Mock hunt gallops to charity cash success
A CHARITY mock hunt on an east Caithness estate proved popular with 35 horses and riders taking part.
The sun shone throughout the event staged in Berriedale-based Welbeck Estate with the junior and adult riders passing through some spectacular scenery. All levels of riding were catered for in the selection of four rides and routes.
The junior novice class comprised all lead rein riders; the three-mile course for the junior open covered the more confident riders; while the adult section was split into novice and open. While following the same nine-mile route, the novices went at a much slower pace than the canter and gallop of the open riders.
While banned from hunting foxes, hunt masters were deployed for each ride to lead the riders through the "hunt." Colour was added to the occasion by someone dressing up as a fox and gamely agreeing to be chased by the junior riders through a woodland. If they caught their quarry, the youngsters got a goodie bag as a prize. A marquee was pitched at the competition base, together with an equine shop and catering facilities.
Sylvia Stewart, who organised the event along with fellow North Highland College equine studies Sarah Campbell, was delighted with how the day had gone.
"It was a brilliant success," she said.
"Welbeck Estate is a beautiful place with the most stunning scenery and the sun shone all day. All the competitors said they thoroughly enjoyed the event and said they hoped it would be an annual event."
The mock hunt raised £700 for charity with the proceeds split between the Riding for the Disabled Association and the Scottish SPCA centre at Balmore.