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That Was The Year That Was July to December 2012

The rain doesn't let up this month, causing numerous cancellations, one of the highest-profile events is the Great Yorkshire Show which called off after the first day.

Further events off were the Highland pony breed show, Dalrymple and Dalkeith Shows and Eglinton horse trials in Ayrshire. After the Game Fair at Scone Palace is cancelled after the first day the organising committee of Central Scotland horse trials are forced to cancel their August fixture several weeks in advance, however they were able to run at Eglinton on their original date.

A man from Aberdeenshire is banned from keeping animals after being found guilty of causing unneccesary suffering and failing to provide veterinary treatment to two Shetland ponies, who were found extremely overweight and with long overgrown hooves. Named Haggis and Neeps, they were taken into care by the World Horse Welfare at Belwade Farm at Aboyne and have now been rehomed.

Dugald and Jacky Low-Mitchell from the Balcormo Stud in Fife are presented with the Sir William Young award from the RHASS. The award is made to the person or persons who have made "an outstanding contribution to livestock breeding in Scotland".

Scott Brash is rewarded with his consistency around the world to get his Olympic call up with Hello Sanctos, owned by Lady Pauline Harris and Lady Pauline Kirkham, for the GB showjumping team. He joins Nick Skelton, Ben Maher, final team member was Peter Charles, which many considered a surprise choice.

Kelso-based New Zealander Caroline Powell is selected for the NZ eventing team with the popular grey Lenamore, owned by the Mackinnon family from the Borders.

The Olympics gather momentum with the dressage section of the eventing clashing with the Hopetoun International horse trials, where there was a win in the CIC** for Scottish-rider Daniel Scott and Look Forward.

Back to Greenwich Park, the eventing section saw lots of drama where the riders described riding the course 'like a roller coaster'. Britain had three clears within the time and collected team silver behind the favourites Germany, but just missed out in the individual medal positions. The Scottish-owned Lenamore helps NZ win team bronze.

This month was all about the Olympics as we sat on the edge of our seats and bit our fingernails. We all hoped that Britain would be in with a shout for a team medal in the showjumping but to think GB would jump off for the gold medal was the stuff of dreams. But it happened – Nick returned a double clear, Ben was clear in the first round and collected four faults in the second, Scott Brash had four faults in round one and clear in round two. In both rounds Peter Charles was the discarded score.

With Britain and the Netherlands both tieing on equal scores it came down to an epic jump for the team gold medal medal. All the riders needed to jump again. Nick, going first, jumped a fast clear to put the pressure on, Ben was also clear, Scott tipped an early fence and with the Netherlands clawing back it all came down to Peter's round.

Miracously, Peter jumped clear – the first time he managed to do this in the whole competition – to give Britain the gold medal.

Nick was widely tipped for an individual medal and his horse, the aptly named Big Star, was the most consistent horse in the team competition, not touching a pole and deserved to win an individual medal. But when all the scores went back to zero their clean sheet didn't matter, Nick and Scott both jumped their first round clear, with Ben collecting four faults. In the second round both Nick and Scott tipped a fence each to finish fifth equal and Ben was ninth. It was a disapointing result for the riders and their horses..

There was further success in the dressage arena when GB won the team gold with their 'dancing horses'. Individually Charlotte Dujardin scoring a record breaking 83.74% for gold and team mate Laura Bechtolsheimer won bronze.

Konik horses are introduced to a RSPB reserve in Aberdeenshire. According to the site manager these horses will "help improve the wetland and habitat through natural grazing." This prompted a flurry of letters in protest, all suggesting that Scotland's native Highland or Shetland pony would do as good a job or better and are already adapted to the Scottish environment.

The weather continues it topsy-turved-ness with Hendersyde horse trials cancelled after the first day. Blair Castle horse trials kept going, although it was very muddy and we are still disappointed that our brand new Scotish Horse banner went AWOL and has not been returned. Answers on a postcard please ...

There was Scottish success when Emily Galbraith from Jedburgh became the first Scottish winner of the CCI*** with Timing.

Britain's Paralympic dressage riders win a total of 11 medals — five gold, five silver and one bronze.

Ian Bertram from West Lothian and Jock McFarlane from Angus are picked to represent GB at the world single horse carriage driving championships in Portugal.

HRH The Princess Royal opens the new World Horse Welfare visitor centre and indoor riding arena at Belwade Farm, Aboyne. The indoor riding facilty will allow the staff to be able to work with the rescued and rehabilitated horses all year round.

Tower Farm Riding Stables in Edinburgh celebrated their 40th anniversary. Now run by Caroline Buckle it was set up by Caroline's parents Jock and Judy Forrest.

Rowallan Activity Centre is offered for sale at a guide price of £1.5m, comprising of the indoor arenas, a cottage and grazing land.

There was a blow to event riders when it was announced that Scone Palace would no longer accomodate the annual Central Scotland horse trials date in April and August. The horse trials was established in 1952 and is one of the oldest in the eventing calendar. A new venue is being investigated.

In a further blow it was announced that Scotland's newest horse trials – at Balcarres in Fife – would not run again. Lady Balneil said: "Unfortunately we were totally undone by the weather and these conditions have had such an impact on the estate that it is with deep regret that we have had to take this decision."

The 21st anniversary of pony trekking in Scotland was celebrated with a ride out, conference and seminar in Newtonmore, Inverness-shire.

The National Equine Database (NED) – the database of British-registered horses' passports – was closed after government funding was withdrawn. NED was set up in 2006 as Defra was required by the European Union to have a database of all equines in the UK with passports. It was the only central source of information for over a million horses in the UK.

Kelso Racecourse start their National Hunt season with a revised layout and several changes to the course.

Scots were well represented at the annual Horse of the Year Show extravaganza at Birmingham's NEC. The overall supreme pony was the Highland pony stallion, Stirlingdene – bred in Stirlingshire by Scott MacGregor. The cob of the year went to Barneebus, ridden by Kirstine Douglas from Dumfries. There were also wins by Olivia Grant from Inverness in the native working hunter ponies and Julie Bankier from Lanarkshire in the show hunter ponies. The supreme Cuddy in-hand horse champion was Romanno Bedrisca, bred in Lanarkshire by Jennifer Gilchrist.

Scottish showjumpers did well – Scott Brash was the sole GB Olympic rider at the show, winning with the Scottish-owned Bon Ami and also the leading rider trophy, and Graham Babes and Jodie Crawford also won pony titles.

New Zealand event rider Caroline Powell announces that she is leaving Scotland to set up a yard in Wiltshire.

A new pilot trial of a grass sickness vaccine – in collaboration with the Equine Grass Sickness Fund, The Animal Health Trust and the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, University of Edinburgh – has been approved to commence in 2013/14. There have been 100 horses and ponies enrolled for the study.

The Scottish Horse Show committee announced that the 2013 show is returning to the Ingliston Equestrian Centre near Glasgow but on new dates – Tuesday and Wednesday, July 16 and 17.

Racehorse trainer James Ewart opens a new Tapetta gallop. Costing £350,000, the oval-shaped gallop sits inside the existing sand gallops at his yard on the outskirts of Langholm.

The weather continues to cause havoc with heavy rain and widespread flooding across the country.

Then the ice and freezing temperatures arrive, paralysing the country and cancelling many racing events, including the start of the Northern Area point-to-point season.

Mountains Animal Sanctuary in Angus appeal for help after being burgled the night after their nativity performance and also losing a distinctive wooden statue.

Flat racehorse trainer Keith Dalgleish breaks the Scottish Flat record with 51 wins this season.

The SSPCA annouce they are looking for homes for a number of horses after a man was caught illegally transporting eight horses and three donkeys into Scotland.

At Olympia, for the final of the BSPS mountain and moorland championships, the title goes to the Bronheulog Harvey, owned by Sophie Manners from the Borders, and ridden by Sam Roberts. Reserve was Catherine Scott from Aberdeenshire with Cadlanvalley Sandpiper.

Scott Brash concludes his super year receiving a MBE in the New Year honours list.

Dorothy Dawson, popular and well respected equestrian journalist and Welsh pony breeder.

Campbell Gillies, National Hunt jockey who rode a winner at the Cheltenham Festival.

Jane Maxwell, Perthshire breeder of JX Sporthorses.

Mrtyle Pirie, vet and well travelled dressage judge.

Swannie Haldane, popular racehorse trainer from the Borders.

Ian Hedley, senior master of the Border Hunt. Mr Hedley joined the mastership of the Border in 1952 and was in office until his death. He also hunted the hounds from 1952 to 1973.