North-east riders claim top spots at horse trials

Sophie Bultitude and Langley Clover .
Sophie Bultitude and Langley Clover .

Riders from the north and north-east held their own at the Land Rover Blair Castle International Horse Trials with Aberdeen-based riders claiming the top two spots in the BE90 Scottish Championships

Drumoak’s Sophie Bultitude and Laghey Clover led from pillar to post in the BE90 Scottish Championship.

The six-year-old gelding by Captain Clover started eventing last season, and with several good runs under their belt they stepped up to BE100 level and won at first attempt at Kirriemuir. Their experience at the higher level showed and the pair enjoyed a winning margin of seven penalty points.

Ms Bultitude said: “My only goal was to finish on my dressage score. I’ve never ridden at a champ-ionship before, but Laghey Clover loves his job.”

Claire Smith from Stuartfield was runner-up with Equit, a new ride for her this season and one of two horses she competes.

In the main three-day eventing competition Banchory based Eilidh-Jane Costelloe finished 11th in the CIC3* with Westmuir Quality.

Caithness rider Nicola Manson and her 10-year-old mare Mohill Millie claimed the coloured horse championship after also winning the Chaps (UK) non-native open ridden qualifier and standing second in the small hunters.

Ms Manson said: “She does a bit of everything really. We’ve been placed second and third at Blair so it’s great to finally win.”

The NPS Scotland finals and Silver Medal Championships attracted a record 415 entries.

The Highland pony Katrina of Strathmore, recently bought from breeder Charlie McQuattie by Forres-based Shona Halford and ridden by Jo Jack, was crowned NPS Scotland/Kilmannan Stud mountain and moorland novice ridden champion and NPS/Minns family mountain and moorland silver medal rosette champion.

Elsewhere, 10-year-old Emily Campbell from Caithness won the NPS Scotland/Kingfisher Building Products mountain and moorland working hunter pony final for ponies not exceeding 122cms and the overall championship. Emily was partnered by Isabel More’s Welsh section B gelding Annondale New Approach who she has been riding for the last three years. Turriff-based Claire Chisman was reserve champion of the in-hand riding and hunter ponies with the 13-year-old riding pony Cosford Percival.