Eryn Douglas reports….

Forgandenny, a fairly new yet extremely popular event on the northern circuit, marked the commencing of the Scottish eventing season last weekend. Classes from BE80(T) to Novice were ran over highly commendable ground in the rolling Perthshire hills. 

The first day of competition kicked off with the Novice sections: where one of the most notable winners was indeed organiser Douglas Edward, who piloted Rehy Volunteer to victory in the Novice class as well as being runner up to himself on Timpany Emperor. Rehy Volunteer posted an impressive dressageIMGL0025 score of 23.5 and a double clear in the time to secure his win; with Timpany Emperor also going double clear in this section on a 26 dressage. Organiser Douglas also bagged a second place in the other Novice section on Oxmountain Cruz. 

The Open Novice Class was won by Kirstin Bamford, a Law student from the University of Edinburgh. Kirstin and Gummys Twinkeling added no faults to their dressage score of 33.3 to secure them the win. Kirstin, who is aiming to compete Twinkel at 2* level next season, gave great credit to her mum, sister Izzie (who is also highly successful in the Northern Circuit) and trainers Karen Carson and Sheila Bowden in terms of ensuring Kirstin can juggle her University work with eventing. Kirstin said: “I generally come home to ride 4 or 5 times a week and keep myself fit by running for the university club”. However keeping Twinkel fit is not entirely straightforward, since “Twinkel is very much a one rider horse so does not like others getting on him”. 

The first of the U18 classes of the day, the ONU18, was won by Lauren Botterell riding Kirsty Stark’s Harbour Lights – who jumped a double clear in the time to add zero faults to their dressage score of 30.5. Lauren said that winning at Forgandenny was “an amazing feeling”, and that “Dennis is such a star and I am so lucky to get the ride on him!” Lauren, who only started riding Dennis in January, aims to do a few more Novices with him and then compete him at 1* level. 

The BE100U18 was won by Eilidh Macauley on her own Casper Z – an ex-show jumper, who finished on the dressage score of 27.8 to top the competitive section. Eilidh is planning to qualify Casper for Frickley Park U18 Championships and step up to Novice level at Forgandenny (2), as she said that “it’s a great course for him, the fences are so inviting and ride really well”. 16 year-old Eilidh, who is currently working towards her Higher exams at school, says that due to his show jumping background, she has had issues with Casper in the cross country phase, however has overcome these barriers through lots of positive training – where, after lots of practise “he seemed to get to grips with the idea of solid fences”. 

Rose Macpherson topped the BE90 Section I riding her own Ballingowan Carrie. Rose describes her win at Forgandenny as being like a “fairytale”, since Ann O’Grady (who Rose bought Carrie from) had come to spectate her eventing debut. Rose, who plans to move Carrie up to BE100 at some point this season, said: “the mare is a pleasure to train and I look forward to riding her every day! Carrie was given time to mature so she hasn’t done much and she is still growing so this is her first season eventing”.

The Fabulous Forgandenny provided yet another weekend of fun for many Scots and indeed competitors from the North of England – many of which look forward to returning to Perthshire on the 8th and 9th of July for another round of competition at Forgandenny 2.

Section winners: 

PPM Novice Section A – Emily Parker (Flipinlucky)

Malcolm Group Novice Section A1 – Douglas Edward (Rehy Volunteer)

Loch Leven Equine Practise Open Novice Section B – Kirstin Bamford (Gummys Twinkeling)

Halleys Feeds ON U18 Section C – Lauren Botterell (Harbour Lights)

GBEC BE100 Section D – Claire Smith (Furioso De Foja)

The Tack Room BE100 Section D1 – Lucy Harley (Fernhill Inspector)

Turcan Connell BE100 Open Section E – Giorgia Burns (Life In Time)

PPM BE100 U18 Section F – Eilidh Macauley (Casper Z)

ABL Solicitors BE90 Section G – Iona Campbell (Kaledonia Royal)

Loch Leven Equine Practise BE90 Section H – Mhairi Munro (Atlantic Affair)

Turcan Connell BE90 Section I – Rose Macpherson (Ballingowan Carrie)

Loch Leven Equine Practise BE80(T) Section J – Katie-Jo Noxon (Harelaw Hermes)

Halley Feeds BE80(T) Section K – Erika Hay (Falfield Pocket Rocket)

GBEC BE80(T) Section L – Rakel Price (Rau Mountain)

PPM BE90 Section M – Caroline Pennycook (Blue Thor)

Turcan Connell BE90 Section N – Ellie Meldrum (Springtime)

Harry McColl Fencing BE90 Section O – Lauren Webster (Balhagarty Lancelot)

Malcolm Group BE100 Section P – David Gatherer (Killossery Kameo)

Photographs courtesy of Dave Cameron Photography

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