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Caithness equestrian clubs celebrate golden anniversary together


By Jean Gunn

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A Caithness Riding Club prize-giving in 1989.
A Caithness Riding Club prize-giving in 1989.

Two local equestrian clubs are joining together for 50th anniversary celebrations this month.

Caithness Riding Club was formed in 1972 and a branch of the Pony Club was established in the county the following year. Joint celebrations were put on hold for both clubs until 2024.

A golden anniversary dinner and dance is being held at the Norseman Hotel, Wick, on Saturday, January 20.

Both clubs are seeking members, past and present, to come along and join in the celebrations and share their memories.

The organisers are also keen for people to send any old photos they might have to riding club chairperson Frances Sutherland at frances.cassie@gmail.com

The local Pony Club branch has gone from strength to strength since setting up in 1973, with many successes home and away. Riders have gone on to represent the county internationally.

A Caithness Pony Club group photo from the archives.
A Caithness Pony Club group photo from the archives.

Caithness has 40 members at present, ranging in age from three to 25. They follow the Pony Club ethos which is to encourage young people to learn to enjoy all kinds of sport connected with horses.

The present district commissioner is Lisa Kennedy, who herself came up through the club. Her family has had a long association with the local equestrian scene.

Meanwhile, Caithness Riding Club boasts around 100 members with many excelling in their chosen disciplines, winning at area and national competitions.

The local club is affiliated to British Riding Clubs which provides support and encouragement to riders of all levels, from leisure riders to those wishing to compete.

Prize-winners after the presentation of trophies at a Caithness Riding Club dance in 1992.
Prize-winners after the presentation of trophies at a Caithness Riding Club dance in 1992.

Both clubs run regular training clinics and competitions locally. Many of the events, particularly those in the winter, are held at the indoor school in Halkirk. They have also both hosted area competitions in the county.

Anyone wishing to book tickets for the evening can do so by visiting the Facebook page set up for the event – Caithness Pony Club & Riding Club Golden Anniversary Celebration. The clubs also have their own Facebook pages.

Anyone not able to book via Facebook can get in touch with Maureen Coghill, one of the event organisers, on 07776 152952 or email harry.coghill1@gmail.com

Joining either of the clubs is an excellent way to meet new friends and gain valuable training for both horse and rider.

Smiles from a Caithness Pony Club games team in the early 2000s.
Smiles from a Caithness Pony Club games team in the early 2000s.

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