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Caithness riders saddle up for Burgie Bonanza


By Jean Gunn

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The face says it all. Liam Mackenzie looking very happy at the prospect of going cross country in the new Caithness Branch of the Pony Club colours.
The face says it all. Liam Mackenzie looking very happy at the prospect of going cross country in the new Caithness Branch of the Pony Club colours.

A number of Caithness riders travelled down to Forres to take part in this month's Burgie Bonanza, incorporating the North Cup.

Around 150 competitors from as far a field as Orkney to Perthshire took part in the event which was organised by Moray and Nairn Branch of the Pony Club in collaboration with the Burgie eventing team on Saturday, September 12.

The day followed strict government guidelines on social distancing in co-ordination with Horse Scotland.

Each horse and rider was allowed just one supporter - the theme of the day was to Arrive, Compete and Leave - results were announced the following day to ensure that horses, riders and supporters were off-site as quickly as possible after completion of their cross country phase. A glitch in the scoring system meant that the results were later revised.

Local pony club member Leoni Kennedy and her new pony Linnesdale Sovereign, prepare for the final stage of the one-day-event.
Local pony club member Leoni Kennedy and her new pony Linnesdale Sovereign, prepare for the final stage of the one-day-event.

Numerous hand sanitiser stations were in place on the day and everyone was encouraged to use them wherever possible.

Organiser Hayley Ingram, District Commissioner of Moray and Nairn Pony Club said: "Our aim was that the majority of our competitors would leave the venue within an hour of finishing their competition.

"This ensured that we kept our numbers on site to a minimum. Everyone had a great day - it was fabulous to be back at Burgie again after such a difficult year for the sport."

Winning the 80cm section B class was Caithness Riding Club member Rowan Lee riding Durran Pedro. They finished on their dressage score of 36.3.

Morven Mackenzie makes some final checks to her tack before competing at the Burgie Bonanza.
Morven Mackenzie makes some final checks to her tack before competing at the Burgie Bonanza.

A team of riders from the Caithness Branch of the Pony Club took part in the event with Morven Mackenzie and Atlantic Tiffany coming third in their dressage arena and 10th overall in the 80cm section A one-day-event.

Morven's younger brother Liam, riding Llanidan Bonheddwr, was eighth in the dressage and came sixth overall in the 70cm section in the revised results.

Leoni Kennedy and Linnesdale Sovereign finished on their dressage score of 36.9 coming third overall in the 70cm class.

Eve Nicoll and Dynast, came ninth in the dressage and had a clear showjumping round in the 90cm, but did not complete the cross-country phase.

Eve Nicoll and Dynast (Sheldon) who went clear in the 90cm showjumping phase.
Eve Nicoll and Dynast (Sheldon) who went clear in the 90cm showjumping phase.

Alysha Holmes, riding Abermani Annie, took part in the pick-a-fence cross country competition.

The Area 1 North Cup pony club team event was won by Moray and Nairn.

Also taking part in the competition were local riding club members Alasdair Matheson and Sophie Robertson. Alasdair, riding Kavanagh's King William came second in their dressage arena with a score of 26.7 in the 80cm section A, and were clear in the showjumping, but did not return a score in the cross-country phase, while Sophie and Bella Maye came 12th in the 80cm section B one-day-event.



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