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Competitors and spectators gather to celebrate return of Forres Highland Games

Forres Pipe Band lead the procession for the opening of the games. Photo: Jasperimage.
Forres Pipe Band lead the procession for the opening of the games. Photo: Jasperimage.

The Forres Highland Games have made a welcome return following a two-year hiatus.

The games have not been held since 2019 due to the Covid pandemic so competitors and spectators alike were excited to see the event back in action on Saturday.

Organisers have spent the past week getting set up at Grant Park ready to put on a display of Scottish tradition.

The day began with a procession led by the Forres & District Pipe Band from the High Street into the park arena where the flag was also carried and raised.

The Chieftain George Alexander opens the Forres Highland Games on July 2. Photo: Jasperimage.

Last month, it was announced that George Alexander would hold the role of Chieftain for the 94th anniversary event.

He welcomed the crowd and officially opened the games alongside junior chieftains Amy McGhee and James McPartlin from Forres Academy.

A fun-filled day of events

The sunshine soon turned to rain and the gathering spectators brought out their umbrellas to shield from the very wet weather. They were not deterred though, and many stuck around all day to watch the competitors in action.

Pipe bands from across Moray and Aberdeenshire put on a spectacle, while solo pipers and Highland dancers took part in competitions.

The events kicked off with track and field events, including high jump and mixed relay, with heavy weights donning their kilts to take to the arena.

People braved the rain to take part in the famous Message Bike Race. Photo: Jasperimage.

A number of cycling events were held in the afternoon and even the spectators were able to get involved during the Message Bike Race.

An event unique to the Forres Highland Games, the race dates back to the early years of the games almost a century ago when message boys would cycle around the town to deliver shopping.

Now, people can volunteer to ride the vintage bikes around the grass track to win the Grant Dawson Trophy – which was won this year by Brodie Finlayson.

As well as the traditional Highland Games events, locals and visitors could enjoy food and shopping stands, as well as face painting and fairground attractions – with an impressive inflatable play area for kids of all ages.

Results from the day

Ladies and Mixed Relay

  • 100m – Mareallous Igbinidu
  • 200m – Gillian Gordon
  • 400m – Gillian Gordon
  • 800m – Sophie Young
  • High jump – Aaliyah Mccloud
  • Long jump – Gillian Gordon
  • Shot – Mia Guicucchea
  • Mixed relay – Inverness Harriers

Men and youths 

  • Youths 100m – Brian Curran
  • 100m – Kyle Wilkinson
  • 200m – Thomas Porter
  • 400m – Ewen Bradley
  • 800m – Luke Davidson
  • 3,000m – Luke Davidson
  • High jump – Kyle Wilkonson
  • Long jump – Ewan Bradley

Senior heavies 

  • Putting the “Rab Ritchie” Stane – Daniel Carlin
  • 28lb weight for distance – Jamie Gunn
  • Scots hammer – Greg Walker
  • Caber – Jamie Gunn
  • 56lb weight for height – Jamie Gunn
  • 10K road race – Hamish Hickey

Junior heavies 

  • Putting the shot – Andrew Murphie
  • Scots hammer – Andrew Murphie
  • Weight over the bar – Andrew Murphie
  • Weight for distance – Andrew Murphie
  • Tossing the caber – Andrew Murphie

11 to 15 years 

  • 11-13 100m – Lee Davidson, Isla Burns
  • 13-15 100m – Alexander Henry, Holly Whittaker
  • 11-13 200m – Lee Davidson, Sophie Smith
  • 13-15 200m – Andrew Lumsden, Holly Whittaker
  • 13-15 400m – Ruaridh Mackenzie, Holly Whittaker
  • 11-13 800m – Finn Carruthers, Sophie Smith
  • 13-15 800m – John Scott, Jessica Needs

Cycling

  • 800m junior handicap – Willis Christie
  • Senior 800m – Lewis Dey
  • 1500m handicap – Lewis Dey
  • 6000m Scottish Championship – Lewis Dey

Piping

  • March – Hamish Munro
  • Strathspey and Reel – Hamish Munro
  • Pibroch – Gordon Barclay
  • Under 14s March and Pibroch – Craig Mitchell
  • 14-18 March/Strathspey and Reel – Calum Dunbar
  • Best senior – Jeffrey Lawson
  • Best junior – Calum Dunbar

Highland dancing

  • Nine and under – Harris Fraser
  • 11 and under – Eilidh Guthrie
  • 13 and under – Eilidh Smith
  • 15 and under – Lily Kelman
  • 16 and under Highland Fling – Innes Mackenzie
  • 16 and under Sword Dance – Becky Dempster
  • 16 and under Sean Truibhas – Rianne Nicholson
  • 16 and under Irish Jig – Becky Dempster
  • 16 and under Sailors Horn Pipe – Catriona Dempster

GALLERY: Forres Highland Games make much-anticipated return to Grant Park

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