappropriate closures, e.g. left closed when no work going on, FCS are keen to know so please alert either them or BHSS.
This was an excellent partnership event and more like this will be held in Dumfries and Galloway and Aberdeenshire next year.
Working Horse Day 2015
Make hay while the sun shines!
With the treble themes of horse power, agricultural heritage and education, the fourth BHS Scotland working horse day took place in blazing Perthshire sunshine in early October with eighteen different rigs and over 200 members of the public attending.
The packed timetable covered field work; ploughing, carting, harrowing, horse logging, work for individual ponies including deer saddles for the Highlands and peat carrying creels for the Eriskay pony, showing, turnout and care.
The most popular feature demonstration being hay making by heavy horses from Dave and Robert Nelson, Benny Duncan and Ross Kinnaird along with all their helpers. They used hay mowers, turners, kickers and rakes put through their paces alongside a Tumblin Tam which brought hay to the hand made stack. The climax of the hay-making theme was the operation of a pike or ruck maker by Bill Allan, who had brought it all the way from Silloth in Cumbria to use in conjunction with a green crop loader behind Benny Duncan’s pair of Clydesdales.
BHS Scotland was indebted to all our performers including; Robert Sibbald and team, Ruaridh Ormiston, Helena Macdonald, Maggie Macrae, Mary McGillivray, Janice Kirkpatrick, Jen Roy and Andrew Whitaker for bringing their amazing working horses and ponies, their machines and their harness. The legendary BHs Scotland tearoom did a roaring trade in the traditional Scottish fare of soup and stovies.
BHS Scotland Trip to Germany
Scottish BHS Members share Golden Anniversary in Germany
From start to finish the BHS Scotland 50th Anniversary trip to Germany was the equestrian trip of a lifetime for the fortunate members that filled the thirty places available, the happy age group with an age range between 84-12, came from all over Scotland including Orkney, Lewis, and the Borders.
Over three days the group watched over 500 horses, and experienced first-hand how with state support, dedication, discipline and an immense pride in their native horses, the German equestrian industry has become one of the most vibrant, successful and admired worldwide.
The visit coincided with the 50th Westphalian Elite-Auction, where the first day was spent with a guided tour of the outstanding facilities, and viewing the schooling of the current 3 and 4 year old crop of these famous Westphalian performance and breeding horses. The bloodlines from stallions such as Rubinstein, Pilot, Cornet Obolensky, Florestan and current superstar Damon Hill were all on view as testament to the quality and success of the Westphalian sport horse breeding programme. Show casing their young talent from these great dynasties makes the Westphalian Elite and Special auctions such a thrilling event. Scottish BHS members were impressed by the dressage and jumping stars of the future and at the subsequent auction the top horse was sold for Euro 140.000
Day two was spent at the Nordrhein-Westfalisches [NRW] State stud in Warendorf, which began with a comprehensive tour, and was followed by a spectacle that has to be on every horse lovers bucket list – the grandiose and unforgettable “Stallion Parade” or ‘Hengstparaden’.
The history of the 185 year old state stud combined with the German Riding School, which joined the stud fifty years ago – the same year as BHS Scotland came into being- as the ‘Centre of professional Cavalry’ is awe inspiring. There were 160 stallions in residence, less in the breeding season, when they are farmed out to breeding stations; warm bloods, thoroughbreds and cold blooded or draft stallions – the latter are kept to preserve endangered species and provide heavies for forestry work. The three hour parade was a breath-taking spectacle of dressage, long reining, driving, music and beautiful moving horses.
On day three we were taken to visit the hallowed ground and equestrian yard of the late Dr Reiner Klimke, arguably the father of classical dressage in Germany. We were treated to a personal master class by his son Grand Prix rider Michael Klimke. A tour of the yard, followed by schooling a range of horses from four to ten years of age, offered us a privileged insight into Michael’s training methods. After generous hospitality Michael discussed how long horses take to mature, what to look for in a horse, especially a good walk and canter and gymnastic approach, and how to train riders focusing on the importance of the seat with feel and balance.
BHS Scotland Director Helene Mauchlen said: “Words cannot do justice to this trip; from the moment we checked onto Group “Young” at Edinburgh airport until we arrived home we were looked after royally and treated to such an inspiring, enlightening and spectacular equestrian holiday. We are all indebted to Loraine and Ronnie Young for masterminding such a great beginning to BHS Scotland’s 50th Anniversary celebration year.
“We always think about the Scottish horse worlds place in Europe. It seems like fate that our trip coincided with the 50th Elite Auction and the 50th Anniversary of the German riding school joining the NRW State Stud. How fortunate we were to experience in some small way a half century of improving breeding, riding and education, surrounding the welfare and harmony of the horse and rider in another European country.”
LONG SERVICE AWARD
At our recent Scottish Committee meeting Sue Kilby was awarded her 15 year long service award from The BHS
Sue is picutred here receiving her award from Scottish chairman Professor Derek Knottenbelt.
Sue works really hard for the BHS as Scottish chair of welfare and secretary for BHS Tayside.
BHS Scotland - More than just a Trade Stand
BHS Scotland - more than just a trade stand – twelve reasons why
The BHS Scotland stand at the Longines Blair Castle 2015 European eventing championships was a busy destination for those wanting to sample the best tea and cakes at the event, and with Blair TV on tap – it would be fair to say our tearoom was the most popular spot at Blair on the Saturday as the rain forced many to seek shelter.
A few highlights included;
• Selling ALL our umbrellas on XC day
• Getting visits from Claire Balding AND Ian Stark, not to mention the team riders and supporters from all nations who popped in during the week
• Selling quantities of second hand books in a fund raising effort
• Hosting the F&I association events for the week including an amazing Russell Guire biomechanics presentation
• Holding a Horseman’s Sunday service, which was very well received
• Having Claire Aldridge our UK chairman and Derek Knottenbelt our Scottish chairman on the stand, and having a visit from our CEO Lynn Petersen – Derek also give two public lectures on the Sunday
• Being an XC jump sponsor and as a result having our big red BHS banner in the main ring
• Running the finals of our three competition series; the Stewarts, the Courier and the Fingask and seeing a trio of great champions in hotly contested competition
• For the second year running our Tornado sponsored Best Riding Club Horse class, even if it did finish in the dark
• How our tearoom team kept up with demand AND kept the gutters running and bailed us out during the deluge
• Hosting, judging and presenting the best dressed trade stand completion and seeing the smiley and delighted Araminta Campbell, hand weaver and designer - walk off with the trophy
• Having a birthday cake to celebrate the start of BHS Scotland’s 50th anniversary year- and a good party too!
And of course welcoming 65 new members in to BHS and meeting and looking after our existing membership.
Helene Mauchlen, BHS Director in Scotland said: “Over 25 volunteers helped during the week between tearoom staff, competition writing and stewarding, and during build up and breakdown, as well as manning the stand. BHS Scotland has just the greatest team of dedicated and enthusiastic people who help us and their positivity and energy just gives us a huge buzz from dawn to dusk. A very big thank you to everyone who helped, you know who you are!”
Winner of Courier/British Riding club Working Hunter Final 2015
This years winner of the Courier/British Riding Clubs Working Hunter Final was Stephanie Slater aboard her very own eight year old Maltstrikers Diamond.
This competition features jumps of 3’3” and altogether 20 qualifiers are held at British Riding Clubs shows in Scotland stretching from Orkney to Berwickshire.
Pictured is Stephanie and Maltstrikers Diamond being presented with the Trophy by Mrs Claire Aldridge the Chairman of The British Horse Society.
Winner of Fingask Castle Style Jumping Final 2015
The Fingask Castle Style Jumping competition offers riders the chance to prove they can ride a course of show jumps in good rhythm and with the correct riding position. Sixteen qualifiers are held by British Riding Clubs across Scotland.
Pictured is Strathmore and District RC member Anne Shaw riding the Bella the winner of the Fingask Castle Style Jumping Series 2015. Chief Executive Officer of The British Horse Society Lynn Peterson is also pictured. Lynn presented the pair with the trophy.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank our sponsors Fingask Castle for their support of this event.
Winner of Stewarts Building Supplies Final 2105
The BHS Scotland Working Hunter Trophy sponsored by The Stewarts Building Supplies was awarded to Kirsty Aird riding the seven year old Toronto owned by Mrs E Smith. This year there were thirty three finalists who came forward to contest this coveted Stewarts final which is the culmination of 22 qualifiers held at county shows across Scotland.
Course builder Graham Barclay presented an interesting and challenging course which result in very few clear rounds.
Pictured is Kirsty Aird on Toronto being presented with the Stewarts Builiding Supplies trophy from Morven Miller from Stewarts Building Supplies.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank our sponsors Stewarts Building Supplies for their support of this event.
Behind the Scenes at Two of Scotlands leading National Hunt Yards
The sun and the horses shone and great enthusiasm for racing was shown!
Here are some pictures from our privileged and interesting look behind the scenes at two of Scotland's leading National Hunt yards.
Over 200 people turned out to see chasers at Lucinda Russell's yard, Arlary House Milnathort and both jumpers and flat horses produced by Lucy Normile, Normile Racing Duncrievie, on Sunday the 30th of August. At both yards some of the top horses were paraded and at Arlary some were put through their paces on a sand gallop, allowing some spectacular close up views. People were free to wander around the stables and the horses seemed to enjoy the attention. The enthusiastic crowd and the sunshine helped raise £1943.57 and all proceeds will be divided between The Injured Jockey’s Fund, and British Horse Society Scotland.
BHS Tayside volunteers laid on refreshments and home baking at both venues. We are indebted to Lucinda and Lucy for their generosity
It's that time of year...
Following on from last year’s great work on ragwort with Defra and the release of the toolkit in April (www.bhs.org.uk/ragworttoolkit), we’re asking people to show how they’re getting involved this summer!
From Tuesday 7 July, we’ll be asking people to share pictures of removed ragwort on Facebook and Twitter using the hashtag #IvePulled. Pulling is likely the most easy and accessible method of removal for most people, as long as it’s done properly. Full guidance on how to do this is available within the toolkit but the main points to remember for best practice are:
• Long sleeves and gloves to avoid skin contact
• Holding plants aloft to show off efforts can spread loose seeds and counteract good work, so why not try a picture of the ragwort bagged up ready for disposal, or an action shot of its removal? If you’re out and about removing ragwort in the coming days or weeks, join in and post your pics with #IvePulled (or send them to me for us to post for you if you’re shy and would prefer to stay unnamed!). If you’re not affected by ragwort, please still do get involved by sharing posts and retweeting, sharing the toolkit link, and asking horsy friends to get stuck in with the hashtag!
Thanks again for your continued support of this work.
Scotland's Great Trails Project
Pauline Williams <email@example.com>; Lisa Williams <firstname.lastname@example.org>; Laura Hood <email@example.com>; Helene Mauchlen <firstname.lastname@example.org>
In recent years, the frequently fatal muscle disease Atypical Myopathy (AM) has become more prevalent in Great Britain. Statistics collated in 2010 by the Atypical Myopathy Alert Group (AMAG) revealed three reported cases of AM in Britain in the year up to November.
By 2013 the figure had increased to 51 reported cases in the equivalent time period. The increase is not confined to Britain as confirmed cases of AM are also growing throughout Europe at a rapid rate.
Associated with horses kept predominately at grass, AM occurs predominantly during the autumn, although cases are also more rarely seen in the spring. AM can affect individual horses or several horses within the same group. All horses are potentially susceptible to AM, although youngsters and horses above the age of 20 have been found to be at greater risk.
The disease was first recognised in 1984 and is very similar to a disease in America called Seasonal Pasture Myopathy (SPM). Myopathy diseases in horses result in damage to the muscle tissue and cause significant muscular pain in affected animals.
Although research is still in its early stages, links to 'helicopter' seeds from sycamore trees have so far been identified.
This Atypical Myopathy advice leaflet will tell you how and why you need to be aware of this dangerous disease, how to spot it and how you can minimise risks.
British Horse Society volunteer awarded MBE
The British Horse Society is delighted that Ann Fraser, its current chairman of equestrian access in Scotland, has been awarded an MBE in The Queen’s Birthday Honours list for services to the equestrian and leisure industries in the Scottish Borders. Ann has been active within the Society for more than 30 years, during which she has furthered the cause of equestrian access both as a volunteer and a member of staff.
Her equestrian achievements include creating the Borders Festival of the Horse (now in its 14th year), assisting the progress of Part 1 of the Land Reform Act (Scotland) 2003 Act through the Scottish Parliament, making sure horse riders received the same rights as walkers, cyclists and the disabled, and more recently introducing the new equestrian sport of tilting to Scotland. Ann was a driving force behind South of Scotland Countryside Trails where the BHS drew down £750,000 of European funding to develop a 350km multi-use tracks network across southern Scotland.
Helene Mauchlen, BHS Director of Scotland, said: “We are delighted. Ann’s dedication to the horse as an economic driver in the Borders and her lifelong fight for safe off-road access for equines, makes her a worthy recipient of the honour. She continues to work tirelessly and is highly respected in the world of access where she is a worthy opponent and great ambassador for the equestrian industry.”
Protocol for promoting off-road riding and carriage driving routes in Scotland
BHS Scotland have created a new guidance note on promoting off-road riding and carridage driving routes in Scotland. BHS’ recommendation and in-house policy is that as a matter of courtesy, land owners and managers should usually be consulted before promoting off-road riding and carriage driving routes. The guidance note explains the rationale behind this protocol, exactly what falls within the definition of ‘promoting’ a route, suggests how to consult appropriate individuals, and identifies some exceptions where consultation is not considered necessary. Download the full guidance note here
Equine Health Checklist
This checklist sets out the essential routines to help care for horses responsibly in a simple, accessible format and will encourage – among other good habits – basic disease prevention in routine horse care. Our ultimate aim is to have the poster displayed in every yard, vet’s reception, horse owner’s stable etc. – indeed everywhere that it can be seen by horse owners and keepers. You can also download this chart as a PDF document here .